Some advice regarding the setup of a predator tank

Discussion in 'Fish Only Tanks, Predator Tanks' started by MadScientist, 13 Nov 2013.

  1. MadScientist

    MadScientist

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    Greetings MASA...

    I find myself thinking a lot lately about starting a predator tank with a 4ft that i have around.. If it goes well i want to make my future build which is 1200x1000x600 a predator tank.

    I have done some reading and I see that most predator tanks are FOWLR tanks. Is the only reason for this being that they are more messy than reef fish or also because they will mess up corals? I know that shrimp cannot be kept with them.

    So what I want advice on knowing is if the following will work..

    I want to make the tank like a reef tank but not with sps. maybe a few like birds nest and the other easy and more forgiving sps corals. Will also add mostly LPS and softies.

    Will this work for a pred tank? Also need advice on what fish will stay small (if any) so that I dont need to worry about finding someone with a huge pred tank to take them. If there are none that will remain small enough to go into the new build then the idea is sadly scrapped.

    Thanks for the help
     
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  3. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    hi

    there is no issue with corals etc in predator tanks, what we need to define is what are the predatory fish.
    a predator tank is different to a FOWLR.

    when I think predator, i think sharks,rays, lionfish, groupers, scorpion fish, large triggers, soldier fish etc, these guys are coral friendly but will eat inverts etc. so no dif to a reef tank at all, now if you add butterflys and angels, well these are reef fish that eat corals, not predators like above.

    you will need to to juice up on skimming as their food consumption is high and waste will be high, so keeping water pristine for corals will be paramount. also look at sand filters for bioload.


    other than that quite simple
     
  4. MadScientist

    MadScientist Thread Starter

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    The fish i would love to have in this tank is:

    1) Angler (Antennarius sp, Antennarius Striatus or Histrio Histrio)
    2) Lyretail Hogfish
    3) Dwarf Lion
    4) Leaf Fish
    5) Fox Face or blue spotted puffer (maybe)
    6) Spotted hawkfish

    The reason I chose these fish is that they all remain relatively small (max is 8-10"), and I like the appearance as well as character. I can also probably try my luck at keeping hermits and snails with them as I want some sort of CUC if i'm keeping LPS and softies also.

    My other worry (if all these fish are okay to go in) would be sourcing these fish. Seems very rare in SA. not all of them but most.

    Please share your thoughts on this.
     
  5. MadScientist

    MadScientist Thread Starter

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    Can you give me some examples of sand filters that could be used Dallas?
     
  6. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    great selection and only 1 that is maybe a coral nipper is option 5, hermits and starfish would be perfect CUC, maybe even crabs

    i can put you in contact with some people who could source fish
     
  7. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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  8. MadScientist

    MadScientist Thread Starter

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    Looks interesting. Might look at it at a later stage. I'm also a little worried about the puffer nipping at corals.. so will still decide on that. maybe add 2 different anglers and leave out the puffer. although i like how it swims. looks kinda like a helicopter under water. lol. Forgot to ad a mandarin fish to that list.

    I also think that these fish will look awesome together in a pred/reef tank. I would really appreciate your help with hooking me up with your buddy to source these fish Dallas. Please PM me the details. The only fish i saw in the LFS from the list is fox face, puffer, and hawkfish. The lion fish I was thinking of catching at the coast. i've seen lots there, i just need to find a way to identify which ones are dwarf. Difficult with juveniles.
     
  9. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    cool will organise details

    also mandarin will get eaten, predatory fish are exactly that

    why not look at cow fish?
     
  10. MadScientist

    MadScientist Thread Starter

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    Thanks Dallas.. that will be great.

    I didnt think they would eat the mandarin due to the slime coating on the fish. I did see a pred tank video with a goby in it, had lionfish and eels as well. strange thing is that they never bothered the goby.. dont know what could have happened once the camera stopped though.

    I did consider the cowfish but the max size it reaches is what deterred me from it. The smaller the fish the more variety I can have. Thats the reason for looking at fish with a max growth up to 10".

    How many times volume should the skimmer be rated for?? I saw a nice black angler with yellow markings on it. a real beat!! would love to get my hands on it.
     
  11. MadScientist

    MadScientist Thread Starter

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  12. Reefhead

    Reefhead

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    I actually think this could be a very cool tank
    not a complete "reef tank" but a predator tank with corals
    Cool idea
     
  13. Reefhead

    Reefhead

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    Just watch the angler and leaf fish selections some of them are brave enough to try and swallow fish a lot bigger then what they are.
     
  14. MadScientist

    MadScientist Thread Starter

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    Yes very true @Reefhead. I want to add all as juveniles. I have good hope that this will have a positive impact on that particular characteristic of these fish
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  15. King_Triton

    King_Triton

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    Very interesting this idea... Wouldn't mind looking into this kinda tank myself.
     
  16. MadScientist

    MadScientist Thread Starter

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    Hello everyone..

    I have read on quiet a few sites of people acclimating guppies and mollies to salt water and then breeding them to be used as feeder fish.

    I would like to know what are the long term effects of feeding these "saltwater" guppies/mollies to predators. This will not be the main diet but just be fed maybe once a week in between frozen foods just to give them something live to eat.

    What are the other possible, quick breeding(like guppies) saltwater feeders that are available out there?

    If this thing with the guppies is safe and can work out or if i can get cheap quick breeding feeder fish, I plan on keeping a section of my sump for this purpose.

    Thanks for your help.
     
    Last edited: 19 Nov 2013
  17. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Thnk you mean mollies

    Easiest, amd cheaper, is to get predators onto frozen food.
     
  18. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    dont waste your time...
    with todays range of frozen foods there is no need
    Ocean Nutrition makes
    VHP
    Lance fish
    Whole cockles etc
    and if you wanting live food, use marine fish as the oil and fat content is right, else feed them rice cakes, same thing
     
  19. MadScientist

    MadScientist Thread Starter

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    Why was my post deleted?

    Opps.. i needed to refresh. lol
     
    Last edited: 19 Nov 2013
  20. MadScientist

    MadScientist Thread Starter

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    Thanks for clearing that up. I posted that question as while i was reading i see a lot of people stating that frozen foods alone cannot sustain these predators and will shorten their lifespan.

    Guess this hanged with the variety out there...
     
  21. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    alot of frozen foods werent whole fish, you need all the bits, so frozen lance, look at maybe black worms and what ever you can catch in the ocean, sardines etc
     
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