20g Tank Build, Help! Beginner!

iDon'tCare

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Hello there! I'm an experienced freshwater hobbyist who has always been in love with saltwater, and I am now branching out to my first. I originally was going to stock my old 10 gallon and didn't expect to get a new tank for a while. Since it's a desk aquarium, I found a good deal on a 20 tall that I'm now planning to use. Any concerns with the following?

1 Firefish
1 Ocillaris Clown (Want a pair if I can get one!)
3 Hermit Crabs
2 Cleaner Shrimp
2 Nassarius Snail

I don't know.. I think I might be overstocking..
 

DutchAquarium

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You might have problems with the ocellaris pair with the firefish. Even the ocellaris species can be agressive even going after snails. If your going with two clowns, you need to get rid of the fire fish. I had a tomato clown once which is more of an agressive species, but it would draw blood on your arm when you stuck your hand in the tank.
 

thesoulpatch

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You'd be fine with that stocking, if you take it slow. Do the fire fish first, then after awhile add the clowns. ask @stella1979 or you can ask our resident stocking master @KinsKicks she's helped several of us with stocking issues.
 

stella1979

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I agree that you might be fine with that stocking if you take things slow and easy. Start with the clean up crew, CUC, and then add the firefish. Firefish are timid, so it's best that you give it a month at least to get nice and comfy before adding other fish. When it's time for the clowns, you will have better luck if you get a couple of juvies from an established group. Clowns don't always get along with each other, but chances are much better if they have already been together, and are introduced together to your tank while they are still quite young.

Bahahaha @thesoulpatch - guess you didn't know that our dear Kins is a young female college student. My goodness, but she knows her stuff, including fw & sw fish, plants, meds.... sometimes it seems like she knows it all! I trust Kins implicitly and love it when she comes along and blows our minds with her more unusual stocking ideas.
 

Jesterrace

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Yeah, the firefish is not a good fish to pair with the clown in a tank that small as it will easily be bullied by the clownfish. All clownfish are territorial/semi-aggressive to some degree. I would actually suggest a bottom dwelling goby as the clownfish will be less likely to view it as encroaching on it's turf, while the firefish will tend to hang out in the middle of the tank. There isn't much room in a 10 gallon for each of them to have their space and 10 gallons is really tight for a clownfish IMHO so it will be more prone to aggression.

DutchAquarium said:
You might have problems with the ocellaris pair with the firefish. Even the ocellaris species can be agressive even going after snails. If your going with two clowns, you need to get rid of the fire fish. I had a tomato clown once which is more of an agressive species, but it would draw blood on your arm when you stuck your hand in the tank.
The Tomato clown IS BY FAR the most aggressive clownfish out there. Can't tell you how many my LFS has had returned from owners for that reason. At least you didn't have the experience that another poor lady did. She reached her hand into the tank to adjust some rock and her clownfish actually jumped out of her tank attempting to bite her face. The little jerk then missed her face completely and went down her tank top attempting to bite everything in sight. To hear her describe it, this was how she reacted after it went down her shirt (okay maybe not the second part):

 

RyRyTheAquariumGuy

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Clownfish may be an issue... Clownfish are one of those species that have been HEAVILY changed through the process of breeding for the hobby.

By this what I mean is that wild caught clownfish will act much differently from human bred clownfish. Wild clownfish will need to find a spot in the tank to call their own. Just like how clownfish in the ocean use anemones as houses almost. This may cause some territorial issues in a tank that small.

Clowns that have been bred for the hobby have grown to be more open swimmers and it will be less of an issue.

But remember, this is not a "one or the other" 50/50 shot thing.. It takes multiple generations of breeding for this behavior to change. So basically it's a **** shoot whether the clownfish will have territorial issues in that small of a tank.

Plus if it is your first tank ever, it may be a bit overstocked in my humble opinion. Especially because saltwater tanks that small can be very sensitive to any minor fluctuations. Just some thoughts!
 

Lissi Kat

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Jesterrace said:
The Tomato clown IS BY FAR the most aggressive clownfish out there. Can't tell you how many my LFS has had returned from owners for that reason. At least you didn't have the experience that another poor lady did. She reached her hand into the tank to adjust some rock and her clownfish actually jumped out of her tank attempting to bite her face. The little jerk then missed her face completely and went down her tank top attempting to bite everything in sight. To hear her describe it, this was how she reacted after it went down her shirt (okay maybe not the second part):

Im sorry This has me in hysterics ...i guess this puts a whole new twist on Finding Nemo
 

Jesterrace

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Lissi Kat said:
Im sorry This has me in hysterics ...i guess this puts a whole new twist on Finding Nemo
No kidding, getting attacked by a saltwater fish on dry land inside one's shirt just falls under the "well I never figured this would happen to me in my lifetime" sort of things.
 

Lissi Kat

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Jesterrace said:
No kidding, getting attacked by a saltwater fish on dry land inside one's shirt just falls under the "well I never figured this would happen to me in my lifetime" sort of things.
Nope don't think that's something anyone will really ever be prepared for.I've had hamsters,kittens,snakes and lizards make them selves cosy in my sleeved and shirt on many occasions and a ferret that decided to charge up my pants leg and then get stuck...that really sucked! But I can safely say never a fish saltwater or other... nor do I plan on it!
 
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iDon'tCare

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Then if I go with just one clown are we good? If there are better breeds of clowns then by all means, talk to me. I'm open to everything. I'm aware clownfish are pretty irritable with one another and can cause a gang so I'm right now leaning on just one clown. Thanks for the helpful replies far. Slowly and start with cleanup crew so.. Live rock, then corals, then shrimp, snails, crabs, firefish, clownfish?

Jesterrace said:
No kidding, getting attacked by a saltwater fish on dry land inside one's shirt just falls under the "well I never figured this would happen to me in my lifetime" sort of things.
I was once a moronic little devil and thought I could pet nemo... HAHAHAHAHA... No. I still have a tiny scar on my finger, but of course! As any animal lover, I'm still in love.
 

DutchAquarium

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that looks like a good order to do everything in. As for finding a less aggressive clown, i think your best bet is a cb ocellaris.
 
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iDon'tCare

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DutchAquarium said:
that looks like a good order to do everything in. As for finding a less aggressive clown, i think your best bet is a cb ocellaris.
Thanks!
 

KinsKicks

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Stocking is possible. You’ll find out soon that temperaments aren’t perfectly stereotyped for every fish (although they do make good guidelines for general selection) so it’s alwyas best to keep an eye out for your fish and their personalities to best compliment each other.

You’ve got a pretty classic choice of fish for a 20H, but if you’re open for it, there some other fish combos you might like as well .
 

stella1979

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iDon'tCare said:
Then if I go with just one clown are we good? If there are better breeds of clowns then by all means, talk to me. I'm open to everything. I'm aware clownfish are pretty irritable with one another and can cause a gang so I'm right now leaning on just one clown. Thanks for the helpful replies far. Slowly and start with cleanup crew so.. Live rock, then corals, then shrimp, snails, crabs, firefish, clownfish?
I'm so sorry I got mixed up in my first post here. I guess I'm just too accustomed to folks wanting a pair, and believe it or not, I realized my mistake just after posting and went back to edit... but couldn't because my dang ISP was having issues today and my connection kept dropping. Anyhow, your stocking is possible, but as with most things, do take care.

I also suggest you let Kins drop some knowledge on us. You just never know, you might see some ideas that you like better.
 

Jesterrace

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iDon'tCare said:
Then if I go with just one clown are we good? If there are better breeds of clowns then by all means, talk to me. I'm open to everything. I'm aware clownfish are pretty irritable with one another and can cause a gang so I'm right now leaning on just one clown. Thanks for the helpful replies far. Slowly and start with cleanup crew so.. Live rock, then corals, then shrimp, snails, crabs, firefish, clownfish?
A single wild caught Occ (ie Nemo) or Percula clown would be best. As mentioned the Firefish is iffy due to clown aggression, small tank and their timid nature. The downside additionally with firefish is that YOU WILL NEVER be able to remove them until they are dead (they are virtually impossible to catch via any method) so once you add one it truly is a life commitment. Clownfish on the other hand are generally fairly gullible and you should be able to remove one if necessary. As mentioned I would look at a small goby as they tend to be more of a bottom dweller, they would also provide you the benefit of sand sifting your substrate (unless you were planning on a bare bottom tank). *EDIT* Whoops, I thought you were doing a 10 gallon tank for some odd reason. In that case you could do 3 or maybe 4 small fish. I would say a pair of wild caught standard Occ (ie Nemo) varieties would work, although if you could find a pair of teardrop clowns that would be best
 

stella1979

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Hey @Jesterrace Wondering why you would recommend wild-caught Occy's over tank bred, and why teardrops would be better than standards? My fish knowledge is still a bit limited, so just curious.
 

jamie carmichael

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@stella1979 I believe it is because wild clowns generally have a small territory and won't go around the tank the whole tank so they generally move around less. Also regarding your question on the teardrop clowns, i believe its because of the fact that they are a little bit smaller when fully grown although not 100% sure on that
 

Jesterrace

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Jamie is correct. Wild caught clowns tend to settle down and stick to a set territory in a tank, while captive bred tend to travel the tank and move around a heck of a lot more. My captive bred clown used every inch of space in my 36 gallon and would go from one end to the other in a few seconds. Not exactly the kind of fish you want in a nano. As for teardrops they tend to be smaller in aquariums (provided you get them small) in a fish tank and if you look LA lists them as a 20 gallon minimum rather than the standard 30 gallon they list for most clowns. Hence they would be better suited for a smaller tank. Per live aquaria it is said if you buy teardrops small they rarely exceed 2 inches in length in the aquarium, which would make them a better fit for a smaller tank.
 
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iDon'tCare

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KinsKicks said:
Stocking is possible. You’ll find out soon that temperaments aren’t perfectly stereotyped for every fish (although they do make good guidelines for general selection) so it’s alwyas best to keep an eye out for your fish and their personalities to best compliment each other.

You’ve got a pretty classic choice of fish for a 20H, but if you’re open for it, there some other fish combos you might like as well .
I'm open to suggestions, fire away!

stella1979 said:
I'm so sorry I got mixed up in my first post here. I guess I'm just too accustomed to folks wanting a pair, and believe it or not, I realized my mistake just after posting and went back to edit... but couldn't because my dang ISP was having issues today and my connection kept dropping. Anyhow, your stocking is possible, but as with most things, do take care.

I also suggest you let Kins drop some knowledge on us. You just never know, you might see some ideas that you like better.
Will do.

I'm thinking I MIGHT add a small goby with this? But I mean, right now I'm pretty satisfied with the stocking plan and I have a big fear of overstocking a tank. I'm still open to ANY stocking suggestions you might all have, thank you. You have all helped a lot so far. Problem is, someone's suggesting the wild caught clown, I don't know if it's only me but since a 20H is pretty small I have an unforgiving guilt. I don't know if it's just me being crazy, but I can't help myself. I've kept Otocinclus (Wild caught freshwater fish) in my old 75G that I had built for my parents a few years back. (I tore it down when I came home for Christmas because there was an outbreak. I was too late to save the fish since nobody else in my family knew how to care for fish. ..) If there is no way by any means that I can get a captive bread clown to work in this sort of setup then I might just cancel on it and pick out a saltwater plan. I saw a few gobies that caught my eye, especially the pink stripe. Saltwater fish are so much more beautiful..
 
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