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Fish assortment for a 55 gallon reef


willbowen03
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So I am in the process of slowly setting up a new 55g flat back hex. I say slow because I am a college student and I get to do it in pieces :). Well I was wondering what people thought would be a good mix of fish that could go in the tank. I am going to have some soft/LPS coral to start with as I don't have a big enough MH for the new tank.

 

So what would a few good fish be? Or anyone favorite fish that would not outgrow the 55g.

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Well right now I have been working with my dad on his tank at home, and I have a few pieces of my own in there. I have a bubble tip anemone, a merten's carpet with a percula clown in there, a piece of xenia, about a 3 inch diameter yuma, a small frag of zoo's, and thats about it. I really would like a tang of some kind but I have heard they are really susceptible to marine infections.

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I love my little six line wrasse "Grumpy". He zips in and out of the rocks with such grace. I also love my little domino fish, and my clowns, and my yellow spotted goby and my flame angel....I loved my fox face too, but I recently lost him. I will soon replace though! Good luck with your set up and I can't wait to see some pictures.

 

Kris

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If you really want a tang look into a Kole, Cheveron, or Tomini as they are smaller tangs and are helpful in algea control. A foxface would also be a cool addition if none of those tangs strike you as a MUST have.

 

Just remember that a 55 once filled with rocks leaves less and less space to swim and fish always grow to a bigger size. So plan ahead.

 

Find the ONE fish that is your must have and work around that. In the end you should come out being happy!

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Well right now I really love my percula clown. She is all alone as the smaller one his name was rocky died after getting ich. It really hit him hard he was one 3/4". Two weeks in the quarantine tank and he was laying on the bottom. :( So I would really like to find her another buddy. I know they will stay over with their anemone, whether it be the carpet or the bubble. So I need some stuff for the rest of the tank. I plan on getting some softies and a few basic lps to start with. And I will be getting MH lighting when I can afford it after paying tuition probably around September. So anyone have any good ideas let me know. I have seen some fish that I think is called a jawfish that digs tunnels underneath the sand.

 

Overall I am just trying to get the fish spread out within the different levels and such.

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I personally am a big fan of the schooling fish. They are always out right in the middle of everything. Blue green and purple chromis are definitely in your size range. You could easily get away with 5 of them in your 55. Pick your wrasse carefully, I have a six line, and he is the smalles fish in the tank, yet he is the BOSSMAN of the tank. Go figure. So much attidude for such a small fsih! I will say the six line was one of my first fish to go into my tank, and I have never had any problems with any pests of any sort. Whether he had anything to do with this or not, only God really knows. I do know though that he constantly hunts and picks at every crevace of every rock, and when he is not hunting he is picking on other fish. Even my purple tang which is easily 5-6 times his size. Catch 22 with the sixline. Just my 2 cents

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Ya that is what I have heard about sixline's, that they are really agressive if already established when new fish come in. I am thinking about hopefully finding a mandarin pair, my pair of percula clowns, and a few others. Think that would work out ok? The chromis school sounds like a good idea.

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I like the schooling fish as well. I did buy some green chromis a while back, but they didn't do well in quarantine. I get really nervous about buying ANY fish. I loved my fox face...he was a pig though! As for my six line...he really doesn't care about any of the other fish. The clowns are truely the bosses of the tank!

 

Funny, when I first set up, all I could think about were fish...now...corals!

 

Kris

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I am thinking about hopefully finding a mandarin pair' date=' [/quote']

 

A 55 may be too small for a PAIR of mandarins. You may get away with one if you have a refugium, and a couple of pod piles to allow for hiding places for its live food needs. Not all of them switch over to prepared food.

 

dsoz

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Ya I have been reading a lot about mandarins lately and if I do decide to get one it will definately be a single. Living out in the middle of no where its going to be hard to get pods. I would have to order, but ups/fed/dhl all come while I am in class so Spokane is about the closest I can find.

 

Right now I am thinking that two clowns, some lps/softies (sps when I upgrade the lighting), and a few other reef safe fish are looking like the most likely outcome. Maybe a blenny or a goby so add some life to the bottom of the tank.

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I think one of the most fascinating aspects of marine creatures is the commensal relationships certain species establish. A tank focused on clownfish/anemone and pistol shrimp/goby pairings would be really cool IMO, and having a theme like that would make subsequent fish selections a lot easier ("Will this possible new addition tick-off the clowns, anemone, shrimp or goby?").

 

Of course, you'd be making some trade-offs (other crustaceans won't sleep well at night ;)) but pretty much any livestock added will limit future additions in some way or another so I guess that's a wash.

 

Fortunately, some of the most beautiful creatures in the sea fall into each of those pairings; they tend to be pretty hardy for the most part (anemones can be a bit tricky, but I don't think they're as delicate as they're widely thought to be -- modern husbandry techniques make aquarium life a lot easier for them than it used to be)... and they aren't crazy-expensive either.

 

Anyways, something to consider...

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Well right now I have two anemone that have been doing great for over 7 months in my tank at home. One of which is going to make the trip with me to school along with a percula clown. I am trying to find an onyx perc or another perc to go with her. Then from there I will see what I can do. the lighting might be my constraining factor for a little bit. I am going to be running 4x65w PC's for a while over the new tank, but will have halides and either vho's or t5's soon.

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I think one of the most fascinating aspects of marine creatures is the commensal relationships certain species establish. A tank focused on clownfish/anemone and pistol shrimp/goby pairings would be really cool IMO, and having a theme like that would make subsequent fish selections a lot easier ("Will this possible new addition tick-off the clowns, anemone, shrimp or goby?").

 

I like this idea. I love to watch pairings and communal relationships.

If you don't already have - I definitely recommend a cleaner shrimp.

All tangs will require a lot of vegetables, so you have to keep feeding schedule in mind. Yellow Tangs are nice and pretty easy to care for, but can get territorial.

 

Just start slow and everything will work out.

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I just realized I haven't given a complete list of my current inhabitants, that might help a bit.

 

1 percula clown

1 peppermint shrimp

~12 hermits

4 turbo snails (these are probably going to need a new home)

 

1 carpet anemone (currently looking for a new home)

1 GBTA

 

1 small 8-10 polyp zoa frag

a rock with some waving hand xenia (doing great) pieces have spread out on two different rocks across the tank.

~3" yuma

small 2" torch coral frag

 

 

This is everything besides the ~#40 of live rock that is in my 37g tank at home.

 

Besides the carpet this all is going to be coming with me to the new tank at school. I might be cycling a little tank ~20 gallons in the next month or so to have a place for the frags/rock/fish to go til the bigger tank can do its small cycle.

 

But I was looking at the relationship between gobies and pistol shrimp today as suggested and that looks pretty interesting, it also would provide some movement and life towards the bottom of the tank.

 

What would be some appropriate sized fish that are on the larger side opposed from the clown/goby that would be ok in the 55 gallon/reef safe. (tangs, anthias, etc.)

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So as of right now the plan is to have two clowns, their anemone, a goby and a pistol shrimp pair, and hopefully a tang of some kind. I am looking for someone who is fairly knowledgable about tangs. I am looking for one that will be ok in a 55g tank without having to upgrade within the next two years that I am at school. So if anyone knows one that would be well suited or a few different kinds that would be great.

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One data point: It has taken my Yellow Tang 1.5 years to outgrow my 55 gal tank. It wasn't tiny when I got it, but it was pretty small. I think most healthy, well-fed tangs would outgrow a 55 within 2 years.

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