Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Stocking ideas for a 75 gallon FOWLR and a few other questions (

Marie84 06-30-2011 12:50 AM

Stocking ideas for a 75 gallon FOWLR and a few other questions
Hello everyone. Very nice to meet you!

You all seem like very kind, very experienced people and I thought I would come here to see about this stocking list for a future 75 gallon FOWLR. And when I say future, I mean at least couple of years off- though that still doesn't feel like enough to time even begin to absorb everything! ;)

Why 75 gallons? The bigger the better, I think (especially since you're trying to recreate Mother Nature's cycle, and last I checked the ocean was...err, pretty big,) but I know I simply won't have the space for anything larger than a 75 thanks to space constraints. :( I want to go with a 48 x 18 x 20 tank, with a separate sump.

Why a FOWLR? Well, it will be my very first marine tank, and from my research FOWLR's are generally a little easier to set up and maintain (along with being a little lighter on the wallet- coral lights= pocketbook KO for the ones that are worth a darn.) Luckily, this means I don't have to worry about whether fish are reef-safe or not, which is actually kind of nice. :)

For a laugh (and oh, will you laugh- and maybe cry a little at my initial ignorance, I know I did) when I first fell in love with the idea of a saltwater tank, here were my 'dream fish' before I delved into research:

-Seahorses. (Yeah, decided against those the instant I started seriously reading about their care. I just don't think I would ever feel, regardless of my level of experience with marine tanks, that I could care properly for them, and I simply refuse to have an animal of any kind that I do not feel fully capable of taking care of properly. )

-A cowfish of some kind. They absolutely fascinate me. (Again, really read up on them and decided against it immediately based on the reasoning above. They sound like they're almost impossible to keep alive long-term even in the most experienced, capable hands...and I'm far from experienced.)

-A parrotfish. (Hmm, maybe if I built an Olympic swimming pool-sized aquarium in the basement...)

-A leopard grouper. (Yeah, one would totally fit in a 75 gallon tank! ...not. I was so sad when I read they need a 300 gallon tank minimum, since this was probably one of the fish I was most in love with. Those spots!)

So, after you get a laugh (and maybe wince) at the above, here's the fish that I'm looking at. My intention is to get fish that need a 55 gallon tank, maximum, so they have some wiggle room. I'm wavering on a Tang- as much as I'd love one Yellow Tang (not looking at any others as their tank requirements are too large,) I think it might be like cramming a person into a closet if a 75 gallon is their minimum. Sure they can live there alright, but is is comfortable for them? Especially with them being such active swimmers...any firsthand experiences or thoughts on a Yellow Tang in a 75 gallon? It would only be a single Yellow Tang (Zebrasoma flavescens) if I did do it, and see below for the others.

At any rate, here goes! I would absolutely love some experienced input here. This is the order I would be stocking the fish after I'm sure that my tank is completely ready, at least roughly based on research, but I always believe that there's new things to learn and that it's always better to have a closed mouth and an open mind. Absolutely feel free to correct or chime in with any thoughts!

-A standard CUC

1 Fire Goby (Nemateleotris Magnifica)

2 Royal Gramma (Gramma loreto)

2 Coral Beauty Angelfish (Centropyge bispinosus)

2 Black & White Ocellaris Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris var.) - preferably a mated, tank-bred pair

Then of course, there's my dream fish that I would love to have one of IF I could find a healthy specimen, and my tank has been up and running with no issues for a couple of years so there's lots of grazing for it on the live rocks, and I would also wait until I feel comfortable enough in my skill level to make the attempt. The bicolor angelfish (Centropyge bicolor) is a fish that made my jaw drop the first time I saw a picture of it, and from what I've read as long as you have a larger tank you can have varying Centropyges together with no problems as long as you have a larger tank, but does anyone have personal experience with this? (Right off the bat, is 75 gallons large enough? 'Large' has quite a different connotation in the saltwater world than the frestwater world, I've found...) If it would result in a danger to the fish or anything like that, I would leave this fish off my list, as much as it would break my heart. It would be the last fish into my tank, but again, anyone have any experiences they'd care to share?

Also, please do recommend any good brands you guys have used for skimmers, sumps, filters, etc.- I know there are reviews out there, but I trust first-hand accounts a lot more! And give it to me straight- to me, constructive criticism is only given because someone is trying to help, and I know I have so very much to learn so I can give my tank and livestock their best chance for long-term health and happiness!

Thanks again in advance! :smile:

reefsahoy 06-30-2011 02:36 AM

hello and welcome to. A yellow tang in a 75 can be done. The list looks pretty decent and you should be able to keep the entire list. I don't think a 75 is big enough for multiple angels as you have shown intrest in 2 angels. To recommend you a skimmer or any equipment for that natter you'd have to give a price range as to what you'er willing to spend per item. For example, a skimmer can cost anywhere from a few dollars to a few thousand dollars. So to give you an opinion on equipment would have to depend on price, tank stocking levels, selection of live stock and type of corals you intend to keep, etc. There's no one size fit all unless price is no object, then you'd go for the opinioned absolute best!

Caligirl330 06-30-2011 03:16 AM

First of all I am so glad that you are doing so much research in advance because so many people jump into this hobby without putting in a lot of thought into it which usually results in untimely deaths for the beautiful creatures they get. At this rate you are defiantly on the way to having a successful FOWLR set up. You already seem to know more then a lot of people who have already started lol.

I Have had a 37 gallon reef for 8 years and have always wanted a FOWLR for the same reason I wanted non reef safe fish and I have to say it is funner to watch my FOWLR although I will get lost in the beauty of my reef as well. I just set up a 75 gallon FOWLR this march and I did A LOT of research as well since it is slightly different then taking care of a reef.

Ok anyways now for my advice...

Cow fish are extremely cute and fascinating little creatures however it is a wise decision to stray away from having one in your system because they are known to be toxic especially when they die or get stressed.
As far as getting the Yellow tang go for it, a 75 gallon tank is sufficent for ONE yellow tang, they can be a little territorial and in general tangs can be prone to diseases like Ich and I would recommend waiting to add the tang a little later when the water is stable and let the more docile fish get established.
The order you listed sounds pretty good and all the fish are compatable, the only thing I am not too sure about is how well the two angels will get along it might be a slight gamble but I have seen more then one angel in a tank before, however like you said is it "comfortable for them?" , Coral beautys are a little "nicer" but in general Angelfish are pretty dominant and sometimes take over and control the tank. I have heard and read it is best to add the angel fish last. I want a Majestic Angelfish and I am waiting to add him last.
Also it is very important to stock your tank slowly, I can't tell you how many times I have heard and seen someone loose patience and starting adding things too quickly and then it back fires by the poor fish dying and them wasting money.
In the begginning it is very important to let your water, live rock and sand cycle for at least 3 week and if you can wait longer the better. In a 75 gallon fish only you want at least 75 lbs of live rock (Or as much as your wallet will let you :lol:) and about 60-70lbs of sand. Make sure you clean your sand in the beginning by putting it in a bucket or large container with water and I used my hand to swish it around but you could use a tool of some sort. Keep dumping out the cloudy water with new water for about 5-10 times per sand load. it is a lot of work lol but worth it to do these extra things in the long run. You can clean the sand with tap water however I treated the tap water with AmQuel a solution that removes nitrates and ammonia. I also rinse off my live rock with RO/DI water before adding it to my tanks as well.

From my experience AquaClear is a great hang on back filter and the Skimmer I like the best so far is a Remora. I have a Coralife Super Skimmer and it over flows on occasion when something sets it off.
There is really so much more to learn and I could go on and on and on about more things you need to know but keep us updated and LMK if there is anything else I can help you with. Good Luck with everything! And Thanks for being so responsible :-)

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