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Help stocking 23 gallon tank


FailingHearts

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FailingHearts

Ok so I'm setting up my first reef tank, it's going to be mostly corals and crustaceans. Though I do want to put some fish in there. The tank I've chosen is the waterbox cube peninsula 25. My question is how many fish can I put in there, or at least how many creatures can I put in there. I have a list of fish and other critters that I have chosen. To potentially put around the main two critters being a pistol shrimp and yellow watchman goby pair. I've always found symbiotic relationships like this fascinating especially in the ocean. 

So the list of potential tank mates are;

Purple firefish goby

Hi fin red banded goby

Electric blue hermits

Zombie snails

Peppermint shrimp

Spotted cleaner shrimp

Percula clowns

Royal gramma 

Tridacna crocea clam

 

I'm really set on adding the clam to the tank as I think it be really cool as well as the purple firefish goby and spotted cleaner shrimp. Though depending on how many critters I can feasibly put in there without causing over stocking and subsequently stress. Will really affect what I decide to put in there. 

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Staticmoves

Hey welcome to NR!

watchman and pistol will be awesome.

save room for that clam, but wait, I would venture six to 8 months down the road, until that tank is nice and on the even keel. ( I am not a clam expert, but you should find one here )

you may not get answers to your questions right away here. But you won’t have as much rubbish to sift through.

if I read correctly this is your first reef or salt water.

 

”Patience is Key” in the process, and the hardest thing to exercise.

 

be sure to start a journal thread for your build and progress so everyone can reference your equipment and current situation as you ask questions outside of your journal.

 

and always cross reference advice you receive on any forum.

 

”Nothing good happens fast in reefing” 

 

following and looking forward to your progress.

 

cheers…..😎

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mcarroll
2 hours ago, FailingHearts said:

Ok so I'm setting up my first reef tank, it's going to be mostly corals and crustaceans. Though I do want to put some fish in there. The tank I've chosen is the waterbox cube peninsula 25. My question is how many fish can I put in there, or at least how many creatures can I put in there.

Fish are the ones you need to limit since they are the ones that will be doing the lion's share of feeding.  Other critters usually get by on "leftovers" and so have a MUCH smaller footprint, or even help to ameliorate the impact of the fish in the way that corals can.

 

Since it's your first tank, I'd suggest going fishless for the first phase, basically until it's completely stocked and nice and stable.  THEN add a fish or two – the fewer the better since (again) it's your first tank.  Unless the fish you select are true nano fish (eg Barnacle Blennies) you'll wanna have no more than 1 or 2 fish.  One would be more ideal.

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FailingHearts
20 hours ago, mcarroll said:

Fish are the ones you need to limit since they are the ones that will be doing the lion's share of feeding.  Other critters usually get by on "leftovers" and so have a MUCH smaller footprint, or even help to ameliorate the impact of the fish in the way that corals can.

 

Since it's your first tank, I'd suggest going fishless for the first phase, basically until it's completely stocked and nice and stable.  THEN add a fish or two – the fewer the better since (again) it's your first tank.  Unless the fish you select are true nano fish (eg Barnacle Blennies) you'll wanna have no more than 1 or 2 fish.  One would be more ideal.

So thanks for teaching me a new word 😁😁💜 (ameliorate). So I've been told elsewhere (reddit <- a lot of gooberidge to sort through, though there still are some really helpful people.) to focus on just coral, the clean up crew and the clam to begin with and not think about fish for a while (6 months to a year), until I feel more confident with this hobby. They recommend getting an anemone plus an anemone cover? If I wanted something a little interesting in the tank, before I put fish in. Also they recommended creating a zoa garden. I'm assuming they're some sort of coral? Also on a side note what constitutes a true nano fish I couldn't find a straight answer. I got answers such as anything smaller than 10/8/5cm. If 10cm or smaller would purple firefish gobies count as a nano fish? I've also been told to invest in a lid as some of the goby species tank jump? when stressed. 

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FailingHearts
23 hours ago, Staticmoves said:

be sure to start a journal thread

How do I start a journal thread, do I go to my account and there should be a button for start new thread?

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mcarroll
6 hours ago, FailingHearts said:

So thanks for teaching me a new word 😁😁💜 (ameliorate). So I've been told elsewhere (reddit <- a lot of gooberidge to sort through, though there still are some really helpful people.) to focus on just coral, the clean up crew and the clam to begin with and not think about fish for a while (6 months to a year), until I feel more confident with this hobby.

If that doesn't rub you the wrong way (some folks REALLY want fish) then I think that's pretty good advice...maybe saving the clam for last.  

 

As long as you're into the learning aspect of keeping corals, IMO you won't miss fish in the beginning at all....PLUS you'll be WAY more ready for them when you do decide to add fish.  

 

For what it's worth, it was (many) years before I ended up adding fish for real – wasn't until I upgraded from two small tanks 40-50 gallons each (mainly SPS) to a 125 Gallon tank.  I did have a small "crew" of barnacle blennies for a couple years in the larger of the two small tanks.  Excellent personalities, very unique.  If you can imagine the behavior of a Midas blenny in something the size of a guppy....that's it.

 

6 hours ago, FailingHearts said:

They recommend getting an anemone plus an anemone cover? If I wanted something a little interesting in the tank, before I put fish in.

I don't know what an anemone cover is.

 

But I'd hold off adding an anemone at the beginning – maybe not at all considering the size of the tank.  Depends how much of the tank you want to be corals, and what specific anemone(s) you have in mind.

 

If clowns+nem is an objective, then IMO wait until you get to the fish phase to do the nem.  Clowns+nem will get BIG eventually, so you'll lose significant coral space.  Most clownfish nem's can get 12" in diameter or more...if not that, then they divide and spread that way.  Either way, not very friendly to most corals.

 

6 hours ago, FailingHearts said:

Also they recommended creating a zoa garden. I'm assuming they're some sort of coral?

 

That's generic advice and totally depends on whether you like that coral.

 

Worth pointing out that reef building corals are an Order of Hexacorals called Scleractinia.  Specifically, we're interested in the reef building Scleractinia (eg):

In other words "stony corals".

 

Other groups of corals (eg leather corals, polyps like zoanthids, other soft corals) are competitive with stony corals.  Most of them use some form of chemical warfare to complete with stony corals...usually the chemicals retard stony coral growth or even cause stony coral mortality.  Not something to volunteer for IMO.

 

So even though it appears common to mix corals and have a "coral garden", that is not really the best way to start out, and isn't really all that ecologically sound in the confined space of a tank (esp. a nano tank).  (In fact, it used to be considered an expert move and was more or less actively discouraged for folks starting out.)

 

Folks who mix stony corals with other types often use activated carbon to try to eliminate some of the chemical warfare.  But the need for that will scale with your success....bigger colonies can wage bigger warfare.

 

IMO pick a favorite type of coral, and at least for the foreseeable future, stick with just that group.  Picking a favorite will also force you to learn a little about each type, which will be a good way to start learning about corals in general.

 

Do you have any good books on the topic yet?

 

6 hours ago, FailingHearts said:

Also on a side note what constitutes a true nano fish I couldn't find a straight answer. I got answers such as anything smaller than 10/8/5cm. If 10cm or smaller would purple firefish gobies count as a nano fish? I've also been told to invest in a lid as some of the goby species tank jump? when stressed. 

Anything about 1" or 2.54cm is a true nano fish IMO – for obvious reasons; there's nothing mysterious about what makes a nano fish.  It has to be small.  And it has to be able to live happily with essentially no space.  That's not many fish.  Live aquaria's list of nano fish isn't bad.

 

There are lists of nano fish here on nano-reef, any of them would be a good starting point, but unfortunately in my view, they all seem biased toward stretching what can be considered a nano fish instead of being appropriately conservative about it.  Still a good read if you keep that in mind.

 

2-3" fish are just regular small fish – good for regular small tanks (30-50 gallons-ish).

 

A lid is a good idea – fish that are feeling cramped are pretty likely to try and "escape the tide pool".  (If you can make your fish NOT cramped, they will be very unlikely to jump.   Keeping your stocking density very light and being mindful of their personalities are both important.  "Very unlikely" is not a guarantee.  But there are also other measures.  A lid is great insurance.)

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FailingHearts
8 hours ago, mcarroll said:

If that doesn't rub you the wrong way (some folks REALLY want fish) then I think that's pretty good advice...maybe saving the clam for last

I'm fine with this advice I do much prefer to learn as much as I can before I dive into something. Dabbling before diving it can absolutely help, I spent about seven-ish years slowly dipping my to into different areas of fresh water tanks before I jumped into my first heavily planted community tank. So I think I'll do the same for saltwater aquariums, I've begun as I always do by sketching a rough 1:1.46 scale plan of the tank form top down. So when I figure how to start a journal I will post it there.

 

8 hours ago, mcarroll said:

IMO pick a favorite type of coral, and at least for the foreseeable future, stick with just that group.  Picking a favorite will also force you to learn a little about each type, which will be a good way to start learning about corals in general

I've made a few sections of focus based on research and others accounts on which corals go near each other etc. I think I'm going to start with Zoanthids, then move on to Anthelias and Xenias, then maybe to Leathers. Before moving on to Acans, then Hammers, then octo and frogspawn. With Blastomussa and Torches being the final two. Keeping in mind I'll probably spend a year and a half possibly two on each type of coral before moving to the next. each section will probably only have one or two corals in it. Minus the zoa garden I've allocated a lot of space around the clams home for it. And from what I've been told Zoas, Leathers, Xenia and Anthelias are all ok to be kept next to each other. So I'm just wondering about your opinion on that. 

9 hours ago, mcarroll said:

 

 

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Staticmoves

Hey.

for Journal entry. 
top right of your screen ( the three bars, click, then select journals, then select nano reef or nano, then crate topic.). 
this is from my phone browser, may look slightly different on PC browser.

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mcarroll
9 hours ago, FailingHearts said:

I've made a few sections of focus based on research and others accounts on which corals go near each other etc. I think I'm going to start with Zoanthids, then move on to Anthelias and Xenias, then maybe to Leathers. Before moving on to Acans, then Hammers, then octo and frogspawn. With Blastomussa and Torches being the final two. Keeping in mind I'll probably spend a year and a half possibly two on each type of coral before moving to the next. each section will probably only have one or two corals in it. Minus the zoa garden I've allocated a lot of space around the clams home for it. And from what I've been told Zoas, Leathers, Xenia and Anthelias are all ok to be kept next to each other. So I'm just wondering about your opinion on that. 

Mixing those corals with stony corals is where the challenge lies.

 

IMO you aren't going to want to mix stony corals with the rest of those....wait until your expertise is greater.

 

Start with one or the other – IMO pick your most favorite to start with and just stick with that group of corals for a good while.  👍

 

FYI, having them in the same tank pretty much makes them all next to each other so far as the chemicals released into the water by the soft corals is concerned.   For example, palytoxins from zoanthids (very toxic to humans too) and terpenoids from leather corals.  So you can't "protect" your stony corals by placing them on the "other side" of the tank.  Make sense?

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FailingHearts
5 minutes ago, mcarroll said:

So you can't "protect" your stony corals by placing them on the "other side" of the tank.  Make sense?

Yeah it makes sense any chemical released into the water will spread. I'm just trying to do my best to "protect" against stings. Yes I'm aware of sweeper tenticles. But thank you for your information and input. 

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