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Old 05-17-2004, 10:33 PM   #1
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Fish for a small tank

It seems that there are alot of people with issues where they get fish which are small and cute in the store, but they bring them home and soon learn that little cutie grows to be a foot long.

I don't wanna keep trading fish as soon as they get to big.

So for those of us with tanks under 50 gallons, what would you recommend?
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Old 05-18-2004, 12:19 AM   #2
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i would recommend clowns, damsels, blennies, gobies, jawfish, dwarf angels, dwarf lions, dwarf puffers, cleaner shrimp...........and the list goes on and on. Most people think that a small tank is limited to specimens, but there are actually a great number. The only restriction is the amount you can put in.

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P.S. i would recommend clowns and dwarf angels first, and if you can get a small yellow tang(1 inch -1.5 inches) then that would be fine also.
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Old 05-18-2004, 08:46 AM   #3
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If your referencing the 37gal cube then I would not go with a tang. The tang faimly are one of those fish that you refer to with people getting them when they are small and only having to get rid of them as they grow.

The only goby I would have you avoid is the Mandrian goby.

The dwarf angels are nice. Depending on what kind of color you want in your tank the flame angel or the lemon peel angel is nice and bright colored. Shrimp like the skunk cleaner or the fire shrimp provide nice color to the setup and provide interest.

One of the downsides of the cube is the surface area of the water. Cube tanks have a lower surface area ratio as compaired to regular tanks. This means that realisticly the amount of fish you can keep and not worry about suffication in case of loss of power is smaller. I would suggest trying to limit yourself to 4 small fish (~2" in size each)
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Old 05-19-2004, 05:01 PM   #4
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Depends on what look your going for. A group of green chromis can be an awesome sight. Perhaps 5 of them in the smaller size. I really like small huma triggers under three inches. They grow pretty slow. I would stay away from Tangs in general. The smaller wrasses like the sixline variety would be a great choice and so are the smaller gobies.

In a tank that has reduced surface area it is important to have the surface constantly moving like a rolling boil. This will actually increase the surface area by breaking the surface tension.

Small percs would be a nice choice with some green chromis. IMO
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Old 05-19-2004, 06:01 PM   #5
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now, this surface area thing is a bit confusing. I have had tanks in the past, but I never had them to full capacity so "surface area" was never an issue.

Does the problem with smaller surface area have to do with swimming area, or dissolved oxygen?

THe return valve of my filtration unit does a good job at churning up the water surface.
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Old 05-21-2004, 02:39 AM   #6
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Surface area can be more important than actual gallonage (is that a word?) of a tank. All the oxygen that goes into the water and all the gasses that come out is through the surface of the water. Having a small surface area limits the amount of either that can transmit to the other medium. Cube,hex and similar tanks will all have considerably less surface area than a rectangle of the same volume, and as such the bio-load becomes more of a factor. Having the surface broken up by water flow will help in both absorbing oxygen and getting rid of the bad stuff, so it will make up for the limited area to a limitied extent. It also affects swimming area as cubes and hex's tend to be tall but narrow rather than shallow and wide. Few fish swim up and down all the time. I'm not sayin they are bad in any way, just saying it has to be considered in your stocking. IE a fish with a "minium" requirement of 55 gallons is generally aimed at a 55 standard as the fish will likely outgrow a tall tank much sooner than a wide tank.
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