how many fish can i keep in a 20gallons tank? - The Reef Tank

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Old 03-24-2002, 12:34 AM   #1
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how many fish can i keep in a 20gallons tank?

wat's the maximum amount of fish i can keep in a 20 gallon tank?
i wish to keep 1 marron clown, 1 blue damsel, 1 drawf angel and 1 cleaner shrimp. does that sounds fine, or overcrowded?

btw, is it possible to keep tang in a 20 gallon tank?
1 marron clown, 1 yellow tang and 1 cleaner shrimp. sound alright??

i've 1 marron clown at the moment. been keeping it for a month, and it's doing fine.


my specs... 20gallons tank, using a eheim pro 2222 stuff with cotton to trap waste, running to a wet/dry filter.
no DSB and LR.
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Old 03-24-2002, 01:27 AM   #2
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2 fish the size of small ocellarus clowns will be a safe max in a 20g tank. The Maroon grows to 6" and is too big if it survives. At best 2-3 smaller gobies or similar would be OK, but a 20g tank isn't big enough for a tang, no matter how small and cute. They need space and stress easily making them prone to disease. With the filtration setup you are using, be prepared to do weekly water changes
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Old 03-24-2002, 06:00 AM   #3
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I concur with Doug. Maroons and Yellow tangs are just too large, and the tang needs a larger territory than you can give him.

There are lots of suitable specimens for smaller tanks, many gobies, cardinals, pseudochromis (add one last it's a bully), chromis (I'd go with chromis instead of damsel.....damsels are troublemakers!), dwarf angels, some of the smaller wrasses...

Pick 3 or 4 fish that are suitable, research what you want, and what will "get along" and go with that.

Doug's also right about the filtration....that cannister will harbour nitates if you don't keep up with changing the floss. You might want to run some carbon in it too, occasionally, or put a bag of carbon in your wet/dry occasionally. Do you have a skimmer? A skimmer will help you maintain water quality too.

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Old 03-24-2002, 06:16 AM   #4
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Just a heads up CC,

I have a 38g and trust me you do not want to put any large fish in it. I put a butterfly and angel in my tank. They seemed to be doing good after about a month then for no reason disease and death. All other tank inhabitants are doing good. I have a clown in my tank and he is growing fast, I don't want to let him go if he gets to big but if I must . I have a firefish and royal gramma and they are very nice to the eye to watch. I use a canister filter so be ready to do monthly if not every 3 week change of pad and carbon packs. Not sure about the whole nitrate factory thing so don't want to chance it so I change pads and carbons regularly. HTH
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Old 03-24-2002, 08:06 AM   #5
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Hi there! My wife has a 20 gallon mini-reef aquarium and contains 5 fish. She has a pair of black and white clowns, 2 gobies and a magneta dottyback which went in last!
Her tank is doing great and has been up and running for over 2 years. She really babies this tank and very faithful on water changes as well. Johnny
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Old 03-24-2002, 09:16 AM   #6
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In our old 20g reef we had 2 firefish and 2 percula clowns. 4 small fish will max out a 20g. The maroon clown does have the potential to grow large and mean. Definately wait to get a tang until you have a larger tank.

Adding a pound of live rock per gallon of tank should be plenty to provide filtration in a 20g...even without a deep sand bed. I'd ditch the canister filter, unless you are prepared to clean it quite frequently. The debris trapped inside can become a nutrient sink, raising your nitrates.

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Old 03-24-2002, 07:28 PM   #7
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ok, i guess i wont be able to keep many fishes in the tank i have.

but i really do not wish to give up on my marron clown.

how bout adding just a flame angel to my collection?

is a cleaner shrimp necessary for the flame angel?
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blue damsel , canister filter , deep sand bed , dwarf angel , dwarf angels , flame angel , maroon clown , percula clown , royal gramma , yellow tangs

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