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i am looking to get a new fish for my tank. the tank has been running sence just befor thanksgiving. the tank has cycled and my am is 0 nitrates is 0 nitrites 5ppm and ph of 8.2. we lost a few fish a few weeks ago and sence then i conditioned my water and switched from tap water to drinking water. the tank seems to be doing better. we have a sea serpant , 2 peppermint shrimp, an anenome, and a goby. we are looking for a little color. and not looking for a big fish right now. looking for something a little hearty but colorfull. it is a 55 gal hex. also looking to add more live rock right now only have 30 pounds and it has feather dusters all over it. also i was told by a lfs that i should feed my rock plankton. i know that is a few things but i would like imput on them please help and thank you
 

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I would not recommend a mandarin. Many slowly starve in captivity. They are picky eaters and really need a well established (I wouldn't put one in a small tank ro a tank less than a year old). I have a 90 and am too afraid to try one in there. They are not very hardy (because of the eating) so I would stay away from them.

One other note - I would wait until your nitrites are zero - they are more toxic than nitrates, and nitrites should always be zero.

Do you have your own text kits? In the last thread you were relying on Petco for tests. I would avoid that and getting fish there. Also, if you don't know why they died I would wait until things get more settled or you may end up in the same boat again.

As for fish, try researching liveaquaria.com. They have a large variety so you can see what you want, and they have minimum tank size recommendations. Not sure how big your tank is so that may help with suggestions.
 

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clown are easy. but mandarins are way cooler. i mean WAYYYY cooler.

i dont find mandarins hard to care for, i bought a bottle of live copepods when i first got mine almost a year ago, and added the whole bottle at the same time as the goby. he was one of my first fish, so small when i got him, now he is big and fat. he never eats fish food waste. now i also have a scooter blenny in the same tank that also eats copepods and they are both getting fatter. i think if you spent the extra 20 bucks on a bottle of live copepods a madarin will do just fine in the tank and would never run out of food, especially if you have lots of live rock.
 

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another colorful fish that does get too big is some variety of a wrasse. although the care level for wrasses varies quite a bit between species. i would do some reasearch on a specific species of wrasses before buying.
 

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another colorful fish that does get too big is some variety of a wrasse. although the care level for wrasses varies quite a bit between species. i would do some reasearch on a specific species of wrasses before buying.
I would say go with wrasses, there are so may different kinds and colors out there. You will not be disappointed.
 

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The clown might be a better idea. they are very easy to care for and colorful. some people even use clowns to help with cycling their tanks.
Not say you do this. But, DO NOT cycle a tank with fish! there are so many other ways to this this and you aren't putting a fishing in harms way!
As for other fish, there have been some good sugguestions. Take caution when considering a Mandarin and wrasse. They both can be picky and some will only eat live food like copepods. Madarins in particular will only eat live copepods. There may be 1 in 10 that have been weened onto some select prepared foods. However, if you can keep them and be successful, they are both beautiful fish. Note, there are Reef Safe wrasses and Not Reef safe Wrasse. Do your research and lots of it if you plan to get either of these fish. Personally, I would hold off on the Mandarin unless you are willing to dump $20-40 in live copepods every few months. Most smaller tanks dont have enough LR to susstain the aggressive rate at which Madarins go through copepods not Amphipods.
 

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fish

I can only add my agreement about the Mandarin to those who urge caution. Unless you are very lucky they will only eat live food and your tank is simply not big enough to support the pod population required to produce enough pods. Yes, you can keep adding lstore bought pods but it does get expensive and I am not in agrement that just adding a bottle to begin with will create a sustainable population.
 
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