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what is the best starter fish


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i just got into sw and i was wondering what would be the best fish to start with, i do like the black preculas but wasn't sure what other fish do good together.

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you really can't kill them...they will eat anything, and survive most diseases....and if you want a delicate fish in the future when your experience has grown than dump the damsel

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Although damsels are remarkably hardy, there aren't any fish that you could add later that would match the agression and still fit in a nano. There are many other fish that are hardy enough for a beginner such as 6 line wrasse. They are extemely hardy and accept most food. I would reccomend reading up first before diving into marine keeping and husbandry. Goodluck.

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Dr. Saltwater

I don't agree. The easiest fish to keep and will adept in your tank are small damselfish. I mean the damsels that won't grow very big as an adult.


For example the Yellowtail Damselfish (Crysiptera parasema) will eat everything you feed it. From plain flaks to seaweed to mysis ...


The six line wrasse (Pseudocheilinus hexataenia) won't take everything from the start. You'll have to 'teatch' it ...


Both are very seasy to keep ... but I'd prefer the first one as a real noob-fish :P

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welli got a black precula and it loves the tank. never gets tired it seems likes to swim against the current. i plan on getting another percula but this time an orange the lfs said that they are both false preculas so im hoping they will pair up. thanks for all the replys i just kinda saw the black preculas and i got attached to it. pluss my gf is upsesed with nemo so i said id get a nemo as she calls it. just wondering would a jawfish make my tank to crowded in a nano cube dx 12gal.?


thanks again

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If you throw in a damsel as a "starter fish" and then want to move on to other fishes you'll have to remove the damsel. Sometiems fish removal can be a pain. Think about that before throwing one in the tank.

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well i almost got a damsel i forget the name it was a black and white one like my false perc but i didnt because i heard they were agresive and i didnt feel like petco was the place i wanted sw fish from so i stayed with my normal lfs. idont trut them for anything more than fw and fish food.

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Ocellaris (Fals percs) clowns make great starter fish too. Definitely a very hardy fish and much hardier than the true percs, though maybe not as awesome looking as the true percs. Much more docile than true percs as well.


And seeing that black percs are really just false percs in black, you got a good starter fish in mind. Don't put a damsel w/ this guy tho for all of the reasons above. What about a false perc pair? Firefish are not super tough like tanks, but they are relatively hardy as well...should get along w/ black perc. A lot of gobies are very hardy too.


All of this is assuming your definition of "good starter" does not mean what type of fish to cycle your tank w/.

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i would agree with tigahboy, but damsels are definitely the toughest and most hardy. i just added a false perc to one of my 10 gallons and i removed the yellowtail damsel prior to introducing the perc as ive witnessed firsthand what a damsel can and will do to other fish.

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Easy starter fish


Yellow tail damsels

canary wrasse



6 line wrasse - despite a previous post I have never had difficulty getting them to eat - flake, mysis, krill they love it all


6 lines and damsels can be territorial so if you add another fish later it'll have to be somewhat aggressive like a dottyback/pseudochromis

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2 is a better bet especially if you are just starting out. However, if you got 2 perc and a clown goby AND kept the water immaculate you could probably get away with it.

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Originally posted by Travis

I agree, the False percs look alot better than the true pers.  The true percs look like they have BIG lips IMO lol.

:( what a dissapointment. true percs rule!


a thong is always better than granny panties


btw. for your 12g, settle for 2 small fish not 3.

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