Need Help Stocking 180-gallon softies only tank.

Zionas

Member
In the order I’ll be stocking them (with help from WWM):

x3 Pajama Cardinalfish (3.5” each) Slow swimmers Carnivore

x2 Ocellaris / Black and White Ocellaris Clownfish (3” each) Slow swimmers Omnivores

x1 Marine Betta (8”) Slow swimmer Carnivore + x1 Royal Gramma (3” Slow swimmer Carnivore

x1 One-Spot Foxface (8”) Active swimmer Herbivore

x2 Flame Hawkfish (4” each) Bottom dwellers Carnivore

x3 Genicanthus spp. (Choice between 1 Lamarck female + a pair of a smaller species- Spotbreast, Watanabe, Bellus OR a harem- 3 fish, 1 male 2 females of Bellus, Spotbreast, Watanabe) Active swimmers Omnivores

x1 Xanthurus Cream Angelfish (8”) Active swimmer Omnivore

x1 Yellow Tang (8”)- Active swimmer Herbivore + x1 Cthenochaetus Tang (choice between Tomini, Yellow Eye Kole, Squaretail Bristletooth, White Tail Bristletooth)- Active swimmer Herbivore

x1 Yellow Candy Hogfish (4”) Active swimmer Carnivore


Total number of fish: 17

Carnivores: 8

Herbivores: 3

Omnivores: 6



Utility Fish (8 fish):

-One-Spot Foxface (algae eater)

-Yellow Tang (algae eater)

-Cthenochaetus spp. (algae eater)

-Xanthurus Cream Angelfish (algae eater)

-Yellow Candy Hogfish (bug eater)

-Genicanthus spp. (Plankton eater)



Possibilities:

-I want to possibly add a YWG or another Cryptocentrus Goby + Pistol Shrimp combo, but worried about my pair of Flame Hawks with the goby and the shrimp. Also worried the shrimp might kill my smaller fish.


-I could do either a Bristletooth Tang or a Xanthurus Cream Angel, not both.




What do you think of this list? Will I be overstocked? Is this too big of a bioload? Do you foresee any compatibility issues?
 
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Kaiser699a

New member
Zionas, I have a similar position - 180g with 10 fish already stocked and looking to increase the fish count with various options. I think your bioload would be quite high with all those fish. You would need very strong skimmer and big water change regime to keep the nitrates down. You don't mention if you are keeping corals and what types. Recently I had to move out a Majestic Angel, Blue Regal Tang and Flame Angel because they were continually nipping my soft corals. I think the Angels would be worse behaved with LPS corals. While researching my own fish expansion options I see the Yellow Tang, Fox Face and any Angel will give you this problem. I think your fish selection shouldn't pose too many compatibility issues apart from the risk with the Hawkfish and Betta. They are likely to eat smaller fish but you don't really have any small fish on your list that are particularly small when adult. I guess you should watch out if adding juveniles.
 

Zionas

Member
Yeah for corals I'm only doing soft corals like mushrooms (Actinodiscus, Rhodactis, Ricordea), Devil's Hand Leather, Finger Leather, GSPs, Pulsing Xenia, Cabbage Leather, Toadstool Leather etc.
 

Kaiser699a

New member
The soft corals my Angels and Regal went after where long polyp (sway in the current) types like Kenya Tree, Gorgonia, zoas/palys and one leather, I think it was sinularia. So just use caution when folks (and books) say a fish is "risky". In my experience that means definitely they nip and softies are not safe - depending what you keep. My twin spot bristletooth tang appears to nip but he only does it when the softies are closed up and preparing to "shed" - not sure the correct term. He is grabbing the algae the coral is trying to shed. Once the shed is over and polyps expand he never shows any interest. This is definitely not what my Angels and Regal were doing. I would like to try a Yellow Tang or Foxface to help remove some caulerpa that is taking hold now my Regal is gone. Always tentative with the corals now but I fear if I don't try them the caulerpa will take over and smother out my corals anyway...
For your proposed list this is what I would cut it down to:
x3 Pajama Cardinalfish (3.5” each) - I have a nice group of 4 green chromis, started with 5. I prefer them to cardinals because they are very active and swim around the top section of the tank bringing nice colour and movement. I think in a 180g there are enough sleeping spots and the commonly reported problem of 1 killing all the others is lower risk.
x2 Ocellaris / Black and White Ocellaris Clownfish (3” each) - I have a pair in a host GBTA and they are my fav fish.
x1 One-Spot Foxface (8”) - kept for yellow and algae eating, could be a risk to corals though
x1 Flame Hawkfish (4” each) - unless you get a pair then keep only 1
x3 Genicanthus spp. - I have no experience of these but just my tatse that their rather subdued colouring is not worth the risk of coral nipping.
x1 Cthenochaetus Tang - I have twin spot and he is great although aggressive when I add anything new. I use the mirror trick for a few days until he calms down.
x1 Yellow Candy Hogfish (4”) - I like the colour of these

I would leave out the Angel, Yellow Tang and Betta. You could always check your nitrates with this reduced list and then decide if your water changes and skimmer cn cope with more. If your nitrates creep up when fully stocked then don't add anymore.

PS for additional colour over the Genicathus Angels and no risk to corals you could consider a Royal Gramma and Firefish. My Royal Gramma is the first fish any visitor to my tank comments on. Colour is amazing!
 
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Zionas

Member
Thanks for the replies, I really appreciate it. I really love the Marine Betta and Yellow Tang :( From what I’ve read elsewhere the Marine Betta doesn’t really bother smaller fish unless they’re very small (such as some small gobies) and that it’s actually a very lazy fish for its size so not that’s much bioload. After some more though I’ve come up with the following possibilities:

A-
3 Pajama Cardinals

2 Ocellaris / Black and White Ocellaris Clownfish

1 Marine Betta

1 Royal Gramma

1 One Spot Foxface

1 Flame Hawkfish

3 Genicanthus angels

1 Yelllow Tang

1 Bristletooth Tang (Tomini, Yellow Eye Kole, Two Spot, White Tail)

1 Yellow Candy Hogfish



B-

3 Pajama Cardinals

2 Ocellaris / Black and White Ocellaris Clownfish

1 Marine Betta

1 Royal Gramma

1 One Spot Foxface

1 Flame Hawkfish

1 Lamarck’s Angel

1 Xanthurus Cream Angel

1 Yellow Tang

1 Bristletooth Tang

1 Yellow Candy Hogfish



C-

3 Pajama Cardinals

2 Ocellaris / Black and White Ocellaris Clownfish

1 Marine Betta

1 Royal Gramma

1 One Spot Foxface

1 Flame Hawkfish

1 Lamarck’s Angel

1 Black and White Bannerfish

1 Yellow Tang

1 Bristletooth Tang

1 Yellow Candy Hogfish




D-

3 Pajama Cardinalfish

2 Ocellaris / Black and White Ocellaris Clownfish

1 Marine Betta

1 Royal Gramma

1 One Spot Foxface

1 Flame Hawkfish

1 Lamarck’s Angel

2 Black and White Bannerfish

1 Yellow Tang

1 Yellow Candy Hogfish




Not sure if any of these would still be too much bioload and too much use of space. :( Don’f want any of my fish to be stressed.



Would love for more to chime in.
 

Kaiser699a

New member
I go with A having least risk for your corals. What you could do if you are concerned about the final bioload is grade the list. So pick 4 or 5 must haves and add those. Then have 3 or 4 should haves and add those. Then another 3 or 4 could haves and add those. If at that point your nitrates are not running away on you you could add the last ones. I obviously don't mean add all the fish in a group at once. Go slow. Add your must haves over a couple of months. Let things settle and check nitrates often, then go to the next group etc etc. This way when you reach max bioload you will have added your most preferred fish already... just a thought
 

Zionas

Member
I’m dividing my stocking plan into two phases. Phase One will be completed at the 6-7 month mark, phase 2 will take another 6-7 months.

Phase One will be the 3 PJ Cardinals, the pair of Clownfish, the Marine Betta, the Royal Gramma, the One-Spot Foxface, and the Flame Hawkfish.


Phase Two will be the Angel / s, Tangs, Bannerfish (should I choose to include them), and the Yellow Candy Hogfish (worried about their aggression).
 
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