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Old 03/13/2009, 09:32 AM   #1
Fizz71
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How big does your tank have to be to start breaking the rules?

I'm setting up a 240g sps/lps/zoa/shroom reef tank that is 8ftx2ftx2ft and viewable from both sides so the rock work is down the middle. I've been wondering what general stocking rules (if any) I can break with a tank this size.

Not that I make it a point to break the rules.... ...but when I shop for fish I have rules in my head for what I can buy and can't buy based on what I already own and want to own. Like...No Triggers if you want snails. So what rules can I change/drop with an 8ft. 240g?

Here are Some Specific Rules I Want to Break if I Can:
1. Basslets and Pseudochromis
In general Basslets and Pseudochromis do not mix. Even more...folks recommend that Basslets and Basslets don't mix!! I have a Black Cap Basslet in my tank already (Gramma melacara) since this is a required fish in order for me to stay married.

I would love to add a Tank-Bred Neon Pseudochromis. Can I break this rule in an 8ft tank?

2. Tangs of the Same Shape
I have been told to avoid putting two tangs of the same body shape in a tank. I already have a Sailfin Tang in my tank (again, the wife's choice) and I will be adding a Powder Blue Tang once the tank is more seasoned. But I also like Purple tangs and Kole Tangs.

Normally I would not put a purple or kole in a tank with a sailfin, but can I break that rule with an 240g 8 foot tank that has swimming channels on both sides for a good 16ft of swimming room?

3. More than one female clownfish
Can I put more than one pair of clownfish in a tank this large? I plan on putting a pair of rare clowns in my tank next month that are bred from a standard occelaris female and black occelaris male that I hope will become a mated pair some day.

Can I eventually add a pair of skunk clowns, or perculas in there?


That's enough for now.

What Rules Have You Broken Because You have a Large Tank?


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Old 03/13/2009, 06:15 PM   #2
bkvreef
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I'm not sure about the other questions but as for the tangs I can share with you my experience. I have a 220g that is very similar dimensions to yours.
I presently have a sailfin a powder blue and a vlamingi. They all get along fine.

I unfortunately was not quite as smart as you and didn't ask questions. I too thought that the size would allow me to add several tangs of similar body structure. Let's just say this I used to have a powder brown that was beautiful, but then I added the smaller powder blue.

I'd hate to see anyone else make a choice like I did and regret my ignorance.

I think a kole would be fine in your tank (I believe it's a totally seperate family). I would hesitate with the purple, I believe they are the more aggresive tangs (they are beautiful though).

Someone had mentioned a chevron tang (just an idea).


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Old 03/14/2009, 08:46 AM   #3
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Re: How big does your tank have to be to start breaking the rules?

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Fizz71

......bigger than a 240g.....maybe a 1000g


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Old 03/14/2009, 10:22 AM   #4
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Re: Re: How big does your tank have to be to start breaking the rules?

[QUOTE]Originally posted by mm949
Quote:
Originally posted by Fizz71

......bigger than a 240g.....maybe a 1000g
Completely disagree. I am already "violating" the rules in my 150g which currently houses a sohal, yellow, purple and morpho tang. There are spats here and there, however I haven't had any issues. With that in mind, I am currently upgrading to a 300g to allow more room for them to grow out.

I would say it has to do more with square footage as apposed to volume.

Referencing tangs, my personal opinion is that 2 is a no no. 3 or more seems to divide aggression. Also, aquascaping is key as they have to be able to break eye contact with one another. If left in constant sight, they will stress more and fight.


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Old 03/14/2009, 01:40 PM   #5
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I violated the tang rules in my 190g. I had just two yellow tangs, and they got along. Then I added a purple tang, and all was fine. When I downgraded to the 112g, the yellow picked on the purple, til I gave the purple away. Note it was a pretty populated tank (2 clowns, sailfin, purple, 2 yellows, blonde naso, 7 chromis, foxface) So maybe they couldnt concentrate on one another. I think you should be ok with the two tangs of the same shape in a 240g... Just make sure you add them at the same time, and feed a lot.


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Old 03/14/2009, 07:18 PM   #6
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you should be ok with those choices in Clowns.. They look different enough for there to be no problem and the skunks will probably get the Percs to host a Anemone.


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Old 03/14/2009, 07:35 PM   #7
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As for tangs, I have the following in my 150g display:

Kole
Scopas
Clown
Hippo

The rest of the 150's residents:

cinammon clown
maroon clown
lunar wrasse
foxface


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Old 03/14/2009, 08:53 PM   #8
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Wow I thought I was at my limit with a sailfin, powder blue, and vlamingi, with 2 percs and a coral beauty. oh and 6 chromis in my 240.


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Old 03/14/2009, 09:07 PM   #9
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For the tang rule basically if you're skirting the edge of what size tank they should be in you shouldn't be thinking about multiple tangs. I have a yellow and a kole in my 4x3 180g tank, thought about adding a Naso but thought better of it. Does that mean you can't? Nope, just not something I want to do.

For clownfish? Basically is their a "territory' they can claim? i.e. anemone in different parts of the tank? If so then by all means violate the rule, if not, I probably wouldn't.

Don't know about the pseudochromis.

That being said I've seen people with tanks smaller than mine with more fish, they seem to work, sometimes they don't. With a 240g tank I think you can break certain rules with smaller fish without much worry, with larger fish while yeah you can, you need to be more careful, i.e. if your sailfin is a really large one you might want to stay away from other Zebrasoma genus tangs.


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Old 03/15/2009, 07:17 AM   #10
reeftard73
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Quote:
Originally posted by bkvreef
Wow I thought I was at my limit with a sailfin, powder blue, and vlamingi, with 2 percs and a coral beauty. oh and 6 chromis in my 240.
You're just getting started. Time for a trip to the LFS!


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Old 03/15/2009, 11:47 AM   #11
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Chevron Tangs are not that easy to get in my area at least. If you do add one, don't add a Kole and the Chevron. I tried it and the Kole beat the Chevron to death. I have another Chevron in my 75 until I can catch the Kole in the 220. The Kole thwarts every attempt to catch him so far.


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Old 03/15/2009, 01:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by bkvreef
Wow I thought I was at my limit with a sailfin, powder blue, and vlamingi, with 2 percs and a coral beauty. oh and 6 chromis in my 240.
All depends on your skimmer, sir. Dont want a bunch of those messy fish with a poor skimmer. Theyre just guests in our reef tanks, lol. My tank is for my corals, with a couple fish for movement. If I wanted dirty water, Id go FOWLR lol.


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Old 03/16/2009, 08:50 AM   #13
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breaking the rules to me is....
5x yellow tangs
purple tang
scopas tang
pacific sailfin tang
desjardini tang
sohol tang
vlamingi tang
mimic tang
3x powder blue tang
palani tang
maculiceps tang
clown tang
hepatus tang
3x powder brown tang


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Old 03/16/2009, 09:33 AM   #14
Fizz71
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Quote:
Originally posted by mm949
breaking the rules to me is....
5x yellow tangs
purple tang
scopas tang
pacific sailfin tang
desjardini tang
sohol tang
vlamingi tang
mimic tang
3x powder blue tang
palani tang
maculiceps tang
clown tang
hepatus tang
3x powder brown tang
That's more like ignoring reality..unless you have a pool.

I'm not really talking about going nuts with breaking rules, I'm simply looking to see what general rules that I have come to hear/know for my earlier tanks that can be ignored/adjusted as I go up in tank size.

I look at exhibits like the Atlantis Marine World coral reef display and see all the fish AND corals that are breaking many of these "rules" but I have to say...."Yeah...that's because it 30 feet long, 20,000 gallons and has a skimmer the size of my shed." (actually it's not that big, but you get the point)

Another example: I've always avoided damels because they are so territorial. Now I'm not as worried.

Thanks for the info folks. Keep it coming!


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Old 03/16/2009, 10:07 AM   #15
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I'm not trying to be arrogant or anything like that.

The "rules" are established to provide the "best" possible existance, apart from the ocean, for the animals that we house in our glass boxes. The problem is that what we call "breaking the rules" is actually stating that we don't care about the animals we are keeping. We want to put in our glass boxes what looks good to us and pleases us.

The "rules" are there to help us who care, to maximize the life span and life quality of our animals.


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Old 03/16/2009, 11:36 AM   #16
Fizz71
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I understand. But maybe better wording is what I need here.

What I should have said is... What rules no longer apply? ..I guess that's what I'm asking. I'm not really breaking the rules, I merely want to know what doesn't apply at 8ft of tank.

A perfect example would be putting a Tang in a nano. Unless it's a baby and you plan on ugrading in a few months, we all know a Tang in a Nano is a rule breaker. But a yellow tang in a 6ft tank is considered totally fine.

So if I were a Nano owner going shopping, I would look at a Tang and go.."Nope..that breaks the rules"..and move on. As an owner of a 4ft tank I could consider it based on type of tang. As an owner of a 6ft tank it's not really rule breaker anymore unless I already have a certain type of tang (different "rule").

I have been doing tanks for over 15 years now starting with a 20g that was a total disaster and I don't even like to speak of! But over the last 15 years I've trained myself to only look at fish I know I can safely keep and I have these "rules" in my head.

I was shopping the other day and my wife liked a damsel she saw for sale. The alarm in my head went off immediately....Danger Will Robinson..Danger.....Because I had a yellow tail damsel in my 75g that was a total brute...It was a regreted purchase. But then I realized in an 8ft tank he has room to be territorial. So that's a "rule" in my head I could break.

Follow?


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Old 03/16/2009, 11:53 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by mflamb
I'm not trying to be arrogant or anything like that.

The "rules" are established to provide the "best" possible existance, apart from the ocean, for the animals that we house in our glass boxes. The problem is that what we call "breaking the rules" is actually stating that we don't care about the animals we are keeping. We want to put in our glass boxes what looks good to us and pleases us.

The "rules" are there to help us who care, to maximize the life span and life quality of our animals.
Depends where these rules come from though, seems anyone who writes a book is an expert on rules, anyone sells stuff online is an expert, etc. Sometimes I wonder where these "rules" do in fact come from, sometimes rules are just from outdated "experts" of books of old (watts per gallon anyone?) or sometimes I have a feeling rules are there to sell us products but try to keep things in the realm of possibility as far as what people could have, Naso tang in a 125g tank? Ok, if you say so.

So I think the OP is saying when he says "when can I break the rules", he's saying when do they no longer apply. Shouldn't have more than one species of clownfish, fairy wrasses, tangs, etc in a tank... well how big is that tank? 1200 gallon tank and really you can only have 1 species of clowns? T'was an honest question, and most people who make up "the rules" tend to ignore the possibility of really large tanks, because in reality they're going after the more average hobbyist.


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Old 03/16/2009, 01:41 PM   #18
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Rules are probably a guideline anyways. I would just read all feedback, take the useful and move on. Nothing is EXACT anyways. RDSB can fail 20 times for one person and be set up once for another and never fail. One guy can have a 200G tank and have 75 BIG fish in it and your like WTH, how are they not all dead, but the setup and sump and fuge and equip rocks and is set up for extreme population or whatever. I had always tried to acclimate myself to the 1inch of fish to 1G of water, but that 'rule' isn't exact. especially if you suck and NEVER do a water change or use regular tap water, or never maintain the tank. Read digest and move the the next topic. Some books are old as heck and have very outdated information, so it is good to get multiple opinions and see multiple results. RC is a great place to LEARN, I believe.
Also rememeber you can read every book, retain the information from all those books and still not know EVERYTHING!


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