View Full Version : First SW Tank - 29 Gal. - 4 Days Old

03/09/2010, 03:59 PM
Been wanting to start a saltwater tank for quite some time now. Finally took the plunge last weekend. Started with the intentions of doing a 10 gal. to get my feet wet. I know it's harder the smaller you go. Was looking for a challenge, plus have a bit of FW experience. Long story short, the 10 gallon had a leak (apparently that's why we weren't using it). Had a stand for a 29 gallon that I made for my wife awhile back, decided to upgrade. Here's whats in the tank so far:

- Aquaclear 70 DIY Refuge w/ a 15W PC light
- 24" Coralife T5 - Double Linear Strip (10K and Colormax Full Spectrum)
- Maxi-Jet 1200 (Going to be for the DIY Skimmer hopefully)
- Fluval 200W E-Series Heater
- 40# Live Sand
- 30# Live Rock
- 5 Mangroves
- 1 Ounce Chaeto
- A few # of crushed coral
- Yellowtail Damsel
- Margarita Snail

Here's my plan:
-Finish the DIY Skimmer (Couldn't find any Weldon #16, had to order it)
1 x Purple Firefish
1 x Ocellaris Clownfish
1 x Six Line Wrasse
1 x Yellowtail Damselfish
1 x Kaurdern's Cardinal
2 x Bumble Bee Snail
1 x Dwarf Colored Feather Duster
1 x Turban Snail
1 x Brittle Sea Star, Fancy
2 x Electric Blue Hermit Crab
2 x Peppermint Shrimp
1 x Sebae Anemone
1 x Coral Banded Shrimp
2 x Scarlet Reef Hermit Crab
15 x Nassarius Snail
2 x Fighting Conch
1 x Brain Coral, Favites
1 x Lavender Mushroom
1 x Toadstool Mushroom Leather Coral, Green
1 x Trumpet Coral
1 x Lemon Tree Coral

Now after all that, of course any advice is welcome, but the questions I have are:
-Is my lighting adequate for the beginner corals I have chosen? (I have been thinking about a DIY led project)
-Will the Inverts be enough of a "cleanup" crew?
-Have I picked too many fish for a 29 gal?

Thanks in advance.

03/09/2010, 04:45 PM
Take your time.

Don't do the Damsel.

Take your time.

Did I mention to take your time????

03/09/2010, 04:55 PM
Nice tank!
A big start.. Enjoy it

03/09/2010, 05:14 PM
First off, welcome to SALWATER FUN!! .. What is your long term plan for the tank? With the livestock selection you have your going to run into troubles and frustration.
Your tank is 4 days old.. You should have NO livestock in that tank at the moment- the tank is going to go through a cycle regardless of wether you used all live rock and sand - you need to monitor to ammonia and a nitrite spike and watch your nitrates. At a minimum 2 weeks need to go buy to insure a cycle if you used all live quality rock and sand.
Your lighting at best will be sufficent for short term maint of mushrooms and a few zoas but is in no way sufficent for anything else. I would look into a cheap 150 MH you should search your local clubs boards as these can be relatively cheap.
You dont mention what you have for circulation in the tank? 2 maji 1200 would be sufficent.
Mangroves are a nice addition for looks but I would look into their maint and where to place them in the tank.. they shouldnt be at the bottom of the tank like that.
Whats the crushed coral for? Hopefully your not putting this in anything by itself- its a nitrate and phosphate factory by itself as it collects all kinds of detrious and in the end will cause alot of probs. Mix it with the sand and you'll be ok.
While your fish selection wil work, I wouldn't put that many fish in a 29, Your sixline really needs a much bigger and established tank to thrive as it will get too large for a 29.
Your also looking at 1 of each fish- Not ideal considering most of these fish school in the wild. Damsels are typically agressive. I wouldn't consider any damsel in a 29 with other fish that sit in the water column like the fire fish.
My recommendations would be several of the fire fish- a couple smaller gobies/ clown gobies work nicely, one or two smaller blennies would work as well. you could even add a pair of cardinas- Banghaiis are nice and you could even try to breed them down the road.
As far as inverts go-
Alot of the brittle stars are not reef safe.
Electric blue hermits will decimate smaller hermits.
Fighting conchs will starve in a 29 without alot of supplemental feeding ( think nitrates)
Sebea nem- Absolutely NOT - You need high intensity light- A well established aquarium- good water flow- even experienced aquarists have difficuty with these. If your gonna try a NEM the try a bubble tip AFTER your tank is well established and you've picked up at least a 150 MH.
Coral banded shrimps wil eat smaller fish. Also have a thing for killing other shrimps as well..

My advice is to think about what you want your tank to look like in a yr from now. What are you goals as far as corals and are you going to invest in more equipment for more delicate corals? This hobbys great but it can drain you fast without a plan .. both mentally and financially.

Just my 2cents worth.
Good luck!

03/09/2010, 05:49 PM
I would pick three of those fish for the tank, and not add any more.

The bumblebee snails we usually see are predators on small animals in the sand. Nassarius eat primarily leftover food, so 1-2 should be enough. Fighting conchs need a lot of sand to keep going, and I wouldn't add one to that size tank.

Coral-banded shrimp can be predatory. Shrimp in general aren't part of the cleanup crew, although they get sold as such. They're fun to watch, though, and are one of my favorite animals to keep.

dudley moray
03/09/2010, 06:09 PM
i would wait about a year before adding an anenome! i would also consider it only for a larger tank. it's not impossible to keep a sebae in a 29, but it is unlikely you'll be able to keep it with that light fixture ! you should wait until you know your tank and the signs it gives you when something is amiss before adding such a demanding creature !
EDIT: well i guess i should have read all posts i agree 100% with muddy and bertoni i was just trying not to scare you out of a nem because they are cool but they are demanding a bubble tip is the least demanding (of the anenomes) and most clowns will host it !
what is a lemon tree coral ?

03/09/2010, 06:57 PM
I'd go with Cleaner instead of 2 peppermint. Clowns kind of territorial aren't they. Make sure you have a lid for the firefish. Half the Nassarius. Damsels are mean also. You need more light for the anenome. 2 cents, but enjoy!

03/10/2010, 06:47 AM
you should space your rock out more so water flows through it

03/10/2010, 06:51 AM
in my opinion id suggest 2-3 of the fish, 6-8 corals and some snails only, also perhaps some of the rock could be positioned in the sump and also id suggest a small nano powerhead to get the water moving a bit in the tank, otherwise great start and good luck.


03/10/2010, 09:06 AM
get that damsel out ASAP, and NEVER put another one in....EVER

03/10/2010, 09:37 AM
some folk actually like damsels, ive seen some wonderful reef tanks with damsels in them, ok i wouldnt have one myself, but lets not get carried away here.

03/10/2010, 10:12 AM
I am not trying to be carried away, they are just mean to other fish, so unless you are doing an agressive tank i would stay away from them.

03/10/2010, 10:14 AM
I am not trying to be carried away, they are just mean to other fish, so unless you are doing an agressive tank i would stay away from them.

ok fair enough, your of course entitled to your opinion, apologies.


03/10/2010, 11:35 AM
ok fair enough, your of course entitled to your opinion, apologies.


Sorry, I have just heard too many stories about them attacking too many fish, in my tanks I think that i would always want fish to be happy and not scared, from what I have heard, I have the opinion that they are the bully on the block.

03/10/2010, 11:55 AM
From my experience with damsels and firefish in a 29g tank is that the firefish will lose. Damsels are pretty fish, but very aggressive and should not be housed with peaceful or timid fish. I liked my firefish better than the damsels, so I removed the damsel and am quite happy with my pair of firefish. I do have other fish in my 29g, but they are all small. Do your research on how big your fish will get when they are full grown.

If you do decide to get the 6-line wrasse make sure that it is the last fish you add. They are aggressive to new fish after they have established their territory in a tank. They also are prone to picking on inverts, so that is another thing to keep in mine when making the decision to add them. I like my inverts too much to add a wrasse to my tank even though there are several I like a lot.

Also your tank is currently cycling. It is not very humane to have a fish in your tank now. Ammonia is very toxic to fish. It burns their gills and caused them to suffocate over time from the damage. I would remove it and return it to the store.

The light you currently have as others have stated will not be enough in the long term to maintain many corals. I run a 150W MH on my 29g tank. I have lots of LPS, clams, photosynthetic gorgs, and a few sps (not much into them). I also have a couple of mini carpet anemones, but will probably not put any other type of anemone in this tank simply because they will get too large for it.

03/10/2010, 01:06 PM
Ya maybe a little quick...I am starting a 29 gal and don't have plans of livestock for at least a month except for CUC

03/10/2010, 03:39 PM
Patience and watch your bioload.