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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started my thread over at another forum but you guys seem a little more active in the marine section :)

Cliff Notes:
30 gallon tank
fluval 206 cannister(I know...I Know...it is being cleaned bi-monthly)
30lbs live rock
30lbs live sand

Has been up and running about two months, started cycling with the live rock and sand, added a dead shrimp for good measure. Never got a nitrite spike, got ammonia and nitrates through the roof and it has since read zero ammonia for about a month or more now. Nitrates in the 5-10ppm range.

Current stocking:
six line wrasse
banghai Cardinal
1 peppermint shrimp
2 snails
A scallop hitchhiker

Questions:
I'm going to the fish store tomorrow to pick up some more live stock, i'd like to get a couple more snails, and a few more peppermint shrimp. I also need something to clean my sand with, what would work well for that?

My wish list of fish is a black/white clownfish, and I'd love a flame angel but I have concerns about the aquarium size. Live aquaria used to indicate a 30g was fine but has since upped it-what gives?

I know I need to stop the stocking of fish at 4-5 and that is fine with me, I just really want the other two fish to be active, unique looking, colorful fish(i know black and white clownfish doesn't meet colorful, but they are really cool looking!)

Throw some thoughts at me!

Thanks,
 

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Could be complaints/deaths that led them to up their minimum required size. Maybe aggression issues or stress or foraging needs. I don't see any problem with you adding the clown, but I'd follow LA's advice and skip the Flame Angel.
 

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Well, as far as cleaning your sand, the best thing to clean it is you. Siphon your sandbed with each water change and you'll be good. I like nassarius snails too - they move the sand around in hard to reach places.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah I definitely want an active fish, kind of hard when you only have 30 gallons of space to work with! That is why I like my six line so much, he is constantly swimming in and out of the rock to the top of the tank and back etc. If they got along I'd get another wrasse!

I will look into the ones you mentioned, I'm not too familiar. Like most people I'm attracted to the vibrant exotic looking fish, so hopefully I can find a few additions that suit me :)

I forgot to mention my LFS advised to add the clown last, which is a bit of a bummer as I'm very excited about. Also, in doing research it seems like I may want to add it sooner rather than later so that it and my six line get along....not sure about that though.

I just finished up preparing the tank for new additions-water change, siphoning the sand like you mentioned, cleaned the filter media in the old water etc.

Fish day is an exciting day at my house, ha ha!
 

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I love every royal gramma I've ever had. I also loved my yellow assessor (and my blue assessor) and I love green chromis for active community fish. These fish have been in almost every tank I've stocked (I've had quite a few tanks!)

Do yourself a favor and don't get the pygmy cherub angelfish. I had one in my 55 and he terrorized everyone. I had to remove half my rock to get him out, and he went back to the fishstore after I had him several months.
 

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Fish day is always exciting! :D The best thing I can advise is to look on live aquaria for fish you like the look of that fit your requirements for your tank size and make a list. Then you can find them at your lfs and see which ones have the activity level you want. Before adding your clown, or if your six line is overly aggressive to the other new addition, you may want to move your rockwork around. The confusion often helps negate territorial behavior somewhat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It says Royal Gramma Basslet's tend to stick to the rockwork etc and work best in a reef tank. Mine is a FOWLR, and I'd like the fish to be out and about, in your experience are they active fish and okay for a FOWLR setup?

Thanks guys you are giving me some great ideas.
 

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Mine is out and about quite a lot. I don't like hiders either. They will 'set up shop' under a rock or in a hole, but as long as they have that safe spot to retreat to, they feel safe and are out often. Since you are going to have a live rock, youll be fine. Heck. I have one in QT right now, a tiny one, and he is out most of the time, and he jets back into his spongebob walmart decoration whenever the chromis get too excited at feeding time.
 

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It says Royal Gramma Basslet's tend to stick to the rockwork etc and work best in a reef tank. Mine is a FOWLR, and I'd like the fish to be out and about, in your experience are they active fish and okay for a FOWLR setup?

Thanks guys you are giving me some great ideas.
so in other words, yes, to your question ;) They don't need corals and will eat ANYTHING. except your corals. And they're not bullies either, in my experience, but they wont take any crap from other fish, either.
 

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I would really consider a goby/shrimp pair they are very active and interesting to watch

also bi monthly is probably to long between cleaning for the canister. Weekly or every few days is better what media is in the baskets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Right now in the baskets it is pretty much stock how it comes. I have some ceramic bio balls, and the foam filters. Even with cleaning twice a month it never really seems dirty...of course the tank is only 30% stocked right now as well. I've been monitoring nitrates pretty closely and they have been staying between 5-10ppm(API kit hard to read exactly), which as I understand it for a FOWLR tank is perfectly acceptable.
 

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sounds good.

even so, I have run many fish tanks with minimal filtration, as long as I have had either of the following scenarios:

in freshwater tanks, about an inch and a half of gravel

and in marine tanks, about an inch and a half of crushed coral. this provides plenty of surface area for bacteria to colonize. as long as you are using a gravel vacuum to take out detritus, the organics wont have too much time to degrade causing a nitrate spike.

If you wanted to do a fish only tank, and are using at least a pound of live rock (or even dead rock, after the tank was cycled using food or the ammonia cycling method), you wouldnt even need a substrate. My current tank started as FOWLR with bare bottom and I ended up adding a few soft corals after a few months. I only run carbon in a hob filter (hang on the back) and use a skimmer.

I found not using a skimmer caused a hazy film on the water surface, which will inhibit oxygen exchange so I just prefer to use a skimmer.

anyways, back to the point....if you are using live rock, you really don't need the filter except to run media such as carbon. you can have it, it wont hurt, as long as you keep it clean. (for me its just one more unnecessary thing to clean though! I like to keep it simple)

The MAIN takeaway point is this: organics (food, poo) left to degrade in the water WILL be processed into nitrite and then nitrate, unless removed within a matter of a day or two (someone can probably correct me on that time frame, but it brings to mind that adage that if you leave food out on the counter, bacteria multiplies and decay starts, especially the warmer the temp.

So, whether its a crushed coral substrate (including sand, but that's harder to clean!!), live rock, or a canister filter, in order to keep nutrient levels low, must be cleaned often.

you aren't doing a reef. But if you were, and you had corals you needed to feed, or even fish that eat a lot (tangs!! Lionfish!!) its tough because you HAVE to dump nutrients into the system.....but leaving them in there for any length of time and you WILL have nutrient overload. With any system, export MUST be equal to import, and in a timely fashion, in order to prevent problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I definitely understand what you are saying. When the surface gets too hazy on mine I put one of my powerheads up there and airate the crap out of it. I've also been doing bimonthly 15% water changes.

Fish day added the following things:
1 small false clown
3 peppermint shrimp
10 nessarious(?) small snails.

Very excited and they all have ate already!
 

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Personally, I'd let them figure out the pecking order. With semi-aggressive fish in a smaller tank, there's going to be some territory squabbles. Quarantining one will just delay the inevitable. Plus the clown is already very stressed I'm sure, so chasing them around with a net and having your hands in the tank is just going to make it worse.
 

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It's hard to say. Sometimes they calm down after a little while, but sometimes, like you said, they just keep it up until they're dead. You should always turn your lights off after a new introduction to limit stress, did you do this? Moving your rocks around is the only other thing I can think of, which you've already done. Unfortunately, there's not much room for the clown to hide in a 30 gallon... But I can't see the point in quarantining one - you'll just have the same problem when you release it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yea I did. Oddly enough the bullying didn't start up until a couple hours after introduction. I just checked on them and they are at opposite sides of the tank, clown is swimming a little funky hopefully it's just because he is asleep etc. banggai is his typical motionless boring self-I'm recalls starting to dislike that fish.
 
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