“Worker” fish for nano tank?

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MoshJosh

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Thinking about converting my nano to be more of a frag tank, and after Recently watching a Gardens video (can’t remember which one), I got to thinking about “worker fish”. In the video they talked about tangs and foxfaces for algae control, and wrasses for eating pests.

Are there any such fish that would work in a smaller set up (20 gallons), fish that aren’t necessarily for display but more for the benefits to the flags?

I was thinking lawnmower blenny, but would they be OK in a bare bottom tank?


what other fish would you suggest?
 
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Erin1971Texas

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A lawnmower blenny isn't a sand-dweller so should be fine in a bb tank. However, it might choose to redecorate and move your frags... often not too gently, lol!
A Koumansetta goby or 2 might be a good choice for algae, as long as there is some rockwork or similar for them to hide in.
 
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shakacuz

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lawnmower blenny, and court jester goby are both great additions. the blenny will be okay in a bare bottom tank, but probably not the goby as they pick at sand as well.
 

Erin1971Texas

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lawnmower blenny, and court jester goby are both great additions. the blenny will be okay in a bare bottom tank, but probably not the goby as they pick at sand as well.
While the court jester gobies do pick algae off the sand, they aren't sand-dwellers. Maybe the ones I had were oddballs, but they nibbled on my rocks ... In my experience, sand is a limiting factor for them. :)
 
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Imo most worker fish are too big for nanos.

any issue you get with a nano can in most cases be addressed with a water change or removing the rock/frag racks and scrubbing them or spot treating.
I definitely agree that a fish won’t be the answer to a problem necessarily, but I figure I will have some fish in the tank just to provide nutrients to the water column, my current nano is only inverts and I’m pretty much zero and zero nitrate and phosphate. I figure if I’m gonna have Fish, might as well do double duty
 

Kasrift

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Plus one on the springer damsel. I have one and it is really peaceful for a damsel. I think a lawnmower might be too big for a 20 gallon. I have a starry blenny in a 30 and I think they get to the same size and I think mine can get stir crazy sometimes. Also heard some of the koumansetta gobies work well. Possum wrasse are also nano friendly and eat pests.
 
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AydenLincoln

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Lawnmower blennies get huge in regards to a nano (5 inches) and really aren’t suitable for nanos due to the size they get! And I’d say a sand-sifting goby even if you add a small fine sand bed (they also get big) and both you have to make sure don’t starve…should not be added immediately. Besides fish…snails and hermit crabs are great too especially in a nano. Other than that there isn’t a tang suitable for that size tank I wish though lol I have a 20 gallon too.
 
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Tamberav

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Saltwater mollies :p

Quality clean up crew always did a great job in my nano's so never needed an algae eating fish (blennies can move and nip at things). A pygmy wrasse or sixline (as long as other tank mates are compatible with this little bully) for keeping crawlies in check.

I kept nano's for many many years and never had a tang or such and algae was not a problem. I would keep some trochus snails, maybe some stomellas, and such.. never a problem unless you let water parameters get way out of wack. There is also cute little captive tuxedo urchins.
 

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A lawnmower blenny isn't a sand-dweller so should be fine in a bb tank. However, it might choose to redecorate and move your frags... often not too gently, lol!
A Koumansetta goby or 2 might be a good choice for algae, as long as there is some rockwork or similar for them to hide in.
Can you have a lawn mower blenny and a one spot blenny in the same aquarium?
 
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firechild

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Saltwater mollies :p

Quality clean up crew always did a great job in my nano's so never needed an algae eating fish (blennies can move and nip at things). A pygmy wrasse or sixline (as long as other tank mates are compatible with this little bully) for keeping crawlies in check.

I kept nano's for many many years and never had a tang or such and algae was not a problem. I would keep some trochus snails, maybe some stomellas, and such.. never a problem unless you let water parameters get way out of wack. There is also cute little captive tuxedo urchins.
Was about to suggest exactly this. Saltwater mollies are great algae eaters and a six-line wrasse should keep other pests under control (though they can be hit or miss). Turbo snails are a great idea but the Mexican turbos that seem to be common over there may be a little big - we have a much smaller species that are prefect if you can get your hands on them.
 
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