Fish types/fish limit for 36 gallon bowfront?

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Fresh2Salt95

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Hello.

I have a new 36 gallon bowfront and am looking to add more fish to it.

Currently I have:

1 small clownfish
1 Banggai cardinalfish
1 firefish
1 blue mandarin dragonet
1 tailspot blenny
1 Nassarius snail
1 turbo snail
7-9 dwarf hermit crabs of varying species
1 peppermint shrimp
1 emerald crab

I've been thinking of adding a six line wrasse and some other fish/inverts like an additional clownfish, cleaner shrimp, blood red fire shrimp, etc, just been looking at options.

I wanted to get people's opinions on suggestions and hear their experiences with temperament, compatibility, size.

For example, I know from keeping freshwater that not every fish labeled "semi-aggressive" actually poses a problem in the tank, obviously saltwater is different however.

I'm new here so just wanted to get some input.
20210717_174246.jpg
 
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mermaid_life

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In my first tank, I had added a 6line and he was the biggest jerk. He picked on my fire fish and my tailspot blenny (which you have) so badly that I had to break down my tank to catch him. They are so fast and aren't dumb enough to fall for fish catchers.

In my new tank, I was having a amphipod and flatworm explosion so I decided to add another 6line. I had no backup plan on how to catch this guy in my bigger tank and was just hoping for the best. At the LFS, I tried to observe behavior and looked for the one that was the least hyper with tank mates. This new guy one has no issues with my scopas, clowns, anthias, or cardinal. I rather enjoy watching him hunt all day. It's a very active fish.
 
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Sharkbait19

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I wouldn’t add a wrasse. That tank is already going to be barely sufficient for the dragonette, ideally it will still need pods added constantly to keep from starving. Wrasses are huge pod eaters and will only further starve out the dragonette. You could certainly add more snails though.
For fish, I wouldn’t add more than a goby, stocking is already at what most consider to be full. You could do a shrimp goby pair.
 

Bume

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I've always used a general advice of 1 inch of fish per gallon. Obviously you dont want to put a 36 inch fish in there, but it's helped me throughout the years. Also try to factor in the size once theyre grown, but within reason. A tang might grow to the size of a dinner plate in the wild but it might take 25 years to get there. Here, let me give you an example:
1 small clownfish - 2-3 inches
1 Banggai cardinalfish - 2-3 inches
1 firefish - 2-3 inches
1 blue mandarin dragonet - 2-3 inches
1 tailspot blenny - 1-2 inches
1 Nassarius snail - 1 inch
1 turbo snail - 1 inch
7-9 dwarf hermit crabs of varying species 7-9 inches
1 peppermint shrimp - 1-2 inches
1 emerald crab - 1-2inches

20-29 inches total - so you can see that you have plenty of space to add more now but you can see, after a couple/few years, things will start to fill out the tank.

I agree with the comment about the wrasse and mandarin above, you probably dont want any more pod eaters. Tangs are awesome, you could try one of those. They help with algae and have tons of personality. Banggais also like to school, you could go that route as well. In that size of a tank and if the clowns arent already paired, you might have aggression issues if you add another.

I'd say you're good to add a mix of 2-3 more fish, a handful of snails and a shrimp or two. If it were me, I'd go; Tang, 2 Banggais and a blood shrimp then see how things do.
 
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Little c big D

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I've always used a general advice of 1 inch of fish per gallon. Obviously you dont want to put a 36 inch fish in there, but it's helped me throughout the years. Also try to factor in the size once theyre grown, but within reason. A tang might grow to the size of a dinner plate in the wild but it might take 25 years to get there. Here, let me give you an example:
1 small clownfish - 2-3 inches
1 Banggai cardinalfish - 2-3 inches
1 firefish - 2-3 inches
1 blue mandarin dragonet - 2-3 inches
1 tailspot blenny - 1-2 inches
1 Nassarius snail - 1 inch
1 turbo snail - 1 inch
7-9 dwarf hermit crabs of varying species 7-9 inches
1 peppermint shrimp - 1-2 inches
1 emerald crab - 1-2inches

20-29 inches total - so you can see that you have plenty of space to add more now but you can see, after a couple/few years, things will start to fill out the tank.

I agree with the comment about the wrasse and mandarin above, you probably dont want any more pod eaters. Tangs are awesome, you could try one of those. They help with algae and have tons of personality. Banggais also like to school, you could go that route as well. In that size of a tank and if the clowns arent already paired, you might have aggression issues if you add another.

I'd say you're good to add a mix of 2-3 more fish, a handful of snails and a shrimp or two. If it were me, I'd go; Tang, 2 Banggais and a blood shrimp then see how things do.
Wait... what Tang would you put in a 36g? Are the tang police still a thing here?
 

Sharkbait19

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Wait... what Tang would you put in a 36g? Are the tang police still a thing here?
I agree no tang for a 36 except a dead one.
Also a clown can get to 4 inches if well cared for.
The inch per gallon rule is good and all, but limited in applications. Waste production is left out. A goby produces no more waste than a shrimp, but a clown is a messy fish.
Cardinal schooling is also hard, they tend to kill each other in too small numbers in too small tanks.
I firmly believe that no more fish except maybe a goby should be added. Hold off on fish until these ones grow, then see if there is room for more. The ocean has much more space for fish to swim around, not like freshwater where fish are more on top of each other (even then there is a lot of space).

Most important questions:
How old is the tank? Did you quarantine or buy pre-quarantined fish? Live or dry rock?
 

Little c big D

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I'd like to add, if that's a hang on filter you could be limiting your options also. When I first started with a 30g the best investment I ever made was a hang on overflow and wet dry filter I bought used from someone online dirt cheap. It will help increase total volume and keep that tank cleaner for all the life you're keeping!
 

adittam

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I've always used a general advice of 1 inch of fish per gallon. Obviously you dont want to put a 36 inch fish in there, but it's helped me throughout the years. Also try to factor in the size once theyre grown, but within reason. A tang might grow to the size of a dinner plate in the wild but it might take 25 years to get there. Here, let me give you an example:
1 small clownfish - 2-3 inches
1 Banggai cardinalfish - 2-3 inches
1 firefish - 2-3 inches
1 blue mandarin dragonet - 2-3 inches
1 tailspot blenny - 1-2 inches
1 Nassarius snail - 1 inch
1 turbo snail - 1 inch
7-9 dwarf hermit crabs of varying species 7-9 inches
1 peppermint shrimp - 1-2 inches
1 emerald crab - 1-2inches

20-29 inches total - so you can see that you have plenty of space to add more now but you can see, after a couple/few years, things will start to fill out the tank.

I agree with the comment about the wrasse and mandarin above, you probably dont want any more pod eaters. Tangs are awesome, you could try one of those. They help with algae and have tons of personality. Banggais also like to school, you could go that route as well. In that size of a tank and if the clowns arent already paired, you might have aggression issues if you add another.

I'd say you're good to add a mix of 2-3 more fish, a handful of snails and a shrimp or two. If it were me, I'd go; Tang, 2 Banggais and a blood shrimp then see how things do.

I agree with the others who said a tang would be just about the worst idea possible.

Also, the inch per gallon rule is much more of a freshwater rule than saltwater. Reef fish need room for several things: bio-load, swimming, and territory. If you restrict any of those too much, you're going to have stressed fish.
 

hawk82

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I wouldn't go over 6 fish.
I agree. I have a 40 breeder which is a bit longer then your tank, and I only have 6 fish max, I dont plan on adding any more. How about a Royal Gramma, they are small and peaceful most the time mine just sticks to his cave.
 

CavalierReef

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If I were to add anything to that tank, it would be a shrimp goby with a pistol shrimp partner. The goby is small and the shrimp would help you keep that sand bed stirred a little. I have a Wheeler's goby and Tiger pistol shrimp and they are so much fun to watch.
 

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