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-   -   Stocking a 180 Gallon Fish-Only Tank (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/saltwater-fish/stocking-180-gallon-fish-only-tank-82539/)

Susan21 10-02-2011 09:14 AM

Stocking a 180 Gallon Fish-Only Tank
 
I have kept freshwater fish and pond fish, but I'm new to saltwater. Several months ago, I installed a 180g saltwater fish-only tank, with a wet-dry filter, protein skimmer, UV sterilizer and T5 HO lighting. Last week, I added two ocellaris clownfish. I now have questions about future stocking. Below I have listed the fish I would like in the tank, and would appreciate any comments (compatibility, too many/too few, etc.). I also have three other questions:

a) In what order should I add the fish? I have listed them in the order I think they should be added to the tank, but I’m just learning, so my ordering is a guess.

b) I plan on setting up a quarantine tank in the next week or so. Given the type of fish that will go in there (see list), what size tank would you recommend?

c) I’d like to add a new fish every 2 or 3 months, so I have time to “get to know” each new fish (feeding habits, etc.) and just enjoy the new fish. At that rate, it will take 2 to 3 years to stock my tank, which is also good, since I’ll be more experienced by the time I add the later (more difficult) fish. However, my stocking plan is slower than most I’ve read about. Is there any downside to stocking the tank slowly? For example, will my existing fish be so big and well established in 2 to 3 years that they will give the later newcomers a much more difficult time?

Thanks in advance for any help. Below is my list, including the scientific names to avoid confusion:

2 Ocellaris Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris)…already in tank
3 Blue Green Chromis (Chromis viridis)
1 Banggai Cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni)
1 Pacific Blue Tang (Paracanthurus hepatus)
1 Threadfin Butterflyfish (Chaetodon auriga)
1 Scott’s Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus scottorum)
1 Kole Tang (Ctenochaetus strigosus)
1 Flame Hawkfish (Neocirrhitus armatus)
1 Naso Tang (Naso lituratus)
1 Coral Beauty (Centropyge bispinosa)
1 Yellow Tang (Zebrasoma flavescens)
1 Queen Angel (Holacanthus ciliaris)
1 Powder Blue Tang (Acanthurus leucosternon)

Reefing Madness 10-02-2011 11:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Susan21 (Post 847895)
I have kept freshwater fish and pond fish, but I'm new to saltwater. Several months ago, I installed a 180g saltwater fish-only tank, with a wet-dry filter, protein skimmer, UV sterilizer and T5 HO lighting. Last week, I added two ocellaris clownfish. I now have questions about future stocking. Below I have listed the fish I would like in the tank, and would appreciate any comments (compatibility, too many/too few, etc.). I also have three other questions:

a) In what order should I add the fish? I have listed them in the order I think they should be added to the tank, but I’m just learning, so my ordering is a guess.

b) I plan on setting up a quarantine tank in the next week or so. Given the type of fish that will go in there (see list), what size tank would you recommend?

c) I’d like to add a new fish every 2 or 3 months, so I have time to “get to know” each new fish (feeding habits, etc.) and just enjoy the new fish. At that rate, it will take 2 to 3 years to stock my tank, which is also good, since I’ll be more experienced by the time I add the later (more difficult) fish. However, my stocking plan is slower than most I’ve read about. Is there any downside to stocking the tank slowly? For example, will my existing fish be so big and well established in 2 to 3 years that they will give the later newcomers a much more difficult time?

Thanks in advance for any help. Below is my list, including the scientific names to avoid confusion:

2 Ocellaris Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris)…already in tank
3 Blue Green Chromis (Chromis viridis)
1 Banggai Cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni)
1 Pacific Blue Tang (Paracanthurus hepatus)
1 Threadfin Butterflyfish (Chaetodon auriga)
1 Scott’s Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus scottorum)
1 Kole Tang (Ctenochaetus strigosus)
1 Flame Hawkfish (Neocirrhitus armatus)
1 Naso Tang (Naso lituratus)
1 Coral Beauty (Centropyge bispinosa)
1 Yellow Tang (Zebrasoma flavescens)
1 Queen Angel (Holacanthus ciliaris)
1 Powder Blue Tang (Acanthurus leucosternon)

Taking that much time to add fish will hurt in this sense, in 2-3 years those fish added first are going to be alittle on the big side, and at that time the are less likely to tolerate new fish. Heres what you can do, don't know if you can afford to but. Add all the Tangs at the same time. Those are the only problems I see. If you were to wait 2 years on any of those, WOW would they cost you to get one that is 6". PBT and the Naso would be the pain of the bunch, but added at the same time, you would be ok. The other thing to do, is rearragne the rock to make the tank look new to the fish, then their territory would not be established anymore and new to them and the new fish you add. Also, add the Angels at the same time when you do it.

Pasfur 10-08-2011 06:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Susan21 (Post 847895)
b) I plan on setting up a quarantine tank in the next week or so. Given the type of fish that will go in there (see list), what size tank would you recommend?



I would personally use a minimum of 20 gallon tank. In fact, when I stocked my 180 I used a 38 gallon Q-tank. You want your fish to be comfortable.

Quote:

c) I’d like to add a new fish every 2 or 3 months, so I have time to “get to know” each new fish (feeding habits, etc.) and just enjoy the new fish. At that rate, it will take 2 to 3 years to stock my tank, which is also good, since I’ll be more experienced by the time I add the later (more difficult) fish. However, my stocking plan is slower than most I’ve read about. Is there any downside to stocking the tank slowly? For example, will my existing fish be so big and well established in 2 to 3 years that they will give the later newcomers a much more difficult time?
There is something to be said for this, but I wouldn't rush things just for these concerns. A good 4 week quarantine period will be very beneficial, and this fact alone will slow down your stocking speed.

Quote:

Thanks in advance for any help. Below is my list, including the scientific names to avoid confusion:
Quote:


2 Ocellaris Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris)…already in tank
Great start.

Quote:

3 Blue Green Chromis (Chromis viridis)
1 Banggai Cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni)
I do not like either of these choices, especially with the remaining fish list. The Chromis will pick at each other, and probably are not a great choice. Although, they do make great dither fish at feeding time.

The Banggai will not be able to compete for food with these other fish. I strongly suspect that they will slowly shrink up and die over a period of months to a year.

Quote:

1 Pacific Blue Tang (Paracanthurus hepatus)
1 Threadfin Butterflyfish (Chaetodon auriga)
1 Scott’s Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus scottorum)
1 Kole Tang (Ctenochaetus strigosus)
1 Flame Hawkfish (Neocirrhitus armatus)
1 Naso Tang (Naso lituratus)
1 Coral Beauty (Centropyge bispinosa)
1 Yellow Tang (Zebrasoma flavescens)
1 Queen Angel (Holacanthus ciliaris)
1 Powder Blue Tang (Acanthurus leucosternon)
I would add the Flame Hawk, followed by Fairy Wrasse next. Adding the Blue Tang this early in your stocking order could cause issues. I would prefer to see you add the Blue Tang, Kole Tang, and Coral Beauty Angel all at the same time, after "trusting" the tank with the addition of the Hawk and Wrasse. Yes, this poses quarantine issues, having to divide the fish or run multiple Q tanks, but I think it is well worth the effort. A 20 gallon long or 40 breeder can be easily divided with plenty of space.

Butterflyfish can be added at any time, but these are difficult fish compared to the others on your list. Even the Auriga is a step up in terms of difficulty. The Auriga is an "easy" butterfly, but I would give yourself some degree of experience before purchasing one. Also, be sure to check out the Profile on the Auriga for some identification help. There are other fish which are easily mistaken and mislabbed by the LFS. YOU need to know how to recognize the difference. Threadfin Butterfly (C. auriga) Profile

At this point, I would add the Queen Angel, follow by the Naso and Yellow Tangs as my last addition, again adding these 2 Tangs simultaneously. If you want success when stocking Tangs, it helps to add more than one at the same time.

One final note. If you want to have a miserable experience in this hobby, then purchase a Powder Blue Tang. If you want to be successful and enjoy the tank, then avoid this fish at all costs, even if given to you for free. They are so far beyond difficult and disease prone that they should not even be considered. For most people, staying away from Acanthurus Tangs is a smart idea all together. As a replacement, I suggest a Foxface or Niger Trigger.


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