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Old 09-15-2005, 11:25 PM   #1
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Ideal fish for a 20H "seagrass" tank?

I recently started up a 20H SW tank, which I'm planning on building into a "seagrass" biotope, composed of some LR, macroalgae (species that spread over sand rather than rock), and plastic Vallisneria to stand in for seagrass. Currently I've got 2" sand and ~15lb Florida LR I got from a friend, which has some small SPS (Porites and Turbinaria I think) that seem to be doing well with my current low 20W NO lighting. I have an empty Aquaclear 500 HOB running that I'm going to turn into a mini-fuge, but I'm not planning on getting a skimmer. For added inverts, along with snails and a few hermits, I might try some Sabellastarte tube worms. So, given all that intro, I'm trying to decide what fish would be best to add - I'm just going to add one. I'd like something that will have a low bioload, be hardy, and will do well in the unskimmed "seagrass"/macro/LR setup. My ideas so far are:

1. Neon gobies (Gobiosoma spp) - tank-bred
2. Clownfish (percula or ocellaris) - tank-bred
3. Small wrasses (Six-line seems very popular, flashers maybe? - not sure if 20g is big enough for any of these)
4. Trimma/Eviota gobies (I don't know much about any, except that they're really small)

I'm leaning towards neon goby as the safest choice, but the sixline and flashers are so beautiful. Any advice on these or other options would be appreciated.

Thanks, Ryan

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Old 09-16-2005, 12:08 AM   #2
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that sounds perfect for a seahorse. if you get one that is eating prepared foods. what you describe is almost exactly what i want to do for a seahorse only tank

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Old 09-18-2005, 02:20 PM   #3
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This is my first SW tank, so I think seahorses would not be a good choice for me. Also, I don't want anything that I need to do a lot of work to keep fed.

A small damsel like yellowtail would be another safe choice for me, but a sixline wrasse is my favorite right now. Anyway, I'm going to try to wait until Christmas to get a fish, so I'll have a long time to chew it over.

Ryan
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Old 09-19-2005, 09:03 AM   #4
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some Chromies might also be a decent choice. They only grow to an inch or two and are fairly hardy.

Just a comment, if you have no fish or anything in the tank now, but the rest is set up with the sand rock and plants, you want to keep the tank supplied with waste of some sort to keep everything in motion (biologically) once a day drop a small pinch of flake food into the tank. Although there's nothing really to eat it directly it will break down and keep the nitrification process alive. This keeps your live plants healthy and prevents you from needing to re-cycle your tank once you do get a fish.

a small pinch... not too much.
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Old 09-19-2005, 02:27 PM   #5
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Hey Billy,

I took a look at Chromis, but what I read indicated that they need more room to swim than Chrysiptera and prefer to be in a school (vs. more territorial damsels that are better alone).

Thanks for the tip on adding flake - I sort of thought LR sort of keeps itself going for a while with all the diversity, particularly if unskimmed. I've had the LR in there for about 10 days with no food added!!

Does it matter if I use FW flake or SW flake at this point? Or would it be better to get some plankton culture? I don't have any macroalgae yet, but I have some microalgae, along with 3 hitchhiker hermits (which are scouring the rocks of microalgae, although avoiding the longer stuff), some small SPS colonies, spaghetti worms, lots of very small tube worms, lots of amphipods, lots of coralline, 3 turkey shell clams, some other stuff I'm still trying to identify.
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Old 09-20-2005, 09:33 AM   #6
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when you first set up a tank and first put in LR there is almost always some amount of die off of the life on and in the rock/sand. This die off is what supplies a fair amount of the ammonia needed to kick off your cycle and feed the bacteria. But once the cycle is complete and the bacteria are processing the ammonia efficently you need to keep supplying ammonia (waste) to keep the balance.

at this point it doesn't matter if its FW or SW flake. You're just letting it break down. I wasn't aware of how much macro life you had gotten with your LR. From your description, it sounds like you have a number of filter feeders as well as scavangers. what I would do, until you can get some fish ready, is 2 or 3 times a week, add some phytoplankton for your filter feeds, and the other 2 or 3 days I would add a pinch of flake food. I would say for a 20 gallon tank, 1/2 a teaspoon at the most. you don't have to measure, just something to use as a reference. this will keep everything fed as well as keep your nitrification process alive. If it's going to be a long while before you get an actual fish, i would suggest adding the fish gradually. 1 or 2 initially. then give the tank a week to adjust to the higher ammonia output of the fish, then add a couple more, etc. you don't want to cause a spike.
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