Need advice: Corals in a fish centric tank?


Premium Member
I know adding corals to FOWLR makes it a reef - I have one.

However I want to have a tank which contains NON Reef safe fish but I want a natural look. In other words I want my decision to be what PARTICULAR fish do I like and then can I place this PARTICULAR coral in there as opposed to reef setups where its the other way around.

I plan to have some zos, mushrooms and polyps in there for color.
Does anyone have any other suggestions? I know it depends on the fish I eventually get but generalizations would be a good start.

a few months ago i got the same idea when my tank was fully stocked. so i added a few zoo rocks and mushrooms... none got eaten, so i added more, i put a ton of zoanthids in and mushrooms, but i noticed about a month later full polyp rocks were bare from one night to the next day. so i watched the next night, and my puffer was eating zoes and mushrooms! so i took it all out and put it all in my gf's reef.
sounds to me like a giant potentially expensive expt.
In general terms if you keep triggers, filefish, and puffers you will probably loose your corals. Groupers, scorpions, and fish eaters, your probably safe.