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What to stock my 40gl

This is a discussion on What to stock my 40gl within the Saltwater Fish forums, part of the Saltwater Fish and Coral Reef Tanks category; --> Originally Posted by AYE RUSS Well i really did want a snowflake eel but just not sure if my tank will be big enough ...

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What to stock my 40gl
Old 11-07-2009, 04:40 AM   #11
 
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Originally Posted by AYE RUSS View Post
Well i really did want a snowflake eel but just not sure if my tank will be big enough especially in the future. Im really more into aggressive fish are they're any thatll fit in my 40? im really open to suggestions. Just want my tank to look more alive with color and action.
This concept does not apply at all to marine fish. First, the term "aggressive" does not apply in saltwater. ALL saltwater fish are highly territorial, but you can not determine the compatibility of marine fish based on how aggressive they are. Compatibility is based on similarities, which is exactly opposite from freshwater. In saltwater tank, the more similar the behaviors and dietary needs of a fish, the less likely they are to get along. You can take a highly aggressive species and mix it with a passive species, and if the passive species is not a "threat" then the two fish are generally fine together.

Further, most Predatory species are far less active than species which graze on algae and micro life. So, saying that you want a tank which is alive with color and action.... LOL. Welcome to the marine hobby, because these are the ONLY type of tanks we deal with.
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Old 11-07-2009, 12:06 PM   #12
 
ahhhhh i see. So what do you suggest i get for my next fish that would be a good addition to my tank?
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Old 11-07-2009, 07:21 PM   #13
 
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Almost anything will work with 2 clownfish, so long as you choose fish which stay small.
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Old 11-07-2009, 11:09 PM   #14
 
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Originally Posted by Cody View Post
If you want a snowflake, go ahead. Just know that you will never see the thing. "Action" and "Eel" should not be put together.

I would add more rock, too. In my 40G I have 75lbs ish of live rock, and that is low.
Cody, I'm not sure where you got your information, but a snowflake eel cannot stay in a 40 gallon tank for very long. Simply put, they get way too big.
Also something to keep in mind... while alot of live rock is always a good thing, when dealing with a smaller tank, it must be remembered that live rock, sand, etc will replace water volume. Water volume is going to be just as important as having enough rock and sand. The key to success is balance.
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Old 11-08-2009, 06:05 AM   #15
 
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Originally Posted by bettababy View Post
Cody, I'm not sure where you got your information, but a snowflake eel cannot stay in a 40 gallon tank for very long. Simply put, they get way too big.
Also something to keep in mind... while alot of live rock is always a good thing, when dealing with a smaller tank, it must be remembered that live rock, sand, etc will replace water volume. Water volume is going to be just as important as having enough rock and sand. The key to success is balance.
There is a magazine in our hobby which is exclusively devoted to the saltwater hobby. The articles are the most up to date information available in the hobby, with the rare exception of some online published literature. You can subscribe to Coral magazine here:
Coral Magazine | The Reef & Marine Aquarium Magazine

The September/October issue of Coral magazine is devoted to the keeping of Moray Eels in captivity. The magazine opened my eyes to the requirements of these animals in captivity. One of the publishing authors, Dr. Marco Lichtenberger, would agree with Cody that a Snowflake Moray is an excellent choice for a 40 gallon tank.

The Snowflake Moray only reaches a maximum length of 30 inches, making it one of the smaller Moray's available in the trade. 30 inches may sound large, but keep in mind the behavior of these fish. They spend almost all of their time curled up, hidden in a cave, just waiting for food to be presented. They may come out and forage about near dusk, but then rarely swim in the open water.

The biggest challenge is the structure of the live rock and filtration of the aquarium. A considerable and sturdy live rock bed would be desired to form the cave structure that this fish would spend its life living in. Most likely you would choose to utilize large pieces of PVC to create the cave, covering the PVC with live rock that has been tightly bonded together with epoxy or cable ties to prevent tumbling.

Filtration would be a huge key, as like most saltwater fish Moray's are sensitive to dissolved organic compounds. The use of an oversized skimmer would be desired, probably something rated at 75 to 90 gallons. Morays produce an extreme amount of waste and would require the large skimmer to maintain lower levels of nitrate.

On the subject of live rock addition, the amount of rock will greatly depend on the visual appeal to the aquarist. However, keep in mind that rock breaks up territory. 30 pounds of rock is not much, and you could easily add another 20 to 30 pounds without taking up much of the open swimming space. The species of fish will be critical as well, as many fish require more open swimming areas. However, in a 40 gallon tank, you are going to be limited to reef dwelling species, so concerns for open water will not be as important.
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Old 11-08-2009, 12:56 PM   #16
 
I have too seen that article above, and I am basing this off that as well as other's personal experience. One can keep a snowflake in a 30G, with corals if they keep the filtration up. They are a good reef choice, saying they wont touch corals unless accidently bumped into.

Also, going off what Pasfur mentioned, 30" is rare. I personally have never seen one go above 2 feet.

My water displacement in my tank is less than 4 gallons. Maybe even 3. But saying my Clowns and Goby don't move from their homes, and my Angel has a "territory," I don't see much wrong doing. It all helps in the biological filtration. Plus, sand is gross. I wish I had gone bare bottom. I use it for pure aesthetics, because anything under 4" doesn't work in a DSB effect.

Last edited by Cody; 11-08-2009 at 01:01 PM..
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Old 11-08-2009, 03:10 PM   #17
 
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Plus, sand is gross. I wish I had gone bare bottom. I use it for pure aesthetics, because anything under 4" doesn't work in a DSB effect.

LOL

Yes, "sand is gross." My suggestion is to use a larger sand grade for systems that do not have 4'' of sand, AND to use less than 1''. My 180 FOWLR has just under 1'' of sand. The grade is a "reef grade" sand, with a particle size just large enough that it does not easily get stirred up when I am messing in the tank.

For true DSB systems, a 4''-6'' depth is ideal for denitrification. This would be my suggestion for anyone setting up a tank from scratch.
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Old 11-08-2009, 10:40 PM   #18
 
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Rather than debate this issue, I am going to instead email Dr. Marco Lichtenberger for clarification. I cannot understand why someone like him would suggest such a thing unless he was implying it is ok to start out with a 40 gallon tank (and very young eel)... which would then, of course need to be upgraded as the eel grows.
I say this because I have raised a snowflake moray to full grown, the store still had this very eel in the tide pool the last time I was there a few months ago. There is no way that animal would fit into a 40 gallon tank. It was moved to the 300+ gallon tide pool because it was impossible to keep up with the waste levels in a 92 gallon tank, and that was with running a large skimmer, sump system, and twice weekly water changes.

Keeping that eel in 40 gallons would compare to keeping a St Bernard in a closet.

I will come back and contribute again once I have heard from Dr. Lichtenberger.
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Old 11-09-2009, 06:09 AM   #19
 
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Originally Posted by bettababy View Post
Rather than debate this issue, I am going to instead email Dr. Marco Lichtenberger for clarification.

I will come back and contribute again once I have heard from Dr. Lichtenberger.
This is awesome. I really love this part of our hobby, as it is often possible to reach out and obtain answers from the people with a great degree of expertise.

Dawn... just to clarify. Dr. Lichtenberger does not give tank size recommendations in his article for every different species of Moray. However, he goes into great depth as to their care and needs in captivity. He also posts many pictures in the article of Morays living in captive aquariums, as well as discussing tank sizes for some of the species, allowing us to infer what would be practical.

I would really enjoy hearing from him as to what size tanks he feels are the minimum requirement for many different Moray species. I think this was missing from his articles and would prove to be extremely helpful.
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Old 11-09-2009, 01:18 PM   #20
 
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While I was searching for an address to write to Dr. Lichtenberger I came across the September 2009 issue of TFH Magazine on my shelf. This issue also has done a large write up about keeping various species of moray eels, including the snowflake. The reason I feel this is relevant to this topic is because it does map out in here proper tank size for a moray eel. On pg 103 it states..
"A reasonable rule of thumb for a minimal tank size for any species is: a minimum width of more than the length of the fish so it doesn't have to fold itself in half to turn around, and a length of several times the length of the fish so it can swim a bit before hitting the end."
The maximum size they offer for a snowflake is 40 inches. This is a very informative article and one I would suggest for anyone who is considering keeping any species of moray.

Simply put, a 40 gallon tank does not meet those minimum requirements. I am off now to seek out Dr. Lichtenberger.
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