Friday, March 20, 2009

Q&A with Keith, 3/20/09


QUESTION
I have a 37-gallon tank I just started. It currently has live sand and 30 lbs of live rock. The only livestock in it is a Stars and Stripe Puffer. It seems pretty aggressive. I would like to add some live corals and invertebrates. Is it possible with the puffer? If so, I would appreciate any recommendations.


ANSWER

I always hate being the bearer of bad news, but I have two bad things to tell you.

First, your tank is way too small for a Stars and Stripe Puffer fish (Arothron hispidus). These puffer fish can grow to almost 19 inches and ideally should be in an aquarium of at least 100 gallons.

The second bad thing is they are not considered a reef safe fish. Puffers tend to "taste" everything. It will most likely kill off any invertebrates you try to put in the tank.
If your goal is to have a reef tank with corals and other invertebrates, I would suggest trading the puffer fish in at a local fish store and going with fish that are

a) suitable for 37-gallon tank (stay away from tangs, for example) and
b) are reef safe fish.
If you are unsure which fish are suitable for your tank size (and that are also reef safe), try A Pocket Expert Guide to Reef Aquarium Fishes by Scott W. Michael. The book covers many different fish that can thrive in your tank along with information on hardiness.

If there is anything else we can do for you please let us know.



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