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Tropical marine fish species combinations

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Norwegian moose, 24 May 2016.

  1. Norwegian moose

    Norwegian moose Well-Known Member

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    Could anybody please list some tropical marine fish species combinations for aquariums that works well, containing species kept by public aquaria and private hobbyists?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. FelipeDBKO

    FelipeDBKO Well-Known Member

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    Examples are unnecessary because there are too many combinations: clownfish, tang, butterflyfish, angelfish, cardinalfish, damselfish, gramma, blenny, goby, moorish idol, lionfish...
     
  3. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

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    Lionfish tend to be kept separately, or with stonefish, as they're not only venomous but also eat small fish.

    Otherwise I agree with the above list and would add parrotfish, triggerfish, filefish, puffers and soldier/squirrelfish.

    :p

    Hix
     
  4. FelipeDBKO

    FelipeDBKO Well-Known Member

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    They can live perfectly with a lot of fishes of the list, with some exceptions like clownfish, blenny and goby. Puffers also can eat small fishes.

    I like the idea of a predatory saltwater tank, like a lot of fishkeeper do mixing cichlids, primitives, catfishes... Something like lionfish, puffer, scorpionfish, stonefish, triggerfish, eel, shark, ray...
     
  5. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    The first question to consider is whether you want a fish-only system or whether you want a system which also includes invertebrates, the ultimate example being a 'reef tank'. Some fish species will eat all invertebrates, others will only thrive when they can share a tank with a range of invertebrates which can sustain them. For example clown fishes can live in the absence of sea anemones, but I always feel that they look much happier with an anemone and mandarins only do well in reef tanks, whereas puffers will consume any mollusc they can find.
    A good aquatics dealer will be happy to advise you.

    Alan
     
  6. temp

    temp Well-Known Member

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    There are literally thousands of tropical marine fish species kept today. The possible combinations are virtually infinite and depend as much on the individual species as the type of aquarium: FO (Fish Only), FOWLR (Fish Only With Live Rocks), or ordinary with live corals, sessile invertebrates. Except for very large species, almost all species you can see in a public aquarium can also be found in the private aquarium trade. LiveAquaria has a compatibility chart that is a good very general guideline, but it should not be considered definite and there are plenty of cases that don't really fit into the chart. Part of this is related to resources and/or size of tank. Public aquariums typically have resources far beyond those of a normal aquarist and huge tanks; in such cases species that generally are incompatible may coexist in peace.

    Puffer+trigger are infamous for being aggressive towards lionfish and they are fully capable of avoiding the venomous spines. Especially triggers often end up killing lionfish if mixed (this mix is so problematic that one of the largest marine aquarium forums on the net for years had a sticky thread warning about it). Puffer+trigger are also infamous for having a go at species like stonefish, scorpionfish, and any other slow moving fish. They may not kill it, but it'll get wounds that easily get infected. Except in huge tanks, there are few cases where these combination have worked long-term. However, it's important to mention that especially triggerfish vary a lot in temperament depending on the exact species: e.g. Xanthichthys are pretty relaxed and often work even with smaller species, but e.g. clown and orange-lined triggers can be pure devils.

    Stonefish and scorpionfish are also tricky and there are quite a few cases where they have managed to eat lionfish that only were a bit smaller. Plenty of aquariums continue with this combination, but it is only really sensible if the sizes are closely matched (or the lion's are a bit larger) and even then there's a bit of a risk. It is also worth mentioning that the extremely venomous stonefish are illegal for private aquarists to have keep in some countries.

    Moorish idol, mentioned in an earlier post, absolutely should only ever be kept in big tanks (wikipedia quotes 100 gallons but that's nonsense) and only by highly experienced keepers. Sadly they are still sold in ordinary aquarium shops to people that don't know any better. 99% of those sold to private aquarists end up dying slowly from starvation. It's comparable to most other species that are highly specialized feeders; obligate corallivore butterflyfish, most nudibranch species, etc.
     
  7. FelipeDBKO

    FelipeDBKO Well-Known Member

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    I have seen some people mixing lions, triggers, puffers, groupers, garibaldis, etc... It's normal that this don't go entirely right, will have fights as in "jumbo" aquariums (cichilds, primitives, catfishes, rays...).

    Yep, I know. Nemo made them even more popular.
     
  8. lowland anoa

    lowland anoa Well-Known Member

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    If you have a peaceful fish, you should keep them with other peaceful fishes. Semi-aggressive fishes might do well with peaceful fishes.
     
  9. FelipeDBKO

    FelipeDBKO Well-Known Member

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    Semi-agressive: lionfish, triggerfish, pufferfish...?
     
  10. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member

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    What you mix really depends on the size of the tank, in addition to what's mentioned above. Certain species have "swimming paths" that they follow, and don't like to collide with other fish. If there's not room, it happens easily. Another thing to consider is the type of tank- for example, it's a bad idea to have horizontal swimmers, like tangs, in a square tank. Corners are issues.
     
  11. lowland anoa

    lowland anoa Well-Known Member

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    Those fishes are aggressive with the exception of some taxa.
    Also I wouldn't really recommend placing semi aggressive lionfish into a tank with small fishes.
     
  12. FelipeDBKO

    FelipeDBKO Well-Known Member

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    But those fishes do well with similar-sized peaceful fishes.