Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Susan21 09-26-2011 04:31 PM

Question about Clownfish Compatibility
I'm new to saltwater fish-keeping and have a few questions regarding stocking. I have a 180g acrylic, fish-only tank, pictured below (the reef is artificial). The tank has a wet/dry filter, UV sterilizer and protein skimmer. Lighting is T5 HO. The tank has been set up since early August and all parameters are normal, with PH of 8.3. If you need any more info on the tank, please ask.

I just added fish yesterday, two orange ocellaris clownfish, about 2 inches in size (they are in the middle at the bottom in the picture). I donít plan on adding any more fish for a few weeks, but am trying to decide what to add next. In that regard, can I add one or more black ocellaris clownfish with the orange ones? Iíve asked four people at various LFSís this questionÖ2 people said yes, 2 said no! If the answer to my first question is Yes, would I be better to add 1 black ocellaris clownfish or 2? I'm not interested in breeding. I just want everyone to get along! Thanks in advance for any replies.

onefish2fish 09-26-2011 04:45 PM

i suggest sticking with just a single pair of clowns but since your tank is large, 3, or even 4 of the same species clowns ( 2 orange, 2 black although this may be harder then having 3, 2 orange, 1 black ) it is called a harem.

your going to have to closely monitor their activity and you still may come up with a dead clown.

i have got to ask, what does the drain in the sandbed lead to? and can you please post a sump picture?

Susan21 09-26-2011 05:22 PM

Thanks, onefish2fish. Given your comments, I think I will stick with just the 2 clowns, since it seems the safer route. As such, I now have another question, if you or someone else will indulge me. My next choice would be to add a Benggai Cardinal. Would they work with my existing clowns? And, am I correct in assuming I should stick with just one Benggai?

As for the "drain in the sandbed", I'll warn you in advance that I don't yet know too much about the tank. It was professionally installed and is being professionally maintained. I'm learning as I go along and, hopefully, over time, I'll know more. I think the drain you refer to is where the water is returned into the tank, or at least that's my assumption, since I know that the water leaves the tank at the top, via an overflow. You can see the overflow at the top right of the picture and the overflow column is hidden behind the fake coral rock.

As an aside, I could ask the people who maintain the tank my stocking questions, but I get the impression (perhaps I'm wrong) that they're trying to talk me into more complicated fish (perhaps so I'll need them more often). They roll their eyes when I speak of clownfish and the like, and they suggest fish that I know would be too difficult for a newbie like me.

Here is a picture of the equipment below, taken together with the tank, to put things in context:

Below is a close-up picture of the equipment itself...hope these help! And thanks again for your response.

onefish2fish 09-26-2011 07:00 PM

the reason i ask about the drain because it seems your tank is set up to where if the pump fails, or the power goes out the tank will siphon back down this drain, draining your main tank, overflowing your sump and onto your floor.

have you tried killing power and seeing what happens? ( be ready to turn it back on fast )

a bangaii cardinal would be fine, 1 male and 1 female would work. i suggest writing a list of everything you eventually would ever want in the tank, this way you can pick the order in when they should be added. im going to guess you'll eventually want larger fish like tangs and angels ( unless this will become a reef) but those should be some of the last additions.

Susan21 09-26-2011 07:53 PM

Thanks again, onefish2fish! That's a good idea with the list and, you're right, I do want an angel and a tang, although I haven't figured out which type yet. I shall get to work on my list.

I have killed the power a number of times since the tank was installed (before the fish arrived). The cabinetry was installed (built around the tank) after the tank was set up and cycling, and the cabinet guys had to turn things off a few times when they were doing their work. And then the electrician had to install another electric outlet above the tank for the lights, so we had to turn the electricity off for a little while. The first time, I called my aquarium company and asked if there would be any problem if I turned everything off for a few hours, and they said no. So, I did, and I've never had any problems. Still, I will ask about the purpose of that drain (as you call it) the next time they're here, since now I'm curious.

Reefing Madness 09-26-2011 08:22 PM

That pipe may be a return pipe that is just an open flow. But looking at it, I can't figure out how it would not all end up in the sump wiht no power. One way valve perhaps??

onefish2fish 09-27-2011 08:05 AM


Originally Posted by Reefing Madness (Post 841897)
That pipe may be a return pipe that is just an open flow. But looking at it, I can't figure out how it would not all end up in the sump wiht no power. One way valve perhaps??

thats what i cant figure out.

i personally would sleep much better at night with a piece of PVC going up close to the surface, with a piece of locline coming out and a small siphon break. that way if power did fail, esp. when i wasnt home, the water will only drain back to the sump up to where it catches air and breaks the siphon.

from the looks of your setup it would drain all the way down to the drain before catching any air to break the back siphon.

Susan21 09-27-2011 08:58 AM

Hmmm...I will definitely ask about this issue when the aquarium people are next here!

Pasfur 09-27-2011 08:37 PM


Originally Posted by Susan21 (Post 841862)
Thanks again, onefish2fish! That's a good idea with the list and, you're right, I do want an angel and a tang, although I haven't figured out which type yet. I shall get to work on my list.

Angels and Tangs tend to be my area of most knowledge. I'm happy to help out if you want to brainstorm some stocking patterns.

Susan21 09-29-2011 09:27 PM

Thanks, Pasfur! Before I get to stocking patterns, I first have to figure out which fish I want. Iím working on that and I really like both angels and tangs. I have read you can only have one of each, but Iím confused as to whether that means only one tang or only one tang from the same ďfamilyĒ.

For example, can I have both a Blue Tang (from the Acanthurus family) and a Yellow Tang (Zebrasoma), even though I then couldnít put a Purple Tang (another Zebrasoma) in the mix? Or can I just have one and only one Tang in the tank? If Iím down to one and only one Tang, itís going to be a tough decision!

As for angels, I really love the dwarf angels, especially the Flame Angelfish and the Coral Beauty, but I think Iím going to have to pick between these two. I also really like the Queen Angel, and I think the Queen would get along with either the Flame or the Coral Beauty. Correct?

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