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55gal. stocking
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CREXK2
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Joined: 18 Feb 2011

PostPosted: 2011.02.25(Fri)22:14    Post subject: 55gal. stocking Reply with quote

Hey
I've been thinking about setting up a 55 gal. fish only tank. The fish I'm most interested in are smaller species of lionfish and eels. Can I mix these fish and if so, what would make good tankmates for these fish? All suggestions are appreciated.
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FloridaBoy
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Joined: 04 Jul 2004

PostPosted: 2011.02.26(Sat)17:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, those are both predators, so obviously you want to avoid anything that can fit in their mouths for starters. You have to be careful with eels; Snowflakes are the most popular small species in the industry, but I have seen even medium sized Snowflake Morays gulp down some pretty big fish, so you have to use discretion. A better choice might be the White Ribbon Eel (Pseudechidna brummeri) also called the Ghost Eel, which in my experience has proven to be a hardy and more peaceful species.

But yes, I have maintained lionfish and eels together. In a 55 gallon, one eel and one dwarf species of lionfish is going to produce so much nitrate and dissolved organics, that you probably don't want any more fish to be honest. You might consider a tank with an 18 inch depth (like a 75 gallon) vs. the 55 which is only 13 inches deep.

Right off the bat, you are wise to avoid the standard Pterois Volitans; they get far too big for a 55 gallon setup. Some of the dwarf species can be tricky to maintain and feed properly, so do some research. For example, the Fu Man Chu Lionfish (Dendrochirus biocellatus) is one of the more difficult species to maintain and should probably be avoided by beginners in my opinion. At the other end of the spectrum, the Dwarf Fuzzy Lionfish (D. brachypterus) will usually prove to be a hardy choice if given proper care and feeding. Most lionfish failures in captivity are linked to improper diets; your research will lead to success!

As for tankmates; puffers and triggerfishes should be avoided with lionfish; they will usually harass the lion by picking at its long fins.

Make sure you invest in an oversized protein skimmer, that will help with nutrient export. Even then, be sure you are prepared to keep up with regular water changes and chemical buffers designed to counter acidic shift, or you will see a dangerous slide in Alkalinity and pH with predators like this over time. I wish you the best of success, hope this helps!
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CREXK2
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Joined: 18 Feb 2011

PostPosted: 2011.02.27(Sun)0:34    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, very helpful. Anything else I should know?
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FloridaBoy
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PostPosted: 2011.02.28(Mon)12:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure, lots of things but I can't write you a book... Smile
just do some research and let me know if you have specific questions and I'll try and help, thanks.
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CREXK2
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PostPosted: 2011.02.28(Mon)16:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would a blue ribbon eel work instead?
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Mike612
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Location: Quebec, Canada

PostPosted: 2011.02.28(Mon)18:01    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Blue Ribbon Eel's beautiful, but it's also very difficult to keep. It often refuses to feed and eventually starves to death. Even experts have problems keeping this species alive for very long...
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FloridaBoy
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PostPosted: 2011.02.28(Mon)20:34    Post subject: Reply with quote

CREXK2 wrote:
Would a blue ribbon eel work instead?

Mike is giving you good advice; please see number 3 on my list here:
http://www.aquahobby.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=17688
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CREXK2
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PostPosted: 2011.02.28(Mon)20:42    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks but you have lionfish on your list? Should I find a different variety of fish to look at?
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FloridaBoy
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PostPosted: 2011.02.28(Mon)21:13    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, as I said above, you have to do your research on them because some of them can be tricky to maintain and feed properly. They aren't impossible by any means, but there are some serious issues that most beginners are not aware of and usually not prepared for.

I think beginners usually get into trouble with lionfish because of several reasons...

1. They are too trusting with regard to their predation of other species.
2. They feed improper diets such as goldfish which should never be used.
3. They get poked because they underestimate the venomous dorsal spines.
4. They have under-filtered systems incapable of handling the massive waste and DOC's.

There are probably more reasons of course, but all of these can be avoided with research and planning. By the way; none of these issues above would be encountered if the beginner started with something like a tank raised clownfish.
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CREXK2
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PostPosted: 2011.02.28(Mon)21:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

Other species I'm interested in are coral beauty angels, flame hawkfish, and lawnmower blennies. Would these work? If so what would make good tankmates?
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