View Full Version : 29G are we selecting the right fish?

09/29/2008, 10:38 AM
I will apologize up front for the long post. I have put a lot of thought into this subject and wanted to give some background info. I joined RC to ask our questions, because I am rather concerned about some of the advice from the LFSs.

We have questions regarding the kind of fish and invertebrates to put into our new SW tank. Yes, another family of newbies is going to try to have SW fish. We had FW (55G) for over 10 years but took the tank down about 6 years ago. We were contemplating setting up another tank, when, much to my husbands delight, I finally agreed to a SW tank. We have had our SW tank w/LR going for 1 week cycling and we have purchased a test kit for checking water parameters. The LFS employee thought that we were crazy for spending the $ on a Hagen master test kit (that’s the only kind we found at our LFS), because we don’t need to check all those things in the kit. We bought it anyway since the very first thing that is asked on the forums is tank size, tank inhabitants and what are the water parameters.

Obviously it will be 6 to 8 weeks before we are ready to put in any fish, but we have been investigating which fish to put into it and would like to ensure that we do the ‘right things’ as it were. We have read one book ‘Clownfishes and Sea Anemones’ by Tullock, done a lot of reading on-line and read a lot of the Reefkeeping articles. We are also waiting for several books on the subjects of fish, invertebrates and corals to arrive in the mail to assist with our selections and fish husbandry.

We obtained the equipment required for a 10G QT tank, and after reading about flukes last night on RC will get the treatment for that also. I still need to do more reading on QT procedures and am hoping that some of the new books we are getting will help clarify things for fish, invertebrates and other tank inhabitants. After reading about some of the nightmares that people have gone through by not QTing, you can be assured that we will try to do this correctly.

Our tank is a 29G Oceanic Bio-cube with a skimmer, 30 lbs LR, and 20 lbs live sand. I don’t think that we could add more LR in the tank itself due to space constraints, but should we replace the bio balls with LR? If we did that should it be rubble or larger pieces? And should we add more sand?

We would like to have a peaceful community tank and are hopefully focusing on the easier to keep fish. Also, I am a firm believer of less is better when it comes to how many fish are in a tank and do not want to over stock it.

So … after all the verbiage … here is what we are currently considering getting:
1 - Common Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris) – qty 2 – yes we have a 5 year old daughter and we must have Nemo (besides … I think Ocellaris are cute).

2 - Goby or Blenny – qty 1 - not sure which - thinking of either Clown Green Goby (Gobiodon atrangulatus) or Neon Blue Goby (Elacatinus oceanops) or Sailfin/Algae Blenny (Salarias fasciatus)

3 - Blue/Green Reef Chromis (Chromis viridis) – qty ? or
Spotted Cardinalfish (Sphaeramia nematoptera) – qty ? or
Kaudern’s Cardinal (Pterapogon kauderni) – qty ?

4 - Snails (Turbo / Tectus / Conch?) – qty ? 10 – 20 total with a few from each type (start with 5 or 6 and add as tank warrants?)

5 - Hermit Crabs – qty ? 4 – 8 (start with 2 and add as tank warrants?)

6 - Dwarf Colored Feather Duster (Bispira sp.) – qty 2 to 4

7 – Peppermint Shrimp (Lysmata wurdemanni) – qty 1 or 2

8 - Hairy Mushroom

9 – Zoanthids – if we successfully keep the fish alive we would like some Zoas

10 – Ricordea – again, if we can keep fish alive we would like some of these

11 – Giant Clam (Tridacna maxima or Tridacna crocea or Tridacna squamosa) – if we could eventually have 1 or 2 of these it would be great. I would presume that the tank should be at least 12 months old before we even consider these. I made sure that some of the LR has a suitable ledge up high in the tank for them (just in case).

Obviously the order of adding tank residents will depend on which ones we select as some of them require an established tank with sufficient algae, etc. Also, the quantities I have listed are questionable as I really have no clue on some of them.

I was thinking of the following order:
- some #4 and #5 at week 3 or 4 depending upon water (still unclear on QTing snails and hermit crabs but am still searching the web for answers)
- somewhere between weeks 6 to 8 add #1 wait a couple of weeks then add #8 or could we add them at the same time? (Could we buy the clownfish at week 3 or 4 and QT them for 4 weeks at the same time that the tank is cycling? I am uncertain as our tank is new and the sponge filter that I bought for the QT tank is new. I was thinking of putting the sponge into the main tank right now as it cycles for a couple of weeks and then setting up the QT tank. More research and reading for me to do.)
- If we pick the Gobies add #2 about 4 to 6 weeks after the ocellaris. If we pick the Blenny then add the fish that we select for #3 instead.
- If we picked the Blenny then we add #2 about 4 to 8 weeks after we added #3 (Chromis or Cardinals). Otherwise add #3. (anyone confused yet? :) )
- After the main fish are in then we just add residents as they become available, and the tank becomes a suitable habitat for them, and we have shown that we are not killing anything and are providing a good home.

I would like to thank everyone for the great information that I have found at RC. It has certainly helped us, so that hopefully we set up a tank that is right for us and right for its residents.

09/29/2008, 10:50 AM
i think you should just do the two clown fish
their minimum tank size is 30 gallons
you might be able to do a clown goby as well but no chromis or anything else.

always start with a small clean up crew and add as needed or else you will just starve em

you never really see peppermint shrimp so maybe you should do skunk cleaner shrimp
no offense...everyone has their own taste but i dont see why pep shrimp are so popular (i know they eat aptasis but besides that i dont see it) they can also go after polyps if they dont have food i think

your corals are ok i think
mushrooms and zoas are pretty easy to care for and are hardy (not sure if other mushrooms are on par with regular discoma mushrooms...you might have to actually feed hairy and ricordia)
first thing i added to my tank were mushrooms and zoas and they are looking great
dusters are ok too

bio balls arent the best i've heard...they trap all kinds of crappy things later on and can ruin your water quality. for cycling they are fine because they hold alot of bacteria but after that you might wanna chuck em

09/29/2008, 11:04 AM
I have been wondering about the fish quantities because the LFS certainly says that I could have more than I listed.

I just looked up the Scarlet Skunk cleaner shrimp. Very nice. Changing to that one.

09/29/2008, 11:13 AM
lfs will lie to sell things
oh for the dusters
you might have to add some plankton type food (this will also be good for your corals) just follow the directions on it. we have a Christmas tree rock and so far so good :) we add zoo plankton and phytoplankton since we arent sure what it would like the best and because we have other corals and critters

and the cleaner shrimp will clean your hand if you put it in the tank :P very amusing critters

09/29/2008, 11:13 AM
the skunk cleaners are awesome to watch. Really funny and active.

When it's feeding time, Mine will swim upside down with it's feet sticking out of the water towards food pellets.

09/29/2008, 09:48 PM
The shrimp sounds like it will be fun to watch.
We will go with 2 ocellaris and 1 goby and see how it goes.

09/29/2008, 10:32 PM
Do not put any Blue/Green Chromis in your tank. They are not friendly, and can be very territorial.

09/30/2008, 12:55 PM
I have a 29g BC that is now 2 months old. I have 2 clownfish, a watchman gobie, a 6 line wrasse, 3 peppermint shrimp, 1 cleaner shrimp, and snails and crabs....all are doing great! As for corals I have a green star polyp,mushrooms, frogspawn, candycane, kenya tree, zoos, and bubble coral. So far so good!!


09/30/2008, 01:30 PM
1 -Clownfish are great.

2 -I'd recommend a Shrimp Goby (Watchman, Yasha, etc.). Whether you choose to pair them with a pistol shrimp would be up to you. The relationship these two develop together is very interesting to watch.

3 -No on the Chromis. I would like to shy you away from the Cardinals too, some like them.... but they are really boring fish IMO. With such limited bio-load to deal with, I wouldn't waste it on boring fish that just however in place all day lol. I would put a Midas Blenny here.

4 - Snails (Turbo / Tectus / Conch?) - start low and build up as you go along. If you decide to do a conch, stick with 1 of them.

5 - Hermit Crabs – I wouldn't recommend mixing them with snails in a small tank. They will kill snails and each other just for the sake of trying the shell on lol. Scarlett's are the most "snail friendly" IME.

6 - Dwarf Colored Feather Duster (Bispira sp.) – I never actually paid for a Feather Duster. I do have a couple in my tank 90 Gallon that get no supplimental feeding at all. I do not dose phyto either.

7 –Nooooooo. They have a tendency to pick on distressed coral, and you will never see them. Skunk Cleaners are much cooler.

8 - Hairy Mushroom. Rhodactis and the big elephant ear mushrooms can eat your fish believe it or not. The discomusa <sp?> are fine. I would also venture to say your mushrooms are probably hardier than any fish you put in the tank. Once the cycle is done you can try some, I wouldn't anticipate any problems at all.:rollface:

9 – Zoanthids – Cool

10 – Ricordea – Good Choice ^_^d

11 – Giant Clam (Tridacna maxima or Tridacna crocea or Tridacna squamosa) – You could wait 12 months, but you're probably fine after about 8 if you're going ok with the zoos and Ricordea.

10/01/2008, 11:09 PM
Thank you everyone for the great information.
It is really appreciated and has helped us immensely with planning our tank.

And yes we have feather dusters everywhere. Last count today I found about 30. We also have 1 unidentified star fish that is going after the algae, a button polyp, and I just found a small crab today that we can't identify, but it seems to be just going after algae and as per our reading isn't hairy (which I interpret as good).

We will start our QT tank this weekend and go check out some more fish stores. Patiently looking and waiting.
Again, thanks for all the advice.