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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
what is a general rule of thumb oh how many fish I can put in my 180? I have checked to see what can go together and everything like that, I just don't know what would be considered over stocked. And I don't want to stress anyone out by putting too many in my tank. Thanks for you help
 

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You can probably expect to get several mixed answers on this topic. Personally, If I had a 180 with an quality skimmer rated for 2x or more my system, a Bio Pellet Reactor, a refugium and quality porus LR with lots of caves and places to hide. I would put just about as many fish as you want within reason, thinking of qualitity of life for the inhabinants. Including a nice mix of fish ranging from bottom dwellers, to low-mid level and open water swimmers like anithias, tangs and other schooling fish. With that said, it really depends on how effective your filtration is, water circulation and what fish you choose to go with.
 

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Depends on the fish. Heavy feeders require more water than light feeders. You can have a lot if gobies compared to Lion fish. Then there is the territorial question. Angels and tangs need space. They don't like crowds.
 

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I think most people with a large tank run out of options before you will be overstocked:

For example:

Clownfish-really can only have 2 in most cases

Damsels-really can be the only fish in the tank lol, hate those things!

Tangs-can get a way with a couple usually with different body types

Gobies- they can be very territorial towards other gobies, depending on the species

Wrasse- only certain species will tolerate others of their own kind, so usually you get one that isn't a big fan of other wrasses around

Anthias-usually need 1 alone, or a group of 4 females with 1 male, so who knows if you even like that idea


Then because you said reef, angels, butterfly, eels, triggers, etc are usually out of the question.

So as long as you go SLOW in stocking, you should be pretty good, because usually the fish will decide when there is too many by attacking the newbie

Likewise, if you can't keep your parameters stable. Don't add another fish until you figure out what's the problem. Your parameters will usually tell you when enough is enough if your fish won't.
 

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+1 on the last post.
I would like to stress that damsels are from hell. I hate em too lol.

And there are some angels that you can get. But mostly she is right.

He also forgot rabbit fish. Pretty good at getting along with other fish. But will not take any bullying from another fish. Usually reef safe. But you can only uave one. ( the foxface is one of my favorites)
 

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+1 on the last post.
I would like to stress that damsels are from hell. I hate em too lol.

And there are some angels that you can get. But mostly she is right.
Lol, yea in my reef tank I have a potters angel, bellus angel, spot breast angel, and a pyramid butterfly, never had one picked at coral...... But as a general rule, no butterfly or angel fish will be 100% ok all of the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Right now I have a yellow tang, sailfin tang, and foxface. I had them in my 90 so that is all i have in my new tank. I love the foxface. Ever since I moved to the bigger tank the foxface has much much better color to him.
What does anyone know about a saddleback butterfly? I would really like to add one but I have read that to add them with caution to a reef. Any thoughts? I would also like to have a copperband butterfly. Can you have these two together? I had a copperband in my first reef tank that I had and didn't have any problems with him.
I am also looking to have a school of smaller fish. What are your opinions?
 

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well you obviously could have a lot more fish in general. Obviously a few large fish might lessen the total amount you can have, but you aren't close to being overstocked, even for a 90, let alone a 180. I have 11 fish in my 110 with a 40 gallon sump, and Id say I'm stocked, but I also didn't push it with the size of any fish, most of my fish are 3-5 inches full grown. I followed the minimum aquarium sizes I found on live aquaria, because I think they are a bit on the conservative side, but the overall health of the fish will be better being conservative.

Also does depend on some equipment. Nice skimmers can really allow you more fish, than a system without a skimmer, just because the large amounts of crap it can pull out of your water.

As for schooling fish, Id say my favorite are anthias, bangaii cardinals, and chromis.

Really any anthias school to me is awesome, but I am particularily fond of the lyretail anthias because the males look way different than the females, and that way you can make sure you only have 1 male.

Bangaii cardinals are cool, but best to buy a school that is already together, because it can be difficult to distinguish males from females, and 2 males will fight.

Finally, chromis are cheap, but they do school nicely. Personally, I have always had problems with chromis killing off other members of the group, and leaving only 1 or 2, but that's just me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm trying to put together my stock wish list. Know anything about the copperband and saddleback butterfly in a reef tank and being together?
 

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Saddlebacks generally will not tolerate any other butterflys. Copperbands are more like tangs and will be ok with a butterfly that doesn't resemble it as long as that butterfly is ok with it lol. No species of butterfly is "Reef Safe", some are better behaved than others but their diet always includes small polyps. Though some individuals if kept well fed won't bother your corals. It is just a risk you take. If you get a butterfly make sure it is eating. Many don't transition well to captive feedings like frozen or pellets.
 

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But if you have a tube worm of some sort the copperbanded butterfly will def eat it.

Sent from my Samsung Smartphone using Tapatalk. When I should be doing something more productive.
 

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As long as you don't have certain corals like welsophyllia, yellow longnose butterflies (Forcipiger flavissimus) make ideal reef inhabitants, being hardy, easy to feed fish that don't eat coral. They don't eat welsophyllia, but I recently read on another forum about them reaching their snout into the mouth of the welso in order to eat the gut contents.
 

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If you want some schooling fish, chromis make a nice choice. They are bright and flashy and stick together... and they are relatively cheap, especially if you get them when they are small. I've done this before and it was pretty cool to watch.

In my 180 reef I've got 8 fish but most of them are fairly small-ish:

Vlamingi tang ~ 8" but will likely have to move soon as it's getting too big... like a bull in a China shop

Blueface angel ~ 5" and I will never get rid of it

Blueline rabbit ~ 5" may go at some point too to reduce bio load but we'll see

blue throat trigger ~3" really a slow grower and no issues with any inverts

Hawaiian flame angel ~ 2" no issues

Royal gramma

pink spot watchmen goby

spotted hawkfish

I don't feel that I'm overstocked at all but I don't really want to add anything until I move the vlamingi out... not sure when that will happen. Would love to add a wrasse, small tang, etc. So I agree with many others. You can put in quite a few fish provided you choose the right types of fish. Enjoy the process!
 

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McPuff- your trigger hasn't touched any inverts? I really really want a trigger but I'm afraid they will kill my inverts. How long have you had yours? What inverts do you have?
 

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McPuff- your trigger hasn't touched any inverts? I really really want a trigger but I'm afraid they will kill my inverts. How long have you had yours? What inverts do you have?
Hi Katy. I've had the trigger for about 3 years. I really thought it would be bigger than it is by now but I guess that the other fish just get too much of his food. In my experience (and from reading), there are a few triggers that will be ok in the reef... and they all have the characteristic upturned mouth. The following are either reported to be "reef safe" or I have seen them firsthand in reefs:

crosshatch (yes, please!; Xanthichthys mento)
blue throat (Xanthichthys auromarginatus)
red tail (Xanthichthys ringens)
pink tail (Melichthys vidua)
niger (Odonus niger)

Of course, there are likely to be individuals that will consume your inverts but for the most part the aforementioned triggers should actually be ok in the reef as they are primarily planktivores in the wild (plankton is used here as a generic term).

I have had my trigger with all kinds of soft corals, LPS, SPS. I have a blood shrimp (had a couple skunk cleaner shrimp), mythrix crabs, snails, conch. I have never seen it pick at anything. So I say if you really want a trigger on that small list above, go for it, especially the crosshatch!
 

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I am soooo excited to hear this!!!! I will have to get a baby though cuz u only have a 110 gallon, but by the time it gets bigger, maybe my husband will let me have a 200!!!! Either that or I will just buy a 200 and ask for forgiveness later lol! :)
 

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No worries. :0)

The 110 should be big enough for quite a while, especially if your trigger grows as slowly as mine seems to.

And you're right, in this case asking for forgiveness is probably easier than asking for permission!
 

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I have a blue throat in my 180 and have had no issues. However, in the past, I've had Niger triggers and in my experience, your shrimp, crabs, and snails are fair game.
 
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