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karaim 12-06-2008 11:21 PM

Getting new Reef Tank
I currently have a 125 gallon FOWLR and now want a reef tank. I am thinking of 180 gallon (or maybe slightly larger), but it will take many MONTHS of convincing my wife.

Anyway, for now I will be doing a lot of research until I annoy my wife enough to let me get the new tank.

So, I have a couple of questions:

1) Would it be a good idea to connect my 125 gallon FOWLR and my new 180 gallon Reef (this way I will only need 1 sump, although will probably need to upgrade my skimmer)? There will be about 12 feet between the 2 aquariums (I might not get the wife approval here because the pipe will have to run across the floor, even though my tanks are in the basement).

2) I do not want large fish (as I already have large fish in my FOWLR) and would much prefer many, many smaller fish. So, I imagine my stocking options are pretty large. I am guessing I could fit like 30-35 small (2-4 inches) fish. That's A LOT of fish. So, can anyone recommend a reef-safe schooling fish? I've heard mixed reviews about the chromis (they are schooling fish, but they can kill each other in the aquarium). I do not have any ideas of what I want in the tank yet (except I KNOW that I want a mandarin goby (with lots of copepods of course) and all kinds of corals (LPS, SPS) and maybe even sponges. So I want the fish to not munch on any of these.

Any other ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Highland lake13 12-07-2008 12:07 AM

I would definitly try the chromis. They are fun to watch after you make sure that they don't gang up on one fish. You could also try a family of clown fish. I tried this with great luck. It was really cool and i didn't have a death until 2 YEARS later. Good Luck and have some fun!!!


dallops_of_polyps 12-07-2008 11:28 AM

what about the blue reef chromis that are dark blue with a black stripe along there heads. also cardinal fish school like crazy and like to breed which means baby fish to sell back to lfs and get coral :twisted::twisted::twisted:

Cody 12-07-2008 12:37 PM

A school of Bangaii Cardinals would look really nice.

I wouldn't even try it with the Chromis. Everywhere I've seen has ended up with all of them dieing off.

karaim 12-07-2008 04:33 PM

Thanks everyone. I would love to get the Chromis, but too much info that I've read would tell me this isn't a good idea.

The Cardinals are an option, but what concerns me is that they are not colorful.

I was thinking the Blue Gudgeon Darfish (Ptereleotris Heteroptera). I've read that they are schooling fish. Have not heard any problems otherwise.

Any thoughts, comments?

CathyJ 12-07-2008 04:55 PM

In your situation with the plumbing issues, I would probably leave the FOWLR as a stand alone system. With the reef set up, you will need a better skimmer and much higher quality water. It will be easier to keep higher water quality with out the large fish polluting it.

You could still share an auto top off system, and you could use your discarded reef tank water change water for the water change in your FOWLR.

The Gudgeons are goergeous, but they hide to much.
The scissortail gobies are very pretty and stay in plain sight.
Antheas are good schoolers as well
Bangii will school when they are young, but when they get older and pair off they will start to fight, til they kill the intruder.
blue reef chromis tend to get mean

Pasfur 12-07-2008 05:45 PM

I agree that you should not combine the 2 systems, for the exact reasons Cathy states.

I also think Antheas are probably the best option for a schooling fish. You are never going to achieve the same sort of schooling effect in a marine aquarium that you get with Neon Tetras or Tiger Barbs, but at least you can observe more natural behavior with larger groups.

The post above is the first example of Chromis working out in captivity that I have heard of. I have talked with dozens and dozens of hobbyists who have had horrible experiences attempting to keep Chromis in similar sized aquariums.

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