I'm New to Saltwater. How Should I Stock a 30 Gallon?

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joemonkaquat

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I've been looking to get a 30 gallon reef tank started. With a bit of research, I've come up with a few stocking ideas. Would love some input, interesting recommendations (particularly nano or inverts) or just general tips. Cheers.

Absolutely Want:
- Green Coral Goby
- Firefish (Red? Purple? - potentially a pair of either?)
- Bi-colour blenny

Possibility/interested in :
- ocellaris clown pair (I'm not confident about how large they'd get - would need to substitute one of the above fish likely)

I'm confident I want a range of invertebrates like hermits and conch snails but still need a lot more research/need to check for what's available in my area.

I don't have a great concept of the bioload of these fish. I'd prefer to keep a low bioload/stocking level to make maintenance as easy as possible, so please let me know if any of these fish combinations would put a strain on that.

Clearly, I'm a pretty long way from knowing all of the saltwater livestock options out there, so please feel free to suggest any that interest you. A guideline for appropriate parameters for this tank would also be greatly appreciated.
 
Fritz

LordofCinder

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the firefish and bicolor blenny might be a problem, they are very similar in color/shape/size. its just a chance so I'm just putting it out there. Otherwise it all looks good, 5 fish in a 30 is perfect IMO looks like you did your homework, cheers.
 

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I think your stock list is sound, till it's not. No two fish behave the same or necessarily the way they are "supposed" to behave. Keep that in mind and be flexible enough to make changes as the need arises.
 
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joemonkaquat

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You could do all 5 fish in a 30 gallon. Is this gonna be a reef tank? Or just a fish and invert tank? I wouldn’t do a pair of fire fish, in a smaller tank unless you get lucky and get a m-f pair one will probably bully the other.
Definitely planning for it to be a reef tank. Fair point, best to just play it safe, I'll avoid a pair
 
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joemonkaquat

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I think your stock list is sound, till it's not. No two fish behave the same or necessarily the way they are "supposed" to behave. Keep that in mind and be flexible enough to make changes as the need arises.
Do you recommend a specific order of adding these fish to minimise behavioural issues like aggression? Honestly, I don't foresee myself being able to accommodate unsuitable tankmates in another tank so I hope to avoid stock issues entirely
 

Sharkbait19

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Blenny and fire should get along. Neither are an aggressive fish and will occupy different areas of the tank.
Honestly the order you typed them is the best to add. The small clown goby would need to stake out a territory, and the firefish does whatever it wants. Then the blenny can come in and do it’s thing. None are aggressive fish so there shouldn’t be much issues there. Add the clowns last, as they are territorial. Nowhere near as bad as cichlids, but can be nippy. Occys are the most peaceful out of the clownfish though. Putting them in last will give the other fish a chance to get settled. Since everything occupies a different area of the tank they should all get along.
Good inverts are:
Hermit crabs and emerald crab for algae on rocks
Trochus, turbo, and astrea snails for algae on rocks and glass
Nassarius and Cerith snails to sift the sandbed
Brittle starfish to sift sandbed and eat lots of detritus
Cleaner shrimp to eat detritus, algae, pretty much anything else, and to clean parasites off of fish (doesn’t mean you can skip qt though)
Pistol shrimp to sift the sandbed (I wouldn’t recommend this unless you plan on getting a shrimpgoby though)
 

Sharkbait19

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Just to make you aware bi color blennies can be coral nippers. My buddy had one that nipped every coral he had. Doesn’t mean yours will but it’s a risk with those fish
Hmm, didn’t know that. Thanks for the info!
Is it just bicolor or their cousins as well?
 
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joemonkaquat

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Blenny and fire should get along. Neither are an aggressive fish and will occupy different areas of the tank.
Honestly the order you typed them is the best to add. The small clown goby would need to stake out a territory, and the firefish does whatever it wants. Then the blenny can come in and do it’s thing. None are aggressive fish so there shouldn’t be much issues there. Add the clowns last, as they are territorial. Nowhere near as bad as cichlids, but can be nippy. Occys are the most peaceful out of the clownfish though. Putting them in last will give the other fish a chance to get settled. Since everything occupies a different area of the tank they should all get along.
Good inverts are:
Hermit crabs and emerald crab for algae on rocks
Trochus, turbo, and astrea snails for algae on rocks and glass
Nassarius and Cerith snails to sift the sandbed
Brittle starfish to sift sandbed and eat lots of detritus
Cleaner shrimp to eat detritus, algae, pretty much anything else, and to clean parasites off of fish (doesn’t mean you can skip qt though)
Pistol shrimp to sift the sandbed (I wouldn’t recommend this unless you plan on getting a shrimpgoby though)
Is it difficult to establish some corals before adding livestock? From what I’ve seen coral gobies like to hide in, well coral, so I hope I can establish a few before he’s introduced.
Thanks heaps for all of that insight, makes me feel a lot more confident in the stocking list.
I have some research to do now for all of the clean up crew you suggested :)
 
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DweltAlloy033

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I've been looking to get a 30 gallon reef tank started. With a bit of research, I've come up with a few stocking ideas. Would love some input, interesting recommendations (particularly nano or inverts) or just general tips. Cheers.

Absolutely Want:
- Green Coral Goby
- Firefish (Red? Purple? - potentially a pair of either?)
- Bi-colour blenny

Possibility/interested in :
- ocellaris clown pair (I'm not confident about how large they'd get - would need to substitute one of the above fish likely)

I'm confident I want a range of invertebrates like hermits and conch snails but still need a lot more research/need to check for what's available in my area.

I don't have a great concept of the bioload of these fish. I'd prefer to keep a low bioload/stocking level to make maintenance as easy as possible, so please let me know if any of these fish combinations would put a strain on that.

Clearly, I'm a pretty long way from knowing all of the saltwater livestock options out there, so please feel free to suggest any that interest you. A guideline for appropriate parameters for this tank would also be greatly appreciated.
no need to susbsitute any fish if you want a pair of clowns, and those fish above. You could also add another small fish. Perhaps a yellow watchman goby paired with a pistol shrimp? Also, this is my preference, but instead of a green coral goby, might i suggest a pygmy coral groucher? They have them on live aquara if you want to check them out. ;)
 
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joemonkaquat

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Just to make you aware bi color blennies can be coral nippers. My buddy had one that nipped every coral he had. Doesn’t mean yours will but it’s a risk with those fish
If that’s the case, what other blenny’s are available? Are there any smaller yet equally colourful alternatives?
 
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joemonkaquat

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They will be fine perching on rocks for a bit.
Most of the corals they like need really mature tanks, and there isn’t a safe way of getting coral early.
Okay if that’s the case, what corals are best suited to these guys, so I can plan for future and scope out prices/requirements
 
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