29g Symbiotic Relationship Tank

Discussion in 'Saltwater Aquarium Stocking' started by fighter55, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. fighter55Valued MemberMember

    Wow. I never thought I would end up in this section of the forum. But, once again, my lazy coworkers/friends always have ME ask people for stocking opinions rather than do it themselves. So, my friend has a 29g high Saltwater Tank that he wants some opinion on stocking. He has a lot of experience with saltwater (he has 2 other tanks, 150g reef set up and 75g) but he wants to try something a little different. He is very interested in the whole symbiotic pairing, so he want to incorporate that in the tank. He'll have a sloped live sand bed(4-5" at the highest parts) with about 20 pounds of Live Rock(too much?) Heres the stocking idea:

    1 Bubble Tip Anemone
    2 Ocellaris Clownfish
    1 Blue Spotted Watchman Goby/Aurora Goby/Randall's Goby
    1 Tiger Pistol Shrimp/Candy Stripe Pistol Shrimp

    He has mostly good reviews about Clowns and Pistol Shrimp, but is not positive. He likes the Aurora Goby the most, but isn't sure if it will pair with the Pistol Shrimp. Same with Randall's Goby and Blue Spotted Watchman (I listed all of the gobies he thinks would work with a pistol shrimp, but I can provide a full list). He prefers the Candy Stripe Pistol, but if the Tiger would work better he'll go to that. He has a Marineland Biofilter Penguin 150 as a second filter if the Live Rock and Live Sand isn't enough, but he does not have a power skimmer or RO filter since his other tanks function fine without them.

    Is there anything else he could add that would work, or switch? I may be forgetting something, since to me this is like a foreign language :confused: :confused:
  2. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    From the outset, it's very important your friend understands that you cannot force a symbiotic relationship. If it happens great, if not, well that's just the way it is.

    UNLESS: You can get them out of the ocean already paired (you're talking big dollars for this)

    It is also important that, if keeping an anemone, that your friend understands the demands of them. The BTA is one of the easier anemones to keep happy, but they still require near perfect water chemistry, and proper lighting. A skimmer is a must have item for keeping anemones.

    You are aiming for water parameters of NO3 = 0, PO4 < 0.1, high flow rates (approx 20-30x). Supplements may also be required to maintain alkalinity, calcium and magnesium.

    With the pistol/goby relationship, I don't have any direct experience. I have only read of the pistol/watchman relationship though.
  3. RogueAgent94Fishlore VIPMember

    I agree with Ryan. A skimmer is a must when keeping 'nems. Your friend may want to try to get at least two 'nems so that the clowns have a choice. Some 'nems won't accept clowns and vise versa.

    I have seen tiger pistols paired with yellow watchmans before. I haven't seen them paired with anything else though. I've seen candy striped pistols paired with Yasha Hase gobies, Randall's gobies, and yellow watchmens. If I were to do it I would go with a Yasha Hase and a Candy Striped because they seem to pair better due to their similar coloration. Just my opinion though. I haven't kept pistols or gobies as of yet.
  4. fighter55Valued MemberMember

    So both of you are sure that a skimmer is a must for anemones? He doesn't want to have to pay the extra, but he will if necessary. He says he's seen tanks where anemones(not clownfish hosting) have lived without a skimmer. I'll tell him to take a look at the Yasha Hase gobies as well. I think they were on the list of local Gobies for sale... And he knows they don't always pair, but with the two clowns the shrimp might be more encouraged to with the possible predators nearby. Also he is ready to provide supplements as needed. Do you think that Maroon Clowns would be better since they are naturally found with BTA's, or will it not make much of a difference? Also, do you think that is enough live rock, or is it too much?
  5. RogueAgent94Fishlore VIPMember

    I kept a 'nem in a 5g tank without a skimmer for a while and it did fine but I had a hard time keeping the params in check. Anemones are pretty large waste producers. It would be best to have a skimmer on the tank. A small hang on back skimmer (normally around $90) is what I use. I got mine second hand so I had to mess with it a lot to get it to work properly but he shouldn't have that problem if he buys it new. He could look into those skimmer/refugium combos. Those look fun lol.

    A 29g would be too small for a pair of Maroon Clowns IMO. Maroons get big and have a serious attitude. I doubt it would make much difference if he used Maroons instead of Ocellaris.

    I would add more but I don't know what kind of rock he has. A picture would help. My 20L has nearly 30lbs in it and I plan on adding more. Mostly because I like the look of heavy rock structure but it helps with filtration too.

    Does your friend plan on adding a powerhead?

    Also, why doesn't he use RO water? I started out using RO water just because everyone else did. Never thought of using tap water. Course everyone has different tap water so maybe his is good... ;D
  6. JessiNoel21Well Known MemberMember

    I have a Long Tentacle Anemone and I have a Red Octopus skimmer and hydo nano skimmer on my 55 reef to make sure my water is 0 nitrates cuz if it even gets to 5ppm nitrates she starts closing up. Anemones are great water condition alarms I went two days over cleaning my tank due to my daughter being sick and Jackie my LTA was not staying open and was moving around my tank. The saying goes a moving anemone is not a happy anemone. My nano skimmer cost me $65 and it is rated up to 80 gallons. I have 400 gallons skimming power on my tank so my parms don't go to out of wack. Total I have spent so for my reef is $1090 not including live stock and corals if we go there it is $5,000+ my clowns where the most due to my female being a F1 which means she was born from wild parents of two different species of clowns.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2012
  7. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    I tend to agree, Maroons would get too large for the proposed tank.

    Also, just becuase there isn't a reported case of a clown/anemone symbiosis, doesn't mean it can't/won't happen. Perculas and BTA's weren't listed anywhere as having a natural bond, yet my BTA hosts my Perc pair https://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/...os/123641-coolest-thing-ive-seen-hosting.html

    And yes, the skimmer should be considered mandatory, and would likely cost less than the BTA. To be honest, a skimmer should be used on all SW setups IMO. Especially if housing wild-caught fish, that have never really been exposed to nitrates.
  8. fighter55Valued MemberMember

    Well he has well water from underground that is free of chlorine and has great quality(he uses it in all of his tanks). He doesn't use RO mainly because of the cost to constantly buy it. He doesn't have it set up yet, since the rocks have not even been shipped, but I can tell you what kind. He's getting 22 pounds of Premium Fiji live rock. At 89.99 with shipping he says its a steal but I don't know left from right when it comes to saltwater. He uses a powerhead(s) on his other tanks so yes he is going to use a powerhead, but just one. To my knowledge its a Hydor Koralia Evolution Water Circluation Pump. He likes it the best and uses it with all three aquariums. He mainly focuses on quality while still keeping a low price so what I think is a large amount to pay (his expected total is 350-375 range bar a few things since tank, filter, and heater came off of Craigslist for 50$) is low for him.
  9. fighter55Valued MemberMember

    I don't know about the costing less than the BTA(he's getting it for 27.00) but you've got him convinced its mandatory.
  10. fighter55Valued MemberMember

    My friend has decided not to get the Anemones but probably still go with the clowns. So here is what he's looking at for stocking:

    2 Ocellaris Clowns
    1 Yasha Hase Goby/Aurora Goby/Randall's Goby/Blue Spotted Watchman
    1 Candy stripe Pistol Shrimp
    22 pounds of premium Fiji live rock
    3-4" of live sand

    1 Hydor Koralia Evolution Water Circluation Pump
    Does he still need the HO/Compact Lighting without anemones? He has Regular Fluorescent Lights.
    Any low cost(100>) protein skimmers you can recommend?
    Marineland 150 Penguin Filter

    He also likes Cardinals but I think he prefers the Clowns.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
  11. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    No, he wouldn't need higher lighting, UNLESS he wants to grow coralline algae (purple crusty stuff), which does better with higher lighting.

    Not really sub $100, but near on $100
    The Hydor Nano is good little skimmer, BUT it's internal, meaning you'd lose some space in the tank

    You could also look at the Red Sea Prizm HOB skimmer, which also allows for extra bio-filtration

    Personally, I'd spend some extra money and go the Tunze Nano 9002 (https://www.fishlore.com/tunzeproteinskimmer-9002.htm), or the AquaC Nano Remora HOB (https://www.fishlore.com/aquacremoraprotein-skimmer.htm)

    With a skimmer, and the powerhead, this isn't really required IMO

    Cardinals are a great fish, which one specifically does he like?
  12. fighter55Valued MemberMember

    I'll tell him to take a look at those Protein Skimmers. Since he hasn't used them much before he was confused with all of the different varieties there were.

    The Penguin 150 was sort of a back up filter just to improve the water quality if needed.

    He likes the Flame and Pajama Cardinals the most. Would a group of 3-4 work in the tank, or would the Clowns have to go?
  13. RogueAgent94Fishlore VIPMember

    Careful with cardinals. I've seen them jumping out a number of times and apparently they do it a lot. He would need a cover for his tank to keep cardinals.
  14. fighter55Valued MemberMember

    He has a cover for all of his tanks so that wouldn't be a problem. So adding 3-4 Flame Cardinals wouldn't be a problem?
  15. JessiNoel21Well Known MemberMember

    The Hydor Nano is good little skimmer, BUT it's internal, meaning you'd lose some space in the tank mine is in my sump:)
  16. fighter55Valued MemberMember

    I don't think he minds losing a little space for the skimmer. As long as his fish are healthy he's happy. Now, I know this is a really weird question, but my friend was down at our LFS today and they got a shipment of Kelloggi Seahorses. He went home, did some research, and asked me to ask you guys what you think about having a pair of Kelloggis with a goby and the pistol shrimp(he says he got mostly positive reviews about them). I think the Kelloggis will get too big, but he still insists that I ask you. So, this is what it would look like:

    2 Kellogi Seahorses
    1 Clown Goby/Blue Spotted Watchman Goby(he says these work best with Seahorses)
    1 Candy Stripe Pistol/Tiger Pistol

    I have doubts about this since the Seahorses each reach 11"(from what I read)
  17. RogueAgent94Fishlore VIPMember

    Yeah probably too big. Never kept them before. If I remember correctly, seahorses don't like tropical temps. So I wouldn't risk it.
  18. fighter55Valued MemberMember

    According to the profile on fishlore, they like 72-76 so almost subtropical. He just replied to me telling me to ask you guys about a species only dwarf seahorse tank. It would be 10 overall(5 and 5).
  19. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    No offence intended, but why doesn't your friend just join Fishlore :D

    It would save you the toing and froing.

    I don't know much about seahorses. We do have some members that keep them (or have kept them).
  20. JessiNoel21Well Known MemberMember

    IMO seahorses need a well established tank like two yrs old or more than way the water parms are all in check and the is a big enough food sources.