looking to finish off stocking my 29 gal tall tank. have a false clown, firefish, 2 turbo and scarlet hermit. thinking about adding a lawnmower and two cardinalfish. is this too much for the tank or do you think this will work?
i have also considered instead of the cardinals, a gramma or blenny? any other unique or normal suggestions are welcome.
appreciate the feedback.
As an alternative to the Cardinalfish you could consider a Dwarf Angel, such as the Flame Angel or Pygmy Angel. A Flame Hawkfish, Longnose Hawk, or Freckled Hawk could work as well.
What is missing from your tank are species that hang in the rocks, rarely leaving the security of the reef. This is where you should really be considering fish selections. Fish such as Gobies, Jawfish, and Basslets, and as you mentioned the Royal Gramma, would fit nicely and not create and compatibility issues.
They big key to making this stocking list work is the layout of your tank. In a tank that is lightly filled and has a small reef structure, you are not going to be able to add as many fish as you will in a tank with a good size reef that breaks apart the tank and provided hiding places for the fish to feel secure. Can you post a picture of your setup?
uploaded some pics. i plan to move to a reef tank in a year. right now i am just trying to perfect a smaller tank before moving on. plus its expensive.
i worry about the hawkfish or a similar species being aggressive. i know that during feeding the clownfish is very aggressive no matter how much froz shrimp i put in. i have thought of a dwarf angel, although the LFS does not know when he will get one in. are there others types of dwarfs that would be compatible.
i do have one question about phospates, my tank is running about .5ppm and i heard reefs can not tolerate phospates. i used to use flake food but have suspended this until the phosphates drop. is there any cause for concern?
preciate all the help pasfur.
I'm glad you posted a picture. Your tank is very scarcely decorated with a very small reef structure. You will be very limited as to how many fish due to the likelihood that the established fish will become territorial towards new fish.
In the current situation I think you have room for 1 more fish. Your live rock structure being small will limit the supply of microfauna, copepods, amphipods, etc. This limits your fish selection and makes a Dwarf Angel a bad idea, and probably makes a Blenny a bad idea as well. I would suggest a Hawkfish, which diet you can easily provide for with a variety of frozen and freeze dried foods. A Flame or Longnose Hawk will be fine with your existing fish. These are not aggressive species. There are a couple of Hawkfish which get a bit larger and become territorial, but they aren't for your tank anyhow.
As for phosphates, they can be an issue yes. But I would never suggest that you stop feeding the fish to reduce phosphates. Instead, you should measure the phosphates in your water supply,and makes sure that you are cleaning any filter pads DAILY, or remove the filter pads entirely.
In any case, phosphates are a very minor concern for your current tank. Very minor. Right now, at worst, they will make it difficult for coraline algae to take hold.
One more point about your reef structure. These are small fish you have. You have no need for large cave openings on the back side. These large openings cause stress for fish at night because they do not feel secure. I would suggest adding some more rock, and begin by nearly closing off the back of those cave areas. You could use these rocks as building blocks to increase the height and base of that reef, without having to move your decoration. If cost is an issue, check out www.marcorocks.com. I use the Key Largo dry rock.
i appreciate the feedback and will do as suggested. i was concerned i would overcrowd the tank with live and dry rock. do you think if i added about 20 more pounds of rock, creating smaller holes, that two-three more fish would be viable? i have a bunch of coraline algae starting to cover everything. the structure and crushed coral is turning florescent green and purple. i do have some pods only when i have a lot of algae but the turbos and hermit clean those fast. i would like to build a nice tall and sound rock structure do you think this is possible, and if so, how high is too high?
Absolutely you could add 2 or 3 more fish! Provided of course you pick the right species as I first discussed above. In terms of having "to much" rock, keep mind these are reef fish. They spend their lives in nature on the reef. Adding rock makes the environment more natural. From the point of view of livestock they will enjoy an additional 20 pounds of rock and it will make their behavior more predictable.
In terms of height, just make sure the structure is stable. If you order Key Largo dry rock, it can easily be tied together with cable ties. Like this:
tie strings awesome idea. any concerns, do they deteriorate after a while?
No worries with cable ties that I am aware of. A standard in our hobby.
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