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View Full Version : Fish/inverts for 20gal NPS tank


bimborocks
06/15/2016, 04:28 PM
I am setting up an 18 inch cube/20gal (plus sump) NPS tank and looking for suggestions of what inverts or fish would be good additions

Cheers
James

Reef Frog
06/16/2016, 01:29 PM
I'd go with small perching fish like a clown goby or other small gobies, geometric hawk fish, perchlet, etc.

I'd stay away from skunk cleaner shrimp, assuming you'll have NPS polyps. They are PIA food thieves. All common snails would be fine too.

bimborocks
06/19/2016, 03:56 PM
Definitely no shrimp - I was initially thinking some peppermint shrimp to control any aptasia that popped up but quickly say that plenty of people have had them cause dramas stealing foot from corals and damaging them in the process.

Clown gobies would be nice perched up in a gorg or something.
Was thinking maybe a small wrasse like a 6 line for a little bit of activity in the tank?

Already have a few turbo snails out of my other tank. Does anyone have anything to stir/clean the sand like sand sifting star (don't think this tank would be big enough to support one?) or nass snails etc or even a smaller goby that sifts sand?

Cheers
James

teemee
06/21/2016, 08:36 PM
It depends what kind of nps you are going to be putting in your tank.
I'm in the process of downsizing my 55g nps system to a 30L. I have a bunch of rhizos and monomyces, and I wouldn't dare put my small gobies (I keep a 20g nuvo fusion with microgobies: eviotas, trimmas etc.).
I would go for fish that are charismatic, and free swimming rather than just perching: small wrasses like Wetmorella spp., pygmy pink streaked wrasse, a dartfish, shrimp pairing gobies (with shrimp of course), smaller basslets, Priolepsis gobies, small blennies... Or you could go a completely different route and get a small frogfish or rhinopia...
Also, consider hardier fish. It's more difficult to maintain a stable system with an NPS tank...

While I do agree with shrimp generally being pia when in comes to feeding, if you give them a bit first, they're generally okay, and they do a great job of cleaning up. I've also found serpent stars to be excellent nps cuc, and nassarius snails...

mark54321
06/23/2016, 09:58 PM
Group of chalk bases ( 3) would look good in NPS tank, few porcelain crabs ( filter feeders), nassarius snails to keep your sand clean.

Saxman7
06/24/2016, 02:15 AM
Definitely agree with Mark, as far as cleaners go my number one pic would be nassarius snails. They eat and eat and are constantly moving the sand. I've found my tiger tail cucumber to do a phenomenal job in my auto fed nps 20 gallon with no issues even before when it was a more standard reef tank. I also have a red sea reefer that has been my new dedicated nps tank so nano nps has become a thing I've messed with a lot.

Personally, although this may contradict to what teemee stated. Depending on what you do with your tank as far as waste management and if you're auto feeding. I've found many finicky species to thrive in the environment. For example I've have great success with purple queen anthias in this environment. Pods will explode if you auto feed so I had multiple smaller dragonetts species at one point and recently had really really great success with a group of shrimpfish...until I added a small leopard wrasse that went rouge and actually picked them off one by one in a matter of days- not the usual leopard wrasse behavior for sure. my practices with fish stocking may seem alittle board with numbers as my 20 currently houses the small leopard, a trio of purple queens,a flaming prawn goby, jann's pipefish, sulawesi basslet and a twinspot goby, but the Fish have always seem to be much more tolerable and if you really think about it there are only really four fish that are of a size that actually really impact the waste levels.
As far as inverts go I have two sea apples,(Philippines and an australian) 3 crinoids that host various squat lobsters, crinoid shrimps and a species of pistols that lives on one of them too!. A emperor shrimp which takes residency on the sea apples. Coco worms, a few flame scallops(because why not?), nassarius snails and my tigertail.
Shrimps can be a PIA as everyone stated but the smaller less common species like the emperor shrimp and harlequins are great because they are completely to themselves and won't pick at the mouths of the lps corals during feeding. Both will be great in your size tank as you can easily observe them. Squat lobsters also are a great choice as they don't need to be hosted by a crinoid to live. ALSO although I haven't gotten one yet, I know Mark has his still- STAGHORN HERMIT! Ask him about that guy. They are a great canidate as well.



the most important thing which I've learned in messing with nps corals, auto feeding tanks and with keeping some crinoids in the tank is striving for consistancy. Sense you're still in setup I would really suggest planning out your filtration plans. You are really going to want a system that is really going to pull out waste but be adjust-able as your organsisms demands for food goes up over time so youre not playing catch up. There are some newer devices on the market now like the roller mat and using good quality dosing pumps for automatic water changes (much more effective and significantly less stressful on your tank) that have great advantages to this dark side of the hobby. A good skimmer and bio pellets always works too- recurculating one, even better!. But you're going to find without taking advantage of these options you're going to really miss out on the great plethora of organisms that can be maintain due to the benifits of the heavy fed enviornment like crinoids- these criters can tolerare really dirty water as long as it's consistent. But your tank over all is going to function better if you can control the levels. Things like crinoids are going to get stressed and drop arms if your doing a more standard approach to the tank like large water changes weekly and constantly messing with medias.

The darkside of this hobby is definitely an exciting area so I do encourage you on to give your go with an nps tank!!!:)

mark54321
06/24/2016, 06:44 AM
Totally forgot to mention staghorn crab, it is still doing great a year later, NPS tank is great environment for it, especially to keep his coral shell alive.

GoingPostal
06/26/2016, 02:40 PM
Good idea for a thread! I'm tempted to get a squat lobster now-keep looking at them on divers den and thinking they are cute. My nps tank is lps-dendros, balanos and such, there's no fish currently although my clownfish has lived with them in the past and been fine. I'd like maybe a small angler or something that would hover in the open if I do add a fish to mine. Inverts I only have a nass snail. What about those tiny clear shrimp, I always worry the coral will eat them but maybe not?

bimborocks
06/26/2016, 04:54 PM
Some great ideas there, I have sourced a royal gramma from a friend shutting a tank down and that will most likely go into the 20gal, I would love something like a red ruby dragonette so I will see how pods build up one I get into full feeding mode (tank only has a gorg and few tubastrea atm) but I am waiting on a fishmate auto feeder to turn up and will feed a mix of the Fauna Marin dry foods (seafan, clam and minF I think it is).
Filtration wise I am going to go with a good skimmer, lots of seachem matrix and have a few spare reactors to run gfo or biopellets etc as well as water changes.

teemee
06/27/2016, 11:24 AM
Some great ideas there, I have sourced a royal gramma from a friend shutting a tank down and that will most likely go into the 20gal, I would love something like a red ruby dragonette so I will see how pods build up one I get into full feeding mode (tank only has a gorg and few tubastrea atm) but I am waiting on a fishmate auto feeder to turn up and will feed a mix of the Fauna Marin dry foods (seafan, clam and minF I think it is).
Filtration wise I am going to go with a good skimmer, lots of seachem matrix and have a few spare reactors to run gfo or biopellets etc as well as water changes.

Great fish choices! Just make sure you are not overfeeding. Or are doing lots of water changes. The tubastrea will do better if you feed the polyps something a little meatier (blackworms/mysis/Larry's) - I'm not sure they get much out of the powdered stuff. Alternatively, get a few more gorgonians :)

bimborocks
06/27/2016, 08:34 PM
Great fish choices! Just make sure you are not overfeeding. Or are doing lots of water changes. The tubastrea will do better if you feed the polyps something a little meatier (blackworms/mysis/Larry's) - I'm not sure they get much out of the powdered stuff. Alternatively, get a few more gorgonians :)

Sun corals are getting Mysis at night everyday, 2 of the pieces where freebies from my LFS to see if I can get them back to health. Most of them are coming out more consistently now but certainly getting a few more gorgs when I see them :)
Water changes so far at 2x per week but would prefer to get it to 1x per week once filter/matrix etc kicks into gear.

Saxman7
06/28/2016, 01:36 PM
Some great ideas there, I have sourced a royal gramma from a friend shutting a tank down and that will most likely go into the 20gal, I would love something like a red ruby dragonette so I will see how pods build up one I get into full feeding mode (tank only has a gorg and few tubastrea atm) but I am waiting on a fishmate auto feeder to turn up and will feed a mix of the Fauna Marin dry foods (seafan, clam and minF I think it is).
Filtration wise I am going to go with a good skimmer, lots of seachem matrix and have a few spare reactors to run gfo or biopellets etc as well as water changes.

Great plan of attack Bimbo. I actually just order one of those feeders too as I'm getting back into using more dry foods. The fauna marin Lps grow and color works really well and because it's soft you can actually mush it With your fingures to make it finer and more like a powder. Teemee you should try that stuff out too. My tubastreas do phenomenal on this stuff.
Calanus for some reason gets all the tubastreas to PE like crazy and they love it too. I mix it with cyclops and my janns pipefish, anthias and crindoids all love it.
A small group of Randalls of anthias would look great if you want some active and hardy anthias.