20 gallon saltwater aquarium stocking ideas

AllAboutAngelfish

i just recently got a 20 gallon tank that i want to be saltwater.


any ideas
 

FishBoy101

i just recently got a 20 gallon tank that i want to be saltwater.
what fish can i have and can i keep a single yellow tang in it?
I would say no. A yellow tang (don't quote me on this, I'm a freshwater keeper) needs a minimum of 50 gallons. I agree with Ghelfaire, but I think stocking with freshwater would be better, as saltwater can be much more daunting to the fish keeper sometimes.
 
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AllAboutAngelfish

I would say no. A yellow tang (don't quote me on this, I'm a freshwater keeper) needs a minimum of 50 gallons. I agree with Ghelfaire, but I think stocking with freshwater would be better, as saltwater can be much more daunting to the fish keeper sometimes.


I have been in the aquarium hobby for 12 years i think i can handle it

Those get too big for a 20g. What about a pair of clownfish?

yea but i think clownfish are kinda old school i what something odd
 
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FishBoy101

I have been in the aquarium hobby for 12 years i think i can handle it
Experience doesn't always mean that you can do anything wacky, per say this.
yea but i think clownfish are kinda old school i what something odd
I would still like to remind you, tangs need a large tank. 12 years as a hobbyist doesn't mean you can put a tang in a 20 gallon, though having experience will help, you can't rely on it.
 
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AllAboutAngelfish

Experience doesn't always mean that you can do anything wacky, per say this.

I would still like to remind you, tangs need a large tank. 12 years as a hobbyist doesn't mean you can put a tang in a 20 gallon, though having experience will help, you can't rely on it.

I know i cant have a tang and even with experience i cant keep him an a 20 gal but im asking what OTHER fish can i put in.
 
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FishBoy101

I know i cant have a tang and even with experience i cant keep him an a 20 gal but im asking what OTHER fish can i put in.
Ohhhhh, sorry about that. Maybe Pajama Cardinals? Just my 2 cents ._.
 
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AllAboutAngelfish

Ohhhhh, sorry about that. Maybe Pajama Cardinals? Just my 2 cents ._.
ok ill try those
 
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Ghelfaire

Have you seen some of the colours clownfish come in nowadays? My favorite is the maroon lightning.

I also second the pajama cardinal fish if you dont like clownfish. They're also cute.
 
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fish 321

Clownfish would be cool, you can get some pretty crazy looking clownfish nowdays. In my opinion saltwater fish are about as easy to keep as freshwater it just takes more work to maintain it.
 
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AllAboutAngelfish

Clownfish would be cool, you can get some pretty crazy looking clownfish nowdays. In my opinion saltwater fish are about as easy to keep as freshwater it just takes more work to maintain it.

do you think i can keep an clownfish with a pajama cardinal in the same tank ( only one of each)
 
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RandomFishBoi

Not sure if your interested in inverts, but some of the small saltwater shrimp are really interesting and colorful. Stenopus Hispidus, Gnathophyllum americanum, and Ancylomenes sp are all small enough for a 20 gallon and really interesting.
 
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kanzekatores

I don't think one of each would make the fish very happy. Cardinalfish like to shoal, and clowns appreciate being in a pair. I think two clowns and a couple cardinalfish could be done, along with maybe a shrimp
 
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Rcslade124

Great suggestions. I'd look into 2 clownfish and from what I read unless you get a pair of cardinals you will end up with one. Also look into gobies. And you can add royal Gramma
 
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ryanr

yea but i think clownfish are kinda old school i what something odd
Unfortunately, they may be old school, but there aren't a lot of species suitable for a 20G. Some species of clown are suitable, but not all, some get pretty big.
Tangs, even the yellow, it's not so much water volume, but the dimensions of the tank, as tangs are very active swimmers, and the smaller ones need a minimum 3ft (1 metre) tank IMHO.
For some ideas on nano species Small Saltwater Fish Tank (nano) Species

I don't think one of each would make the fish very happy. Cardinalfish like to shoal, and clowns appreciate being in a pair. I think two clowns and a couple cardinalfish could be done, along with maybe a shrimp
A single clown will do just fine. Be careful with clowns. If you want a pair, be sure to get a mated/known pair, you'll pay more, but it's worth it. Clowns are a member of the damsel family, and there is no guarantee that two clowns will get along, especially in smaller tanks. If you're going to buy an unknown pair, then try and get one bigger than the other, but even then, there's no guarantee they'll get along.

Cardinals can be ok in a 20G, a pyjama is fine on it's own, but others like the Bengaii, 3 stripe etc definitely do better in groups of 5 or more
 
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Ghelfaire

You can look at liveaquaria.com and look for smaller saltwater fish. Their minimum tank sizes are pretty accurate from what I've seen.
 
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kanzekatores

A single clown will do just fine. Be careful with clowns. If you want a pair, be sure to get a mated/known pair, you'll pay more, but it's worth it. Clowns are a member of the damsel family, and there is no guarantee that two clowns will get along, especially in smaller tanks. If you're going to buy an unknown pair, then try and get one bigger than the other, but even then, there's no guarantee they'll get along.
I didn't think you had to be particularly careful with buying clowns unless you get two females. With two males, one will grow into a female. This is what I did in my saltwater tank and they get along fine. But one clown could be fine on it's own as well.
 
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ryanr

I didn't think you had to be particularly careful with buying clowns unless you get two females. With two males, one will grow into a female. This is what I did in my saltwater tank and they get along fine. But one clown could be fine on it's own as well.
True, but it's hard to tell who's who in the zoo so to speak. The larger will likely become the female, and might work. But generally, you can't tell which is male or female.
There's no obvious definition/distinction of male/female in the clown world, other than potentially size and behaviour.
You may have got lucky, but IMHO, someone selling male or female clowns (by sex) is kidding themselves. You can't tell the difference till they pair up, which they would sell as a known/mated pair.
 
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AllAboutAngelfish

so can i keep two clowns and two pajama cardinals in the same 20 gallon?
 
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Theulli

Royal Gramma, Gobies, Mandarins, Jawfish, Blennies, Clownfish, Dottyback

I think all of the above would work (though not necessarily together)
 
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Jesterrace

I would say no. A yellow tang (don't quote me on this, I'm a freshwater keeper) needs a minimum of 50 gallons. I agree with Ghelfaire, but I think stocking with freshwater would be better, as saltwater can be much more daunting to the fish keeper sometimes.

Honestly, I would say a Yellow Tang needs closer to 100 gallons (5 foot long tank), not just because of size and swimming room, but also that they are prone to be aggressive. I actually had to boot a 4 inch Yellow Tang from my 90 gallon because he turned into a complete tank bully after about a month and actually was slapping my Coral Beauty Dwarf Angel with his tail scalpel and leaving visible cuts on the Coral Beauty.

@ the OP is the tank a standard 20 or a 20 gallon Long. 20 gallon Long does offer more stocking options. Clownfish and a single Cardinalfish would be good options for either though.
Royal Gramma, Gobies, Mandarins, Jawfish, Blennies, Clownfish, Dottyback

I think all of the above would work (though not necessarily together)

For the most part I would agree with that but the Dottyback and Mandarin would definitely be a no for different reasons. Mandarin simply can't get enough to eat and simply getting one that is captive bred won't solve the feeding problem. Dottybacks are generally nasty community fish and even more of a problem in a smaller tank like that.
 
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Theulli

Honestly, I would say a Yellow Tang needs closer to 100 gallons (5 foot long tank), not just because of size and swimming room, but also that they are prone to be aggressive. I actually had to boot a 4 inch Yellow Tang from my 90 gallon because he turned into a complete tank bully after about a month and actually was slapping my Coral Beauty Dwarf Angel with his tail scalpel and leaving visible cuts on the Coral Beauty.

@ the OP is the tank a standard 20 or a 20 gallon Long. 20 gallon Long does offer more stocking options. Clownfish and a single Cardinalfish would be good options for either though.


For the most part I would agree with that but the Dottyback and Mandarin would definitely be a no for different reasons. Mandarin simply can't get enough to eat and simply getting one that is captive bred won't solve the feeding problem. Dottybacks are generally nasty community fish and even more of a problem in a smaller tank like that.

Agreed, you'd have to really want the dottyback and not be so interested in any other fish. The mandarin sounds to be so high maintenance. I just got one myself and basically the entire tank is going to be constructed around keeping him alive.
 
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Jesterrace

Agreed, you'd have to really want the dottyback and not be so interested in any other fish. The mandarin sounds to be so high maintenance. I just got one myself and basically the entire tank is going to be constructed around keeping him alive.

I had a Green Mandarin in my old 36 gallon and despite my best efforts and hundreds of dollars spent on pods it still only lasted 3 months. They need to feed near constantly and unfortunately adapting to frozen isn't a cure all for the problem.
 
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