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AWSskater 01-03-2008 06:51 PM

Setting my tank back up
I have been in saltwater tanks around 2 years now, but I recently had to break down my 55 gallon FOWLR, but now I have a chance to bring it back. When I do, the inhabitants will probably be 2 fuzzy dwarf lions, a snowflake eel, a maroon clown and a picasso trigger. The problem with this however, is that I am totally OCD about having algae in my tanks. Does anyone have a suggetion for this? I would add a cleanup crew, but I know that the lions and the trigger will eat them, so...any suggestions?

caferacermike 01-03-2008 07:56 PM

Daily water changes, huge skimmers, UV sterilizers, Ozone generators, a remote deep sand bed, huge Deltec updraft filters full of ROWAPHOS, no lighting excep for when showing off the tank to friends. Different list of fish.

Your list is not really viable for a long term 55g as it is. Your eel will grow out of that tank. The trigger may lead to aggression if it feels overcrowded in the small confines of a 55g, Your main problem is that you want an aggressive fish only set up and you require no algae. You've asked for a near impossible from anyone on a limited budget or other interests besides doing small daily water changes. Those fish eat a lot, then poo a lot, they are messy eaters to begin with, this leads to a huge bio load rotting in the tank. Rotting fish waste and left over food create a ton of phosphates, algae fertilizer.

AWSskater 01-03-2008 08:10 PM

Well, I can live with some algae, I just prefer to not have any. Thanks.

caferacermike 01-03-2008 10:05 PM

If you can live with if it happens then your 2 dwarf lions would make interesting pets. You could still add others, I'd stay away from the eel in less than 75g. You could try a tang to eat any algae that occurs from the lions.

AWSskater 01-03-2008 10:54 PM

I forgot about tangs! Are there any tangs other than yellow tangs that could go in a 55? Also, I thought snowflake eels stayed small enough to be kept in a 55, at least that's what everything I've read has said. Are there any eels that stay smaller than snowflake eels so I could put them in a 55?

caferacermike 01-04-2008 05:21 PM

Ok let me try to explain this better. It's not so much that they can't be coiled up and stuffed into a 55g, it's that because they are piggish eaters, they "spoil" or contaminate the water with waste. A 55 gallon's parameters could be swung from good to deadly in a day or two at almost any point from the output of these animals. I'd recommend a larger volume of water for them to pollute to be safe. Banded snake eels would be a safer bet as they eat much smaller amounts of food, thus leading to less poo.

Most tangs will grow to large to be kept long term in a 55g, but the nice thing about tangs is that they can be easily resold when needed.

AWSskater 01-05-2008 09:38 AM

Ah, ok. I've never heard that about eels, but that is very valuable. Thanks.

caferacermike 01-05-2008 05:15 PM

Hey Skater thanks for reading and understanding. So many people, once they've made up in their mind, refuse to "hear" anything other than what they want out of a reply. Finding the right fish for your tank will lead to a fulfillment and satisfaction of having an easy to care for and healthy tank. It's the frustration of trying to "force" bad decisions that ultimately lead to the breakdown of a tank and the disappointment of a failure. Could you keep the eel in the tank? Of course you could. Would it be easy to care for, algae free, etc.. no it wouldn't.

I realize this is not as "cool" as a moray eel but.... If you really want to be the guy with the cool toy's check out "garden eels". They are tiny little eels that pack up together to form a community. They stick up out of the sand about 2-3" swaying back and forth in the currents. You could have a group of several in a deep sand bed, 55g tank. There are not many of them around thus elevating your fish keeping level in a direction that most would have no idea existed.

AWSskater 01-06-2008 06:44 PM

Ok, so I could keep the garden eels in the tank with the other fish? If so then I will definitely do garden eels, I've always loved them. I will have a really deep sand bed, cause I have about 75 pounds of live sand. If they can be kept with the other fish, then how many could I put in with them?

bettababy 01-07-2008 03:02 PM

Nooooo!!! Don't want to keep garden eels in a tank with large or aggressive fish. Garden eels are very sensitive to water quality and have a lot of predators. The other problem with keeping garden eels is that they need not just the deep sand bed, but lack of live rock so they can tunnel and pop up out of their holes wherever they need to. These eels seldom come out of their holes for even food, and are not always so easy to feed. They sit with their heads poking out and catch food that floats by. I have kept them, the store still has 3 of the 5 we brought in for our display tank about 5 yrs ago. They're awesome, but have very special needs in order to survive.

As for the snowflakes... they get 2 1/2 - 3 ft long, and also get very thick... and long term, as caferacermike has mentioned, they should not be kept in a smaller tank of 55 gallons. There will come a point that unless you're doing 70% or more water changes daily, the water quality would never be able to sustain even just the eel alone. I have already seen, kept, and played with snowflake eels that are 4 - 5 inches around in size! I would never suggest less than 90 gallons for an adult snowflake.
Does it have to be an eel? There are a lot of other cool fish to work with your current ideas... although, I do agree with caferacermike that your list is way overstocked for that size of a tank. With the list you provided you'd need 125 gallons or more for long term. Many of the dwarf species of lions actually get quite large (up to 6 inches)... more than what most people expect, and they can also become quite aggressive if feeling crowded. Of the fish you listed, to keep it long term, 1 dwarf lion, the picasso trigger, and maybe the maroon clown... but that would be the limit in 55 gallons.

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