Stocking Advice for Beginner 20gal

j.Zero

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Hi! Can I get some feedback regarding the livestock I plan to buy? I have a 20gallon tank (Innovative Marine Nuvo 20).

Decided:
2 x Ocellaris Clownfish

Inclined to buy:
1 x Orchid Dottyback
1 x Yellow Watchman Goby
1 x Tiger Pistol Shrimp

On the fence:
2 x Banggai Cardinalfish

(Also, I'm buying in that order)

For the Clean-up Crew:
3 x Scarlet Reef Hermit Crab (Same time when I add my 3rd fish? Orchid Dottyback)
1 x Cleaner Shrimp (When I get my 4th fish, probably the YW Goby & Pistol pair)
3 x Trochus Snails (When I start to get algae in the tank)

Are these too much for a 20 gallon?
 
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Sharkbait19

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Your tank can easily hold more hermits and snails.
Cleaner shrimp are effective, though keep an eye on it and the pistol.
For fish, I’d pass on the dottyback and get a royal gramma instead. They look similar but the gramma is way more peaceful.
You may want only 1 cardinal as they are known to fight.
 

elorablue

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I have a 20g cube which is 2 months old. I have 2 clowns, a firefish, 3 nassarius snails, 3 Mexican turbos, 3 Trochus, 3 ceriths, 3 astreas and a blood red fire shrimp.
I will only be adding 1 more fish, probably a pigmy filefish (if they ever become available again) and that's it. I'll replenish the cuc as needed. I have no crabs because I don't like their attitude ;)
 
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j.Zero

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Thank you! How about the number of fishes I have, are they too many? (I'm getting only 1 cardinal now, if ever)

I want to have as many as I can but I don't want to overstock.

For the crabs and snails, I'm probably add more variety. Blue legged hermits for the crabs. As for the snails I'm not really sure what to get but I'll do more research about them.
 

elorablue

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The way I'm thinking about fish stocking is what part of the tank will each fish occupy.
So the clowns just sorta screw around LOL, the firefish stays mid tank just kinda floating and darting about and spends the rest of the time in his cave in the rockwork. So as I see it I could get a bottom dweller, since none of the other fish are using that area and also another fish that swims freely. That would give me 5 fish that all occupy different areas of the tank. Obviously they need to be small fish, nothing over 3" at maturity.
I may just stick to 4 but if I decide to get a goby or something like that I would go to 5.
I do weekly 15% water changes to keep the nitrates down so my bio load is reasonable I think.
Plenty of room for snails in a 20.
I'm also going to add a couple three sexy shrimp when I get my rock flower anemones in a month or so and that's it!

there are soooo many fish I'd like to have but we're limited with our tank size and that's ok. 4 fish are as good as 40 , much easier to keep track of and interact with..
 
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melonheadorion

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i personally recommend some blennies. they are fun to watch, especially as a beginner tank. i loved mine so much, i bought a second one.
i personally have 2 clowns, a diamond goby, royal gramma, tail spot blenny, bi color blenny, scarlet skunk shrimp, a couple snails, and multiple hermit crabs, all in a 20 long
 

iMi

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Good choices all the way around, but remember the pistol and the watchman will redecorate your tank for you. Often. Assume the sand bed will not be able to house any corals or be prepared to dig them up from time to time. Make sure all rock work is resting on the bottom of the tank and not on top of the sand. Also, some of the fish on your list are known “jumpers” and more likely to go carpet surfing. If you keep them, definitely make sure you get a lid for the tank.
 
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j.Zero

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Gathering everything that's been suggested, here is what I have come up with.
  • I'll take a Royal Gramma instead of an Orchid Dottyback as it is more peaceful.
  • I'll keep five fishes instead of six, occupying different areas of the tank including a Blenny as suggested.
    • Free Swim - 2 x Clownfish
    • Rockwork (Cave) - 1 x Royal Gramma
    • Rockwork (Surface) - 1 x Bicolor Blenny
    • Bottom Dweller - Pair of Yellow Watchman Goby and Pistol Shrimp
  • I'm still not sure if I should still get a Banggai Cardinalfish. Might decide later and add this last.
  • Clean-up Crew
    • 3 x Scarlet Reef Hermit Crab ( Omnivore)
    • 3 x Blue Legged Hermit Crab (Omnivore)
    • 3 x Banded Trochus Snail (Herbivore)
  • Sand-sifting Clean-up Crew
    • 1 x Fighting Conch (Omnivore)
    • 3 x Cerith Snail (Omnivore)
    • 3 x Nassarius Snail (Carnivore)
  • Edit: I forgot, I plan to get a Cleaner Shrimp
I need to do more research about the Clean-up Crew about their diet as well as the right mix and number. I don't want any of them to starve.
Also, will check the stability of the rockwork in my tank prior to adding Pistol Shrimp. My tank also comes with a mesh cover so I'm safe with the jumpers.

Thank you everyone for all the inputs so far!
 
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elorablue

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I like your fish list, looks good to me!
Personally I would drop 3 crabs and add 3 Mexican turbo snails and 3 Astrea snails. The Trochus are excellent.
The sand crew looks good except make sure the Conch has food to eat so don't add him early on or it'll starve.. Actually that goes for all the cuc. I didn't add any snails until I saw the first signs of diatoms in my tank which was around the 7 week mark. Even now, after they decimated the diatoms in less than 12 hours (seriously) I wonder if they have enough to eat.

Take your time and don't add all the fish at once.

looking good!
 
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Nigel35

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They will, but you need a lot of them. I would say that you need at least one snail per gallon to be very effective. I have 5-10 astreas in my 13.5 and I still get algae, not as bad as when there was 1 though.
Not necessarily... Astreas work well but you could have 2-3 turbos and that would do the job. You will want to have algae left over because when your snails consume all the algae then they will starve if you don't supplementary feed which can be a pain...

Nigel
 

Sharkbait19

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Not necessarily... Astreas work well but you could have 2-3 turbos and that would do the job. You will want to have algae left over because when your snails consume all the algae then they will starve if you don't supplementary feed which can be a pain...

Nigel
Are turbos that much more effective? I may have to look into them, but I could never keep them alive.
I agree that you need to have some algae. Enough to feed but not enough to be an eyesore.
 

jurgenph

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Are turbos that much more effective? I may have to look into them, but I could never keep them alive.
I agree that you need to have some algae. Enough to feed but not enough to be an eyesore.

all turbos i have put in my tanks always die after the mow down their food and there is not enough to sustain them.

i now just add cerith and trochus. and if there's sand nassarius as well.


J.
 
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