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View Full Version : Ideas for further stocking an 120 SPS reef


sfdan
06/25/2017, 10:32 PM
I'm stocking my 120 SPS reef (standard size: 4x2x2) and currently have the following fish:

- Pair of 2" Ocellaris Clowns (12 months)
- 4" Kole Tang (11 months)
- 4" Lawnmower blenny (7 months)
- Tiny little Yellow Watchman Goby (3 months)
- Pair of red scooter dragonets (2 months)

Other stuff:

- 30 gallon sump, 10 gallon fuge, ~150 lbs of live rock in tank + sump

Picture:
https://thumb.ibb.co/hpczv5/IMG_3179.jpg (https://ibb.co/hpczv5)

The Kole Tang spends all day chasing the Lawnmower blenny around but otherwise there is no aggression between anybody else. Fortunately whenever food goes in there is a detente and the lawnmower blenny gets no shortage of food.

Anyways, I'm looking for ideas of further fish to add. I'm an aspiring coral farmer so my primary goal is generally more bio-load for the sake of bio-load, but at the same time I enjoy interesting fish as well :)

So my thoughts are currently:

1. I'd like to get a wrasse of some kind that will help pick off any SPS pests if they happen get through my QT somehow, but keeping my red scooter dragonets happy and healthy is the first priority. Now that I've had the dragonets for a couple months, I'm very confident in their health since: a) they are breeding and b) they voraciously eat frozen food c) there are still tons of pods visible in the tank at night.

With that said, I'm not going to risk messing up a good situation. So anyways I'm wondering on the thoughts about a peaceful, reef-safe wrasse that isn't going to be a huge risk to deplete the whole tank of pods. If the answer is that the situation is too risky I'm also fine with that.

2. I'd like to add another Tang as they are excellent poop machines, but again I want to be careful not to create a war with my Kole Tang. On the other hand, I feel like giving the Kole tang something to focus on other than the Lawnmower Blenny might actually be helpful. So if I were to put a Scopas Tang in there, what are the odds that is going to work out? Can it defend itself from a Kole Tang with a 1-year advantage?

3. Any other general ideas? And for the sake of discussion what I'm mainly interested in are fish that are going to produce some tangible amount of bio-load. As much as I love my little 1.5" watchman goby and his pistol shrimp, he isn't doing much to help my corals.

And I know I could always add in a school of green chromis, but I'm going to save that until I run out of other ideas :)

Thanks

scooter31707
06/26/2017, 10:40 AM
There are many stories of a Kole going after a Starry/LMB. IME, I tried the same thing with my Kole. He did not stop chasing LMB, even with new additions. Maybe try the mirror trick on the tank and see how the Kole reacts. Honestly IMO, you may be pushing the envelop, putting another tang in there (with the tank being 4ft), especially a Scopas. They have the potential to get big and aggressive. A small space will make the aggression 10x worst.

sfdan
06/26/2017, 02:12 PM
There are many stories of a Kole going after a Starry/LMB. IME, I tried the same thing with my Kole. He did not stop chasing LMB, even with new additions. Maybe try the mirror trick on the tank and see how the Kole reacts. Honestly IMO, you may be pushing the envelop, putting another tang in there (with the tank being 4ft), especially a Scopas. They have the potential to get big and aggressive. A small space will make the aggression 10x worst.

Yeah I've tried the mirror trick and the result is the Kole tang attacking his reflection the whole time, and then once the mirror goes away it is back to normal (I've gone a few days and a few weeks, same story). I guess I'll wait until I move everybody into a bigger tank before trying another tang.

nereefpat
06/26/2017, 03:36 PM
Good idea to not get another tang.

What about a flame hawk? They get about 4" long and would provide some bioload. You might have to determine how safe it would be with your pistol shrimp.

Otherwise, you could add several smaller fish.
A group of gramma or chalk bass
orchid dottyback
yellowtail damsel

sfdan
06/26/2017, 04:56 PM
Good idea to not get another tang.

What about a flame hawk? They get about 4" long and would provide some bioload. You might have to determine how safe it would be with your pistol shrimp.

Otherwise, you could add several smaller fish.
A group of gramma or chalk bass
orchid dottyback
yellowtail damsel

I actually used to have a flame hawk in a FOWLR tank long ago and am a big fan, really cool fish. Unfortunately I have a couple cleaner shrimp and many peppermint shrimp that would become dinner.

I actually thought Orchid Dottybacks had the same problem but I'm reading about them and it seems that they are pretty friendly and reef-safe. I also like they are captive-bred.

Perhaps I'll get 2 of those and hope I get a male/female. There is no way the Dottybacks would pick on my Dragonets, right? Not worried about any of the other fish, they can defend themselves.

Half Vaped
06/26/2017, 07:40 PM
The Orchid Dottyback is about the friendliest Dottyback you can get. You most likely not have any issues with your Dragonet, but no guarantees.

For pest control, how about a Leopard Wrasse or Radiant Wrasse? Maybe keep it at one so pods don't get depleted.

A harem of Anthias would add a good bioload, but you need to be willing to feed multiple times a day for best results.

And maybe a trio of Bellus Angels or some other Genicanthus Angel?

mrhighline
06/27/2017, 02:40 PM
The Orchid Dottyback is about the friendliest Dottyback you can get. You most likely not have any issues with your Dragonet, but no guarantees.

For pest control, how about a Leopard Wrasse or Radiant Wrasse? Maybe keep it at one so pods don't get depleted.

A harem of Anthias would add a good bioload, but you need to be willing to feed multiple times a day for best results.

And maybe a trio of Bellus Angels or some other Genicanthus Angel?

I agree with some kinda wrasse, Leopards sleep in the sand so you'll need a decent sand bed to accommodate them. I have a potters in my tank now and shes awesome.

sfdan
06/27/2017, 04:34 PM
I have a ~2" sandbed that is 3-4" deep in some places where the powerheads created some mounds.

I remember researching the Leopard Wrasse in the past but I was a little concerned about their hardiness. While I don't doubt I have the experience to find a healthy one, get it through a specially set up QT and then eventually into the tank (where I'm sure it would be happy), I generally like to err on the side of hardier fish.

It might not be possible but my goals in the wrasse are: a) semi-peaceful b) eats SPS pests c) hardy

Like a six-line wrasse is (b) and (c), but not (a).
I think the Leopard wrasse is (a) and (b), but not (c).

Perhaps I'll just have to take a risk on the Leopard wrasse and hope to get a healthy one, hope it makes it through QT, because it does seem like a really good for for (a) and (b).

The Radiant Wrasse is interesting though, I hadn't researched that one before. Seems a little more aggressive than the Leopard wrasse but also maybe a little hardier?

mrhighline
06/27/2017, 06:06 PM
I have a ~2" sandbed that is 3-4" deep in some places where the powerheads created some mounds.

I remember researching the Leopard Wrasse in the past but I was a little concerned about their hardiness. While I don't doubt I have the experience to find a healthy one, get it through a specially set up QT and then eventually into the tank (where I'm sure it would be happy), I generally like to err on the side of hardier fish.

It might not be possible but my goals in the wrasse are: a) semi-peaceful b) eats SPS pests c) hardy

Like a six-line wrasse is (b) and (c), but not (a).
I think the Leopard wrasse is (a) and (b), but not (c).

Perhaps I'll just have to take a risk on the Leopard wrasse and hope to get a healthy one, hope it makes it through QT, because it does seem like a really good for for (a) and (b).

The Radiant Wrasse is interesting though, I hadn't researched that one before. Seems a little more aggressive than the Leopard wrasse but also maybe a little hardier?

Biggest thing with leopards is getting them to eat. My Potters slept in a bowl of sand during qt. I just observed and didn't treat anything.

nereefpat
06/27/2017, 08:12 PM
It might not be possible but my goals in the wrasse are: a) semi-peaceful b) eats SPS pests c) hardy

Like a six-line wrasse is (b) and (c), but not (a).
I think the Leopard wrasse is (a) and (b), but not (c).


Halichoeres chrysus would be a,b, &c

Half Vaped
06/28/2017, 03:52 AM
Halichoeres chrysus would be a,b, &c

There are a few Halichoeres Wrasses that would be a good fit. Also consider H. biocellatus, H. iridis (Radiant Wrasse, already mentioned), H. chrysotaenia and H. melanurus. I've only kept H. biocellatus personally, but I believe they're all fairly similar in care and behavior.

I think Leopard Wrasses are less tricky than their reputation suggests. IMO, their patterns are much more attractive than that of the Halichoeres Wrasses, making them worth the risk.

The key is starting off with a healthy specimen from a trustworthy source. Plus the Leopard Wrasse primer in this forum was very useful. I have 3-of-4 success rate so far, with my Bipartitus Wrasse with me for over 2.5 years. In fact, when my tank crashed hard last year, my M. bipartitus made it, but my H. biocellatus did not.

sfdan
06/28/2017, 03:08 PM
Halichoeres chrysus would be a,b, &c

I actually always really liked the Halichoeres chrysus, but for some reason in my head I had thought it wasn't going to be a fit for my tank. I'm not sure why I thought that because it seems like it is a good fit. I'll just keep an eye on my Dragonets and ensure they are getting enough food, and if the wrasse does decide to eat my shrimp it isn't the end of the world.

Thanks for all the suggestions, I think my next additions will be a pair of orchid dottybacks and a yellow wrasse.

scooter31707
06/29/2017, 02:41 PM
Couple fairy/flasher wrasses would be my choice.