Moving over to the SW side :p - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 22 Old 10-05-2007, 05:05 AM Thread Starter
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Moving over to the SW side :p

SO i am really considering to start a SW tank and money is soon going to become available.

I am a large fan of SW fish and have caught many octapus and dragon fish in my time :D

I am really interested in Having a puffer fish and A dragon fish and perhaps any other fish that go with them

Reading around however i really cant find anywhere which tells me what i need and what i have to do to start a SW tank.

If there is a post already can i please be redirected or can anyone simply be kind enough to start me off so i can plan out what i`m lokoing for.

As i said fishwise i want a dragon fish and a puffer fish! do these 2 even go together? what else can i put with them! I know puffer fish require lots of attetnion but i`m ready to do so! Thanks in advance for the help :)
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post #2 of 22 Old 10-06-2007, 12:46 PM
willow's Avatar
i'm pretty much in the same boat as you.
from help,and reading on the net........
Protein skimmer,Sand,RO unit,Power heads,refractormeter,
test kits,sump,lights.
although from what i read not necessarily a sump needed.
i'm going to get the Hydor Koralia power heads for mine,
they look good.
any good ?
also i would have helped me to have looked at the sticky
at the top of the page.

when you set up a new tank,hide an extra
sponge or two behind some decor,that way you have
something seeded for you next filter.
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post #3 of 22 Old 10-10-2007, 02:28 PM
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Willow, good start off list... but first I must ask if we can define "dragon fish"? That could be a number of different species from eel to wrasse to mandarin goby. We can't advise if they will be compatible and tank requirements until we first know exactly what you want to keep.
I'll watch this thread so we can get you started asap!

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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post #4 of 22 Old 10-10-2007, 04:54 PM
I figure dragon to be mandarin as most people go nuts when they see one. Not a good fish period. Most die in captivity. Puffers are easy to keep alive but very difficult to keep the tank itself healthy since they make a huge mess when they eat. If I ever kept a puffer I'd keep it by itself in a designated tank.
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post #5 of 22 Old 10-10-2007, 06:27 PM
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There are a number of other fish that can be kept with a puffer easy enough, the trick is providing enough space, enough filtration, enough food, enough shelter, and enough water changes. How much of yourself are you willing to invest in keeping a puffer? They're great fish but require specific care. Things like snowflake eels can make good tankmates, I've seen a few of the triggerfish that do well with puffers, lionfish, etc... but size is everything, both in fish and tank.
Also, with a puffer, keep in mind it will have to be a fish only tank because the puffers feed on inverts, including corals.

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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post #6 of 22 Old 10-12-2007, 04:37 AM Thread Starter
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okay so finally my plans are coming into action. i`ve been looking around on the web and this is the fish i was talking about *aka the dragon fish*

Also i decided not to repair my previous tank but to just buy a new one and get the LFS (which is actually extremely helpful) to help me build the tank! I do not want them to help me choose my fish though because they usually dont help! So i was thinking of a 55 gallon or perhaps bigger tank and i want it to involve some LR but to be mostly FO since i know the puffer is likely to destroy most invertibrates and smaller fish!

so assuming you disagree with the `dragon` fish what other fish do you suggest? The puffer will either be a porcupine puffer or just one of the normal large puffer fish (not familiar with the name)
this fishstore also has brought some mappa puffer fish in the past but i heard they are quite expensive and harder to keep then normal puffer fish!

what other fish are suggested that will live peacefully with a puffer fish! I really like clown fish etc but i dont know if they will last long! being a fisherman (i let everything go after) myself i have caught many octopus , dragon fish, crabs and lots of other types of fish before. Would it be wise to get something from the sea and put it in my tank? :p also ideas on what i can match with the puffer?
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post #7 of 22 Old 10-12-2007, 05:05 AM Thread Starter
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lion fish btw :p not dragon fish D:
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post #8 of 22 Old 10-12-2007, 06:03 AM Thread Starter
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okay was a bit unready when i wrote my post so would like to add that puffer is by far a must have - so lets work with a fish only tank :p suggestions ? ideas?
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post #9 of 22 Old 10-12-2007, 01:37 PM
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Ok, for starters, 55 gallons would not begin to hold a puffer fish unless you worked with something like a spotted puffer that has been acclimated from brackish to full saltwater. Pufferfish get really large, can be extremely aggressive, and they bite hard and do damage quick. They also jump. If a pufferfish is a must have, start looking at a minimum of 125 gallons if you intend to mix in another fish, 90+ gallons for just the one fish.
As for what will survive with a pufferfish, again, that will depend greatly upon tank size. These fish are all predators, and keep in mind that feeling crowded is the best way to initiate aggression that otherwise would be minimal in well fed and healthy fish.
With a porcupine puffer you don't want to mix anything that will pick on the puffer, while they are aggressive and predatory, they also tend to be giant chickens and stress quite easily. The hardest part of keeping the porkies is in getting them to settle in and eat. They can be fussy and stubborn, and without enough dedication to trying different foods and frequently, many die soon after being moved.
Wth dog face puffers, there are more options because dog face's are much more aggressive and "in your face". Triggerfish, most eel species, lionfish, some of the groupers... the trick is in keeping everything close in size so they can't eat each other and in providing a lot of rockwork so they have plenty of territory of their own to avoid fights.
What you are talking about creating is a neat community, but, always remember the aggression levels in all of these fish and never forget the size the become. Filtration will be more difficult to provide as they grow, and frequent water changes will be a must.
There is a pretty wide range of foods you can use to feel them all the same things at the same time, but it is messy. Eels don't see very well, so will need more specialized attention, and they need a tight cover to keep them in the tank. Groupers tend to eat what fits into their mouth as they grow. Triggers will tend to fight fiercely over food. Lionfish have the ability to sting, having venomous spines, and if you get stung, have 911 preprogrammed into your phone... it can be very very painful and debilitating. Each species has its own issues that run common, though there will always be an exception to the rule here and there.
Hope this is just a heads up for anyone considering keeping any of these awesome fish... they're great, but they're large and demanding, so being prepared for them is a must.

As for catching wild fish and putting them into the aquarium, I don't suggest it. The biggest issue would be introducing disease into the aquarium, the other reason is stress. While many of the fish in this trade are still wild caught, they go through a process of quarantine before being available to a home aquarium, and even this is not always enough to save them or prevent disease. Many of the issues that show up in a store tank (things they don't tell the general public) will typically come in with a new shipment, and the losses can be extreme. A whole tank full of expensive fish is suddenly sick overnight. In a store tank, medicating is much easier than in a typical home environment, and even then, the losses are great at times. A store will find out if a fish is eating or not before you attempt to take it home and watch it starve to death... which is very common in puffers, especially the porkies.
I hope this was of some help to you... Let us know if you need more info!

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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post #10 of 22 Old 10-12-2007, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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thanks alot for your information - i`ll look into bigger tanks and see what i can afford / get my hands onto! Assuming i get a 125 gallon is that okay for both the puffer and a single lion fish>?
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