Chalice Tank Fish List

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Peacock Mantis Shrimp
Sep 11, 2010
Biloxi Mississippi
So ,, I was sitting here thinking about a fish list for the " Chalice only tank " the tank is going to be 48x24x15 ,, that 15 is really 13 though , that's where the water level will be at ,, tank will have a external overflow box ,, so all the room inside the tank ,, will be swimming room ,, I am not wanting a lot of fish in this tank ,, I was thinking of a Choirs Wrasse ,, a Tang of some sort , ,, the Choirs Wrasse to look for pest to eat ,, the tang for algae control , is there a tang out there that would be good for algae control that wouldn't get to big for this tank ,, its not a small tank, but not big either ,, might be a good tank to put a Mandarin Goby in ,, never really had one before ,, was never really sure I ever had enough pods to keep one alive ,, the Choirs wrasse might out compete him for the pods though ,,

Anyway ,, here is the reason for this post :)

My fish list for this tank is at two ,, three if a Mandarin Goby makes it into the tank, which will most likly not happen ,, I don't want to chance starving a fish ,, I think lol the tank is big enough to add another fish ,, I got to thinking ,, what about a colorful fish ,, a looker fish ,, in there just because its purdy :) what about a fish that you wouldn't normally put into a tank because of the corals ,, Butterfly Fish or a Angel Fish for example ,, there might not be one of those fish that wouldn't get to big for this tank ,, but there are others out there that might be small enough that could go into this tank ,, can't mess with the Chalices though ,, I know very little about fish that you wouldn't normally put into a coral tank ,, would love to have a Dog Face Puffer ,, I think those get to big for this tank though.

Ya'll see where I am going with this :) I am just trying to see if there are other possibilities out there that I am not thinking of ,, The tank will end up with a top on it ,, I could just go with a couple of Wrasses ,, but I am open to a different type of fish ,,
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LARC Supporter
POTM Winner
Nov 30, 2011
Wandering Nomad
I would get a Halichoeres wrasse (e.g. Melanurus, Canary Wrasse) over a true Coris spp. wrasse. Halichoeres is just as good for pest control, but a little more invert/CUC friendly.


LARC Boil Master
LARC Supporter
Jun 17, 2014
You could do Yellow tangs, Chevron tangs, bristle tooth / Kole tangs to name a few
For algae control in your size tank I would do more than one.
Personally I would go with two or three tiny yellows to school, added at same time. The nose / snout is superb for picking at algae on all surfaces especially in holes or tight spaces. Of course one would be a good choice too.
I would add a chevron, bristle tooth/ kole tang or a combo to the tank as the mouths are more geared toward stripping algae off flat surfaces such as rocks and glass. So you would have two algae grazers with specialized mouth structures to cover aspects needed for the tank meaning one can reach what the other can not and the other has better munching in bulk capability keeping surfaces mowed tight.

Cardinal species are great in shallow tanks adding a bit more life in the water column, some are not real colorful and not as common in the hobby though there is a blue eye cardinal which has a clear-ish body and bright blue around the eye for example

Gobies, blennies and dragonets would cover the bottom of the tank and perch on the rocks / chalices adding more character to the ecosystem.
Keeping a good supply of Pods breeding in the systems filtration is a good idea and you could always order tons of copepods a few times per year if needed for the finicky eaters.

I would do a dog face puffer or porcupine puffer in the tank, starting out with the smallest tiny I could find keeping in mind that it may have to switch tanks once growing larger and IF displaying signs of distress in the shallow tank.