Saltwater Fish Compatibility Guide

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  1. jhnrb

    jhnrb

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    BEFORE YOU BEGIN I APOLOGISE FOR THE POOR FORMAT, BUT, I WANTED TO GET A COMPATIBILITY ARTICLE UP FOR EVERYONE. WATCH FOR MORE AND BETTER IN FUTURE. LET ME KNOW IF YOU NEED HELP IN READING THE CHARTS IN THIS ARTICLE.

    (TO EFFECTIVELY USE THIS CHART GO TO PART 3 AND SELECT THE FISH YOU ARE INTERESTED IN. YOU WILL FIND A SERIES OF NUMBERS THAT CORRESPOND TO COMPATABLE FISH AND NON COMPATABLE FISH. WRITE THE NUMBERS DOWN. THEN GO TO PART 1 & 2 AND LOOK UP THE NUMBERS. THE FISH IDENTITY AND SOME INFORMATION IS GIVEN FOR EACH).


    (PART-1)

    By Quarryshark

    One of the hardest decisions for a new saltwater aquarist is deciding what animal combinations to put in a tank. Will they get along? Can I put invertebrates in with them? Will they be OK in my size tank? Will they eat corals? Will they eat each other? It can be very intimidating to a new hobbyist trying to put it all together.

    Below is a basic compatibility outline. This is a rough outline to show general tendencies of different fish and is not intended as the ultimate stocking planner. It should be noted that each individual fish (like any other animal) is different. What works for one community may not work in another. Exceptions are always possible with any combination and should be expected. A fish's behavior may change as it matures and for some fish, juvenile behavior and adult behavior can be completely different. The sweet little baby Nemo may grow up to be the terror of the tank or the unlikeliest of combinations may sometimes work out to years of enjoyment. This basic guide was put together to get you going in the right direction.

    I have placed the more commonly used groups of fish for the home aquarium into three categories: aggressive, semi aggressive and docile. Many of these fish do not fit solidly into any one category. This is just a rough outline that may help to eliminate some of the combinations that will surely run into trouble. Specific questions on mixing of different fish should be posted on the forum.

    Other factors to consider (but not limited to):

    1. Docile fish should be introduced first, followed by semi aggressive, and finally aggressive fish. The largest, most docile fish should be added first and the most aggressive fish should always be introduced last. This will allow the less aggressive animals to settle and save you a few nipped fins or worse.

    2. Compatibility with invertebrates and corals should also be considered if you wish to have these animals within your system.

    3. Tank size should always be considered and is often ignored when adding fish to a system. Adult size of an animal should always be taken into consideration when choosing your stock.

    4. Total number fish in any system differs depending on the animals you wish to have in your system, method and efficiency of filtration, eating habits, adult size and size of a system itself. The general rule of thumb is 2 inches of adult size fish per every 10 gallons. Once again, not the size they are now, but the size they will be as an adult.

    5. Two fish that are the same size, color or similar body marking should not be kept together.

    6. For the most part, two fish of the same species should not be kept together; however, there are exceptions. Schooling fish such as Chromis or Heniocus can be kept in small groups when room allows. Several species of Clownfish, Blennie, Gobies and some Damsels can be kept more than one to a tank, once again if room allows. The other exceptions are fish that were caught as a mated pair and are residing in the same tank upon purchase.

    For the beginners:

    There are many excellent fish stores out there. But there are also some that are in it for the quick buck. Listen to what they tell you when you are researching, but also do your own homework before you buy. Post questions in the forum, and search the net for articles about the particular fish. Impulse buying leads to many premature mortalities in this hobby. Information is your best tool for building the "tank of your dreams".

    Once again, the below chart is just a rough guide to get you started. It should not be used for your final stock planning. Use the info below and ask us in the forum what we think. We are glad to help you with your decision.

    The charts

    Below are two tables; the first is to show general information about a particular family of fish, basic eating habits, and temperament and minimum tank size. The chart also shows if a family tends to be reef and invert safe. The second graph shows some basic information about mixing different groups of fish. The information is not absolute and any fish you wish to purchase should be researched. This is just a basic guide to help with system planning, or a quick reference to see if a combination has a chance to work. Please refer specific questions to the forum.

    Enjoy!!

    Use the number in the first column to find compatibility for that particular fish on the fish compatibility chart following the Information chart.

    Fish Information Chart

    #/Fish/Latin Family Name/Temperment/Reef Safe/Invert Safe/Min.Tank Size/ Carnivore/Herbivore/Mixing Same Species

    1/Big Angel/Holacanthus, Pomacanthus/Semi/C/Y/180 Gal*/Y/Y/N

    2/Dwarf Angel/Centropyge/Semi/C/Y/30 Gal/Y/Y/C

    3/Angler/Antennarius/Semi/Y/N/40 gal/Y/N/N

    4/Anthia/Pseudanthias/Semi/Y/Y/80, 125 Gal*/Y/N/Y

    5/Basslet/Gramma/Docile/Y/Y/30, 55 Gal*/Y/N/C

    6/Batfish/Platax/Docile/N/Y/180 Gal/Y/N/N

    7/Blenny/Many different names/Docile/Y/Y/30 Gal/Y/Y/C

    8/Butterfly/Heniochus, Chaetodon, etc/Docile/N/Y/Varies/Y/Y/C

    9/Cardinal/Apogon, Pterapogon/Docile-Semi/Y/Y/30 Gal/Y/N/Y

    10/Clown/Amphiprion, Premnas/Docile-Semi/Y/Y/30 Gal/Y/N/C

    11/Damsel/Dascyllus,Chrysiptera/Semi-aggr/Y/Y/30 Gal/Y/N/Y

    12/Dartfish/Nemateleotris, Ptereleotris/Docile/Y/Y/30 Gal/Y/N/C

    13/Dragonet/Synchiropus/Docile/Y/Y/55 Gal/Y/N/N

    (CONT. PART-2)
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2006
    jhnrb, Oct 29, 2005
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  2. jhnrb

    jhnrb

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    Part-2

    (CONT. FROM PART-1)

    Fish Information Chart (CONT)

    #/Fish/Latin Family Name/Temperment/Reef Safe/Invert Safe/Min.Tank Size/ Carnivore/Herbivore/Mixing Same Species


    14/Eels/Echidna, and others/Semi/Y/N/55 Gal/Y/N/N

    15/Filefish/Pervagor, Chaetoderma/Docile/N/N/55, 75 Gal*/Y/N/N

    16/Goby/Gobiosoma and other/Docile/Y/Y/30 Gal/Y/N/C

    17/Grouper/Cromileptes and others/Aggressive/N/N/125 Gal*/Y/N/N

    18/Hawk/Cirrhitichthys, Paracirrhites/Docile-Semi/C/N/30 Gal/Y/N/N

    19/Hogfish/Bodianus/Docile/N/C/100 Gal*/Y/N/N

    20/Lionfish/Pterois, Dendrochirus/Docile-Semi/C/N/55,75 Gal*/Y/N/Y

    21/Parrotfish/Many different names/Semi-aggr/N/N/Varies/Y/N/N

    22/Pseudochromis/Pseudochromis/Aggressive/Y/N/30 Gal/Y/N/N

    23/Puffers/Arothron and others/Docile/N/N/55, 100 Gal*/Y/N/Y

    24/Seahorse/Many different names/Docile/Y/Y/(S/O)/Y/N/Y

    25/Shark/Chiloscyllium/Aggressive/N/N/200+Gal*/Y/N/N

    26/Snapper/Lutjanus/Semi/N/N/180 Gal/Y/N/Y

    27/Sweetlips/Plectorhinchus/Aggressive/C/N/180 Gal/Y/N/N

    28/Squirrel/Sargocentron/Docile/N/N/75 Gal/Y/N/C

    29/Tang/Zebrasoma, Acanthurus, etc/Semi/C/Y/75 Gal*/Y/Y/C

    30/Trigger/Rhinecanthus, etc/Aggressive/N/N/90 Gal*/Y/N/N

    31/Wrasse Sm/Cirrhilabrus and others/Semi/Y/C/50 Gal*/Y/N/C

    32/Wrasse Lg/Thalassoma and others/Aggressive/N/N/70 Gal*/Y/N/C


    -*Tank sizes vary for different species, post specific questions on the forum.
    -N=No
    -Y=Yes
    -C=Caution
    -S/O=Species only

    (CONT. PART-3)
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2005
    jhnrb, Oct 29, 2005
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  3. jhnrb

    jhnrb

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    Part-3

    (CONT. FROM PART-2)

    The number shows each family in the chart in the first column. Reference the desired combination using the numbers throughout the chart. For example Dwarf Angels are number 2. Looking through the chart, anywhere you find the number 2 that combination applies to the Dwarf Angel family.

    Fish Compatibility Chart

    Fish/Compatible/With Caution/Not compatible

    Use the numbers below to find the corresponding fish in the chart above

    1- Big Angel-(Holacanthus,Pomacanthus)/With all others/
    **1,9,15,22,26,30/24,25

    2- Dwarf Angel-(Centropyge)/All others/2,3,14,17,20,30,32/24,25

    3- Angler-( Antennarius)/ 6,8,15,20,28,29/2,4,5,17,18,19,21,23,26,31,32/All
    others

    4- Anthia-( Pseudanthias)/All others/4,6,14,20,30,32/17,24,25

    5- Basslet-(Gramma)/All others/5,6,12,13,19,21,23,32/3,14,17,20,22,24,25,30

    6- Batfish-( Platax)/All others/4,5,9,11,12,13,14,17,19,20,22,26,29,32/6,24,
    25,30

    7-Blenny/All others/6,7,19,21,22,27,28,30,32/3,14,17,20,24,25,30

    8- Butterfly-( Heniochus, Chaetodon,etc)/All others/14,17,20,28,29,30,32/
    24,25

    9- Cardinal-( Apogon, Pterapogon)/All others/1,6,11,19,21,22,28,29,32/
    14,17,20,24,25,26,30

    10- Clown-( Amphiprion, Premnas)/All others/10,30/14,17,20,24,25

    11- Damsel-( Dascyllus, Chrysiptera)/All others/6,9,11,15,27,28,30/
    3,14,17,20,24,25

    12- Dartfish-( Nemateleotris, Ptereleotris)/All
    others/5,6,12,15,19,21,22,23,24,27,28,32/3,14,17,20,24,25,30

    13- Dragonet-( Synchiropus)/All others/5,6,21,22,28,32/13,14,17,20,24,25,30

    14- Eels-( Echidna, and others) /
    1,17,27,20,23,26,29/2,4,6,8,14,19,21,28,30,31,32/
    3,5,7,9,10,11,12,13,15,16,18,22,24,25

    15- Filefish-( Pervagor, Chaetoderma)/All others/1,11,12,20,22,26,31,32/
    *14,17,24,25,26,30

    16- Goby-( Gobiosoma and other)/All other/16,19,21,24,27,26,28,30,32/
    3,14,17,20,25,27

    17- Grouper-( Cromileptes and others)/1,14,20,26,29/
    2,3,6,7,8,19,21,26,30,31,32/*All others

    18- Hawk-( Cirrhitichthys, Paracirrhites)/All others/3,18,19,26,27,30,32/
    *14,20,24,25

    19- Hogfish-(Bodianus)/1,2,4,8,15,21,23,29,31/All others/*19,24,25

    20- Lionfish-( Pterois, Dendrochirus)/All others/2,4,6,8,15,19,21,27,28,31,32/
    *5,7,9,10,11,12,13,16,18,22,24,25

    21-Parrotfish/All others/3,5,7,9,12,13,14,16,17,20,22,26,30,31,32/*24,25

    22- Pseudochromis/All others/1,6,7,9,12,13,15,19,21,23,31,32/
    3,5,14,17,20,22,24,25,30

    23- Puffers-( Arothron and others)/All others/3,5,12,17,22,30,31,32/
    *23,24,25

    24-Seahorse /None, species tank/12,16/Species tank

    25- Shark-( Chiloscyllium) /Species Tank/Species tank/Species tank

    26- Snapper-( Lutjanus)/All others/1,3,6,16,17,18,19,21,29,30,32/
    9,15,24,25

    27- Sweetlips-(Plectorhinchus)/All others/7,11,12,16,18,20,27,30,31,32/
    24,25,27

    28- Squirrel-(Sargocentron)/All others/7,8,9,11,12,13,14,16,20,30,31,32/
    *16,17,24,25

    29- Tang-( Zebrasoma, Acanthurus, etc)/All others/6,8,9,26,29,30/24,25

    30- Trigger-( Rhinecanthus, etc)/26/All others/*3,5,6,7,9,12,13,15,22,24,25

    31- Wrasse Sm-(Cirrhilabrus and others)/All others/
    3,14,15,17,20,21,22,27,28,30,31/24,25

    32- Wrasse Lg-( Thalassoma and others)/1,10,11,26,29/All others/*24,25


    *Invert such as snails, hermits and ornamental shrimp also not recommended.
    **OK in large enough system.

    END.
    POSTED BY jhnrb

    (CONT. BELOW FOR ANOTHER COMPATIBILITY LIST)
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2006
    jhnrb, Oct 29, 2005
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  4. jhnrb

    jhnrb

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    Compatibility Guide #2

    (PART-1)

    Which fish get along?

    The Compatibility Table will help with selecting fish that are likely to get along. In addition, the three following rules will usually apply:

    -Any fish that will fit into another fish's mouth usually ends up there.
    -The less related any two fish are, the more likely they will get along.
    -The less two fish resemble one another, the more likely they will get along.

    Marine Care and Compatibility Table

    a. PEACEFUL - not commonly known to bother other fish.
    b. SPIRITED - normally peaceful, but may chase slow species.
    c. MILDLY AGGRESSIVE - should not be kept with slow or timid species.
    d. AGGRESSIVE - should be kept with larger, active fish.
    e. TERRITORIAL - attempts to drive away fish of the same or related species and even unrelated fish with similar shape or colors.
    f. PUGNACIOUS - not acceptable in community tanks.
    g. VULNERABLE - likely to be harassed, picked on, or fin nipped by other fish, sometimes even by otherwise peaceful fish.
    h. CHANGEABLE - may be mixed with other fish when young, but may become more aggressive when older, and may eat smaller fish.
    i. HARDY - tolerant of various water conditions and not commonly affected by hard to treat diseases.
    j. MODERATELY HARDY - a good specimen for a healthy aquarium.
    k. TOUCHY - sensitive to water quality or disease prone.
    l. SUBJECT TO "ICH" - particularly sensitive to this common but treatable parasite.
    m. FAST GROWTH - may become much larger than purchased size.
    n. HERBIVOROUS - need additional vegetable matter in the diet.
    o. CARNIVOROUS - eats primarily "meaty" type foods, including brine shrimp, plankton or fish of suitable size.
    p. EATS SESSILE INVERTEBRATES - feeds on or kills anemones, live corals, sponges, feather dusters or live rocks.
    q. EATS MOTILE INVERTEBRATES - feeds on or kills shrimp, crabs or starfish.
    r. SPECIAL FOOD - may require a special diet to remain healthy.
    s. FILTER FEEDER - requires liquified foods.

    Angel
    annularis = b,e,k,n,p,r
    bicolor = a,e,k,n
    black or french = b,e,h,j,m,n,p
    blue or queen = b,e,h,j,m,n,p
    blue face = a,e,j,n,p
    blue girdled = a,e,j,n,p
    coral beauty = a,e,j,n
    flagfin = a,e,k,n,p
    flame = a,e,j,n
    flameback = a,e,j,n
    imperator = a,e,h,k,l,n,p
    koran = b,e,j,n,p
    lemon peel = a,e,k,n
    passer's = d,e,h,i,n,p
    potter's = a,e,j,n
    regal = a,g,k,n,p,r
    rock beauty = a,e,h,k,l,n,p,r
    tibicen =a,e,j,n
    yellow = a,e,j,n

    Angler
    common = a,g,i,m.o,q,r

    Anthias
    purple queen = a,g,i,o
    pink square = a,j,o

    Basslet
    harlequin = a,i,o,q
    royal gramma = a,e,i,o

    Batfish
    orbicularis = b,e,g,h,i,m,p
    pinnatus = a,e,g,j,k,p
    teira = b,e,g,h,i,m,p

    Blenny
    misc. = c,e,i,o
    scooter = a,i,o,r

    Butterfly
    auruiga = a,e,j,o,p
    black back = a,e,j,o,p
    blue spot = a,e,k,o,p,r
    blue stripe = a,e,j,o,p
    copperband = a,e,k,o,p,r
    punctato = a,e,j,o,p
    falcula = a,e,j,o,p
    foureye = a,e,j,o,p
    fourspot = a,e,j,f,o,p
    heniochus = a,e,g,j,o,p
    latticed = a,e,j,o,p
    longnose = a,e,j,o,p
    melon = a,e,k,o,p,r
    mertense = a,e,j,o,p
    ornate = a,e,k,o,p,r
    pakistan = a,e,k,o,p,r
    pearlscale = a,e,j,o,p
    pelewenses = a,e,j,o,p
    racoon = a,e,j,o,p
    saddleback = a,e,j,o,p
    teardrop = a,e,j,o,p
    triangle = a,e,k,o,p,r
    vagabond = a,e,j,o,p
    zoster = a,e,j,o,p

    Cardinal
    spotted = b,e,i,o

    Clown
    maroon = c,e,i
    melanopus = c,e,i
    percula = a,e,j
    sebae = a,e,i
    tomato = b,e,i

    Damsel
    blue = b,e,i
    green chromis = a,g,j
    three spot = b,e,i
    2,3, or 4 stripe = b,e,i
    yellow = c,e,i
    yellowtail blue = b,e,i

    Drumfish
    high hat = c,i,p
    jack knife = a,g,j,p

    (CONT. TO PART-2)
     
    jhnrb, Nov 4, 2005
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  5. jhnrb

    jhnrb

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    Part-2

    (CONT. FROM PART-1)

    Eels
    asst. moray = b,h,i,o,q
    ribbon = a,k,o,q,r,s?

    Filefish
    fantail = b,j,o,p,r
    orange spot = a,k,o,p,r

    Goatfish
    asst. = b,e,i,m,p,q

    Goby
    bar = a,e,i,o
    catalina = a,j,o
    clown = a,i,o
    mandarin = a,e,j,o,r

    Grouper
    asst. = d,e,h,i,m,o,q
    sea betta = a,e,g,i,o,q

    Hawk
    flame = b,e,i,o,q
    longnose = a,e,j,o,q
    spotted = b,e,i,o,q

    Hogfish
    asst. = a,h,i,o,p,q

    Lion
    dwarf = a,h,j,m,o,q,r
    fu man chu = a,h,j,m,o,q,r
    volitans = a,h,j,m,o,q,r

    Moorish Idol
    idol = a,g,k,o,p,r

    Parrot
    bicolor = a,e,j,o,p,q

    Porkfish
    all = b,j,p,q

    Pseudochromis
    all = b,e,i,o

    Rabbitfish
    foxface = a,e,i,p

    Ray
    asst. = a,g,j,o,p,q,r
    blue dot = a,g,k,o,p,q,r

    Seahorse
    all = a,g,k,o,r

    Shark
    leopard = d,h,j,,o,q,r
    nurse = d,h,i,m,o,q,r

    Snapper
    red emperor = c,e,h,i,m,o,q

    Sweetlips
    spotted = b,e,h,k,m,o,q,r
    striped = b,e,g,h,k,o,q,r

    Squirrel
    all = a,i,o,q

    Tang
    achilles = b,e,g,k,n,p
    blue (Atl.) = c,e,h,i,m,n
    blue (Pac.) = a,e,j,l,n
    chevron = b,e,g,j,n
    clown = b,e,g,j,n
    convict = b,e,g,j,n
    naso = a,e,g,j,n
    powder blue = b,e,j,n
    powder brown = b,e,j,n
    sailfin = c,e,i,m,n
    yellow eye = e,i.,n

    Trigger
    clown = d,e,h,j,m,o,p,q
    picasso = c,e,h,i,m,o,p,q
    niger = c,e,h,i,m,o,p,q
    undulated = f,h,i,m,o,p,q

    Wrasse
    bird = b,e,j,o
    cleaner = a,e,k,r
    coris = a,j,o
    tusk = c,e,h,i,o

    (CONT. TO PART-3)
     
    jhnrb, Nov 4, 2005
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  6. jhnrb

    jhnrb

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    Part-3

    (CONT. FROM PART-2)

    Invertebrates
    Anemone
    Atlantic = j,o,r,s
    carpet = i,o,r,s
    long tentacle = i,o,r,s
    sebae = i,o,r,s
    tube = i,o,q,r,s

    Coral
    hard = k,o,r,s
    soft, = k,o,r,s

    Gorgonian
    all = k,o,r,s
    Crab
    anemone = a,j,o,r,s
    arrow = c,e,i,m,o,p,q
    hermit = b,h,i,n,o,p,q
    horseshoe = a,i,n,o
    porcelain = a,j,o,r,s
    lightfoot = b,h,i,n,o,p
    spider = a,i,n,o,p

    Feather Duster
    all = a,g,j,r,s
    Jellyfish
    all = a,j,o,r,s
    Lobster
    Hawaiian = d,h,i,m,o,p,q
    Indian Ocean = b,i,o,p,q

    Nudibranch
    all = a,k,n,o,p,r
    Octopus
    all = e,f,h,j,o,p,q,r
    Sea Apple
    all = a,i,n,p
    Sea Fan
    all = k,o,r,s
    Shell
    clam = a,j,r,s
    scallop = a,g,j,r,s
    cowrie = a,i,n,o,p

    Shrimp
    coral = b,e,h,i,m,o
    camel = a,i,n,o
    cleaner = a,i,n,o
    fire = a,i,n,o
    harlequin = a,j,q,r
    mantis = e,f,i,o,q

    Sponge
    all = a,g,j,r,s
    Starfish
    African = a,i,o,p
    blue = a,k,o,p
    brittle = a,i,o,s
    chocolate chip = a,i,o,p
    serpent = a,i,o,s

    Urchin
    all = a,j,n,o,p

    Exceptions are always possible, but these guidelines should give a basic understanding of the normal behavior of aquarium specimens. Many factors, including tank size, water quality, available hiding places, and even the order in which specimens are added, can affect compatibility.

    Fish and Invertebrates Together?

    Many hobbyists desire to keep a mixed collection - with both fish and invertebrates in the same aquarium. While such a display can certainly be very beautiful (especially with symbiotic species like anemones and clown fish), there can be problems involved. The most effective treatments for saltwater "ich" also kill invertebrates. Apparently, the cell structures are similar enough between parasites and invertebrates that the reactions to chemicals are quite the same.

    Since the treatment/removal time for "ich" medications is at least four weeks. The unfortunate hobbyist is often forced to sacrifice either the invertebrates by moving them to another tank (if one is available) or the fish by risking ineffective treatment.

    To further complicate matters, salt water invetebrates are suspected of being "carriers" of "ich", and since a suitable treatment has yet to be utilized, suppliers cannot guarantee that invertebrates are free of these parasites.

    The novice saltwater hobbyist is advised to weigh the risks of the mixed collection against the obvious benefits and to make plans accordingly. Freshwater dips and quarantine tanks can reduce the chances of newly acquired specimens introducing disease to an established aquarium. Low fish population density (few fish in a large tank as in the currently popular "reef" type aquariums) may reduce epidemic outbreaks and allow fish to deal with parasites in their natural manner.

    END.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2005
    jhnrb, Nov 4, 2005
    #6
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