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http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com/community/ :: View topic - marine life for beginners-the good,the bad and the ugly!
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marine life for beginners-the good,the bad and the ugly!
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pironya
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Joined: Jul 11, 2005
Posts: 141
Location: Chennai

Status: Offline
PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2006 8:36 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

 hi  all
 
 heres  the  list  of  non  reef  safe  fish  that  can  do  well  for  beginners  with  a  few  months  of  experience  with  damsels,clowns  etc...by  non  reef  safe  i  mean  the  species  that  will  eat  or  harm  your  invertebrates(anemones,snails,worms,shrimp  etc).
 
 butterflyfish
 most  of  the  butterflies  require  pristine  water  quality  and  specialised  feeding...try  the  butterflies  only  after  you  have  gained  some  experience  and  your  water  quality  is  good..you  do  not  want  to  put  these  fish  in  algae  covered  tanks  which  have  smelly  water!
 
 butterflies  are  mostly  timid  fish  and  may  be  harassed  by  more  aggressive  fish.they  require  larger  systems  (atleast  50gal)  and  like  some  open  swimming  spaces  as  well  as  places  to  hide.butterflies  are  easier  to  keep  in  a  tank  that  has  live  rock  compared  to  a  tank  which  has  only  artificial  decor  as  they  like  the  natural  food  from  the  rock.butterflies  will  eat  anemones,corals,tubeworms,featherdusterworms  etc..do  not  keep  with  invertebrates
 
 make  sure  that  the  butterfly  is  feeding  at  the  store  before  you  buy  it..most  of  the  problems  with  this  group  are  related  to  feeding.
 know  the  species  of  butterfly  before  you  buy  it  as  some  commonly  offered  ones  like  blue  spots  and  eight  bands  may  not  do  well  in  all  tanks..the  wimple  fish(poor  man's  moorish  idol),threadfin  and  pakistani  butterfly  are  the  easier  to  kep  members  of  this  group
 
 angelfish
 the  larger  angels(genus  Holocanthus  and  Pomacanthus)  require  huge  tanks..though  stores  may  have  blue  ring  angels  and  koran  angels  in  small  tanks  you  should  not  do  the  same..150  gallon  is  the  minimum  size  of  tank..even  this  may  be  considered  too  small  for  a  12"  adult!
 this  group  should  also  be  tried  only  after  you  have  gained  some  experience  as  they  are  quite  expensive.seeing  the  individual  feed  before  bringing  it  home  is  again  very  important  as  they  also  suffer  from  feeding  related  problems..give  your  angel  varied  diet  like  algae,clams,sea  fish,mussels  etc  and  you  will  be  rewarded  with  a  large  long  lived  beautiful  and  intelligent  fish.the  large  angels  change  body  coloration  from  juvenile  to  adult..dont  be  surprised  if  your  juvenile  koran  with  beautiful  rings  transforms  into  a  brownish  spotted  adult!some  people  have  angels  in  reef  tanks  but  it  is  upto  you  to  take  the  risk..some  may  leave  inverts  alone  while  others  may  gobble  them  up  in  no  time.
 this  group  requires  extensive  research  before  buying  as  most  are  too  difficult  to  keep  for  the  beginner  though  they  may  be  easily  available...the  koran,blue  ring  and  smoke  angel(indian  yellowtail)  are  widely  available,hardy  and  also  relatively  inexpensive
 
 dwarf  angels

 can  be  expensive  as  they  are  not  locally  available  and  should  be  imported..recommended  to  be  kept  with  live  rock  as  they  do  not  do  well  in  fish  only  systems..these  angels,as  can  be  known  from  their  name,stay  small  (upto  4")  and  can  be  kept  even  in  a  40  gal  tank...most  are  gorgeously  coloured  and  easy  to  keep  provided  you  dont  have  any  inverts  like  anemones  which  they  may  eat..some  of  the  good  choices  in  this  group  include  the  coral  beauty  and  the  flame  angel
 
 hawkfish
 these  interesting  fish  can  make  great  additions  to  your  tank  provided  you  provide  a  perch  like  rock  on  which  they  will  lay  still  till  a  food  item  passes  by....that  is  why  they  are  called  hawks...this  sedentary  type  of  behaviour  might  be  boring  to  some  as  they  spend  most  of  their  time  staying  in  the  same  place  waiting  for  food
 they  may  eat  crustaceans  like  crabs  and  shrimps  as  well  as  other  fish  small  enough  to  fit  into  their  large  mouths..can  get  upto  5"  mostly..a  tank  of  atleast  40  gallon  would  be  good
 
 hope  this  helps
 
 regards
 
 arvind


Last edited by pironya on Mon May 29, 2006 8:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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pironya
Frequent Visitor to IAH
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Joined: Jul 11, 2005
Posts: 141
Location: Chennai

Status: Offline
PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2006 8:39 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

 hi  again
 heres  the  beginners'  aggressive  fish  list...these  fish  are  quite  hardy  but  require  well  oxygenated,well  filtered  and  large  systems  in  addition  to  the  proper  foods..having  these  fish  in  a  small  tank  will  cause  you  hardship  in  terms  of  deteriorating  water  quality  and  hardship  to  the  fish  in  terms  of  stunted  development  due  to  cramped  habitat...ask  yourself  if  you  definitely  want  these  kind  of  fish  as  you  will  not  be  able  to  have  any  smaller,less  aggressive  fish  or  inverts  with  them.
 
 triggers
 said  to  be  the  meanest  fish  in  any  kind  of  aquarium,triggers  vary  from  the  comparitively  small  at  12"  to  the  large  species  at  3feet  plus  and  from  the  more  docile  to  the  unimaginably  aggressive!triggers  may  bite  you,your  other  fish,your  rocks,your  powerhead  lines,your  heater,your  plumbing,your  cat..the  list  goes  on.be  careful  with  these  fish  around!
 triggers  like  large  tanks(atleast  75  gal  for  the  smallest..depends  on  species..again,research  helps  here)  with  lots  of  rock  in  which  they  will  hide..these  are  intelligent  fish  and  capable  of  learning  from  experience..a  good  aqua  dog  but  they  will  bite  the  hand  that  feeds  them.most  trigger  species  are  quite  hardy  and  trouble  free  as  long  as  you  dont  put  them  with  timid  fish  or  in  a  small  tank..any  food  of  marine  origin  can  be  given  to  triggers..some  nori(seaweed)  can  also  help..giving  them  mussels  or  clams  with  the  shell  will  help  them  exercise  their  teeth
 
 puffers
 puffers  are  called  so  because  they  puff  up  by  taking  in  large  quantities  of  water  in  order  to  ward  off  predators...some  smaller  species  like  the  tobies(Canthigaster  sp.)  can  be  kept  in  even  40  gallon  tanks  whereas  the  larger  species  like  atleast  a  75  gal.
 do  not  expose  your  puffer  to  air  or  force  it  to  puff  up  as  this  may  lead  to  problems  due  to  trapping  of  air  inside  its  body  which  might  cause  it  discomfort.
 puffers  will  not  leave  any  invertebrate  alone..they  might  also  nip  the  fins  and  take  bites  off  other  fish..choose  their  tankmates  with  care!  like  in  the  case  of  triggers,puffers  can  also  bite  your  powerhead  lines,heaters  etc..so  place  these  carefully  in  puffer  tanks...all  meaty  foods  are  accepted.make  sure  you  feed  lots  of  clams  or  mussels  or  other  kinds  of  shellfish  as  the  shells  help  trim  down  their  evergrowing  teeth...if  you  ignore  this  part  your  puffer's  teeth  will  grow  to  such  an  extent  that  it  is  not  able  to  eat  any  food..such  a  condition  will  require  dental  surgery  where  the  overgrown  teeth  are  trimmed  using  a  file..
 
 moray  eels
 choose  only  the  smaller  species  like  snowflake  morays.the  commonly  offered  honeycomb  moray  can  be  kept  only  if  you  have  a  large  tank(atleast  a  couple  of  hundred  gallons).morays  require  hiding  spaces  in  which  they  spend  most  of  their  time..they  will  eat  any  small  fish  and  hence  tankmates  should  be  chosen  considering  the  adult  size  of  your  moray.
 make  sure  your  system  has  a  tight  fitting  hood  as  many  a  moray  has  been  lost  due  to  escaping  through  the  tiniest  hole  through  which  it  can  squeeze  its  body...feed  meaty  foods  only  once  or  twice  a  week  to  keep  your  moray  healthy  and  to  prevent  water  deterioration
 
 groupers
 these  large  predators  are  more  suited  to  the  dining  table  but  if  you  want  to  keep  them  here  are  a  few  tips...groupers  require  large(atleast  180  gallons)  systems  as  they  get  huge  and  produce  lots  of  waste..a  good  protein  skimmer,efficient  bio  filtration,proper  gravel  vacuuming  and  proper  feeding  will  ensure  healthy  groupers..these  fish  as  also  the  morays  can  be  fed  with  meaty  marine  foods  pierces  onto  a  feeding  stick...these  fish  can  gobble  up  damsels,dwarf  angels,clowns  etc  in  no  time..should  be  kept  only  with  larger  fis  like  eels,surgeons  etc
 
 these  are  the  commonly  offered  aggressive  fish..i  am  not  sure  if  barracudas,sharks,rays  etc  are  offered  in  india  but  but  if  they  are  do  not  try  to  keep  them  in  home  aquariums
 
 
 regards
 
 arvind
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pironya
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Joined: Jul 11, 2005
Posts: 141
Location: Chennai

Status: Offline
PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2006 9:46 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

 hello
 
 here  goes  the  beginners'  invertebrates  list..invertebrates  are  more  sensitive  to  bad  water  wuality..do  not  add  any  medications  to  your  tank  if  you  have  any  invertebrate  or  live  rock  in  it.invertebrates  should  be  added  to  a  new  tank  only  after  it  is  completely  cycled.invertebrates  appreciate  atleast  some  amount  of  live  rock  and  hiding  places  where  they  can  feel  secure.many  inverts  are  eaten  by  or  eat  the  commonly  kept  fish  so  make  sure  you  know  what  you  are  getting
 
 snails
 the  most  commonly  kept  are  the  turbo  snails  which  are  excellent  algae  eaters..these  will  eat  up  all  the  algae  on  the  glass  and  rocks  and  improve  the  look  of  your  aquarium..as  many  as  one  turbo  snail  per  5  gallons  of  water  can  be  kept..overcrowding  snails  may  result  in  deaths  due  to  starvation..make  sure  you  know  what  species  of  snail  you  are  getting  as  some  species  are  dangerous  to  you  and  to  other  livestock
 
 hermit  crabs
 these  are  great  algae  eaters  and  detrivores..they  eat  up  unwanted  algae  and  uneaten  food  thereby  helping  you  maintain  good  water  quality...provide  adequate  empty  shells  for  the  hermit  crabs  as  they  move  into  bigger  shells  as  they  grow..some  of  the  suitable  species  are  the  blue  legged  and  the  red  legged  hermits..some  may  eat    your  coralline  algae  or  other  invertebrates  if  they  do  not  get  enough  food
 
 starfish
 serpent  starfish  are  a  kind  of  starfish  which  help  in  cleaning  up  the  tank..these  can  be  kept  provided  you  provide  them  with  a  dark  cave  to  hide  during  the  day  as  they  are  nocturnal..of  the  regular  starfish  the  blue  starfish(Linckia)  and  the  orange  starfish(Fromia)  are  good  choices.the  commonly  seen  Protoeaster  starfish  can  be  kept  in  a  fish  only  with  inverts  tank  as  they  may  be  too  destructive  in  a  reef  tank.an  important  requirement  with  this  group  is  that  they  require  very  good  water  and  should  be  very  slowly  acclimatised  to  your  system  water  when  you  bring  them  from  the  store
 
 shrimps
 shrimps  such  as  cleaner  shrimps  are  not  often  seen  in  india..some  such  as  the  mantis  shrimp  are  predatory  while  others  such  as  the  previously  mentioned  cleaner  shrimp  perform  the  task  of  cleaning  your  fish  of  parasites..shrimps  may  require  iodine  supplementation  to  help  them  molt.do  read  up  on  this  process  before  getting  a  shrimp  for  your  system.mixing  shrimps  with  crabs  may  result  in  havoc  in  your  system  with  one  of  the  two  winning  in  the  end...many  fish  also  prey  on  shrimp..so  choose  tankmates  with  care
 
 featherduster  worms
 small  featherduster  worms  are  found  on  live  rock  whereas  larger  featherdusters  can  be  bought  separately..they  make  great  additions  to  your  tank  and  are  very  hardy...they  do  not  require  any  specific  feeding  as  long  as  the  fish  in  the  tank  are  being  fed..some  reproduce  freely  in  the  tank  forming  beautiful  colonies..these  worms  live  in  a  tube  which  they  secrete..any  worm  that  is  disturbed  will  quickly  retract  its  featers  into  the  tube  and  come  out  only  after  the  danger  passes..this  makes  an  ineresting  sight  to  watch  in  your  system
 
 other  live  rock  hitchhikers
 many  other  kinds  of  inverts  come  into  your  tank  with  the  live  rock..sponges,tunicates,small  featherdusters,small  bivalves,coralline  algae  and  macroalgae  are  all  suitable  whereas  fireworms,mantis  srimps,predatory  crabs  and  nudibranches  can  be  quite  dangerous..make  sure  identify  any  suspicious  looking  organism  and  remove  it  before  it  takes  over  and  destroys  your  tank
 
 this  post  completes  the  "good"  beginner  species  list...comin  soon  is  the  "ugly"  list  of  livestock  that  is  dangerous  to  you  and  to  your  system
 
 hope  this  helps
 
 keep  your  comments/suggestions  coming
 
 regards
 
 arvind
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gokulin
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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 10:34 am Post subject:  Reply with quote

 Great  Info.......    Clapping  
 
 Thanks
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Rudra
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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 11:33 am Post subject:  Reply with quote

 Hi,  
     It  is  really  a  nice  and  concise  piece  of  information  for  the  beginners.
 But  I  would  beg  to  differ  on  one  count.  
   From  your  list  of  inverts  for  the  beginners,  I  would  like  to  count  out  shrimps  specially  the  Atlantic  cleaner  shrimp,  Blood  shrimps,  Dancing  shrimps,  Anemone  shrimps.  These  crusteceans  are  not  for  the  beginners  and  I  would  like  to  say  these  cute  little  creatures  should  only  be  kept  by  hobbyist  who  can  spend  considerable  time  looking  after  them  for  their  specific  needs.  These  creatures  need  regular  supplement  of  calcium  and  iodine.  Also  they  cannot  withstand  high  temperatues  at  all.  As  chillers  are  an  expensive  propostion  in  India,  i  would  like  to  suggest  to  buy  these  creatues  only  if  one  has  adequate  cooling  sloutions.  Lastly  these  shrimps  are  costly  to  buy  in  India  and  early  death  of  these  might  deter  the  interest  of  budding  marine  hobbyist.
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pironya
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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 11:42 am Post subject:  Reply with quote

 hi  all
 
 @rudra
 
 thanks  for  your  input..what  you  say  is  very  true
 
 i  forgot  to  mention  in  my  post  on  inverts  the  following  info
 
 although  the  list  mentions  a  few  inverts  that  are  hardy  enough  for  beginners,hardy  in  this  case  is  a  relative  term..beginning  hobbyists  would  do  well  to  try  out  these  only  after  they  have  gained  considerable  experience  with  fish...many  of  these  require  supplementation  of  calcium,iodine  etc  as  mentioned  and  hence  lots  of  research  should  be  done  before  bringing  any  marine  invert  home..this  will  avoid  monetary  and  emotional  loss
 
 regards
 
 arvind
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Shankar
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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 12:07 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

 Great  info  again  Arvind!  I  personally  would  disagree  to  classify  Dwarf  Angels  to  be  reef  unsafe,  AFAIKept.  They  hardly  bothered  any  of  the  Feather  Dusters,  Starfish,  Serpeant  Stars,  Feather  Stars,  Brittle  Stars,  Urchins  -  both  short  and  long  spine,  various  shrimps,  dwarf  lobsters,  Sea  Apples,  Sponges  and  other  things.
 
 Again  the  Coral  Beauty  is  not  the  ideal  beginner's  dwarf.  Flames  can  do  well  even  upto  nitrates  of  above  30,  but  are  very  expensive  at  the  same  time.  Other  starter  options  are  Bicolour,  Rusty,  Key  Hole,  Eibl,  Half  Black  and  Herald's  Dwarf.
 
 @Apurva,  Bicolours  are  one  of  the  few  dwarfs  that  don't  survive  for  long  in  tanks  treated  with  Cu.
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Rudra
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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 3:17 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

 Hi  All!
 @  Shankar
   agree  with  you  that  the  pygmy  angels  really  don't  bother  most  invertebrates  but  they  really  go  after  coral  polyps,  specially  the  zoanthids  &  sea-mats  and  some  species  of  xenia.
   Also  as  far  as  selection  of  dwarf  angels  are  concerned,  Bi-color  angels  are  good  only  if  they  are  procured  from  an  authentic  source  and  are  eating  well.  but  there  are  instances  when  a  bacterial  infection  afflicts  them  during  summer  along  the  line  of  separation  of  the  blue  and  yellow  colors  on  their  body.
   The  Herald's  angel  or  the  false  lemon  peel  angel  isn't  a  very  good  choice  as    it's  a  very  finicy  feeder  and  most  of  times  are  cynaide  caught(if  I  am  not  wrong)  which  attributes  to  their  very  short  stay  in  tanks.
   A  better  alternative  is  the  True  Lemonpeel  angel.
   but  again  agreeing  with  Shankar....  of  the  avaiable  species  in  India  ,  the  Falme  Angel  is  the  best..  though  it's  also  not  100%  reef  safe...
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pironya
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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 3:40 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

 hi
 
 thanks  for  the  useful  inputs..any  other  info  in  my  posts  that  need  correcting/clarification/explanation  please  go  ahead..
 
 regards
 
 arvind
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Shankar
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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 10:43 am Post subject:  Reply with quote

 Rudra,  i  have  had  and  have  closely  seen  others  keeping  the  bicolour  and  combination  of  other  dwarfs  in  tanks  with  protopalythoans,  Cauliflower  and  favites.  Could  be  true  with  acropora  and  xenia  (never  kept  the  dwarfs  with  them  before),  as  i  could  never  successfully  transport  the  xenia  in  a  top  condition.
 
 And  as  you  said,  never  really  came  across  any  feeding  problems  with  the  Herald's.  Infact  it  is  one  of  those  fish  that  eats  like  a  pig,  as  rightly  described  by  'mandarins'  on  IAH.  May  be  you  were  unfortunate  to  buy  a  chemically  caught  fish.  Cheer Up
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psimhan
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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 10:55 am Post subject:  Reply with quote

 I,  for  one  would  be  very  happy  to  know  more  about  Wrasses  ,  particularly  Fairy  Wrasses.
 I  know  the  general  types  of  wrasses  available  but  what  I  want  to  know  is  the  India  specific  story.  
 What  is  generally  available,  what  are  the  good  and  the  bad  wrasses  to  keep  (  hmm,  I  ve  never  heard  of  Wrasses  doing  anything  bad  except  jumping)  etc,  etc?
 Waiting  for  your  inputs!!
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dashingoan
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 7:23 pm Post subject: Re: marine life for beginners-the good,the bad and the ugly! Reply with quote

 Hi  Arvind
 
 
                                                 
Quote:                
one  more  idea  of  mine  (more  like  a  dream)  is  to  have  a  very  small  scale  website  for  marine  hobbyists  in  india...i  think  the  website  should  have  the  database  of  all  the  marine  aquarists  along  with  extensive  details  of  their  tanks,fish  and  invert  profiles  written  by  indian  marine  hobbyists,as  well  as  detailed  articles  on  aspects  like  stocking,lighting,filtration,quarantine  etc...  
 links  to  good  marine  sites  and  contact  details  of  good  quality  lfs  and  livestock  suppliers  can  also  be  included                  

 
   Thumbs Up  
 
 Any  news  on  the  Website
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DJ_Rocky
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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 3:07 am Post subject: Re: marine life for beginners-the good,the bad and the ugly! Reply with quote

 Hi  Arvind,
 
 Many  many  many  thanks  for  this  superb  thread.  Thumb Up
 
 Hey  guys,
 Is  there  any  person  who  knows  where  is  Simba.  I  dont  think  he  is  active  in  IAH  these  days.  Please  let  me  know  if  any  one  is  having  the  contact  detail  of  SIMBA.  Smile
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aquaartist
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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2007 7:32 am Post subject: Re: marine life for beginners-the good,the bad and the ugly! Reply with quote

 Hi  pironya,
 
 This  is  a  very  good  post  thanks  a  lot  as  i  got  a  lot  of  knowledge.
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nandu
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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2007 12:51 pm Post subject: Re: marine life for beginners-the good,the bad and the ugly! Reply with quote

 Hi  arvind
 
 Thanx,  good  info  for  beginners.
 
 nandu
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