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Thread: Schooling Fish

  1. #1
    Former Moderator swiseman's Avatar
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    Schooling Fish

    I will start with an apology if "schooling fish" is the wrong spelling or terminology, but, you get the meaning. I have upgraded to a 110gal tank that is 5 feet long with a fairly low bioload for this size and was wondering if anyone had any ideas on a species of fish that I could add in a group that are small and like to swim around in groups. I have the space and think it would look nice. I would like something small and peaceful, so I was thinking of chromis, however, I would welcome other suggestions. Current inhabitants include Yellow Tang (medium), Regal Tang (small), mated pair of Ocellaris, Clarkii (medium). There is also a hecteractis magnifica and a hecteractis malu hosting the clowns. The corals are mostly softies and some LPS. I will be adding a clam or two down the road and will be buying a higher capacity skimmer before the new fish are added.
    If my wife asks, it was only $20.

    Hardware:
    220 Gal Mostly SPS Reef, 66 gal sump with refuge, 33 gal refugium, Gen-X Mak-5 Return, 3 x IceCap 250 MH, 2 x 110 VHO, Deltec APF600 Skimmer and a Deltec AP-600, Geo 6-18 Calcium Reactor, 2 x Tunze Stream 6100, Profilux Plus II EX Controller.

  2. #2
    Senior Member CanadianGuy's Avatar
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    as you said, chromis are an option. they're small, fairly colourful, and peaceful for the most part. there have been som people that have had aggression problems with them tho.

    you could also look at the chalk bass. again they're small and colourful and peaceful.

    your tank is big enough for some species of anthias, but the smaller more colourful ones tend to be kind of expensive and can be a little tricky to keep...usually from feeding issues.

    i'm sure there are others as well
    James...

    "Knowing is half the battle!" ~ G.I. JOE

  3. #3
    Senior Member reefmutt's Avatar
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    Anthias are the best schooling fish I think. The hardyiest types are the Squamipinnus (Red Sea) or the Bartlet's (Hawaii) There are others that escape me at the moment.
    What about firefish- they are beautiful and should school.
    There are also some beautiful types of cardinal fish.
    Matt.

    Old system torn down to make a playroom.. planning a 62x42x28 high

  4. #4
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    Schooling is a defence reaction to external threats. in a tank setting, even fish which school in nature will tend to stop schooling over time.
    Nick

  5. #5
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    actually, fire fish [gobies] in most cases will not school and actually probally kill each other. sometimes you'll get lucky with a pair.
    Anthias will ''hang out'' a bit but school? you'd have to have a REAL big tank to actually enjoy a schooling affect other wise there just all over the place. you could try to have a small harem but accoring to my anthia book its not recommended. IMO
    Chromis. same thing. its been noted quite often that once chromis start to mature they will also possible kill until there is 2 or 3 left.

  6. #6
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    I got a school of dispar anthias, they were schooling in the bucket. And still do in my 120g.




  7. #7
    Senior Member Carolpol's Avatar
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    Dispar anthias.... arent those the ones that need to constantly feed in order to survive? I can't remember where I read that....

    Like it's been said here before schooling fish will tend to school in our tanks only if there is danger present. Firefish will NOT school in my experience, actually they hold completely separate territorries (sp?) in my tank and tend to be extremely aggressif towards one an other
    I've been seriously toying with the idea for a school of chromis in my Volitan tank (some will be appalled since the lionfish will surelly eventually EAT them) for 3 reasons:
    1- chances are they will school since the predator factor will be there hehehe (ya, dont kill me I know Im mean!)
    2- It will give the Volitan some exercise. "Studies" have found that hunting for food makes a lionfish happy and they tend to live longer.
    3- In that tank I have some sun coral that I feed mysis... It makes a mess to feed and a lot of wasted food that the chromis could clean and the added poop from the chromis could also help feed the softies in that tank.
    Plus someone (that I will protect his Identity unless he decides other wise so as to not look like that person is a meany as well... hehehe) gave me a very good idea for names for each of the chromis..<g>
    So in a normal tank chromis can school but tend to stop once they are "confortable" in their new surroundings and then from what I have looked into and has been said earlier tend to start attacking each other.
    It's up to you if you wanna try with these species but be prepared to not get the desired effect of schooling wich I find extremely cool! Maybe some of the species canadianguy proposed might work better? (I dont know about them)
    Carol
    Can we fit one more tank? :P
    Dont mind my spelling mistakes I've got an excuse...I'M FRENCH!

  8. #8
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    Yes they do need to be fed often. I feed them sparingly 3 times a day sometimes even 4. But they school all the time. Even my hippo tang joins in the mix. At first I wanted chromis but after some reserch deceided to go with the anthias. You should see them under actinic lighting. From watching them, I think the female school so the male agression is spread evenly between them. The down side is that there is always one at the bottom of the chain. At first the bottom female would stay hidded, come out just to go back in. The situation has improved with time though and I can find all 6 out at the same time espacially around feeding time. They love to eat, they even eat out of my hands.

  9. #9
    Senior Member cman's Avatar
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    I was in toronto this week and stoped into a Big Als in Whittby. There was a tank that had 9 firefish all schooling. It look awsome.

    I am thinking of adding that to my 130.

    The Chromis will school. they also get big over time and will always pick on the smallest chromis

    PS - AndrewNS also has a school of yellow wrasses that look quite nice together

  10. #10
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    were those firefish in a selling tank [no real territories ie: liverock]. if so, this is different.

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