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FAQs about Small Marine System Livestocking 15 

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Related FAQs: Small Marine System Livestocking 1, Small Marine System Stocking 2, Small Marine Stocking 3Small Marine Stocking 4, Small Marine Stocking 5, Small Marine Stocking 6, Small Marine Stocking 7, Small Marine Stocking 8, Small Marine Stocking 9, Small Marine Stocking 10, Small Marine Stocking 11, Small Marine Stocking 12, Small Marine Stocking 13, Small Marine Stocking 14, Small Marine Stocking 16, Small Marine Stocking 17, Small Marine Stocking 18, & Cnidarians for Small Systems by Bob Fenner, Small Scorpionfishes: Lionfishes and More for Small Systems by Bob Fenner, Blennies, -oids for Small Systems by Bob Fenner, Damsels, Clownfishes for Small Systems by Bob Fenner, Dwarf Dwarf Angels of the Genus Centropyge by Bob Fenner, Jawfishes Suitable for Small Marine Systems by Bob Fenner, Little Basses for Small Systems by Bob Fenner,

Small Marine Aquariums
Book 1:
Invertebrates, Algae
New Print and eBook on Amazon:
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Small Marine Aquariums
ook 2:

New Print and eBook on Amazon: by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Small Marine Aquariums
Book 3:

New Print and eBook on Amazon:
by Robert (Bob) Fenner

30 gallon fowlr stocking   1/25/12
I have a 30 gallon cube FOWLR that has about 15 pounds of live rock and has been running almost two months now.
I also have a powerhead for circulation, a reef octopus bh 100 hang on back skimmer and a HOT magnum power filter (also hang on back) for mechanical filtration.
Do I need to run carbon in the magnum filter?
<I would... but only change out monthly or so. Read here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cratuse.htm
and the linked files above>
 So far I just rinse the filter media weekly.  I will start making 5 gallon water changes monthly now that the cycle is completed.
I have already added a turbo snail, two small hermit crabs, an emerald crab, and a peppermint shrimp (but I never see the shrimp).
<Might have been eaten by the Mithrax/Mithraculus/Emerald Crab... see WWM re this genus>
I added a blue damsel last week and want to pass my stocking list by you.
I would like to add:
1 Clown
1 Chromis
1 Cardinal
1 Goby (either clown or neon blue)
For a total of 5 fish including the damsel.
Will this work?  Would a blenny be compatible?
<Should work, and will depend on the species of blenny>
Could I add an additional shrimp?
<I wouldn't... would remove the crab>
  Is there any type that is more active in the day and won't hide all the time?
<Mmm, depends on the rest of the livestock... there are some Hippolytids worth considering.... Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hipshrpsel.htm
and the...>
Do you have any suggestions on the order of introduction and how long I would wait between additions?
<Yes... the Goby and Cardinal first... Clown last>
Also, is it OK to add 1-2 small pieces of additional live rock at a time?
<Better to cure ahead of time, isolate for a few weeks. Please see WWM re>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

acceptable temporary bio-load? Adding mated Clowns temporarily to a small, fish-populated system   1/20/12
I am mostly new to SW aquariums, and I have the following:
30G high tank, established, with a 2.5" coral beauty,
<Will need more room than this>
 2.0" hippo tang,
<And a much larger volume for this Paracanthurus>
 and a 1.5" jester Goby.  Parameters are 0 nitrites and ammonia, and estimated 5 ppm nitrates.  I also am in process of cycling a 90G tank,
<Ah, good>
and ammonia is down from .75 to .25, but no sign of nitrites yet, and nitrates are not that high.
<Still cycling... can take some times months...>
I plan on putting my tang in the 90G when it is ready.  Here is my question:  I can purchase a mated pair of 4" black saddleback clowns for $70.  Can I temporarily put them along with the others in my 30G until my 90G is ready and cycled??
<Mmmm, I would not... Too likely to be territorial issues, perhaps prompt biological disease from stress here. Mated clowns can be very aggressive toward other fishes, esp. in small confines. The possibility of dividing the tank, floating the other fishes in a plastic colander or such is also contraindicated... too stressful>
 I know it is a heavy load, impossible for full grown fish, but I am only thinking I need 6-8 weeks or so...my 30 G has about 15# of LR, and a Penguin 170 HOB filter.   Regular water changes, about 10% /week, or as needed to keep nitrates below 20 ppm.
<Mmm, best to see if they'll hold onto these clowns for you, or ask someone else (perhaps  a local fish store) if they will>
Would appreciate any feedback, and pre-emptive apologies if this is one of those "dumb" questions.
<Not dumb at all. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Firefish goby dies over night -- 12/29/11
Hey crew,
First off awesome site and very useful. I looked trough the index and found a couple possible answers to my question of why my new Firefish goby
<Singular? Are social species; given to easy stressing>

died overnight. I recently bought him and dripped the fish for almost 3 hours also putting the heater in to make sure water temp matched after such a long period of still water. The goby appeared fine and was put in with a red coral banded shrimp

( who I've since removed for picking on the goby- I know mistake). He seemed a lot happier after that and started moving about more but was still timid.
<As Microdesmids are>

To give you the whole picture I have had this 30gal tank for a little more then 6 months. I started with a cleaner shrimp then added two Clarkii clowns. I also have 4 blue hermits, 1 emerald crab and 4 turbo snails. And lastly a LTA anemone.
<Too likely to have problems... anomalous deaths, consumption by this Anemone in such a small volume>

Everyone lived great together. The cleaner shrimp died last week and I found him under the filter so I'm assuming he got caught while trying to molt and that was the end. I have about 20 pounds if not a little more of live rock. I plan on adding more.
<I wouldn't. Better to have more water volume, space>
The goby was introduced about 6 days ago and again seemed to do fine the clown fish loved him and they slept next to each other side to side at times. Since I removed the red banded coral shrimp 3 days later like I said, he seemed to be great. Yesterday I added a new cleaner and a small dwarf angel my last additions.
<... this system is too small for a Centropyge Angel and the Clowns>

The angel took territory over on the right side of the tank and goby left side. They didn't bother each other and the goby actually became more active by the time I fell asleep. I thought " wow the angel cheered him up!" I had the lights off for a good 5 then my timer turned on the light. I woke up to a dead goby who is now on the opposite side if the tank?
<In a word, the cause here: "stress">
After I tried moving some things to see if he was alive I saw him restless on the bottom moving with the current. He wasn't breathing and I notices his color went from awesome last night to being very dark in the middle and one side had a huge protruding bubble on one side.
What could have happened over night?
<Damage... from the other fish/es or trauma from dashing into the rock, side>
I checked my levels at the LFS ( ran out of tabs) and water was perfect.
Salinity was a tad high but the gobies water when introduced was of similar quality. Any ideas?
<See above>
I noticed since my anemone likes to hang up on the glass between a heater and a corner ( is this okay by the way?)
<No; too likely to get burned>
I turned down the heaters out put so it didn't fry my anemone. Could the slightly colder side of the tank have been the reason?
<Perhaps another source of stress, but not by itself>
I have another heater on the other side that was set only 5 degrees higher then the others.
Just want clarification on why this beautiful goby died on me so quick.
Thanks guys,
Adam Hirschberg
<Best to review, look into what is posted on WWM re all the species you currently house here, AND anything you intend to add. Bob Fenner>

New stocking list, sm. reef 11/30/11
<Hi there>
Recently I moved my 3 year old reef tank. I had to give away all of my fish so now I'm ready to restock. As of now, I am planning to get a starry blenny, a mccosker's flasher wrasse,
<Just a single individual? This is a social species... won't be as colorful or... oh, I see your system is actually too small>
 an Ocellaris clownfish, and a fathead Anthias.
<A fave>
The tank is a 40 gallon breeder with a few types of mushrooms and Zoanthids. I also have a sump with various algaes and media for filtration. My water quality has always been fine.
My concern and question is if the fish I plan to get will do well in this tank?
<Mmm, not this wrasse by itself likely, and again there's not enough room for a small harem>
 I'm especially concerned about the Anthias and the wrasse. Would all of these fish be compatible? Also, do you perhaps have a suggestion for a 5th fish or would that be too many?
<Do read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/StkgSmSWsysArt.htm
and the linked FAQs files above>
Thanks for your time, and sorry for any grammar issues, I'm a chemistry major not an English teacher lol.
<I taught H.S. sciences, including Chemistry... Correct English is requisite for getting along in the professional world... Learn it outright or (do as I do/did) and utilize spelling and grammar checkers. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: New stocking list   11/30/11
Hello again,
I had a feeling the wrasse might be a bad idea. In that case, I'm just contemplating a fish or two that is peaceful enough for the Anthias. If I'm not mistaken, the Anthias is very shy or am I wrong?
<No; not wrong. Do read here:
and the linked FAQs file re the species (above)>
Before I had moved my tank, I had a cherub angelfish. It was very aggressive and I'm worried about getting any sort of angel for that reason and their coral eating habits. Unless you think otherwise, I'll avoid them and maybe try for a cardinal and/or a Basslet.
<Good choices, though the Basslet may not go w/ the Gramma>
Perhaps a goby would be better than the Basslet for the Anthias?
<Sigh... please read where you were referred to... B>
 Would the goby be ok with the blenny? Also, I've noticed my friend never could keep a cardinal alive longer than a week. Should I skip the cardinal for something else? 

Clownfish/Host Separation    11/25/11
Hello. I have a question regarding my Ocellaris clownfish and long tentacled anemone. My anemone has been hosting my clown for 2-3 months now, but I have come to the sad realization that it will soon outgrow my tank. I need to remove it soon. Maybe this is a dumb question because I can't find much about it on WWM or the Internet in general, but, how is my clownfish likely to react when I remove his home?
<Mmm, there's a large range of variability here. Most tank-bred/raised clowns don't have a reaction at all, whereas wild/collected specimens often show behavior of "separation anxiety">
I have heard stories about clownfish becoming very aggressive/depressed after losing their host.
<This is so at times>
I plan on providing a wide array of possible non-anemone hosts such as Frogspawn for my clownfish to try out. Would it be best to put these corals in the tank before removing the anemone?
<No; trouble likely... allelopathy>
What can I do to make this transition the easiest and least stressful for my fish?
<Cold turkey really>
By the way, in case it matters, he is the only fish in my Biocube 29 currently. I plan on adding 3-4 more fish, but I can hold off on this if it would help my clownfish to get settled again.
<I would... this volume is too small... too likely compatibility/territorial issues w/ adding more fish/es here>
Any tips, advice, or opinions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.
<Do put your concerns in the search tool on WWM and read at your leisure.
Many people have/had the same sorts of circumstances. Bob Fenner> 
Re: re: Clownfish/Host Separation    11/27/11

Thank you for your response, but I am kind of confused about one of your last comments. Were you suggesting to wait a certain period of time before adding more fish or were you saying to just not add any more fish?
<The latter... "I would hold off">
I really want a couple more fish, but I would be fine holding off for some time until my clownfish settles down. Please clarify. Thank you.
<This species (Ocellaris) of Amphiprionine is easier going than most all... but this volume is small... better to have a plan... add it toward last (the less-territorial fish/species first). BobF>

30 gallon cube fowlr setup   11/2/11
Hi, I am setting up an oceanic 30 gallon cube saltwater tank and need some advice.
Here is what I have:
30 gallon oceanic cube tank with oceanic stand and oceanic glass lid Jebo 829 canister filter
9 watt Coralife uv sterilizer
Hydor Koralia Evolution Circulation Pump/Powerhead 550 gph 100 watt heater
Marineland ML Double Bright LED Light, 18-24 inches
Sand for the bottom (used to be live sand, but has been in my garage in a dry bucket for a year)
The tanks stand is too narrow inside for a refugium or sump.
I have a sea clone protein skimmer but I am not planning on using it since there is no sump and I don't want it hanging on the tank.
<Better than nothing...>
I want my tank to look sort of like this:
<The first pic?>
And not so much like this:
<The second I take it>
So I am only planning on getting about 10-15 lbs of live rock and not 30 lbs of live rock.
This is also going in a small bedroom, so noise is a major factor - it must be quiet.
I was planning on drilling holes for an overflow and installing something like this:
<The overflow box...>
But it seems the water draining would be noisy and there is limited space under the stand for a sump. Also this is a FOWLR not a reef tank.
I have an opportunity to get a phosphate reactor, but I thought it would do the same thing as the uv sterilizer,
<Uh, no>
so I am not getting it. What do you think?
<You'd do well to do a bit more reading; investigating; at least on WWM if not a recent "marine aquarium handbook">
I will use RO water from LFS to fill the tank and for all water changes.
I am planning on changing 5 gallons of water every two weeks and cleaning the canister filter at the same time.
Here are my questions:
Should I add a phosphate reactor to this setup?
<I wouldn't. Not likely useful and have potential downsides>
The uv sterilizer will be on the output side of the canister filter, will the canister filter be able to return water to tank with this added resistance?
<Very likely so; yes>
Should I use all the media that came with the canister filter? (It has about five boxes, two filled with ceramic rings, one with bio balls, and two empty
- I will use carbon on one and just a filter pad on the other.)
<As much as there is space for; yes>
I plan on keeping about 8 fish. A clown fish with an anemone, blemey, shrimp, and a few other fish.
<Not likely room for this many here>
Do I need a "cleaning crew"? does this mean snails only?
<You don't. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marscavart.htm
and the linked files above>
I also have a HOT Magnum HOB filter, but will only use it to polish the water after water changes.
My goal is to have a clean looking tank that is quite. <quiet>
Any comments/recommendations on any of the above?
<Nothing more really. Need to see more of your stocking list...>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: 30 gallon cube fowlr setup   11/2/11
Stocking list:
1 - ocellaris clown
1 - fridmani
1 - six-line wrasse
<Mmm, no; too mean... and this volume is too small>
1 - royal gamma
<Not w/ the Pseudochromid; no>
1 - cleaner shrimp
1 - anemone
<Not likely to live here... see WWM re Actinarians, systems>
Any recommendations/comments?
<Keep reading. BobF> 
Re: 30 gallon cube FOWLR setup. Stkg./sel.
OK, thanks for all the feedback.
Which of the following would do well with the Ocellaris clown and the fridmani?
And how many of these fish can I put in the 30 gallon tank?
golden head goby
<Not really... not enough floor/space>
<Depends on species>
Bicolor Dottyback
Royal Gamma Basslet
<One or the other of the above...>
Bicolor chromis
Blue/Green Reef Chromis
<No damsels here>
Clown Goby, Green
<See WWM re Gobiodon requirements>
Yellow Stripe Clingfish
Catalina Goby
<Cold water...>
Yellow Prawn Goby
Firefish, Helfrichi
Firefish, Purple
Swales Swissguard Basslet
<See above... the Dottybacks won't really go w/ Basslets, Grammas or Dartfishes here... Just one piece/individual of one species>
Tanaka's Pygmy Wrasse
Coral Beauty Angelfish
Orchid Dottyback
Yellowtail Damselfish
<See above and WWM... B>
Re: 30 gallon cube FOWLR setup
Can I put a micro brittle star fish in my 30 gallon FOWLR tank?
<Likely so>
I am planning on a Ocellaris clown and fridmani. Haven't decided on anything else yet.
Also thinking about a cleaner shrimp.
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/SmSWStkF14.htm
and the linked files above. B>

Re: 30 gallon cube fowlr setup... more mis-stkg.    11/4/11
Hi, I am setting up a 30 gallon cube fowlr aquarium and want to pass by my stocking list.
1 - Ocellaris clown
1 - Fridmani
2 - Firefish, Purple
<... no... See our prev. emails, WWM re the two above. B>
1 - Serpent Star Fish
1 - cleaner shrimp
What do you think?
Re: 30 gallon cube fowlr setup   11/4/11

What fish would you suggest that get along with the clown and the fridmani?
<... keep reading.>
Re: 30 gallon cube fowlr setup   11/4/11
OK, I think from my reading I can stock this in my 30 gallon cube fowlr:
1- Ocellaris clown
4-5 chromis (if too many, what is the max number I can have?)
1- cleaner shrimp
1 - Serpent Star Fish
If this is good, what is the order I should introduce them to the tank?
I am assuming all the chromis will go in at the same time?
I am learning lots, Thanks

Re: 30 gallon cube fowlr setup   11/7/11
Stocking list:
1- ocellaris clown
5-6 chromis
<No. Don't write us w/o searching first. B>
1- cleaner shrimp
1 - Serpent Star Fish
What is the order I should introduce them?
Do I add the chromis all at once?

Tank Canopy Weight? (and more!) -- 10/27/11
Good day Crew!
<<Greetings Ivan!>>
Thank you very much for ALL of your advice since I started a few years ago! You guys played a huge role in my transition from 'hobby' to 'passion' in the saltwater aquariums field.
<<Ah! We're happy to be a part'¦>>
Over the years, I kept upgrading my tanks. My girlfriend and I are now the proud owners of a 120 gallon with a 50g sump, and of a small 29G.
I have a question regarding our new 120G setup (actually running since our move in June'¦ we moved the 65G we used to have 'into' the 120G) and another one about the 29G. Both questions are COMPLETELY unrelated. (sorry for caps).
<<No worries>>
Currently, we are using the lights we had on our 65G for the 120G. We want to slowly upgrade to a reef system, and obviously, the lights we have (4 x 39W T5 HO) are way too insufficient for our future needs.
<<Likely so>>
So I bought a 2 x 250W Metal Halides retrofit kit (used). I would also like to install a retrofit kit of 2 x 60 inches T5 HO (80W).
Now the fun part is that the tank doesn't have a canopy/cover. I am planning to build one over the winter (fun project for an unheated garage).
<<But satisfying, nonetheless [grin]>>
My first question regarding this would be'¦ how much weight could the tank take?
<<If the glass is 3/8' or thicker, more than you might think'¦a wooden canopy should not be a problem. I have seen some pretty large, ornate, and heavy units>>
It's an all glass aquarium, measuring'¦ oh God'¦ I have it in centimeters'¦ 153 cm x 47 cm (5' by'¦ 18' I think). I would like the canopy to be more or less 14' high, so the MH doesn't overheat the water (fans shall be installed as well) and in order to prevent splashes.
Now, this said, my father (used to be a civil engineer) and my sister (just completed studies in architecture) strongly suggests I build an aluminum frame and then cover it with thin plywood.
<<Not necessary, in 'my' opinion>>
In your opinion, would this reduce the weight and make it last longer? (don't mention the cost part, I am aware'¦)
<<The weight would likely be less, yes'¦but it wouldn't necessarily last any longer than an 'all wood' canopy'¦plus you have to take measure to coat or otherwise protect the aluminum from exposure to the water and possible contamination/poisoning re. A wooden canopy built from ¾' stock should be fine>>
Also, it is my first time with MH. I read a lot about it, and from what I understand, if the lights are on, then turned off, I need to wait prior to turning them on again, right?
<<Yes, there's a function of metal halide lamps known as restrike time'¦this is the time it takes for the lamp to cool down and restart after a momentary outage. Supposedly this is not affected by ballast type, but it seems my electronic ballasts of most recent manufacture will restart the lamps faster than those of older manufacture'¦though this is of little consequence>>
What if there is a power failure?
<<Not to worry'¦ If the lamps don't fire back up after a power failure (momentary of otherwise), your livestock will be fine until you get home to recycle the ballasts. Even should you be away for a few days all should still be fine re the lights being off'¦but if you have the lights on timers (recommended), these will cycle the ballasts for you with the next off/on period>>
I use a computer backup battery in order to prevent such unwanted events, but the battery is now quite loaded with the pumps and heaters. If I plug 660W of lights over all that, it will last maybe 1, 2 minutes?
<<Dunno'¦but it's my suggestion you do not put the lights on the batter-backup'¦is not necessary>>
(lol'¦) Here in Quebec, we have a VERY reliable electricity service, but it's not infallible. Is there a way or a system or anything I could use/do/make/invent so if there is a power outage, the lights don't try to turn back on once the power comes back?
<<Not needed'¦you don't need to be overly concerned here>>
Now, regarding the 29G. We used to keep seahorses in it. We had them for a year, but last summer's move killed them. Sad story. The male got stressed, died a week after we moved. The female kept looking at the spot where the male's body was and let herself die within the next few days. After that loss, we decided to keep the 29G running empty, but now we're ready to move on. We have two possible plans for it and I would like your opinion on this.
First, make an echinoderm aquarium, all urchins and stars! It would be nice, but I don't know how feasible this is.
<<You could make this work with small species that can also be supplemented with prepared foods (do research re)'¦but grazers/difficult feeders like Linckia spp are definitely not recommended>>
Second, a Mystery Wrasse. At first, we wanted to get one for the 120G, but it's a no go with our 6-Line Wrasse.
Is a 29G too small? (I personally think it could be a little too small'¦ but I want a professional opinion on this one).
<<In my opinion, yes, it is too small for a mystery wrasse. Have you considered utilizing it as an inline refugium for the 120?>>
I am deeply sorry about writing such a long email, and I hope you won't hate me for that!!
<<No problem at all>>
Thank you for all your help.
<<Happy to share>>
Best regards from getting-a-little-too-cold-Canada,
<<Ah, sunny and a forecast 80-degrees here in South Carolina! Cheers'¦ EricR>>

Small tank, wall-type... SW...    10/19/11
I just recently received an Aquavista 500 as a gift.
< http://www.aquavistainc.com/products_wallmounted.html>
These are wall mounted tanks and have a fairly efficient set up with a t4 bulb, air pump, adjustable automatic feeder, light timing system, programmable thermostat, and undergravel wet/dry and mechanical 114g/hr filtration pump system. However, they are only 6.6 gallons and the dimensions are 26x26x4.3 in. They are primarily fresh water tanks, but can be used as salt water tanks.
<No, not really... too little surface area, volume... The margin for error/s is way too small here>
I plan on using it as a salt water tank. I had a fish tank for 10yrs (freshwater) and ended up giving it and the fish away when I went to college. This was to ensure the fish were properly cared for since I would not be there. I have researched a lot about the tank size and realize it may be problematic. The following is my question:
Would it be possible to house 3 small fish with maximum lengths of 2.5 to 3 inches full grown?
<Again... if the power goes out for even an hour, or somehow too much food gets introduced... it'll all be over>
The 3 in question would be 1 ocellaris clown fish, 1 green clown goby or purple firefish goby, and 1 green Chromis?
<These are good/compatible choices for a larger volume (15 plus gallons) w/ commensurate SA>
I know chromis usually like schools so they are probably not a viable option, but wanted to check. If 3 fish are an option and the chromis is not a good choice would you have another recommendation? I was planning on placing some live rock in the tank as well and I already have a mixed substrate of small pebbles and sand for the goby to dig. The tank has not been established yet and it will probably take another month or so before fish can be added. Should I place the live rock in asap or wait a bit longer to allow the tank to finish cycling?
Thanks for your help, any advice is appreciated.
<I'd be reading re freshwater stocking choices:

Small Marine Aquariums
Book 1:
Invertebrates, Algae
New Print and eBook on Amazon:
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Small Marine Aquariums
ook 2:

New Print and eBook on Amazon: by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Small Marine Aquariums
Book 3:

New Print and eBook on Amazon:
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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