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Have things changed this much since I have been gone from the hobby?


ninkylou
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Since its been a few years since I have been in the hobby, and I have a much smaller tank this time around, I've been reading quite a few nano tank threads and reading lots and lots online. The one thing that stands out to me on the forums (not just here) is that is seems folks are stocking nano tanks heavier, and with larger fish, adding anemones earlier, etc.  Have guidelines changed since we have such better equipment and husbandry information?  If so, the articles on the web have not caught up.  I've been carefully trying to plan my tank, and then I read things n forums and think "owww, I didn't think I could do that with a 24G"...then I read the opposite in an article or care guidelines for a particular critter that contradict what appears to be happening in practice. 

I'd really love some guidance from an experienced reefer, its hard to know what information is valid and what is not.

Do we still follow the 1" per gallon 'rule' for fish or anything that increases the bioload?

I see folks adding fish that I understand to be for much larger tanks.  It was suggested that people get fish and re-home them when they get too big, is that the reality of it?  I am seeing Tangs in small tanks... anemones in picos...

Wait 6 months to add a BTA?

I so want to do this right, but I don't want to be held back by old ideas and techniques. :) 

 

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I wouldn't say 1" of fish per gallon has ever been a valid rule for saltwater; I only hear it touted by those who want an easy formula, whether it makes sense or not. When I'm stocking fish, I think about several things:

  • body length versus the length of the tank 
  • whether a fish is an open water swimmer or more of a rock hugger
  • how it compares to its tankmates in size, shape, color, and behavior (variety preferred)
  • how much space the fish is likely to demand from its neighbors (e.g. clownfish that claim the whole tank - no thanks!)

As far as stocking fish that will outgrow a tank, that can be done responsibly or irresponsibly. I think people should consider whether there is a market for a fish once it's huge and ugly, if they know they can't house it for life. A large yellow tang can always find a new home; an XL _____ that hasn't been cute in years, perhaps not. (Just going to leave that blank, so as not to offend anyone/start any arguments.) I've never bought a fish that I didn't expect to keep for life, but I am planning to do it for the first time soon (stocking a pico), and I guess I'll see how I like/dislike doing it. I wouldn't think someone is wrong for doing such a thing, provided they take the fish out long before it's stressed and are able to find a new home for it. 

Anemones, someone else would have to advise you on. Never kept anything other than maxi-minis and flower nems, which hardly compare in terms of tank requirements. I still read tanks should be mature before adding anemones such as bubble tips, but I have no idea how true that is or not. I've always been to scared to try one, afraid they'll bulldoze corals and/or get caught in a powerhead. :unsure:

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Thanks so much Flashy Fins, that is exactly the info I'm looking for. I trust the people on this forum for straight, rational information WITH explanations. As I said I want to do this right and I know the smaller tank is more of a challenge to keep stable. I always remember the adage 'dilution is the solution to the pollution'.


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I had a 20 gallon for a year after previously having 150 gallons. I met it stocked lightly with 2 clowns and a gold dwarf moray. I had a baby purple tang in there briefly bur only because at that time I had upgraded and was using it as a WT tank.

i would never dream of having one long term in a nano. I think the reason you Lu are seeing this trend is more people can now get a tank than could before .

I didn't want an anemone in a closed in space because. They do sting corsls but you can have one. The tank raised anemones that abound are much hardier than the wild caught ones so you don't have to have a well established reef to have one. 

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I really think this idea of 'fostering' a young fish is a neat idea.  I am thinking that them being in a smaller tank when they are young probably improves their chances of survival. One of the guys are BRA was telling me of a customer who is always looking for big fish, often bigger than what typically goes up for sale.  I think that the articles and guidelines out there don't take into account the community aspects of the hobby and how people share, trade and sell livestock.

That's good to hear about the anemone, I do so want to get one for the clowns and I've been afraid that if I wait til too long after getting the clowns they will have bonded to something else.  I'll still wait a while yet, but its nice to know they are hardier than they were before.  

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If you are eventually in the market for a bubble tip I'd be happy to help you out :) I have some great hardy rose bta clones! Whenever you're ready I'd be happy to give you a couple Frags as well! I'm located in the forest grove area

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When I first set up my tank a few years ago my Clownfish bonded with a powerhead lol, it took a few months after introducing a bubble tip for them to even care. I began to think they would never go into them, then I woke up one morning and they were all snuggled up inside! I've heard of people containing them in something smaller with the bta and forcing them together but I don't know if it works. Anyway good luck!

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27 minutes ago, TaylorW said:

If you are eventually in the market for a bubble tip I'd be happy to help you out :) I have some great hardy rose bta clones! Whenever you're ready I'd be happy to give you a couple Frags as well! I'm located in the forest grove area

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G360AZ using Tapatalk
 

I appreciate the offer, but I'm up on the south edge of Seattle in Renton, WA.  The only time we seem to get down to Oregon is T'Giving and Xmas to head to Eugene to visit SO's family.  

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On ‎4‎/‎9‎/‎2017 at 8:15 AM, ninkylou said:

I really think this idea of 'fostering' a young fish is a neat idea.  I am thinking that them being in a smaller tank when they are young probably improves their chances of survival. One of the guys are BRA was telling me of a customer who is always looking for big fish, often bigger than what typically goes up for sale.  I think that the articles and guidelines out there don't take into account the community aspects of the hobby and how people share, trade and sell livestock.

That's good to hear about the anemone, I do so want to get one for the clowns and I've been afraid that if I wait til too long after getting the clowns they will have bonded to something else.  I'll still wait a while yet, but its nice to know they are hardier than they were before.  

I would agree. People freak out when you put a tang in a small tank but if it is a small fish they will do fine for a while. I had a baby purple tang in my nuvo and it was awesome because it cleaned up the algae. Right now we have a Borbonius anthia in Sirena's nano tank. He will eventually outgrow it but as he is the only fish we  have in there. Here are some valid reasons for putting a fish with larger tank needs in the future into a smaller tank.

1. Using it as a quarantine time

2. Using it as a time for him to acclimate to being in captivity before being stressed out by other fish

3. Giving him time to be able to not have to compete for food

 

I do find better success then dumping a juvenile into a big tank with older fish. It's like putting a poor kindergartner in high school.  I also prefer to get juvenile fish because I feel they adapt better to captivity as they don't know anything else.

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I notice smaller and smaller versions of certain fish available now, as well, which contributes to the ability to keep them in nano tanks. Quarter-sized hippo tangs come to mind. You wouldn't toss that into the proper size tank an adult hippo would need, unless you wanted to watch a larger fish enjoy an expensive snack. If you followed the guidelines on some sites for stocking tanks and set up a system for life (unlikely to begin with; people move, trade livestock, etc.), you would either be looking at a massive tank with itty-bitty fish in it for years before they got large enough to need all that space, or else you would have to stock with older, larger fish, which as Kim pointed out, don't tend to adapt to captivity as well.  I say buy what you like (with the consideration of whether or not someone will want that particular fish later) and know when to give the fish up. I have seen people get attached and hang onto a fish too long, and it stresses and dies. Best way to combat that is to excite yourself with a new addition, in place of the one moving out! 

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