Need help deciding on whether or not a fish is right for your tank? Post here and we'll help!

jbjb1200

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Hi, I'm John and a total newbie. I had some fish as a kid, the standard goldfish but now I want to get a small reef tank. Over the past couple years I've been slowly getting into fish after watching Aquarium Co-Op and King of DIY on YouTube. I normally do research on things I get into, so I kind of have some general ideas in mind but would like some advice from you guys.

I'm limited in space, I'd like to get a tank that's around 24" long and no more than 16" deep, stand included. So I'm guessing in the 20-30 gallon range? I want some live corals and a couple Clowns (like every newbie). Could I house more fish in this size tank? Do I need a "clean-up crew"? I don't want to overstock the tank, but would like some action in it as well.

I have a very highly rated fish store near me called "Absolutely Fish", I've been inside a few times just to look at the fish. They quarantine and are highly regarded, so I would buy my fish and corals from them.
 

Oropher

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Hi guys! I know that at times it can be difficult to know whether or not a fish is right for your tank. There are lots of things to consider when purchasing a new addition to your reef community: What size is the tank? What other fish are already in there? What inverts are in there? Is it a reef or fowlr? What about food availability? Is it a sensitive fish that needs special care requirements? Does it require particular water parameters? Is it aggressive? Is it a picky eater? Is it prone to disease?

These are all possible concerns that can come up in purchasing a new fish. REEF2REEF is here to help! Whether you're new to the hobby, or just unsure about a new addition, we'll be glad to help with advice and giving info about our new pet that will help it live many years in your tank. Of course, the tank is yours and so is the fish, so no one here will tell you what you can or CANNOT do with your own tank. We're just here to help by sharing our own knowledge and experience.

So let's get this thread going! If you're thinking about a new purchase and just not sure, post it up! 1smile1
I have a new 30G, and in this tank I'd have a mixed reef.
And the fishes are (in order) :
A pair of ocellaris (designer type)
Algae Blenny
Neon Goby
Midas Blenny
Yellow Tang
Kole Tang
Cleaner Wrasse
Mandarin
Flame Hawkfish
Coral Beauty Angelfish
One Spot Foxface

Any thoughts on the fish selection or the order?
 

Therich84

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I have a new 30G, and in this tank I'd have a mixed reef.
And the fishes are (in order) :
A pair of ocellaris (designer type)
Algae Blenny
Neon Goby
Midas Blenny
Yellow Tang
Kole Tang
Cleaner Wrasse
Mandarin
Flame Hawkfish
Coral Beauty Angelfish
One Spot Foxface

Any thoughts on the fish selection or the order?
No tangs, tank is way too small. Same goes for the angelfish and the foxface. The mandarin will be hard unless you have a fuge set up for pods to feed them.
 

Oropher

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No tangs, tank is way too small. Same goes for the angelfish and the foxface. The mandarin will be hard unless you have a fuge set up for pods to feed them.
I have a pico 10G, and have sucessfully trained the dragonet to eat frozen mysis. Also there're a blue tang in the pico, along with a pair of ocellaris, algae blenny and 6line wrasse in there for years. ;Dead
 

Infidel

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I have a new 30G, and in this tank I'd have a mixed reef.
And the fishes are (in order) :
A pair of ocellaris (designer type)
Algae Blenny
Neon Goby
Midas Blenny
Yellow Tang
Kole Tang
Cleaner Wrasse
Mandarin
Flame Hawkfish
Coral Beauty Angelfish
One Spot Foxface

Any thoughts on the fish selection or the order?
Congrats on your new tank!

I feel morally obligated to advise in removing the Tangs and the Foxface from your list; your tank is simply too small for them (mature fish size/lack of swimming space). A 110+ gallon tank is ideal for these fish.

Dwarf Angels (coral beauty) and Cleaner Wrasse should be housed a 65+ gallon tank as they are very active swimmers.

A Mandarin is possible, but it would be a fish to add much later after your tank is more mature and you have a healthy population of amphipods/copepods and an understanding of its special needs.

The Flame Hawk could cause problems for "perching" blennies and small gobies. You may want to further research this fish before considering it, but it would probably be fine with a Midas Blenny.

Out of your list, the best load for your 30g would be from (also listed in stocking order):
2x Ocelarris Clowns
Neon Goby
Algae Blenny (consider an Ember Sailfin Blenny if you want more color)
Midas Blenny
+ Royal Gramma (consider for color)
 
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Infidel

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Hi, I'm John and a total newbie. I had some fish as a kid, the standard goldfish but now I want to get a small reef tank. Over the past couple years I've been slowly getting into fish after watching Aquarium Co-Op and King of DIY on YouTube. I normally do research on things I get into, so I kind of have some general ideas in mind but would like some advice from you guys.

I'm limited in space, I'd like to get a tank that's around 24" long and no more than 16" deep, stand included. So I'm guessing in the 20-30 gallon range? I want some live corals and a couple Clowns (like every newbie). Could I house more fish in this size tank? Do I need a "clean-up crew"? I don't want to overstock the tank, but would like some action in it as well.

I have a very highly rated fish store near me called "Absolutely Fish", I've been inside a few times just to look at the fish. They quarantine and are highly regarded, so I would buy my fish and corals from them.
Welcome to R2R, John!

What sort of tank are you thinking of... All-in-One (with the filtration typically sectioned as the entire back of the tank), a "Reef-Ready" setup (typically with included plumbing and a sump), or do you plan to just get a tank and DIY your system by purchasing everything else à la carte?

Either way you go, in a 20-30 gallon system, you can definitely have a pair of a smaller clown species (e.g., Percula, Ocellaris, Fiji, etc.). As for other fish, that depends on your final tank size.

CUC for the 20-30 gallon range would be some sort of ornamental shrimp (maybe a blood red fire shrimp or a skunk cleaner shrimp), several snails (I recommend Trochus and Nassarius), and some Hermit crabs (blue-leg and zebra on the smaller side and electric blue/orange on the larger side, although there are many other types as well). Overall numbers depend on tank size and the availability of "stuff" to clean up, but their dietary needs can be augmented with whatever you feed your fish.
 
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Bumping this up for anyone who needs it! :)
 

Wee Mad Arthur

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I’m contemplating adding some fish and need some frank honest advice. Despite people adding fish to my size tank all the guidelines online say it is too small for even 1 fish.

Fluval Evo 13.5 gallon. It’s a softy tank with 2 true peppermint shrimps. I was contemplating 2 common clown fish (Amphriprion Ocellaris)

I don’t know my actual water volume as there’s a fair bit of rock but it’s most definitely a lot less than 13.5

So in all honesty is it ok to add them or should I just forget about it until a future upgrade?
 

Infidel

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I’m contemplating adding some fish and need some frank honest advice. Despite people adding fish to my size tank all the guidelines online say it is too small for even 1 fish.

Fluval Evo 13.5 gallon. It’s a softy tank with 2 true peppermint shrimps. I was contemplating 2 common clown fish (Amphriprion Ocellaris)

I don’t know my actual water volume as there’s a fair bit of rock but it’s most definitely a lot less than 13.5

So in all honesty is it ok to add them or should I just forget about it until a future upgrade?
How soon do you plan on a future upgrade? If you plan on an upgrade within 1-2 years, you could possibly add two very small (1" or >), baby clowns until then. Although, you will want to watch parameters carefully as bad things happen faster in smaller setups.

You may also want to consider holding off on the clowns and getting a Tail Spot Blenny until the upgrade.
 

Wee Mad Arthur

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I have no set timeframe for an upgrade and don’t really want to be pressured into one by growing fish. I was just planning on seeing how my corals grew and then deciding if I was upgrading to give them more space or whether to just frag them or change them out.

I think you’re just confirming my thoughts that 13.5 gallon is simply too small for fish.

I‘ve just watched a video of someone diving and some clownfish and have realised just how large they get. I was nuts to even consider it!
 
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mike550

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PLEASE HELP ME STOCK MY TANK

Hello! I'm a newbie to reefing and have a six month old 120G reefer. So far so good, and here is what I have in my tank.

Fish / Inverts: Blue Tang, Dwarf Flame Angel, Yellow Blotch Rabbitish, Starry Blenny, Blue Reef Chromis, Diamond Watchman Goby, 2 Snowflake Clowns, Maxima Clam, Purple Tip Anemone, and a Blue Linckia Sea Star (plus a few snails and an emerald crab). Most fish are 3" or under in size

Corals: Green star polyp (5-6 sq inches), Kenya tree (4-5” tall), frogspawn (baseball size), zoanthid (small) and a trachyphilla (small).

Two questions:

1. Would really appreciate thoughts on what other fish / coral you would suggest introducing into this tank.

2. How many fish do you think I could comfortably hold (assuming I can re-home as they get too big)? I realize this is a very subjective question.

Thanks in advance!
 

Christam1433

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Hello all,
I have a 45 gal bow front FOWLR tank that has been up and running for 4 months now. I have two clowns and an ornate leopard wrasse. My dream is to add a green dragonette in a year. What other fish could I add? We had a yellow corris wrasse, but it died in QT. Can I get a blenny or a jawfish? Im hoping to add more color to the tank. What other fish will be fun to watch? Some fish on my maybe list are a coral beauty angelfish, a firefish goby, a royal gramma or a dart fish...... ANy help on livestock ideas is greatly appreciated
 

mike550

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Hello all,
I have a 45 gal bow front FOWLR tank that has been up and running for 4 months now. I have two clowns and an ornate leopard wrasse. My dream is to add a green dragonette in a year. What other fish could I add? We had a yellow corris wrasse, but it died in QT. Can I get a blenny or a jawfish? Im hoping to add more color to the tank. What other fish will be fun to watch? Some fish on my maybe list are a coral beauty angelfish, a firefish goby, a royal gramma or a dart fish...... ANy help on livestock ideas is greatly appreciated
I’ve really enjoyed our diamond back goby and rabbitfish. Both have great personalities. For color the dwarf flame angel is nice.
 

Infidel

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PLEASE HELP ME STOCK MY TANK

Hello! I'm a newbie to reefing and have a six month old 120G reefer. So far so good, and here is what I have in my tank.

Fish / Inverts: Blue Tang, Dwarf Flame Angel, Yellow Blotch Rabbitish, Starry Blenny, Blue Reef Chromis, Diamond Watchman Goby, 2 Snowflake Clowns, Maxima Clam, Purple Tip Anemone, and a Blue Linckia Sea Star (plus a few snails and an emerald crab). Most fish are 3" or under in size

Corals: Green star polyp (5-6 sq inches), Kenya tree (4-5” tall), frogspawn (baseball size), zoanthid (small) and a trachyphilla (small).

Two questions:

1. Would really appreciate thoughts on what other fish / coral you would suggest introducing into this tank.

2. How many fish do you think I could comfortably hold (assuming I can re-home as they get too big)? I realize this is a very subjective question.

Thanks in advance!
1. I would add a Yellow Tang and a Kole or Tomini Tang (at the same time). You should also think about adding more Blue Reef Chromis (maybe 3-5 total).

As for coral, that depends on your equipment (lighting, flow, etc.) and what you are interested in.

2. It really depends on your filtration/system maturity and the fish in question. When researching livestock, make sure to pay attention to max size and any special needs something may have.
 
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lisaluwho

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Hoping for help with the start of my fish want list. I have a 180 gal and I really want to include fish that swim at all different levels in the tank (not sure how to say that - some that will hang out up high and some that swim through the little holes in the rock, etc). I can’t really find a lot of info on where they hang out at, though.
I also want a mix of singles and groups so I picked a couple that indicate they swim together (chronic and cardinal
I have 3 LED light units and I do eventually want corals and anemones. (Can I add an anemone early on or no?)
Also, can anyone help me with order to introduce? I currently have 2 clowns and a blue tang (inherited with the tank).
Does this seem like an appropriate stocking level? Can I fit more? (I’m greedy and want them all!!!)

1x Coral beauty angelfish
OR
Flame angelfish

5x green chromis

1x auriga butterfly fish

Yellowtail damselfish OR azure damsel

Assessor fish ??

Royal gramma

1x Blenny (type?)

3-5 Cardinal fish

1x Trigger Fish (niger) last?

Yellow watchman goby OR mandarin goby
 

Alec Berger

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Hello, everyone. I have had a reef tank now for 2.5 years, but am interested in advancing to the next level and stop making newbie mistakes. My tank (50 gallon/ 36x18x21) has turned for the better recently, but I am sad to have lost my favorite fish, my Tailspot Blenny, over the weekend. I'd like to know what new fish might be compatible with my existing inhabitants.

I currently have a single DaVinci Clownfish, McCosker's Flasher Wrasse, and a Royal Gramma.

Invertebrates are Cleaner Shrimp and Tiger Pistol Shrimp, plus usual clean up crew (mostly snails, but one big hermit crab). I've tried a few shrimp gobies, but they keep going missing, so I am wondering if the pistol shrimp has grown a taste for flesh. It's been a while, so I might be willing to try again.

I'd like to add one (maybe more?) fish to the system. I'm worried that the Clown and Gramma might show aggression now that they have been in the tank for a few few months.

Here's a list of fish that I am most interested in:

Purple Firefish (worried about it being too timid with the current tank mates)
1 or 3 Benggai/Pajama Cardinals (no experience with either of these fish)
Another Blenny (Tailspot or Bicolor) Worried about it holding its own with established clown/gramma
1 or 2 Neon Gobies (Single or Mated Pair) Worried about the size and my pistol shrimp or hermit crab grabbing them
Orange Spotted Shrimp Goby (Or similar) See above about pistol shrimp.
Another Flasher Wrasse. I think it would be neat and heard that multiple males can co-exist in a single tank.
Pink Streaked or Possum Wrasse. How do they get along with the above tank mates.

Other fish I might consider would be something in the Chromis or Damsel line. Not sure about these as I have never had one.

No sump, but I do have a Tunze Comline protein skimmer. Theme of the tank is mostly LPS and Zoas, but I bought my first few SPS to see if I can get it to work.
 

SteveEreef

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Hello, everyone. I have had a reef tank now for 2.5 years, but am interested in advancing to the next level and stop making newbie mistakes. My tank (50 gallon/ 36x18x21) has turned for the better recently, but I am sad to have lost my favorite fish, my Tailspot Blenny, over the weekend. I'd like to know what new fish might be compatible with my existing inhabitants.

I currently have a single DaVinci Clownfish, McCosker's Flasher Wrasse, and a Royal Gramma.

Invertebrates are Cleaner Shrimp and Tiger Pistol Shrimp, plus usual clean up crew (mostly snails, but one big hermit crab). I've tried a few shrimp gobies, but they keep going missing, so I am wondering if the pistol shrimp has grown a taste for flesh. It's been a while, so I might be willing to try again.

I'd like to add one (maybe more?) fish to the system. I'm worried that the Clown and Gramma might show aggression now that they have been in the tank for a few few months.

Here's a list of fish that I am most interested in:

Purple Firefish (worried about it being too timid with the current tank mates)
1 or 3 Benggai/Pajama Cardinals (no experience with either of these fish)
Another Blenny (Tailspot or Bicolor) Worried about it holding its own with established clown/gramma
1 or 2 Neon Gobies (Single or Mated Pair) Worried about the size and my pistol shrimp or hermit crab grabbing them
Orange Spotted Shrimp Goby (Or similar) See above about pistol shrimp.
Another Flasher Wrasse. I think it would be neat and heard that multiple males can co-exist in a single tank.
Pink Streaked or Possum Wrasse. How do they get along with the above tank mates.

Other fish I might consider would be something in the Chromis or Damsel line. Not sure about these as I have never had one.

No sump, but I do have a Tunze Comline protein skimmer. Theme of the tank is mostly LPS and Zoas, but I bought my first few SPS to see if I can get it to work.
I would add a carpenter flasher wrasse and the shrimp Goby. A acclimation box may be a good idea. Sorry to hear about the blenny. I have a tailspot that is just finishing QT along with a McCosker.
 

Hugh Mann

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New to the hobby, and have started to set up a FowLR tank with primarily predators.
I have a 55 gallon tank, crushed Coral substrate and about 45lbs of live rock.

So far I have a Golden Dwarf Moray, Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish and a Marine Betta.

Fish on my list, and I know my tank is far too small for all of them, but I do plan on upgrading eventually.
Pufferfish, porcupine
Yellow Tang
Undulate Trigger last
Harlequin Tusk
Coral Beauty Angel
Flame hawkfish
Tomato Clownfish
Orangebanded Stingfish

Other
Flame Urchin
Black Long spine Urchin
Green Star Polyp
Flame Bubbletip anenome

I'm wondering if there is any conflict here in if something will eat something else, tank requirements, or what order to add the fish. Thank you.
 

Oropher

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Hi. For my new 30G SPS barebottom tank,
I will running it with high flow, hybrid light 12 hours photo period.

Need some suggestion for the fish stock list.
I try not to start with ocellaris this time as the pair would be territorial.

Thanks folks.
 
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