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lgreen's Ultimate Guide To Nano Fish


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#1
lgreen

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Fish Stocking Guide For Nano Reefs


By lgreen (copyright 2005-2013)


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Note: You are welcome to place a link to this guide on another website or forum, however, do not place the actual article itself on your forum or website with out my permission. Your link must direct traffic to it's original form here on nano-reef.com.

Table of Contents

I. Introduction
II. How To Use This Guide
III. General Feeding Info
IV. Feeding Suggestions By Diet Type
V. Feeding Suggestions by Fish Group
VI. Nano Fish Compatibility
VII. Nano Fish Listed By Tank Size
VIII. Nano Fish Listed By Major Groups w/ Detailed Info
IX. Bibliography & Acknowledgments

I. Introduction

The purpose of this thread is to provide you with a fairly comprehensive guide to fish for the nano reef aquarium.

As reefing in general is not an exact science the approach I have taken to organizing this information is to provide a framework that includes my knowledge and experience with nano fish both as a hobbyist and professionally, but also to encourage others to share their experience and knowledge for the benefit of everyone.

Your Responsibility As A Fish Owner

Fish are living things and deserve to be cared for as you would any other animal. Their life and well-being should not be valued by their price or just because they are easy to replace. As a fish owner you should strive to give your fish the most natural life possible, respecting that you have removed this animal from it's natural environment. To be straightforward, if you aren't willing to put forth the effort, time, money, and do the necessary research to properly take care of and create the ideal environment for your fish, you need to find a different hobby.
Words Of Wisdom
  • Design your aquarium around what fish you would like to inhabit it with. Never expect a fish to just adapt to a less than adequate tank size.
  • Plan your aquarium around the maximumsize the fish will get. Just because it is a baby does not give you an excuse to keep it in a smaller tank.
  • Regardless of what the fish guy at Walmart told you, fish do not only grow to the size of the tank you put them in.
  • Fish stores are businesses and looking to make money. There are some great fish stores that really do care about their customers, their customer's tanks, and give out great advice. Unfortunately, that is not as often the case as it should be. Exercise extreme caution when taking advice from fish stores until you know they are really interested in helping you have an amazing tank and not just taking your money.
  • Research, research, and more research! Learn everything you can!

II. How To Use This Guide

Basic Overview

There are four major sections with in this guide: feeding, compatibility (coming soon), fish suggestions by tank size, and fish suggestions by group. The feeding section allows you to get feeding suggestions based on diet type (carnivore, herbivore, omnivore, etc.) and more specifically by fish group, which includes more detailed info.

The compatibility section will most likely be in the form of a table in which you will be able to see how the species interacts with other fish species, corals, and invertebrates. In the fish by tank size section a list of appropriate fish will follow each of the major divisions of tank sizes, as well, include a brief estimation of how many fish would appropriate for that tank size. In the fish by group section, more detailed information will be provided about the major group each fish belongs to with some specific notes about each fish when necessary. You will also see a estimated maximum size the fish will grow to and the ideal tank size. The ideal tank size will be a compromise based on what is socially practiced by many nano-reefers and what is often recommended by experts. Some of these ideal tank sizes may be controversial and if you believe so, you are welcome to bring that up in this thread so we can all as a community discuss it.

Things To Keep In Mind

-Some of this will surely be my opinion or the opinion of others. If you feel strongly against something I have said, please pm me so we can discuss it and make changes if necessary.
-This is just to get you started--ultimately you need to do more research on your fish choice before buying
-Also keep in mind I may list some things that are pushing it. I don’t know whether you are a beginner or expert, if you know how to do a water change or not, so I will assume anyone who uses this guide has some common sense and basic understanding of nano reefing. For example, the fact that I list some fish appropriate for a 0.5g and 2.5g tank, does not automatically mean you should keep a fish in a tank that size. Rather, it means if you are capable of maintaining the added bioload of keeping a fish in a tank that size, then these fish would be appropriate choices.
-Don’t forget to keep your bioload in mind. While a dwarf lionfish may only get 4-6”, due to their diet, the contribution to your tanks bioload will be much more significant.

How You Can Contribute To This Thread

Again, I would like to strongly encourage everyone to share his or her knowledge and experience. Please feel free to suggest additions, corrections, or other changes.

Also, I've tried to make note when a species is available captive-bred, so if you learn of a new species that is available, let me know!

III. General Feeding Info

General Thoughts

Meeting the nutritional needs of your fish is absolutely essential to their growth, survival, and reproduction. When feeding fish, we are trying to replicate not only what a fish eats, but when and how it eats in nature. The feeding preference of fish typically falls into one of five categories: carnivores, who eat meaty foods; herbivores, who eat plant matter; omnivores, who eat both meat and plants; piscivores, who eat other fish; and finally lamnivores (detrivores), who obtain their energy from eating the animal and plant matter found with in detritus. You can get a good idea of what to feed your fish just by figuring out what feeding category your fish falls into. It's important to remember that not only can you starve your fish, but you can actually overfeed them too, both of which can have negative health consequences. Fish are opportunistic eaters, meaning they never know when they will get their next meal, so eat whenever food is a available. You many notice your fish eats anytime you put food in the aquarium, but that doesn't mean they are hungry, rather just taking advantage of an opportunity. While it is important for you to feed your fish, you also need to limit feeding too. Overfeeding usually has drastic consequences on water quality anyways, so why would you want to put food in your tank if you don't have to. There are few different types of food commonly available: live, flake/pellet/freeze-dried, frozen, and some hobbyists feed fresh meats and/or vegetable/algae. For the purpose of keeping things simple I am mostly going to stick with what the average reefer is feeding, which is usually a commercially prepared flake/pellet and/or commercially frozen foods. I am revisit this topic later at some point to include live and fresh foods, but wont really get into that right now.

A few things to keep in mind
-The more variety the better...keep multiple types of food and switch things up frequently. Feed a general staple food such as plain frozen brine shrimp or a general omnivore flake food (such as ocean nutrition formula one) and then supplement that with a variety of other frozen, flake, fresh, and live foods.
-Stick with high quality foods that are low in moisture, ash, and high in vitamins and nutrients.
-Use or mix in foods that are enhanced with HUFA, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin C. Liquid supplements are also available that can be added to any type of food.
-Do not overfeed!
-Again, I will provide you with suggestions, but ultimately it is up to you to research the nutritional requirements of your fish.

Note: In making my suggestions I will refer to foods specifically made by Ocean Nutrition, H2O Life, and San Fransisco Bay Brand, given these are the brands I use and have the most experience with. There are many other high quality manufactures of fish food though and those manufactures often have comparable products that you could use in place of the brands I mention if you wish.

Feeding Schedule

There really isn't an great well-summarizing answer to how often or how much you should feed your fish with a lot of what you hear being based on experience and/or opinion. Some people feed once a day, some feed every other day, and others feed small amounts several times a day. I don't think one way is right over the other, but for simplicity, will suggest a small amount once or twice a day. You want to try to incorporate in as much variety as you can. If you feed once a day, feed something different or switch back and forth every day. If you feed twice a day, perhaps try frozen at the first feeding and flake at the second. Again, with feeding twice a day I'd suggest your second feeding complement what you did with your first feeding. For example, if in the morning you fed a meaty high protein frozen food then use an algae/seaweed flake for the second feeding. The amount you feed...although I'm not a fan of rules of thumb, I think only feeding what your fish can fully eat in about 5 minutes is a good place to start. If it is all gone before 5 min, perhaps add a little more. If there is a lot of extra food flying around after 5 min, obviously you need to cut back. Any extra uneaten food will have a negative impact on your water quality. Have a good sharp knife too because most likely you will be using fractions of frozen cubes, not the whole cube. For that reason, it can be easier to use frozen flat packs which make it easier to break off only what you need, if the frozen food type you want is available that way.

How to use the feeding suggestion guide

There are two different ways you can use the feeding guide. I will provide feeding suggestions based on if the fish is a carnivore, herbivore, omnivore, piscivore, or detrivore and I will also provide feeding suggestions for each specific group of fish, noting species that do not follow trends of the group as a whole or have additional special needs. To save time, so I don't have to repeat myself, I'm going to make a list of the common foods by manufacture, and then will refer to those foods by number in both sections of the guide.

Food list by manufacture
  • Ocean Nutrition
    Frozen:
    1. Formula 1
    2. Formula 2
    3. Brine Shrimp Plus
    4. Brine Shrimp Plus w/ HUFA
    5. Prime Reef
    6. Angel Formula
    7. Spirulina Formula
    8. Pygmy Angel Formula

    Flake/Other:
    9. Formula 1
    10. Formula 2
    11. Prime Reef
    12. Nano Formula

    Dry Seaweed:
    13. Green/Brown/Red Algae/Seaweed
  • H2O Life
    Frozen:
    14. Brine Shrimp
    15. Mysis Shrimp
    16. Cyclops
    17. Spirulina/Brine Shrimp/Mysis Special Mix
    18. Marine Fusion
    19. Silversides IQF
    20. Fresh Krill

    Dry Seaweed:
    21. Green/Brown Seaweed
  • San Fransisco Bay Brand
    Frozen:
    22. Brine Shrimp
    23. Spirulina Enhanced Brine Shrimp
    24. Marine Cuisine
    25. Omega Brine
    26. Angel and Butterfly
    27. Emerald Entrée
    28. Cyclops
    29. Reef Plankton
    30. Krill
    31. Silversides

IV. Feeding Suggestions By Diet Type

Carnivores: 1,3,4,5,6,9,11,14,15,18,19,20,22,24,25,26,30,31
Herbivores:
-Strictly Plant/Algae based: 2,7,10,13,21,27
-Blends that include Plant/Alage which herbivores can feed on: 1,8,9,12,17,23
Omnivores: They will basically eat on most of what is listed above. I'd recommend using the blended frozen/flake mixes and/or alternating between carnivore and herbivore frozen/flake formulas.
Piscivores: 19,20,30,31

V. Feeding Suggestions By Fish Group

Coming soon!

Angels (Dwarf)
Anthias
Assessors
Basses
Blennies
Cardinalfish
Damselfish (Damsels, Chromis, Clownfish)
Dartfish (Firefish)
Dottybacks (Pseudochromis)
Dragonets
Eels
Frogfish/Anglers
Gobies
Grammas
Hawkfish
Jawfish
Lionfish
Pipefish
Puffers
Seahorses
Wrasses

VI. Nano Fish Compatibility (Coming Soon!!)

VII. Nano Fish Listed By Tank Size

Note: Suggestions for Seahorses by tank size can be found under the "Seahorse" heading in the next section of the guide, Nano Fish Listed By Group, for the time being.

Key
Green = Beginner (Ideal for first time fish owners and or new tanks)
Black = Intermediate (Ideal for hobbyists with established tanks)
Red = Difficult (Ideal for experience hobbyists who can meet the special needs of these fish)
** = Available Tank Raised (Please let me know if I am missing any)
V = Venomous

Note: There is a lot of controversy around the idea of keeping saltwater fish in tanks under 10g. Whether or not it is ethical will be up to you to decide and not something I'm going to get into. Like it or not, the fact is there are going to be people who do it. Therefore, I would rather at least provide those people with some guidance to make good choices instead of just leaving them in the dark.

Note Mandarins/Dragonets: There is a lot of controversy around the idea of keeping fish from the Dragonet family in nano tanks. Whether or not it is ethical will be for you to decide and not something I'm going to get into. I personally do not encourage people to keep dragonets in nano tanks, however, despite my feelings there a many who have successfully kept them in smaller tanks, there for I will include them in this guide.

0.5g Pico (1.9 L) (Includes Red Sea 0.5g Deco Art) (1 extra small fish)

-Blue Neon Goby**
-Catalina Goby [cold water]
-Clown Gobies**
-Eviota Gobies
-Panda (Clown) Goby
-Redhead Goby**
-Trimma Goby
-Yellow Neon Goby**

2.5g Pico - 5g (9.46 - 18.93 L) (Includes 2.5g Minibow, Eclipse Explorer, JBJ 3g Pico, 5g Minibow) (1 fish)

All of the above plus:
-Citron Goby
-Green Banded Goby (added by c'est ma)**

6-7g (~26.5 L) (Includes 6g Fluval Edge, 7g Minibow, 6g Eclipse, 6g CPR, 6g Nano Cube, 8g Aquawave) (1-2 fish)

Note: Keep in mind that the display area of all-in-one tanks hold less water than the total tank since some of that water is in the filtration area. When picking out fish, pick fish based on the display area volume, not the total tank volume.


All of the above plus:
-Ocellaris Clownfish (False Percula)** (1, if you want a pair, move up to 10g+)
-Percula Clownfish (True Percula)** (1, if you want a pair, move up to 10g+)

10g (38 L) (Includes 12g Aquapod, 12g Nano Cube, 12g Eclipse, 11g Via Aqua, 12g Biocube) (2-3 fish)


Note: Keep in mind that the display area of all-in-one tanks hold less water than the total tank since some of that water is in the filtration area. When picking out fish, pick fish based on the display area volume, not the total tank volume.


All of the above plus:
-Atlantic Pygmy/Cherub Angelfish
-Yellow Assessor**
-Blue Assessor
-Tailspot Blenny (added by Steelhealr)
-Threadfin Cardinalfish
-Green Chromis Damsel
-Yellow Tail Blue Damsel
-Three Spot Damsel
-Talbot’s Damsel
-Three Stripe Damsel
-Firefish Goby
-Helfrich’s Firefish [$$$$!]
-Purple Firefish Goby
-Bicolor Psuedochromis
-Diadem Pseudochromis
-Fridmani (Orchid) Pseudochromis**
-Purple Pseudochromis
-Springeri Pseudochromis** (added by spazizz)
-Scooter Blenny [with caution, not for beginners]
-Red Scooter Blenny [with caution, not for beginners]
-Painted Frogfish
-Wartskin Frogfish
-Blackray Shrimp Goby
-Orange Stripe Goby
-Orangespotted Goby
-Randall’s Shrimp Goby
-Yasha Hasha Goby
-Wheeler’s Shrimp Goby
-Yellow Watchman Goby
-Rainfordi Goby
-Royal Gramma
-Falco Hawkfish
-Flame Hawkfish
-Pearly (Yellowhead) Jawfish
-Possum Wrasse

20g (76 L) (Includes 24g Aquapod, 24g Nano Cube, 20g Finnex M Tank) (3-5 fish)


Note: Keep in mind that the display area of all-in-one tanks hold less water than the total tank since some of that water is in the filtration area. When picking out fish, pick fish based on the display area volume, not the total tank volume.


All of the above plus:
-Coral Beauty Angelfish
-Flame Angelfish
-Halfblack Angelfish
-Potter’s Angelfish
-Rusty Angelfish
-Chalk Bass
-Lantern Bass
-Bicolor Blenny
-Midas Blenny
-Redspotted Blenny
-Redlip Blenny
-Yellowtail Fang Blenny (V)
-Bangaii Cardinalfish**
-Orangestriped Cardinalfish
-Flame Cardinalfish
-Pajama Cardinalfish
-Clarki Clownfish **
-Maroon Clownfish **
-Orange Skunk Clownfish **
-Pink Skunk Clownfish **
-Tomato Clownfish **
-Dwarf Golden Moray Eel (added by lakshwadeep)
-Bar Goby
-Blue Gudgeon Goby
-Green Mandarin Goby [with caution, not for beginners]
-Yellow Target Mandarin [with caution, not for beginners]
-Blackcap Basslet **
-Arc Eye Hawkfish
-Longnose Hawkfish
-Bluespot Jawfish (added by fish n' pets)
-Dusky Jawfish (added by fish n' pets)
-Fu Manchu Lionfish (V)
-Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish (V)
-Dragon Pipefish [with caution, not for beginners]
-Banded Pipefish [with caution, not for beginners]
-Bluestripe Pipefish [with caution, not for beginners]
-Bennett’s Toby
-Valentini (Saddleback) Toby (placement in 20g min suggested by Bread)
-White Spot Toby
-Carpenter Flasher Wrasse
-Filamented Flasher Wrasse
-Fourline Wrasse (placement in 20g min suggested by Travis)
-Longfin Fairy Wrasse
-Pink Streaked/Cryptic Wrasse (suggested by bnaef17)
-Redfin Fairy Wrasse
-Sixline Wrasse
-Tricolor (Lubbock’s) Fairy Wrasse
-Twinspot Hogfish

30g (114 L) (Includes Red Sea Max, 32g Finnex M Tank) (4-6 fish)

All of the above plus:
-Ebli’s Angelfish
-Lemonpeel Angelfish
-Dispar Anthias [with caution, not for beginners]
-Fathead (Sunburst) Anthias [not for beginners] (added by Pili)
-Longfin Anthias [w/ caution, not for beginners]
-Convict Blenny (Note: These guys do not stay 5 inches like many books say. I have handled many that were 12"+)
-Lawnmower Blenny [mega herbivore, keep in mind]
-Snowflake Eel
-Giant Frogfish
-Blue Spot Puffer
-Yellow Choris (Canary) Wrasse

VIII. Nano Fish Listed By Fish Group & Fish

This section has been removed temporarily because it's contents were very out of date and need reviewed. I'll try to have it back up soon.

Additional contributors are noted throughout the guide. Thanks for you input.

Current Permissions for Use
-Nano-Reef.com
-Reeftuners.com
-Nanotank.com

Copyright lgreen 2005-2013.

Edited by lgreen, 11 March 2012 - 10:40 PM.
Thank you, Amber.


#2
supernip

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why did you write this? no, just no.

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#3
lgreen

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now come on nips, i know you couldn't have read it that fast

#4
RP Beesh

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bump

#5
c est ma

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Wow!

Please add green-banded goby. OK in 5 gallon...at least in mine.

--Diane
Posted Image
(thanks, coppycatt!)

My 5.5g

#6
lgreen

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added

good suggestion

thanks

#7
nanoman4

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good guide.
my bicolor blenny is doing great in my minibow 7

#8
lgreen

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interesting thanks.

puffers/tobys and wrasses added.

will finish seahorses later.

#9
Fishfreak218

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WOW! i think this should be a sticky or in the info. section or something....Great Job!!

-josh
p.s. i didnt get anything THAT cool for x-mas Lgreen, i willl post pics of what i got on ur other thread

#10
lgreen

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lol

i haven't even bothered going down stairs yet. everyone else is dead asleep.

thanks for the compliments

read the section on grammas if you get bored lol

ps..nothing that cool...your a dork.

do i have a bmw sitting in my driveway with a bow on top?

lol j/k

#11
Pili

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OMG! lgreen, you have no life :D j/k

One to add to the anthias section, the fathead (or sunburst) anthias. Its probebly the best nano anthias and can be kept in a 30 gallon +.

#12
lgreen

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oh yah, caeser777 has one of those in her nano. i will add that.

thanks pili

#13
lgreen

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bump

#14
sandlot13

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great write up....... should be a sticky or something so its easy to find for everyone. Where in idaho do you live lgreen? I go to school in washington, but have lived in idaho most of my life. (Eagle, Boise area) Keep up the good work
addicted to saltwater..... period

#15
lgreen

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same (eagle, west boise area)

where did you go to high school?

thanks

#16
sammydee

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Why bother putting the copyright thing at the bottom?

Just out of pure interest, what gain does it give you not to allow others to copy and reproduce your work?

sam

#17
Carinya

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Very nicely done. I appreciate the effort & time this took. In my very humble opinion, your fishload suggestions are a bit on the high side. 3 clowns or damsels in a 10g just seems like too much. I know we can make exceptions for extra small fish like the tiny gobies but I have always heard a good conservative rule is 1 inch of fish for 7 gallons. If you want to push it, do 1 inch per 5 gallons. But that is just me. Skimming, refugiums, sumps (for more water volume) & similar "extras" help us get to the 1 inch of fish per 5 gallons.

C

#18
sammydee

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One inch per five gallons seems very conservative. By that reckoning I could only keep one firefish (3 inches) plus a very tiny goby in my 20L. It depends on frequency of water changes/presence of a skimmer/amount of live rock IMHO.

Sam

#19
Tigahboy

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Putting any kind of fish in a 0.5g might be questionable? I dunno, just seems awfully small to put a fish in.

#20
lgreen

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do you remember MLA from high school? or citing primary literature for scientific papers?

It has nothing to do w/ people being able to use my work. What it does have to do with is others copying my work and claiming it as their own.

For example, the list of nano fish based on tank size, is my origional thinking based on my research and opinions. If someone copied that list exactly, that would not be their origional thinking, and therefore they would be stealing. Now, if they use it, and give credit to the person they got it from, then that is cool.

There is nothing wrong with using someones info, but you should always give credit to them for that info.

For example you will notice throughout this thread I give credit to certain people and books.

If you do not not your source, that is plagerism, and basically stealing.

#21
qualudethunder

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The Rainford Goby does not eat algae, but rather the microorganisms that live within the algae. Think dragonet... along those lines of difficulty.
Think! It aint illegal yet!

#22
lgreen

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Very nicely done. I appreciate the effort & time this took. In my very humble opinion, your fishload suggestions are a bit on the high side. 3 clowns or damsels in a 10g just seems like too much. I know we can make exceptions for extra small fish like the tiny gobies but I have always heard a good conservative rule is 1 inch of fish for 7 gallons. If you want to push it, do 1 inch per 5 gallons. But that is just me. Skimming, refugiums, sumps (for more water volume) & similar "extras" help us get to the 1 inch of fish per 5 gallons.

C



Putting any kind of fish in a 0.5g might be questionable? I dunno, just seems awfully small to put a fish in.



"Also keep in mind I may list some things that are pushing it. I don’t know whether you are a beginner or expert, if you know how to do a water change or not, so I will assume anyone who uses this guide has some common sense and basic understanding of nano reefing. For example, the fact that I list some fish appropriate for a 0.5g and 2.5g tank, does not automatically mean you should keep a fish in a tank that size. Rather, it means if you are capable of maintaining the added bioload of keeping a fish in a tank that size, then these fish would be appropriate choices."


Totally agree with both of you, but like i said, in some cases i may push the limits. Different people will be at different skill levels and what not, so i would rather provide an answer that covers everyone that just say no period. Although i wouldn't keep fish in a tank under 5g.

I'm not a huge fan of inch per gallon rules.

for example, 4 inch lion in a 30g is going to be a lot different than a 4 inch goby in a 30g.

ok, for general, but you wont catch me using them.

The Rainford Goby does not eat algae, but rather the microorganisms that live within the algae. Think dragonet... along those lines of difficulty.


I'd be glad to change it. Do you happen to have any literature or anything where I could confirm that? Michael's books seems to suggest it both ways, so i'd be interested to see if algae play a role only as you say, or if they are also able to use the algae directly for nutrition.

Edited by lgreen, 01 January 2006 - 11:45 AM.


#23
qualudethunder

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I only know from reading peoples personal experiences, mine included :( but I will try and find some write ups.
Think! It aint illegal yet!

#24
BREAD

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a valentini toby in a 10g? i always that they needed a 30g+ tank or a 20g long at the very least. arn't they puffers also, so they're really messy eaters and produce a large amounts of waste? i dont know, picturing a valentini in a 10g seems pretty sad to me.
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#25
lgreen

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Yah probably, I will change it 20g.

Kind of a matter of opinion there. Seems like a single valenti by itself in a true 10g, (not nanocube), could work if you know what you are doing, but yah, perhaps that is pushing it a little farther than I should.

keep the comments coming