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Old 11-30-2003, 09:59 PM   #1
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How many fish in a 15g high aquarium

Hello:

I'm new to saltwater aquariums. I've kept freshwater tanks for nearly 25 years and want to try my hand at saltwater. I recently set up my aquarium on 11/18. It is still in the middle of cycling. The tank specs are:

15 gallon high arcylic
20 lbs of Live Rock
20 lbs of Aragonite Sand
Skilter 250 Filter/ protein Skimmer
Typical florescent lights used for freshwater aquariums

The aquarium will be FOWLR. I want to know the quantity of fish I might be able to keep in this size tank. I'm interested in Ocellaris Clownfish, Yellowtail Damsel, Blue Green Chromis, Royal Gramma, and Neon Blue Goby. I know I can't have all those fish in there, but some combination. I'd love to have 4 fish in the tank, 5 would be great!
I plan on running the Skimmer probably only over night since it's noisy and the aquarium is in the family/TV room.

Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 12-01-2003, 09:28 AM   #2
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Well one problem with the 15 high is that it has a low surface area to tank capacity ratio. When compairing tanks the ideal tank would be the one that has a shape that maximizes the surface area to capacity ratio. The low surface area to tank capacity ratio means that there will be less gas exchange in a 15 high than a 15 standard. Less gas exchange basicly equates out to less fish.

I personaly avocate understocking a tank vs overstocking as its much healther on the overall system. For a 15high I would suggest 2 small fish. A pair of clowns, or a clown and goby or a set of chromis. I have to question if the royal gramma wont become overly agressive with a second fish in that size tank.
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Old 12-01-2003, 10:29 AM   #3
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Is there a way to improve gas exchange? Can it be done by increasing the movement of the water surface perhaps by using a powerhead?
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Old 12-01-2003, 10:45 AM   #4
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Is there a way to improve gas exchange? Can it be done by increasing the movement of the water surface perhaps by using a powerhead?
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Old 12-01-2003, 11:28 AM   #5
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if you have room, setup a sump / refuge

the bubbling of water as it drains from the display tank and enters the sump/refuge will create enormous surface area for you.

the draw back is, it is artifical surface area ... if you have a power outage and cannot run the pump, your tank goes back to being dangerously low on surface area.
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Old 12-01-2003, 06:39 PM   #6
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I think regardless of increasing gas exchange you still don't have enough room for 1 or 2 fish. There simply isn't much real estate for everyone to claim. I have a 30g long aquarium with only 4 fish (pair of percs, royal gramma, and a bangaii cardinalfish) and would not consider adding any more due the territories required.

If you want 4-5 fish, I would set up a larger tank since you only just started the 15g. Otherwise, I would enjoy the 15g for what it can have as opposed to what it can't.
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