Thinking of switching to FOWLR - help?


New member
My tank is a little over a year old - 100 gallon 48*24*20. I've been struggling with coral growth, and honestly am a little over trying to figure it out and dial it in. I just haven't made the time, and realistically I really enjoy my fish more than my coral (except my xenia - I love the xenia). The only coral that are doing well and growing are my xenia, hammer, and Kenya Tree. But - my frogspawn, zoas, gsp, trumpet, and duncan all look like crap and have for several weeks - not dead, but not growing - just kind of stagnant.

Current fish are: 1 clown, 1 lyretail, 1 diamond goby, 1 midas blenny, 1 cucumber, 1 cleaner shrimp, 2 hermits, and various snails.

My next reefsafe fish were going to be 2 firefish and 2 bangaii's. But - I'm kind of becoming frustrated with the corals and am not sure if I want to limit my next fish purchases on coral safe fish.

Here's my question - what are some must have fish for FOWLR tanks that I can add? If I lose corals - then so be it. I'm interested in butterfly's and angels - am I limited to one or the other? I'm hoping to hear suggestions on fish you would love to have - but have opted out of since you have a reef tank.

Thanks for the help!


New member
IMO, your tank size may put a limitation on some nice FOWLR fish. There are some Butterflies you may can get, but I think your max might be 2. No large angels and probably a max of 2 for Dwarf Angels. I suggest going to Liveaquaria and look at the fish you are thinking that you want and get an idea.


New member
Well yes - but I've gotten suggestions before of fish I've never thought of owning. LiveAquaria is certainly not an all inclusive list either as there are fish that aren't always listed on their website. So - I was looking for fish other people would want to see if there was something I hadn't thought of.


I've had the same issue in my 90g with no growth of Zoas, Frogspawn, candy canes or acans, but my leathers grow like crazy. I realize that it's probably the leathers that are inhibiting the growth of the others through chemical warfare, but still frustrated with corals.

I had a Kole Tang, two Clownfish and a Yellow Watchman Goby - the Tang was big and very aggressive - killed some other fish (Diamond Goby, Lawnmower Blenny, Solon Fairy Wrasse) so I was limited on adding fish, but wanted more activity in the tank. So, I added a Coral Beauty, a Green Filefish, Orange Tail Filefish, Blue Reef Chromis and a Solon Fairy Wrasse to replace my other. The Tang was relentlessly chasing and trying to cut the Coral Beauty, so I caught him and traded him in at my LFS. Now, the tank is peaceful and lots of activity.

I still have corals, but now I am not going to worry about reef safe - the Coral Beauty doesn't nip at corals - neither do the Filefish, so I guess I got lucky. I was going to go FOWLR, but decided to keep some easy corals in there and not worry about them.

Good luck!

Here's some pics: