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May change direction, looking for ideas


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I have contacted all of the suppliers that I know, and it seems that the season for dwarf octopus is over early (most likely caused by the freeze Florida got in January) so i think i may have to change gears and go another rout.

The tank is a 16 gal that has a 20 gal sump (mostly full).

Flow ~ 350-400 gph

Current resident: Firefish

Coral in the tank will be mostly LPS and Zoo's with some sponges, macro algae, gorgonia, and ricordia/rhodactis)

I need some ideas on what to stock the tank with if i don't do a dwarf octopus.

Some ideas i have had are:

PREDATOR SETUPS (mutually exclusive):

Wartskin anglerfish (small one)

Dwarf Moray (if i can find one for a somewhat reasonable price)

leaf fish (red)

More peaceful (may or may not be mutually exclusive):

Purple firefish

Helfrichi Firefish

Yellow Stripe Clingfish

some kind of shrimp goby/pistol shrimp combo

Yasha Hasha goby

any other ideas would be appreciated

Also if i go the peaceful rout, i would most likely want to get one of those crinoid lobsters

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This is a 16g tank? That's a pretty little tank for most fish.

I'd do a bit more research on the space requirements for the fish you have listed, the predator fish would all need a bigger tank. In some cases a much bigger tank.

I know not everyone approaches stocking their tanks in the same way and I have seen people put juvenile fish in tanks that are much too small for the adult size the fish will reach. It can work, but you need to be aware and ready to find the fish a new home before it gets cramped and miserable. I personally buy fish with their adult size in mind, regardless of the current size of the fish. I have a small yellow tang right now who looks lost, but I know he's going to get big some day! I'm looking forward to years of watching my fish mature and settle into their home and form a community. I don't want to be having to constantly swap out fish that overgrow my tank (and even with a 125g I have to watch size and stocking) or are not compatible with what I want in the tank.

Personally, I think you'd be better off with the smaller community type fish, and even then, check tank sizes and make sure you don't overstock. Realistically you can probably only fit one or two small fish in that tank. I like the firefish, pretty and they stay small.

One other idea... what about seahorses or pipe fish?

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Keeper of the Zoo, I completely agree with you about the space requirements, especially for highly motile fish.


Wartskin angler: http://www.vividaqua...Code=01-1211-01

(will be upgrading to a 25H or 30H in 4-6 months, not to mention total water volume is around 35 gal at this point)

Dwarf Moray EEl: http://www.poseidons.../melatremus.htm

Red Leaf Fish (kept one in this same tank from 2003-2006) http://www.aquaticco...onfish/leaf.php

If i went with one of these options they would be the only inhabitant in addition to the firefish.

Lastly i have too much flow in the tank for seahorse or pipefish.

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Umm Will, not being snippy but even your links point out a 16g is too small for those fish! :) A 30 maybe until they outgrow it (eel would be ok), but even that seems to be pushing the ticket a little. I looked at the anglers when deciding where I wanted to go with my tank, it was a predator/large fish tank when I bought it. The anglers are very cool, but I remember reading that 50-70g was the min for any of them, the wartskin will grow to 6", that's a big fish. So you just need to upgrade to a 55g and all will be well!

Like I said, not everyone approaches stocking with the idea of giving the fish plenty of space and I've seen some very pretty tanks that were very overstocked but all seemed fairly well. Total tank volume is good and will help with water fouling, but I don't consider total volume when stocking. My total system volume is up over 150g, but when I look at fish I only take into consideration the size of my display (125g). I will admit I'm anal about fish planning though, I'm fascinated with the idea of building a long term reef 'community' vs. constant swapping of stock. I tend to want to create natural environments (or as much as possible) for all my animals.

I think with some of those fish your firefish would be very likely to be lunch as well!! I know my snowflake eel would happily eat anything he could get in his mouth, he also did a great job burrowing and moving my rocks and corals around. We generally only saw him at feeding time, or we'd see just his head sticking out of the rocks. For an animal that ate a lot he didn't add a lot visually to the tank (aside from bioload). He was beautiful, and it was amazing when he would come out and swim, but I'm very glad he's in a new home now.

Oh... flow is easy to tone down. I'm sure Mama could help you! LOL!!

It's good to play with these ideas and work out the kinks ahead of time. I just aquired a second 55g tank which frees up the drilled 55g I was going to use to upgrade one of my freshwater tanks. You know what that means... a new saltwater tank (and the upgraded freshwater, woohoo)!! I'm playing with the idea of creating a TX gulf biotope tank, but I'm not sure how realistic a goal that would be. It'd make a great science project for my kids though. We had so much fun collecting things off the FL coast, gotta hit the TX coast and do the same.

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I may just try to wait it out a couple more weeks for the octopus.

p.s. thanks for the seahorse idea, but the truth is i think they are one of the most boring fish to have (had some H. erectus back in 2005/6) and eventually took them back as well as the two pipefish that i had with them. Ended up turning the 30H tank i had them in, into a cuttlefish tank (raised from eggs). However i would only be able to house one cuttlefish in this tank, and its not worth the trouble of feeding them when they are small.

As far as the leaf fish is concerned, they only get 10cm, but from what i have read, and the experience i had with the one i had previously they are happier in groups (eventually moved the one i had previously to my parents 180 and bought 3 more).

From what i have read about Antennarius maculatus it can get up to 15 cm in the wild, but does not usually exceed 10 cm in a captive setting. I have housed one previously in a 10 gal but eventually moved it to the 30H (died do to power loss during a vacation). There have been many people on www.nano-reefs.com who have kept them in smaller tanks for extended periods of time. This would be the only species of angler that would work well in the tank i have.

the firefish would mostly be fine with the eel, from what i have read, it is a fairly docile species. With the angler it would certainly be eaten, and with the leaf fish it would be a toss up.

thanks for all of the imput

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