The "rule" is one INCH of fish (adult size) per 3 to 5 gallons, but there are many, many other considerations (how big the fish are, how messy, compatibility, etc.) You can see that by that rule, you are very overstocked. If your LFS
won't take fish back, do you know someone else with a tank who could take some of the fish for you? (And you might want to find somewhere else to shop--lots of great vendor sponsors on this site.)
It sounds like you've been relying a lot on what your LFS
says, and one thing I've learned very quickly (I'm a new newbie) is that they don't always give the best--or even good--advice. Can I recommend a couple of books that were really helpful to me?
"The New Marine Aquarium"--Michael Paletta
"The Conscientious Marine Aquarist"--Fenner
These both helped me to understand what goes on in a SW
tank and how best to set up my system. This site, too, is soooo helpful--experienced folk have endless patience with newbie questions.
I'm not sure from your post whether you are using a QT
, but if not the fish might have brought something with him if you've only had him 3-4 weeks.
tank with 29-gallon sump
2x Maxijet powerheads
Mag drive 9 return
Coralife 4x65 Lunar Aqualight
120 lbs rock from liverocks.com
1 peppermint shrimp and 1 fire shrimp (very shy)
2 black Ocellaris, Squish and Smudge
3 chromis, too identical to name as yet, in QT
29-gallon with two goldies, Carrot and Orangehead