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Longnose butterfly and Red General

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Longnose butterfly and Red General
Old 04-08-2008, 11:42 PM   #11
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Old 04-08-2008, 11:47 PM   #12

This is the longnose, how much bigger than this will he get?
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Old 04-08-2008, 11:50 PM   #13
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Old 04-09-2008, 01:13 AM   #14
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The longnose butterfly fish average about 9 inches full grown, the foxface about 10 inches, and the ocellaris clown 3 - 5 depending on if it's male or female. 1 clown alone will usually be female so you can expect about 5 inches. That means those fish in that size of a tank is only temporary.

There is not nearly enough live rock in there, either. You should have about double that amount. A good average is 1 lb/gallon of tank size, or as much as you can fit into it. This not only creates territories for the fish/animals, but it is also the largest part of your filtration.

Please be careful when your hands are in the tank. The dorsal spines of a foxface are venomous, and they can make you extremely sick. It doesn't have to be aggressive to nab you, either. Accidents happen all the time... look at Steve Irwin's fate. I see a fair amount of coraline growth on your rock, that's a good thing, but I also see the beginnings of a cyano bacteria issue. What kind of filtration are you running now? How many powerheads in the tank? (Its hard to tell in the pictures)

Your tank is coming along, but still needs some help. Your starfish would have been very vulnerable in that tank, with nowhere to hide. While fixing the current issues it would be a good idea to start planning the next tank... at least 150 gallons for those fish. A sump system would make things easier to keep healthy, and a good skimmer is also going to be needed. Healthy fish grow pretty rapid in most species... and yours will be no exception. If they get too large for the tank you'll have one of 2 problems... either it will be impossible for you to keep water params stable or they will start to fight with each other for territory. My guess would be the foxface would win because of his dorsal spines... better to prep now and avoid an expensive disaster.

Thanks for posting the pics, that tells us a lot.
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:02 PM   #15
Yes I am looking to add more live rock, but I wasn't planning on getting a new tank. We told the guy at our lfs what we had as far as tank size and live rock and he recommended some fish to us. I have been told as a general rule that it is 2 inches of fish per gallon, which would mean I could get no more than 40 inches of fish, with the fish i have in there i am at 28 inches, so what's the problem? I am using a Rena Filstar xp3 for a filter, I have one powerhead, then i also have a powerhad for the uv sterilizer, and for a skimmer I have the seaclone. What is cyano bacteria? And how do i cure it?
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Old 04-09-2008, 01:32 PM   #16
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I am familiar with the filstar xp3, and I can say for certain that this filter by itself is not going to be sufficient to filter that size of a tank with those fish in it. It simply isn't strong enough and doesn't allow for enough media to properly filter something of that size by itself.

With that said, the other problem with that filter is lack of circulation. A canister filter and 1 powerhead alone, especially with such a small amount of live rock in the tank, is not going to offer you enough circulation and filtration to meet those animal's needs.

Cyano bacteria is the organism which is a cross between algae and bacteria that can feed on the same foods as algae, but also feeds on decaying matter and organics that bacteria can. It is very common and is something that is needed to some extent for the environment to function properly. When there is lack of circulation and/or filtration, water is not moved enough through the filter and is not moved enough in the tank to avoid the cyano bacteria from growing at too fast a rate. Cyano bacteria will quickly smother the beneficial organisms in live sand, live rock, and the filter. Coraline algae, which is the pink and purple algaes that grow on the rock and glass can be smothered very quickly by cyano bacteria build up.

As for the guy at your lfs, shame on him. Anyone with any real knowledge in saltwater should know that those fish are not going to be able to remain in that tank long term. I don't know where he came up with the rule of 2 inches of fish per gallon, but that is false.
The number of animals that can successfully stay in a saltwater tank will be determined by a number of factors. First and foremost, space... territory... these animals need places to get away from each other if they need/want to. Another factor is oxygen content in the water. Saltwater is more dense than freshwater, thus oxygen content is lower. Another thing that has to be taken into account is the species of fish and their compatibility and basic habits. Food supply is another factor. Not all animals will rely completely on foods we give them, and they need enough space to find food on their own, and enough of it.

If your lfs guy were correct, picture this.... a 40 inch grouper in an 80 gallon tank. Take a tape measure and walk over to your tank. Measure 40 inches and tell me where that fish would go... how it would turn aronud and swim? That is absurd. There is no specific "rule" that applies to fish in a tank... too many fish's habits will defy any "rule" that you could possibly come up with.

So, again, I must state... your fish can't stay in that size of a tank long term. For just the fish you have, 150 gallons will be a minimum due to dimensions of the tank and sizes of the fish, and the needs of those specific fish. If the tank isn't large enough, as those fish grow, you will notice that these fish will become sick and obtain injuries just from the tank itself, and its water conditions. Even with a 100% water change every day to handle waste levels, these fish will have such restrictions on movement that they will suffer terribly. Longnose butterfly fish tend to injure the "snout" on the glass from bumping into it, and the foxface simply won't be able to move around enough to pass water through the gills to obtain oxygen.

A suggestion for you.... consult with someone other than your lfs guy when it comes to your tank. Many lfs's are simply there to take your money, and many of the employees at these places have no real knowledge when it comes to long term care of the animals they sell to you. I have seen many cases where people simply make something up because it sounds good, and to them that's better than not having an answer for you and easier than looking it up for you. Their interest lies strictly in your pocketbook. There are also many lfs's out there who will purposely sell things that won't work because each failure brings you back to their store to spend more money to fix the problems.

The lack of live rock and circulation is something that must be dealt with asap. Those are 2 things needed to keep those fish healthy... and your tank at present doesn't provide enough for them and their current habitat.

Can I ask for your water params, please? Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, and calcium levels.... these are all things you should know all the time, and again, will be the biggest indicators of problems that can't be visibly seen by the human eye. Water can be crystal clear and still be polluted. Most pollutants in an aqauarium are not visible without proper test kits.

Once you post those water params we'll be able to help even further.
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Old 04-09-2008, 09:10 PM   #17
Params: High alkalinity, for ammonia it was between 0 and 0.25 p.p.m. on the color scale, but way more towards the 0 color, 0.05 p.p.m. on Nitrite, and 5.0 to 10.0 p.p.m. on Nitrates. So my params seem pretty good right now, I just did a water change to get those Nitrites down to 0.[/img]
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Old 04-09-2008, 09:22 PM   #18
Ok well I looked on several different web sites about the longnose and foxface and every website said that a minimum of 75 gallons was required, and mine is 80 so what's the problem? A few even said 70 was suitable, I know you are very knowledgeable but why would every website say that they can go in an 80? And the xp3 cycles 350 gallons per hour isn't that enough for an 80? plus with my powerhead, skimmer, and powerhead for the uv sterilizer I am getting about 600 to 700 gallons cycled per hour. Im not arguing with you, but it just doesn't make sense why several people have recommended me these fish and accessories.
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Old 04-09-2008, 10:31 PM   #19
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A website listing 75 gallons for a minimum for those fish may be considering for just one of that species of fish... in which case it would be a bit crowded, but yes, you could do that if it were 1 foxface in a 75 or 1 longnose in a 75 (for a while). The fact that you have them both in 80 doesn't work the same...
If you figure that each one of those fish needs 75 gallons alone, then the 2 together in a 150 should make perfect sense. The other thing is that most of the websites like Dr's Foster & Smith, for example, will list the stats about the fish, but will also list the minimum tank size to start out with for these fish at the sizes they are sending them to you. That doesn't allow for growth of that animal. I wonder how many of those same sites would have a tiara batfish, listed as a minimum of 75 - 125 gallons...but if you did your research you'd find that they grow to about 2.5 ft long and about 2.5 feet tall. Then if you do the math, there's no way that fish would be able to even fit into that size of a tank and still be under water or able to move. Nurse sharks are another common situation like this. Most sites will mark them at needing about 150 - 250 gallons... and they get 10 ft long. Common sense says they won't stay long in 150 - 250 gallons if you know that this is a minimum to get you started, and then the tank size needs to increase as the animal grows.

As for the filter... again, circulation is the issue. Your photos clearly showed the beginnings of a cyano problem on your live rock. You are welcome enough to leave it all as is, but when things go downhill steadily, possibly rapidly, then please don't wonder why. I have tried nicely to point it out to you and offered help in fixing it before it becomes a real issue.

My concern is for the fish, over anything else. I have seen these fish as full grown, and there is no way that those fish together will fit into an 80 gallon tank together when they are full grown, and still be healthy and able to survive.

Also, just a quick note about info found on the internet. Not all of it is accurate. Anyone can build a website, anyone can make claims to take your money... that doesn't mean they all know what they're talking about. Please be careful what information you call truth. As Bob would put it, there are fish havers and fish keepers... and it makes all the difference in the world. There are wholesalers out there who only sell to pet stores, and quite often they send things mismarked. If the store isn't familiar with what they've ordered, it can be very dangerous.

My husband went into a pet store one day, was browsing the tanks. At the end of 1 aisle he saw a tank full of saltwater snails. He recognized them right away, both from his years of study and schooling and from having seen them in person years before... the snails were cone snails. These are highly deadly animals, and 1 sting from 1 snail can kill a full grown man within 3 minutes. There was also a price listed on the tank for these snails, and a wrong name. My husband tracked down the store manager, took him to the tank and explained to him what he had there. The manager was horrified... he had no idea and he had put his hands into that tank not an hour earlier. He immediately marked the tank as not for sale and "dangerous" so that nobody would touch them, thanked my husband, and went to call the wholesaler. He said they came in marked as the name he had on the tank, and he hadn't known any better.

Having been in the pet industry for so many years, I have to say, this is not uncommon. Even in our own store, we'd order something specific, and get something completely unrelated, and marked as what we ordered. I am lucky, I worked at one of the very few places where formal training was a daily part of our job, and where we had to know everything possible about anything that came into our store. My boss at the store is personal friends with someone who runs the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, and one of my own personal friends works at the Milwaukee Zoo in the aquatic/reptile building. We share information in general conversation, and we consult with each other when we have questions. One of the typical conversations when we get together is the amount of misinformation or unclear information that is out there running rampant right now, and about things we are all trying to do to stop it. That is the reason I come here.

I don't wish to argue, just to give you some base for the trust I am asking of you. I don't enjoy telling people things they don't want to hear, it's not a fun job.... but someone has to do it. I am very sorry you may feel misled by others right now, that isn't fair to you... and more over it isn't fair to your animals. The lfs's are businesses, which means that everything they do boils down to 1 final thing... making a buck by the end of the day, however they can. The same thing applies at many of the websites where people are getting this information. It's not totally untrue, so they are able to post it without legal worry or complication... but it is very misleading. To tell you more means more work for them, and more money they lose in time invested. To them that doesn't make sense... to you, the consumer, the pet keeper, it can mean the difference in your pocketbook and loss of life with your pets. Call your local zoo, or even a public aquarium... ask them about these animals and their long term care needs... those are the people who understand the problem, and it's mostly those kinds of people who are working and giving of their own time to help stop it.

The same thing happens in the freshwater world, so don't feel like this is simply a unique problem with marine fish. Irridescent sharks, pacu, red tail catfish, arrowana... all the same problems. Look them up online and most sites will tell you they need average about 125 gallons or less... but these animals grow to 3 - 6 ft in length, and anyone who does the math would understand that as the fish grows, so must its environment.
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Old 04-10-2008, 06:50 AM   #20
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I agree completely with Dawn's comments. I would invite Melo to consider the origin, experience, and motivation of those parties involved. There is no doubt that you should be looking for a much larger aquarium within the next 1 or 2 years. If this is not reasonable, then return the fish and purchase selections that can thrive in your size aquarium long term.
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