29 gallon jawfish reef tank stocking

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EJReefer

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Currently setting up a 29 gallon tank intended to be a reef tank including a yellow headed jaw fish. Here is my current idea for a stocking list, though I think that it may be a little over stocked.
1 pair of cinnamon clown-fish
1 banggai cardinal
1 yellow headed jawfish
1 harptail blenny
1 royal gramma
Does this seem like a little to much for a 29 gallon? Just wanted to hear someone else's opinion.
 

gentlefish

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To me, stocking would be on the heavy end with cinnamons getting up to 4-5 “.
love jawfish, but they typically do not do well in the long run. They tend to jump and wiggle through tiny spaces and require a bit lower temperatures. How do you want to quarantaine to get a good start into this?
 

Tchung23

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Yellowhead Jawfish seem to do better than bluespotted Jawfish.
I have a bsjf and my tank temp is 76. He seems happy. Eating and renovating every night!

make sure you have a nice fitting lid. Maybe Jawfish first so he’s not so jumpy when you add the others??

I have 7 fish in my xl200.
 
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EJReefer

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Thanks for the advice, I do have a tight fitting lid, and I’m not dead set on the cinnamon clowns, and might go for a different species that doesn’t get quite as big. I have heard that yellow headed jaw fish are jumpers, but I also heard that they generally do ok in aquariums compared to other jaw fish. I plan on quarantining in a ten gallon tank with a tight fitting lid, and just a container of sand instead of covering the entire bottom.
 

Tchung23

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Thanks for the advice, I do have a tight fitting lid, and I’m not dead set on the cinnamon clowns, and might go for a different species that doesn’t get quite as big. I have heard that yellow headed jaw fish are jumpers, but I also heard that they generally do ok in aquariums compared to other jaw fish. I plan on quarantining in a ten gallon tank with a tight fitting lid, and just a container of sand instead of covering the entire bottom.
One more thing. My lfs sometimes sells yellow heads as pairs and triples. I think they would do well if you had a pair.
All my fish in my tank are paired except my bsjf. And they seem to be thriving.
 
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a hill

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I think for what you envision, a larger tank may be merited.

I would recommend a deeper tank than long and a 6+ inch sand bed with lots of rubble and potentially liverock placed on fixed risers so it “floats” above the sandbed.

This is if you’re really after a jawfish focused setup.

A handful of single fish seems very lonely to me and I would recommend making your stocking reflect more what the fauna need to thrive and not trying to fit everything you find pretty in a small package.

Maybe a 45 regular, or a column tank with jawfish pair on bottom and then one pair of small clowns along with a blenny and goby or cardinal fish pair along with an anemone could be a bit better balance.

I have a 45g sitting on the floor I plan to do exactly that with. Costs of the larger tank are pretty minor assuming you’re not doing SPS tank.

-Andrew
 
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EJReefer

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I have read from multiple resources that jaw fish don’t normally need a truly deep sand bed, and that around 3 to 4 inches would do fine. Since it seems that 2 jawfish would do better than one, I think that I will take the Royal gramma of the list to compensate. Do you think I should take off more fish from the stocking list?
 
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EJReefer

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Here is updated potential stocking list

2 common clowns
2 yellow headed jaw fish
1 Bangai cardinal
1 harp tail Benny
Does this sound good? If not, what changes would you make? Thanks!
 
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EJReefer

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I think for what you envision, a larger tank may be merited.

I would recommend a deeper tank than long and a 6+ inch sand bed with lots of rubble and potentially liverock placed on fixed risers so it “floats” above the sandbed.

This is if you’re really after a jawfish focused setup.

A handful of single fish seems very lonely to me and I would recommend making your stocking reflect more what the fauna need to thrive and not trying to fit everything you find pretty in a small package.

Maybe a 45 regular, or a column tank with jawfish pair on bottom and then one pair of small clowns along with a blenny and goby or cardinal fish pair along with an anemone could be a bit better balance.

I have a 45g sitting on the floor I plan to do exactly that with. Costs of the larger tank are pretty minor assuming you’re not doing SPS tank.

-Andrew
I won’t be able to upgrade, but thanks for the advice. Are you saying that I should replace the clownfish with a pair of Cardinal fish? That could be a good option for me, since I already have clownfish fish in another tank.
 
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EJReefer

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I have decided against doing a pair of cardinals, as I just don’t want to have to deal with the aggression, and will only do one as in the first plan. My new stocking list being:
2 yellow headed jaw fish
2 common clowns
1 harp tail Benny
I think that this should check all of the boxes, but if anyone thinks different let me know.
 

Stones-Reef

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The jawfish will definitely appreciate lots of hiding spots and a deep sandbed. Based on the size of the tank and amount of fish, I personally would hold off. Jawfish are jumpers so make sure you have a nice lid if you get one anyway!
 

a hill

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My advice was and still is to pick a focus for the tank.

If you’re making a tank for jawfish make it for them. They need 6” of substrate to thrive as adults.

Jawfish jump, it’s just what they do.

If you want a clown or cardinal fish tank they both need specific habitat to thrive, and in a small tank you need to not overdo it.

What should you stock? What you enjoy, and can provide a great home for. The fish you’re talking about live long lives if cared for without unexpected accidents.
-Andrew
 
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EJReefer

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Ok, thanks for the great advice. I think that I will skip everything other than the two jaw fish, and blenny.
 

Tchung23

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I know how it feels to have your heart set on certain fish. When I started this journey for putting together a tank with corals and fish I had my eyes set on three fish. Mandarin, yasha and a blue spotted Jawfish. My tank isn’t huge. Xl200 reefer.
I read many threads saying how my mandarins would die very soon since I have a small tank and a new tank. Not enough pods!! So I seeded my tank and bought captive bred that eat prepared foods.

If you have your heart on a Jawfish just make the environment happy for them.
I’ve only had my fish for a short while but they all seem happy and eating. I got stressed because after buying my bsjf I read other threads about how they jump and how they do so poorly in captivity. So I’m literally checking on him almost hourly

he seems happy.
Based on your thread you sound like you really wan to make it work and I’m sure you will. Start with Jawfish and add slowly. That’s my 2 cents even though I’m new at this stuff.
 
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EJReefer

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Yes the lid that I have should be able to stop the fish from jumping out, unless I do something stupid like leaving the feeding flap open, or the entire tank uncovered, which could happen, but is improbable. I do not think that a jaw fish should be able to find any ways out, but I have sadly been surprised before.
 
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