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PaysonReef

Setting up new Nano-reef/clownfish breeding system

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PaysonReef

Hello all,

 

I am new to the Nano-reef world and breeding clownfish and am looking for some help and advice.  I would appreciate any help and advice or opinions that anyone might have.

 

I have had a couple successful larger saltwater aquariums in the past (75 and 90 gallon) and loved the hobby but, because of time constraints, left it a couple years ago and went back to community freshwater, then African Cichlids.  While I love those fish as well, I am ready to get back into the saltwater world and would like to learn a lot about, and keep a Nano-reef tank with the goal of breeding clownfish also in mind.

 

I have several questions and am hoping I might be able to get some advice on this.  Please bear in mind that my tank is not set up yet so is not cycled or anything.  In fact, I have not even purchased a tank yet, so my ideas are all in the planning stage right now and I will definitely take the time to do my research and do this right.

 

I am thinking of setting up a small tank, around 10 gallons for these fish.  As this is so small, I will manage it by frequent water changes so will not have a sump.  As far as livestock, I am thinking of only having two clownfish, a cleanup crew of blue-legged hermit crabs and snails, coral, and possibly an anemone.  I was also thinking of adding some type of shrimp possibly but that would be the extent of the livestock in there.  I would, of course, have approximately 2 inches of live sand and 10-20 pound of live rock.  The live rock and live sand will actually be added dry and I will add a handful of live sand and one piece of live rock to make the dry rock live, knowing this will take time to do.

 

Here is where my questions now come in.

 

First, a few questions on the livestock:

 

1.  Is a 10 gallon aquarium large enough?

2.  What type of clownfish would do well in a tank this size?  I have read that ocellaris would do well but are there other types that would do well?

3.  Would a shrimp be okay as a tankmate for these clownfish and would they all do well in a 10 gallon?  Would the shrimp be okay keeping in mind that a goal is to breed the clownfish?  What type of shrimp would you recommend?

4.  Would an anemone be okay in a tank this size with corals, etc. or should I skip that?

5.  How many hermit crabs and snails would you recommend for a tank this size?  What types of snails do people like best?

 

Second, a few questions on the tank setup:

 

1.  In a large tank I would have a sump that would house my skimmer, live rocks/sand and plants for filtration, and a return pump (along with other equipment if needed).  What do I need for a Nano-reef without a sump for filtration?

2.  Is there a list of the minimum amount of equipment needed to make this tank successful keeping in mind that I am planning to do frequent water changes to keep parameters in check and the tank clean?

3.  I know I will need a tank, some type of cover, a heater, powerheads, lights that can grow coral, and some type of filtration.  While I want to have this setup quality and a good situation and will put the necessary money into it to accomplish this, I also want to do this as economically as possible.  Please provide suggestions on ways I may be able to do this/good products that I could use on this setup.  What size powerheads/how many?  How strong of light?  Etc. Any help would be appreciated.

4.  I was told to get a hang-on-back filter and run it with activated carbon and skip any other type of filtration other than the live rocks and sand.  Can anyone speak to this?

 

Third, a few questions on breeding clownfish:

 

1.  I am completely new to this aspect of fishkeeping.  Does anyone have any advice at all?

2.  Are there any tips on how to breed clownfish successfully or what to keep in mind when selecting the fish I would like?  I am planning to add them small so they can grow into their gender roles and am thinking I will add them from two different local, reputable breeders in order to avoid crossbreeding.

3.  How long does it typically take before clownfish will begin to breed?  I have heard up to 2-3 years typically.  Is that the case that most people here have found?

4.  Is there anything I need to keep in mind when I am determining the layout for the tank when I set it up to help the breeding be successful?  What about location of the tank in the house?

5.  Other than the main tank setup, is there any other equipment I will need to accomplish this effectively?

 

Thank you all for any help you can give in advance.  I look forward to hearing from you and welcome all opinions and advice.

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Clown79

10g is fine for 2 ocellaris clowns, 14-20g would be better because you will be limited on how much more you can add.

 

You only need 7-10lbs of rock. 20lbs would be the whole tank.

 

You can do anemones but in a 10g with other corals it makes it more complicated as they move around.

 

If you go standard 10g using an hang on filter with filter floss and carbon is the most common set up. Then you need a heater, powerhead, and lights.

 

A good filter is the seachem tidal, it's the best I ever used.

 

Another option is going with an all in one tank like the innovative marines. 

 

You will need an additional system for the fish fry and that system is specific.

Unfortunately the fry cannot be kept in the main tank.

 

 

I highly recommend reading member journals, TOTM's, articles etc.

 

@Seabass has bred clownfish. You may want to check out his threads.

 

You will also need buckets, additional heater & pump for saltwater mixing, Turkey basters, algae scrubbers, testers, refractometer, to name a few things.

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seabass

:welcome: to Nano-Reef.com.

 

It's an absolute must to read the Kindle book, Clownfishes by Joyce D. Wilkerson.  This will answer all of your questions.

 

Not sure about a shrimp.  I imagine that it might attempt to eat the eggs.

 

Obviously, if you are breeding, you would need multiple tanks.  One for the breeding pair, and at least one for the fry.  I imagine that you might have multiple tanks for the juveniles, as mine would lay eggs again as little as a week after a clutch of eggs hatched.

 

Please read the book, even prior to completing your plans.  It's a pretty easy read and an invaluable resource for breeders.  My experience is actually pretty limited, however, I'd be happy to give you some input after you've read the book.

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PaysonReef

Thank you both for the information.  I will certainly look into the book and read it before doing anything but will also continue to think and post on here while I am.  I am sure I will have a lot of questions after reading the book as I learn best from other people who have experienced this in real life and who I can converse with.  Thank you for being willing.  I will certainly be in touch.

 

I know I will also need additional tanks for fry and juveniles.  I know that will take some time before I need them, though, and I will begin working on those as I need to.  Since we are discussing it, what size tanks would be good for the fry and juveniles?

 

One comment was made that I am confused by.  The sentence "10g is fine for 2 ocellaris clowns, 14-20g would be better because you will be limited on how much more you can add. "  What do you mean how much more I can add exactly?  Also, are there any other kind of clowns I could do in a 10 gallon by any chance?

 

I also have a lot of additional things (refractometer, buckets, salt, test kits, scrubbers, additional heater, etc).  I didn't mention that before but know all about those needs.  Thank you for the reminder, however.  As for the rock, I was saying 10-20 lbs of live rock, which would be the same as what you were saying for dry rock.  I believe we are on the same page there.

 

Can anyone recommend a good powerhead for a tank this size?  How about lights?

 

Thank you all again for your help

 

 

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seabass
43 minutes ago, PaysonReef said:

Since we are discussing it, what size tanks would be good for the fry and juveniles?

:lol: It's in the book.  I know there are a lot of details to work out, and it's fun to start planning; but you can download the book and start reading it in just a few minutes.

 

A 5.5 gallon to 10 gallon tank would be suitable for fry.  Bigger isn't always better with fry.  You want the live rotifers concentrated enough for the fry to feed on easily.  Obviously, you wouldn't want 30 six month old juveniles in a 5 gallon tank.

 

43 minutes ago, PaysonReef said:

are there any other kind of clowns I could do in a 10 gallon by any chance?

A ten gallon tank might work, but it is a little small for a pair of full grown adults.  They may be more willing to breed in a more comfortable environment.  Amphiprion ocellaris is probably best, but Amphiprion percula stay relatively small too.  Ocellaris clowns are very hardy and are comfortable without a host anemone.  They are probably the best species to start with.  Plus, there are several designer varieties available.

 

Lighting won't be important unless you are keeping a host anemone.

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j.falk

First off...you really need to decide if your purpose is an aquarium that is pretty to look at and full of livestock...OR...if you are seriously interested in breeding clownfish...because you can't do both in one aquarium.

 

Livestock:

 

1.  I would recommend a minimum of 15 - 20 gallons over a 10...for stability purposes.

2.  ^ Ocellaris or Percula clowns would be good for this size.

3.  Do not put a shrimp in the tank...especially if you are wanting to breed your fish.  Shrimp are opportunistic scavengers and pests...they will get into anything that can in search of food.

4.  Why would you put an anemone and corals in a tank if your purpose is to breed the fish?  You don't need either to breed clownish and that just adds more headache to the breeding process.  Read the Joyce Wilkerson Clownfishes book...it's really good and has specific instructions on the breeding process and you want to get a good idea of what you are getting into before committing to this project.

5.  Definitely no hermits if you are breeding the fish.  Snails might be okay if they are strictly algae eaters...but I'm not a 100% on that.

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Clown79
48 minutes ago, PaysonReef said:

Thank you both for the information.  I will certainly look into the book and read it before doing anything but will also continue to think and post on here while I am.  I am sure I will have a lot of questions after reading the book as I learn best from other people who have experienced this in real life and who I can converse with.  Thank you for being willing.  I will certainly be in touch.

 

I know I will also need additional tanks for fry and juveniles.  I know that will take some time before I need them, though, and I will begin working on those as I need to.  Since we are discussing it, what size tanks would be good for the fry and juveniles?

 

One comment was made that I am confused by.  The sentence "10g is fine for 2 ocellaris clowns, 14-20g would be better because you will be limited on how much more you can add. "  What do you mean how much more I can add exactly?  Also, are there any other kind of clowns I could do in a 10 gallon by any chance?

 

I also have a lot of additional things (refractometer, buckets, salt, test kits, scrubbers, additional heater, etc).  I didn't mention that before but know all about those needs.  Thank you for the reminder, however.  As for the rock, I was saying 10-20 lbs of live rock, which would be the same as what you were saying for dry rock.  I believe we are on the same page there.

 

Can anyone recommend a good powerhead for a tank this size?  How about lights?

 

Thank you all again for your help

 

 

The larger the tank, the better. 10g can get full quickly. 

 

7-10lbs dry or liverock, you don't need more than that. 

 

Lighting and powerhead will depend on dimensions of the tank. It also depends on what you plan on keeping. Some corals need a lot of flow while other needs moderate/low.

 

Also if doing an anemone, you will want to protect powerheads and filter intakes.

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PaysonReef

Thank you for the information.  I will get the book and read it before asking many more questions, lol.

 

Having said that, if I went to a 13.5-20 gallon tank would it be better and more comfortable?  I know that bigger is supposed to be better but I also want to keep it small due to where I would like to put it.  What is the smallest you would go with so that the clownfish would be more likely to breed and would be healthy and comfortable?

 

As for lighting, I am wanting to have coral as well, which means I will need a light that can.  I have two lights I had on a 40 gallon breeder before, I am worried they may be too strong for an aquarium this size is the problem.  They are still in very good shape and I will reuse those if I can.

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j.falk

 

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PaysonReef

It looks like I just got more good information.  Certainly information I would like to look into.  I will do more research and certainly get that book and read it.  I will be back in touch after doing so.  This is why I have not set my heart on anything and wanted to reach out beforehand.  I want this to be a success and any advice/help is greatly appreciated.  Thank you.

 

Let me get and read the book and I will be back in touch.

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seabass
24 minutes ago, PaysonReef said:

Having said that, if I went to a 13.5-20 gallon tank would it be better and more comfortable?  I know that bigger is supposed to be better but I also want to keep it small due to where I would like to put it.  What is the smallest you would go with so that the clownfish would be more likely to breed and would be healthy and comfortable?

 

A 10- or 20-gallon (40- or 75-liter) aquarium is large enough for small clownfishes like Percula and Ocellaris.

- Wilkerson, Joyce D.. Clownfishes (Kindle Locations 2078-2079). Microcosm Ltd.. Kindle Edition.

 

If setting up a reef tank, with corals for your breeding pair, I'd error on going larger.  A 15 to 20 gallon tank seems like a reasonable size for a breeding pair.

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Clown79
32 minutes ago, PaysonReef said:

Thank you for the information.  I will get the book and read it before asking many more questions, lol.

 

Having said that, if I went to a 13.5-20 gallon tank would it be better and more comfortable?  I know that bigger is supposed to be better but I also want to keep it small due to where I would like to put it.  What is the smallest you would go with so that the clownfish would be more likely to breed and would be healthy and comfortable?

 

As for lighting, I am wanting to have coral as well, which means I will need a light that can.  I have two lights I had on a 40 gallon breeder before, I am worried they may be too strong for an aquarium this size is the problem.  They are still in very good shape and I will reuse those if I can.

Are the lights in the coral spectrum, freshwater planted, or standard aquarium light?

 

Is it a standard 10g tank?

 

Lighting a cube is different than lighting a rectangular tank 

 

Also depends on corals you plan on keeping 

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