Can I add another fish to this tank?

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Joe Tony

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I have a 30-gallon nano tank with a 3-4 inch deep sand bed and 30-40 pounds of live rock.

I have a 2-inch orchid dottyback, a banggai cardinalfish that’s nearly adult sized, and a pair of ocellaris clownfish, both of which together are probably about 1.5-2 inches. The tank’s been running for about a year now, along with a diverse cleanup crew and filter feeders. I don’t use any equipment, filters, skimmers, sumps, or anything like that, and I don’t plan to. I like having my setup as simple as possible. In about a year or two I’m probably gonna move, and I’m planning on upgrading to a 75-gallon tank. In the meantime, the nitrates never seem to go above 5ppm, and I do weekly water changes.



I want to add some yellow to the tank and I have a tiger pistol shrimp in there. The orchid dottyback and banggai cardinalfish both hang out on the right side of the rock and the dottyback rarely hangs out in any of the caves or crevices in the middle or left side. So, my question is, can I add one more fish to the tank, specifically a Yellow Watchman Goby so it'll pair up with the pistol shrimp, claim the left side of the tank, and add some much needed yellow? Or am I going to risk causing an ammonia spike and/or territorial aggression in the tank by having 5 fish? (btw the banggai cardinal is more territorial toward the dottyback than vice versa).

Here's a picture of the tank

20200814_132417.jpg
 
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Jrain904

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I think you are close to the max as I have always tried to adhere to the 1 fish per 10 gallon rule. That being said you are considering adding a fish that does not carry much of a bioload at all. I would add the smallest YWG you can find or even a hi fin red banded as they stay small and have a yellow nose. That being said YWG will sometimes change to a white/gray color. I've had mine for 12 years and it changed from yellow to gray about 4 years ago I believe. Just know that adding a fish will present a risk but the risk is smaller in your case due to selecting a small, skinny fish. Good luck.
 
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Joe Tony

Joe Tony

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I think you are close to the max as I have always tried to adhere to the 1 fish per 10 gallon rule. That being said you are considering adding a fish that does not carry much of a bioload at all. I would add the smallest YWG you can find or even a hi fin red banded as they stay small and have a yellow nose. That being said YWG will sometimes change to a white/gray color. I've had mine for 12 years and it changed from yellow to gray about 4 years ago I believe. Just know that adding a fish will present a risk but the risk is smaller in your case due to selecting a small, skinny fish. Good luck.

If I do get a YWG, I'll definitely look for the smallest one, but on a scale of 1 to 10, what the risk of an ammonia spike would be in your experience, and same thing for the territorial aggression issue?
 

Jrain904

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Aggression chance would be low as ywg will be on the bottom. Dottybacks are notoriously aggressive but orchids are supposed to be ok. As far as ammonia spike I don't know. Probably minimal.
 
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Joe Tony

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Alright, that's very helpful. I'll wait to see what a few others have to say before making a definitive decision, but I appreciate the advice. :)
 
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