As we had planned to move everything out of the 120 reef tank into our 180 gallon tank, the wife and I have been talking about what to set-up the tank as next. We looked into discus, but I felt that would not be a good fit for us. We spent a lot of time looking into FW cichlids, but the ones that we really liked would either need a tank longer than 4 feet or would not allow for many tank mate options. My wife doesn’t like having to deal with fish aggression so we started to look at options we never thought of before.

We decided a FOWLR tank with a least one center pc lionfish. We are getting one of the smaller large bodied lionfish, either a russels or a volitan lionfish. Based on what we have read, they have great personalitys similar to an Oscar. Our SW LFS has both and We are still trying to decide which one. Other additions will include some Halloween hermit crabs, some emerald crabs, snails and maybe one of the smaller butterfly fish. We are still working on the rest of the stocking list

This past weekend, we removed all the rock (to catch the fish). I took this as an opportunity to change the substrate in the tank. I then restacked the rock so it would be a better fit to providing natural cave like structures and places for the lionfish to hang on to when they sleep. So far the ammonia spike after all that messing around only got 1ppm and was gone within 12 hours. The nitrates are a little high for my liking at just around 5ppm As I still have all the macro algae in the sump, they should take care of that in the next few days

If the parameters remain stable for the next 4 days to a week, I will start stocking this tank.