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Leoito

Second Opinions on Stocking Concept

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Leoito

Planning a Fluval Evo 13.5 build, looking for advice as someone new to the saltwater side of the hobby. 

 

Fish

  • Tailspot Blenny 
  • Royal Gramma  
  • Possum Wrasse  
  • Shrimp Goby (likely Hi Fin or Wheeler's)

 

Inverts

  • Pistol Shrimp (likely Randall's or Tiger)
  • Cleaner Shrimp (Fire Shrimp?) 
  • Porcelain Anemone Crab  
  • CUC 
    • 2-3 hermit crabs (Scarlet?) 
    • 5-6 snails (Cerith, Nerite, Nassarius) 


Corals and other Sessile Inverts (many of these might easily change depending on availability at LFS)

  • Ricordea Florida (and other mushrooms)
  • GSP 
  • Pulsing Xenia 
  • Hammer Coral 
  • Candy Cane Coral
  • Acan Coral  
  • Pocillopora (something to attempt once the tank becomes established)
  • Feather Duster

 

Questions and Concerns: 

  • Are there any obvious incompatibilities between stocking choices? I'm afraid that some of these stocking choices, particularly the fish, may compete with each other for food and/or hiding places. 
  • I'm aware that GSP and Pulsing Xenia can both become somewhat invasive. While multiple islands of rock may help mitigate this, I'm afraid they may still overrun other corals.   
  • Is this (final) level of stocking too high? Are there any inhabitants you would remove or change?   

 

I am planning on keeping the stock light to begin with and adding a Sicce Voyager 1000 powerhead to increase flow around the tank. Thank you for your time and reaching the end 😉

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Tired

A bit overstocked. 3 fish would be better, though 4 could theoretically work. The gramma will establish a cave as territory and defend it, not great in a tank that size. 

 

Go with a Randall's/Candycane pistol, tigers need more room. Inverts sound good otherwise, but I'd suggest just 1 nassarius, and the rest be cerith and nerites. 

 

Coral stocking will depend on how much space you have on the scape. You're right about the GSP and xenia. They need to be placed entirely separate from the rest of the rockwork, surrounded by sand- they'll grow onto the sand, but you can cut them back. The xenia may spread regardless. Hammer corals have long sweepers, so be aware of that, don't put it upstream of any other corals, and consider leaving it out entirely. 

 

I like halimeda macroalgae. It's generally easy to grow, fairly slow-growing, provides some nice height and texture, and isn't likely to go sexual. I'd recommend some. 

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Leoito

While I still might attempt a four fish build, maybe something a tad less territorial is in order. I was thinking the most likely fish in the group to become aggressive would be the gramma, but wasn't aware of gramma aggression in trying to protect their cave.  

Thank you for the coral information—I've heard about the ability of some LPS corals to put out sweeper tentacles, but didn't really consider it for hammers. 

I was considering some macroalgae for diversity, but a little turned off by the idea when my current tanks are all planted lol. Your recommendation might make me consider otherwise.

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Tired

Many calcified algaes (like halimedas) grow as one "unit", so they won't spread all over like some of the others will. IMO, they look really nice as a sort of visual punctuation in a reef tank. Mermaid's fan and shaving brush are some examples.

 

Codium is another. It comes in long and short forms, is relatively slow-growing, and doesn't really adhere to rockwork. It has the general shape of a SPS coral, and goes nicely dark under bright lights, but is MUCH less fussy than them.

 

Dragon's breath and similar red algaes look nice, too. They grow a bit faster, so would require a little pruning now and then, but the nitrate sink might be in your favor. Plus, pod habitat. 

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Leoito

A shaving brush plant might look nice and codium has something of an SPS (branching) shape like you were mentioning; definitely something welcome for diversifying the look of the reef. 

I think I've seen my LFS carry dragon's breath in the past, so I might check that out if a fish (possum wrasse maybe?) might do better with a steady supply of copepods. 

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Tired

Just about all nano fish will do better with a steady supply of pods. It's healthy for little bug-eating fish to be able to snack all day, plus it's enrichment for them when they hunt. Anything you can do to encourage pod growth is generally a good idea. Heck, a wad of chaeto somewhere inconspicuous would also be great. Or, https://www.live-plants.com/ has hypnea in stock. It's a blue algae with a texture a little like branched chaeto, so it grows pods. I just got mine, so I can't say much in terms of care, but from what I've read it's not fussy.

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Tamberav

I would skip the Gramma...have had mine awhile and he has grown pretty large... A good 3 inch beef cake. Body wise...he is as larger as my 5 year old female clown. 

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Leoito

Damn, hypnea as a blue algae does look pretty and would probably prefer it over the "sort of looks like nuisance algae" look that pictures of chaeto make it out to be sometimes. Although, it might not be that bad in a small refugium.  

Are there any alternatives one might recommend for the gramma or other fish of a tank this size? I've been going through resources on the topic, such as Igreen's guide on nano fish and looking through categories 10g or lower,  

but was hoping that someone else may have experience with a fish that could provide a nice splash of color while simultaneously staying in the water column the majority of the time. Firefish or even a single occ. clown maybe?

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Tired

I wouldn't suggest more than 3 fish in a tank that size, unless multiple of the fish are very small, like trimma gobies. If the parameters all stay reasonable in future, you could try four fish later, but I'd plan on 3 fish. 

 

Firefish are a good bet for a hovering nano fish. Clowns can work, but are a bit aggressive- they can be a problem sometimes, so if you're not dead-set on one, you may want to avoid those. 

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Leoito

That's reasonable enough; I'll stick with the concept of a shrimp goby - possum wrasse - tailspot blenny trio for now. But until everything is going (hopefully in mid-June), I'll keep an open mind to other options. 

I do find firefish to be a very visually appealing choice, but if three fish is the likely end result, I'm not sure if I'd be willing to switch the possum or TS blenny out for it 😉.

Maybe something like a clown goby wouldn't hurt months down the line? 
 

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Tired

Clown gobies have pretty minimal bioload, so, yeah, that could work. Especially if you pick a small shrimpgoby like an antenna goby. Them being largely stationary, nonaggressive, and bully-immune (due to bad taste) means they don't occupy much space in terms of territory, not like something that needs its own space or will claim and defend a cave.

 

If you get the tank fairly established, and your phosphates and nitrates are staying reasonable with an amount of water changes you're willing to do, you could definitely try a clown goby. Heck, depending on macro and coral growth, you might have trouble keeping nutrients up

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