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Old 02-11-2006, 04:36 PM   #1
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Stocking a 29-gallon

I have some stocking questions regarding a 29-30 gallon saltwater aquarium. Live rock is to serve as the biological filtration. Also to be used are an external power filter and a protein skimmer. Stocking scheme is based on The New Marine Aquarium, page 84 (Barebones Desk Tank/Young Aquarist's Starter Kit). The questions mainly have to do with modifying this system for a 30-gallon aquarium.

2 False Percula Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris)
1 Springer's Dottyback (Pseudochromis springeri)
Shrimp (3 Sexy? 3 Peppermint?)
1 Brittle Star
Feather Duster Worm

My main questions are thus:
What are the care requirements of the Feather Duster Worm, and are there any particular species which are recommended for this setup? Ditto with the Brittle Star.
Would there be a significant difference between the (recommended) Peppermint shrimp and (my personal favourite) Sexy shrimp? Is one more difficult to care for/require stricter or different water conditions? My research shows them to be about the same size.
How would one go about feeding the Feather Duster and the Brittle Star? I know that they require certain types of food, but how, actually, does one get the food from the container to them?
Is it possible, given the slightly larger aquarium size, to add another fish, perhaps a dwarf angelfish (Flame or Cherub, probably)? What about Cardinalfish?

And lastly, an equipment question, that the book didn't explain very well...
What is a powerhead, and why is it necessary? From what the book says, it's to provide water movement. Is that provided by the filter inadequate for a saltwater system?

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Old 02-11-2006, 06:01 PM   #2
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Power head is for water movement and sometimes you need them and sometimes you dont. I dont use them but only because I dont need one. My two intakes make enough water movement. But your filter will probably not.
Feather duster is a filter feeder and just takes nutrients out of the water. If you want to feed just put plankton or oyster eggs or cyclopeeze in the water twice a week. Dont know much about the brittle. Never had one.
As far as the stocking that`s just a general guideline. There are others that you could opt for instead of what he recommended. You asked about another fish you juat have to realize that 30 gallons is considered a small tank in the SW business. You cant get that many fish in a small tank. But welcome to AA and hope all goes well for you.

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Old 02-11-2006, 11:04 PM   #3
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I know there are other combinations of fish. What I would really like to have, is a triggerfish. However, I realise that they require a much larger tank than I have room for. So I did some research and asked around, and learned that the Pseudochromis also had a lot of personality (which is what attracted me to triggerfish) and were much more suitable for the size tank I had in mind.

And clownfish...are clownfish! Who doesn't want a pair of clownfish? The swimming of cardinalfish amuses me, and I love the colours of angelfish.

Shrimp...are adorable. And again, I learned in my research that feather duster worms and starfish are some of the easier invertebrates to care for.

So, while I've read about other stocking schemes for a tank that size, and tried planning my own, this one appealed to me because of the selection of fish and invertebrates.

And yes, I know 30g is a small tank in SW. However, the stocking scheme is intended for a 15-20g. I was just asking if it would be possible to add another (small) fish, and if so, what would be recommended as especially useful or interesting.

Thanks for your help.

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Old 02-13-2006, 09:41 PM   #4
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With the two clowns and the dottyback thats about 10.5 inches of fish so you can house another fish thats grows up to 4.5 inches. Sexy shrimp require a slower acclimation process than peppermint but both have the same housing requirements.
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Old 02-14-2006, 09:31 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by buiboy
With the two clowns and the dottyback thats about 10.5 inches of fish so you can house another fish that grows up to 4.5 inches.
That advise is based on 1” per 2 gal of water and an experienced aquarist can accomplish that with proper filtration and back up power units but I would highly recommend sticking to 1” per 5 gal of water when first starting to avoid your fish possibly suffocating if your power goes out for longer then 6 hours.

The most fish I would have in a 30 gal without a backup generator is what you have listed ie: Two of the smaller clown species like the true or false Percula Clownfish and Springeri Pseudochromis are both great fish for a tank this size. You may also want to consider a Coral Beauty, Banggai Cardinal, Royal Gramma, & the Solar Wrasses to house with the clowns instead of the Pseudochromis.

If you are going to use a sump/fuge then you may not need any power heads since the sump/fuge would give you good oxygen exchange within the water and decent movement for a FO or FOWLR setup. If you plan on making this a reef tank then you will need 10-20 times the turn over on your tank which is around 300-600 gph and will probably require a closed loop system or additional power heads. If you are not going to use a sump/fuge then I would add at least one ph in the range of 200-300 gph aimed towards the surface to ripple the water for good oxygen exchange. Otherwise your tank may not get enough oxygen and your fish could suffer.

Starfish can be easy to keep in a stable mature tank once properly acclimated but due to their intolerance of sudden changes in oxygen levels, salinity and pH of the water I’d wait at least 4 months before adding to make sure you tank is fully stabilized. You can read up on all the requirements of keeping starfish in the following two links.
Sea Stars on liveaquaria.com
wetwebmedia.com has pretty good overall info on sea stars in general.

Shrimp also need fairly stable water conditions so I’d wait till the 4th month before adding those as well. Small red/blue leg hermits can be added shortly after the fishless cycle and I would start with about 6-10 to help clean up your tank.

Lastly since you are fairly new to keeping SW fish I’d highly recommend reading all the saltwater articles on this site, the articles on liveaquaria.com, & the articles on wetwebmedia.com so you have a better understanding of the basics.

Of course posting any questions you have here if you are confused about anything or looking for advise on a particular subject is always a good idea as well
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