Revised Stocking List

The lights are now up on the 65g and all of the plumbing parts are ordered or have already arrived, so I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the stocking list.  Some of the original fish on the list must go; some fish I thought were safe aren’t; some of the colors on the different species clash, and that just cannot be allowed.  What?  I’m a woman who keeps fish – of course they’re going to complement each other.

While the platypus is often cited as proof that God does drugs, the Mandarin Dragonet can be used to prove that God does a specific kind of drug.

While the platypus is often cited as proof that God does drugs, the Mandarin Dragonet can be used to prove that God does a specific kind of drug.

The Mandarin Dragonet pair stays, as they are a must.  A very important must – I’ve always wanted some so I”m building the tank around them.  They are easy to keep in captivity if you have the right setup.  If you don’t, your toilet will experience a flash of rare beauty before it’s right back to its same ol’ routine.

The ideal environment setup for a Mandarin is one in which you never have to feed it.  Mandarins eat copepods, the tiny little… let’s call them bugs.  Technically they are a tiny crustacean but they look like teeny tiny ants made of glass, scurrying every which-way in the tank.  These are a good thing, we want them, and if you have a Mandarin you want them in very large quantities.  So with this in mind, I’ve gotten a ADHI Model 20 Refugium where the ‘pods can reproduce in peace.   For the uninitiated, the refugium is part of the tank’s filtration system.  The ADHI is approximately 20g, which brings the total volume of tank water up to 85 gallons, and has space for heating and filtration units to keep them out of the main display tank. I’m not yet sure I can keep a mated pair in a tank this size, but since I have to wait a minimum of six months for the ‘pod population to stabilize, I’ll have plenty of time to think about it.

The Indigo Dottyback stays, mainly because it’s an aquacultured species, is attractive, and is very hardy.  The clownfish pair stays, because they are clownfish and clownfish are rockstars.  The neon gobies stay, because they are aquacultured and they a “cleaner” fish that helps keep the other fish in the tank in tip-top shape.  Mister Smithers stays, if he ever regains the use of his tail… I caught him swimming a bit the other day, so I’m now thinking his back wasn’t broken and he just needs time to rebuild muscle mass.

The Purple Queen Anthias… here it gets tricky.  Anthias are a lovely, peaceful fish, but some can get quite large and they prefer to stay in groups.  They also have a reputation for leaping straight out of the tank and drying into the carpet.  Since the 65g is an open-top, I either have to find the ones that stay smallish and don’t jump, or ignore them altogether.  The Purple Queen Anthias has a reputation as a smallish non-jumper, but more research… more research…

Tiny, attractive, and will grow large enough to threaten your cat.

Tiny, attractive, and will grow large enough to threaten your cat.

There are two new additions to the stocking list.  The first is a school of six blue-green chromis.  Initially, I thought maybe the blue reef chromis (left) as it is really quite attractive and likes to school, but they can get very large, very quickly.  I took a trip to a LFS to see them in action and there was one seven-inch bully holding an eel against the side of the tank and slapping the crap out of him.  While laughing! Well, everyone has a school of blue-green chromis but they have them for a reason, so the blue reef chromis is out and the the school ofblue-green chromis is in.  Some people believe that a school of fish helps make the other lone fish more comfortable, and I tend to believe this.  A mini-school might help the mini-reef feel more like home.

Flame Angel.  It's Dressed for Awesome.

Flame Angel. It's dressed for Awesome.

The second is a flame angel.  As the tang is out and I’m waffling on the copperband, the tank needs a colorful centerpiece.  Rumor has it that the dwarf angelfish eat coral, but I’ve had a coral beauty in the 30g for over a year now with no problems at all – okay, that’s not entirely true, she did eat an entire fanworm – and I’m willing to take a chance on another dwarf.  Unlike the other wild-caught fish, I’ll probably shop around and find one in person before buying it, as they can be finicky eaters and the color variations between angelfish could leave me with a bland, colorless pet instead of a showstopper.

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~ by KBSpangler on March 16, 2009.

8 Responses to “Revised Stocking List”

  1. Dragonets are beautiful. I remember my old school having a saltwater tank with one.

  2. I do not need a reef tank. I do not need a reef tank. I do not need a reef tank.

    You are making me miss Invertebrate Biology a lot.

    • Just keep reminding yourself that it’s a sign of sanity to avoid playing with enormous amounts of water and electricity!

    • Yeah, that’s what *I* kept saying. You see how well it worked out for me.

      • YOU ARE NOT HELPING.

        But please keep posting. I can have a reef tank vicariously through you.

  3. Somewhat unrelated, I saw this article about an aquarium in Cornwall and thought you’d be amused:

    http://io9.com/5174455/giant-worm-not-actually-making-spice-in-cornwall

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