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Need advice on stocking plan

David Sanchez

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So After a velvet and Black Ick outbreak killed my first round of fish I have successfully finished my 70 day display tank dormant period and am ready to start stocking it again.  This time I learned my lesson and I already set up my 20 Gallon coral QT and 30 Gallon fish QT Tank.  my DT is a 55 Gallon Petco special (not drilled I know it sucks but wife won't let me spend too much until I prove to her I can do it).  I run a Penguin 3500 HOB filter and a 2 gallon Breadbox DIY HOB Refugium.   Coral is LPS and soft only and in early stages too so not allot yet.  Okay that said these are the fish I think we want to stock.  Open to suggestions on stocking order or things I might not have thought of.


McCosker's Flasher Wrasse - 1 male - 2 Females 

Yellow Coris Wrasse - 1

Melanurus Wrasse - 1

Blue/Green Chromis - maybe  3 or 4

Pink Spotted Goby - 1

Clowns - 2

Purple Fire Fish - 1

Royal Grama (not sold on this one) - 1 

Then 1 Yellow or 1 Powder Brown Tang. (yes I know my tank is small but I plan to upgrade to 150 Gallon within a year or two)





Edited by David Sanchez
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I would skip the Chromis and get 3 Royal Grammas instead.  From what I've seen over the years only about 5% of chromis make it to one year.   If you adamant you'll have better luck getting different sizes (ages) so you'll be establishing a more natural social group.    And if you can find them Chromis atripectoralis looks very similar to Chromis viridis, the few I've stumbled across had a better survival rate.  A trio of Royal Grammas will be flashier and they have more interesting behavuor: to maintain the social structure they'll display by facing off and opening their mouths wide at each other, they also will swim on thier side or upside down when around the aquascaping.    There's no reason the firefish won't do well but they tend not to like active tanks so you may not see it much with a couple Halicheores wrasses running around.    Your odds of success will be greatly improved if you wait for a larger tank for a tang, or other larger fish for that matter.  But even with a larger fish tank you can have a specimen that will not settle in and you need to be prepared to rehome it.  This artical here is a good introduction to steriotypy behavior in animals that can indicate adjustment issues to thier new environments. 

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5 wrasses seems like a lot for a 55gal.  If it were my tank and those were my fish choices, I'd go with this lineup:

1 McCosker's Flasher Wrasse 
1 Yellow Coris Wrasse 
1 Pink Spotted Goby 
2 Clowns - don't get maroons 
1 Purple Fire Fish
1 Royal Gramma 

That's 7 fish to start, and you can add from there over time if you still want more.  Plus, they're all pretty peaceful.

Don't disagree w/ Tim on the Firefish / Royal Gramma comments either, so dropping the PFF and adding a RG or 2 would work too.  I've never had luck with firefish though, and maybe it's because I've always had active fish.


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