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formsix
11/11/2014, 07:36 AM
There are about a zillion ways to put together a reef tank -- I just want to share one way that's worked for us. Our tank has been up and running for 7 months, and is as awesome and stable as would be expected for that length of time. It's a 75g (48x22x16) long and shallow tank, with a 40g sump.

We wanted a tank full of inverts, colorful fish, cool corals, and other interesting life. Thus, our focus was on invert-safe peaceful fish that would occupy different "niches" of the tank.

Fish Stocking List (and the order in which we added them):
Royal Gramma
Lubbock's Fairy Wrasse (small female)
2 ocellaris clownfish (small tank-bred... they have since differentiated into male & female)
Leopard Wrasse (Macropharyngodon negrosensis) - small female
Carberryi Anthias
Starry Blenny

The latter 3 were added recently, after the tank had been up for 6+ months. ALL of these fish are active, and there is minimal aggression in the tank. The royal gramma sometimes shows her mouth if another fish gets close to her cave, but it's about a 1 second incident in which the other fish swims away and that's that. So really a dominance assertion rather than aggression.

The Royal Gramma hangs out mid-tank near her rock cave. The fairy wrasse and anthias cruise the tank, mainly in the upper 1/3, but do go all over. The clowns tend to hold down more vertical space and like the corners of the tank. The leopard wrasse chills front and center hunting pods on the rocks and sand. The starry blenny perches on the rocks.

We also have 7 shrimp in the tank -- 2 sexy shrimp, 2 fire shrimp, 2 striped cleaner shrimp, and 1 peppermint shrimp. ALL of these shrimp are visible just about all the time.

I know our tank isn't unusual -- but I also know that in many tanks, a lot of the critters we see daily remain much more hidden. Keeping a really peaceful invert-safe tank also means that there are fish we just can't have.... no tangs, angelfish, or wrasses that eat inverts. I'm also not going to say that each of our fish are "perfect" reef inhabitants -- I've certainly heard stories of rogue royal grammas and nippy blennies. But we went with fish that are a better bet than many others, and aside from the leopard wrasse, are all fairly hardy and easy to care for critters :)

Sugar Magnolia
11/11/2014, 07:42 AM
Sounds like a nice tank. Can you post up some pics so we can see it? Thanks!