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Old 02-27-2006, 12:30 AM   #1
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Please help. Im a confused Fish Loving Newbie

I just started keeping saltwater fishes a month ago. I'm very confused about what to buy and what to not buy even though i've read lots of things on the internet for days (i didn't even do my homework some days just b/c of reading these stuff). My fish tank is fine according to a pet's store. The problems are i don't know if my fishes and other stuff are going to die soon b/c i've been putting lots of different species in there. I'll describe my tank and please help me with what to take out and what to keep.

20 gallons tank
60 pounds of live rock
good light sourse (the pet store said so)
good water (same)
filter w/ protein skimmer
pink-tipped haitian anemones
star polyps coral
2 percular clown fishes
1 coral beaty angle
1 bicolor dottyback
1 fire goby - purple
1 yellow tang
1 scooter blenny
1 ermerald crab
1 peppermint shrimp

That's pretty much it. Now i have lots of questions, please help:

1. My clown fishes keep fighting each other. I bought them at different times. Plus they usually don't swim down alot. They keep swimming at the top of the tank for some reason. Why? What should i do? Even at night, they are still swimming near the surface. Note, they are not gasping for air.

2. Should i take out my bicolor dottyback? it has been attacking my blenny and gobi.

3. I've tried to search the internet as much as i can about anemones but im still confused. It said that they eat fishes by stunning them with poison. Would my anemone kill my fishes? It crawled around alot and once, it touched my coral and a small porton of my coral faded (color). Should i take it out?

4. My angle fish seems peaceful toward other tankmates except it chases the dottyback sometimes. Plus i saw it eating my shrimp's anttenas. Would he be a problem? He seems very peaceful to other fishes though.

That's all i could type up now. It is 11:33 PM right now and im still trying to learn more about fishes . Please help me out. I will very very appreciate any help i could get. Thank you so much in advance

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Old 02-27-2006, 04:19 AM   #2
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WOW, Thats too much for such a small tank.

A tank that size should have no more than 2 clowns in it, i'm afraid to say.
You got territorial issues BIG TIME, plus a bio-load max-out.

Anenomes are usually added to mature tank, over a year old. Tangs need around 4 feet of swimming room. your dottyback is an aggressive fish especially with fish of similar shape and size.

If you bought all that from the same pet store with them knowing what size of tank you have, all they care about is taking your money!!! You have got a lot of STRESSED out fish. You should'nt have more than 1 fish per 10 gallons of water for territory purposes. Another rule, for bio-load/territory is about 1 inch of fish per 5 gallons of water (minus the tail).


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Old 02-27-2006, 04:52 AM   #3
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Plus you have much less than 20 gallons with 60 pounds of LR in there. You are in a worse situation than I was when I started and I thought I had it bad. They told me its ok to put a puffer in a 10 gallon tank. That was deffinatly wrong advice. Dont always listen to your local feed store like ryguy said they just want your money. Go to a fish only store and talk to them and see if they know what they are talking about. Describe your tank to them and if they know what they are talking about they will say your tank is very over populated. My personal oppinion is get a bigger tank and get rid of some of those fish in the process until the bigger tank cycles. Good luck. If you have any questions along the way come here these nice people have helped me SOOOO much.
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Old 02-27-2006, 05:37 AM   #4
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Too much, too soon. Talk to the lfs and see what they can take back. They shouldn't have let you get in this situation...they are not being responsible and only setting you up for failure. Try to find a much better lfs in your area...preferably one that deals only in fish, no cats , dogs , birds etc. Learn from this forum and take things much slower...you'll enjoy it much more in the end.
Good Luck.
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Old 02-27-2006, 05:39 AM   #5
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Welcome to AA btw
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Old 02-27-2006, 06:40 PM   #6
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Wow, seems like im killing my fishes with love here . My fishes seem to get along with each other really well except for the clownfishes fighting each other. They kinda stopped fighting as mucn as they were when i first put the 2nd one in. The tang used to swim around the tank all day like insane but it also stopped. The reasons that are stressing me out the most are: the clownfishes keep swimming near the surface. They don't seem to sleep at all. 2nd is the dottyback. I think i should get him out as soon as possible. Other than that other fishes seem fine. I'll try to ask the pet store to return those fishes or i'll try to talk my dad into buying a bigger tank.

O yea, about my pink tipped anemone, should i take it out too? it looks healthy but im scared of it eating my fishes and damaging my coral.

You all have done an incredible job of giving me some overview of my tank. Now please give me specific advices

Thanks alot guys
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Old 02-27-2006, 06:48 PM   #7
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Do the tang a favor and get him out of there. It's too small for him. I think you'll find he's very unhappy in the long run.
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Old 02-27-2006, 09:35 PM   #8
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did your tank go through a complete nitrogen cycle before you added your animals?

Most on here will tell you that if you want to keep that amount of fish, you need a 75G.

There is so much info to give ya, I don't know where to start. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I think you should just have 2 fish in your tank. See if your LFS will take the majority back, if not, maybe find a local reefer who can take them until you get a bigger tank and are prepared to take them back.

I would recommend reading as many old posts as you can on this website as you can. It will help you out tons and give you and your fish the best chance for success.

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Old 02-27-2006, 10:26 PM   #9
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I don't mean to sound rude but this has to be a gag. If not, I'm sorry man. I would like to see a picture of this tank. I'm looking at 60 lbs. of live rock and I can't fathom putting that much rock in a 20G tank. You would only have maybe 8 gallons of total water volume afterwards.

What type of skimmer do you have, a skilter? Does the motion of that many fish swimming around create enough current that powerheads aren't even needed?

There's no way you have been reading for a month and didn't realize that you had majorly overstocked your tank.

If this is real, you need to take it slower and get rid of a ton of stuff. If this is fake, I did LOL, but you forgot to add the lion fish and blue hippo tang.
45G Reef - 65#'s of LR, 3" sand bed, Fluval 304 filled with LR rubble, (2) MJ900, SeaClone 100 protein skimmer with MJ1200
Fish - Ocellaris Clown, Royal Gramma, Purple Firefish, Coral Beauty, Blue Neon Goby
Coral - Xenia, Devil's Hand Leather, Toadstool Leather, Green Hairy Mushrooms, Zoanthids
Inverts - (2) Peppermint Shrimp, Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp, (5) Turbo Snails, (4) Nassarius Snails, (10) Blue Leg Hermits, Emerald Crab, (3) Scarlett Crabs, some small starfish(hitchhikers)

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Old 02-27-2006, 10:40 PM   #10
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Did this LFS know you only have a 20-gallon tank??? If so, I would never return there. The only kind of LFS that would try to sell you 60 pounds of live rock for a 20 gallon, and then sell you a yellow tang on top of that, and then sell you an anemone after 1 whole month, is only after your money. A good LFS should help you to succeed, not just sell you everything they can think of.

My advice for you: Stop listening to LFS in general. Some are very good, but many of them are only after your money, and care nothing for the fish they sell. On this forum, you have hundreds of aquarists that have years of experience, have made many mistakes, and have learned from them and pass their wisdom onto us newbies. I've been on this forum since day 1 owning an aquarium, and have avoided 99% on the newbie mistakes many people make!

The people on this forum know what they are talking about, and actually care about your fish and your enjoyment of this hobby. Try getting that at your LFS.

38 Gallon (Freshwater): 1 Green Swordtail, 3 Yo-Yo Loaches, 1 Clown Pleco, 1 Blue Gourami, 4 Otocinclus, 7 Cherry Barbs.

46 Gallon (Saltwater): 60 pounds Lalo Live Rock, 60 pounds aragonite sand, 1 Coral Beauty Angelfish, 1 Peppermint Shrimp, 1 Mushroom Coral, 1 Emerald Crab, various snails and hermit crabs.

10 Gallon (Saltwater quarantine):
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