Beginner Saltwater 29g Biocube Tank Build

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The Worst Fish You/Someone Picked As A Beginner? Feel Free To Talk About It In The Comments.

  1. Tangs

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Wrasses

    1 vote(s)
    16.7%
  3. Angels

    1 vote(s)
    16.7%
  4. Butterflies

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Damselfish

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Mandarin

    3 vote(s)
    50.0%
  7. Jellyfish/Rays

    1 vote(s)
    16.7%
  8. Eel

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. Seahorses

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  10. Other.. Please Specify...

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. i

    iDon'tCare Member Member

    Hello! I have posted a similar post before this for a 32G biocube, but I'm worried that I might not find a 32G so just in case- I'd like to know if this words for a 29G too..

    Live Sand
    Live Rock
    Corals (Especially Zoanthids and Tadstools)
    2 Cleaner Shrimp
    3 Nassarius Snail
    1 Tuxedo Urchin
    3 Scarlett Hermit Crabs
    2 Yasha Gobies (Or A Yasha Shrimp Pair If I Cannot find A Mated Pair)
    1 Firefish
    1 Royal Gramma
    1 Ocillaris Clown

    I feel like I might be pushing the limits here, I have a fear of overstocking my first saltwater tank. Thank you!

    EDIT

    I've seen people use water with aquarium salt and water conditioner, in this case- Must I use RODI water?
     




  2. stella1979

    stella1979 Fishlore VIP Member

    Hi there! :) Congrats on your first salty tank and the fear is normal! Going slow and taking care will only serve to make you a better reefer in the end... I can attest. Some buddies of mine call me Miss Patient Reefer and knock on wood, I have not had major issues since starting my 2nd saltwater tank a year ago. I was an impatient youngster with my first salty tank, and had a few disasters there, including causing the death of my favorite fish, the mandarin dragonette,:( (which is why I voted for it in your poll.;))

    So, the glaring issue I see here is the pair of yasha gobies. Do you think you'll be able to get an established pair? If not, I would expect some difficulty as these guys don't generally get along with their own kind. You can view an example of the troubles with pairing on Inappropriate Reefers YouTube channel... there's lots of good stuff there as a matter of fact. :)

    The other thing about the yasha... :) It is a pistol goby, so should easily pair with a pistol shrimp. They will build and live in a burrow in the sand. The shrimp is nearly blind, so depends on the goby to alert it to food, and the goby will find safety and comfort living in the burrow maintained by the shrimp. It's a pretty cool symbiotic relationship to watch. :)

    Note that not all pistol shrimp are peaceful towards fish, so do take care in researching the species if you decide to get one. In my first attempt, I ended up with a Red Caribbean Pistol, (Alpheus sp.), who actually pairs with the curlicue anemone, but was aggressive towards and ultimately killed my own first goby.:( Two that I know are safe are Randalls Pistol (Alpheus randalli) and the Tiger Pistol (Alpheus bellulus). Luckily, it's not too difficult to tell these guys apart by eye.;)

    I do not believe 4-5 small fish will overstock your tank. :) What you'll want to be careful with is scaping with the rocks. Be sure to break up sight lines and create areas each fish may call their own. The yasha, firefish, and gramma will all need places to feel safe within the rocks and none will be willing to share their territory with the others, so try to be sure you create spaces for them all when scaping.

    The other thing to take care with is how and when you stock. The clown and gramma may show some aggression, so it's important that the more timid fish are well established and comfortable in your tank first. Always, always, always stock from least aggressive to most. So, with your list in mind, I would do the following.

    Start with your cleanup crew, then stock the goby, (hopefully with a shrimp buddy.):) The best practice here would be to immediately put the firefish in qt. This way you can be sure it's healthy while the goby is getting established. By established I mean that it has been in the tank for a few weeks, is comfortable in it's environment, and eating.

    Next, add the firefish, wait for him to get comfy, then add the gramma... what for it to establish, and finally add the clown.

    It takes time and observation, but this method will give you your best chance at success with all these fish getting along. I can't tell you how many threads I've seen where a new tank owner couldn't wait to add that clownfish, then couldn't add anything else because the clown had claimed the whole tank as its own territory, and would not tolerate new residents.

    I also cannot stress the importance of quarantine enough, especially when corals enter the picture. There are very few medications that are safe for a reef tank, and those that are safe are not always effective. I simple case of ich could put you in a real dilemma, as you cannot dose parasite meds to a tank containing corals and inverts, but if left untreated, ich will stay in that tank and may ultimately kill any fish that are in it. There are several recent threads where this exact thing happened, and it ends up turning into weeks or months of headaches and heartaches. :( The lucky part with us nano reef keepers, is that we can have really small quarantine tanks.

    I keep a 5g quarantine for my 20g reef.;) I have a Yellow Watchman Goby and Randalls Pistol Shrimp in it right now. :)
     




  3. J

    Jesterrace Well Known Member Member

    I would say from that list that it goes as follows:

    Sharks and Rays are by far the worst for a beginner to pick in general because they basically require a commercial RODI/Saltwater premix waterflow system to keep them happy long term and a very big tank/pond. They are super sensitive to nitrates and are very messy eaters.

    Mandarinfish would be next and this would be my worst failure simply because it's difficult for most people to keep up with the feeding requirements unless they have about 75lbs or more of live rock with a well established live rock with a very healthy and breeding copepod population or have a dedicated tank with one that has learned to eat frozen mysis, reef frenzy, etc. and target feeding them multiple times per day.

    Tangs and Butterflyfish would be next, not because I feel that they are super difficult to care for (other than very select varieties), but because they are often stuck in tanks too small to meet their needs long term and are very prone to ich, velvet, etc and can mask this for a while during the QT process.
     




  4. OP
    OP
    i

    iDon'tCare Member Member

    Thanks so much! My fish will need to be ordered online, as I lack saltwater stores in my town. If I cannot find a pair of yashas, then I will for sure look into a shrimp pair!
     




  5. J

    Jesterrace Well Known Member Member

  6. O

    Ollie_Blue_Aquatics Initiate Member

    I think that this stocking would be fine as long as you have a good filter
     
  7. OP
    OP
    i

    iDon'tCare Member Member

  8. OP
    OP
    i

    iDon'tCare Member Member

    Hey! I know it's a bit of a late contact, but I've been looking around and seeing that people use conditioned tap water, while others insist on RODI water. I'm a little confused, if you could give me an answer if you have one, it would mean a lot. Thanks! :)

    EDIT: Also, if I cannot find Yasha gobies, could I replace it with a yellow watchman?
     
  9. J

    Jesterrace Well Known Member Member

    Here is the deal on tap water. In some areas with very clean water sources (ie basically those who live in the boondocks) they generally have very few additives and a low enough TDS that they can get by with treated tapwater. In most larger cities the water is loaded with TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) and as such the water can cause unwanted algae explosions in marine setups (much more so with freshwater tanks) leaving the owner tearing their hair out trying to get rid of the stuff. In addition there are some weird random flukes with tapwater. I saw one poor lady who lived in one part of town who got by just fine with tap water and then moved to another part of town and ended up with dead fish within a week. Why? There was a trace amount of ammonia in the tap water in the new area where she moved and she wasn't aware of it. The point is that it isn't that you can't use tap water, it's just that it's such a gamble with what you are going to get and given the cost of the investment with all other aspects of the saltwater hobby, it just seems silly not to spend the bit of extra money and do it right.
     
  10. stella1979

    stella1979 Fishlore VIP Member

    Agreed with @Jesterrace on water. I do use RODI only because I know for a fact that my tap is full of stuff... it's got a TDS of 325. If your tap measures zero or near that, it may be ok, but then again it may not. I know of a story where a guy had low TDS, so used tap for about a year before things started to go bad. He learned that the small amount of 'stuff' in his tap was tin, which is a heavy metal. Over time the concentration of tin in his tank got to be dangerously higher than the levels in the tap. I highly suggest that you commit to using pure water (RODI) and you'll never have to worry about things like this.;)
     
  11. TexasGuppy

    TexasGuppy Well Known Member Member

    Just to pile on, many cities will run a clean cycle for a few months every few years that can spike ammonia up to 2ppm. If you aren't expecting it, bad news.
    There was another post on here where the fire department did a hydrant flush near his house right before a water change and wiped out both his tanks.
     
  12. J

    Jesterrace Well Known Member Member

    Well put folks. Lots of variables there.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    i

    iDon'tCare Member Member

    Thanks a lot! That was very helpful. Though I don't plan on moving for a long time, I may as well be prepared and have my RO/DI water. Better be safe than sorry, the fish would cost more than a small unit. Thank you for the information.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    i

    iDon'tCare Member Member

    Thank you! Also, out of curiosity, what if I got a Yellow watchman goby+Pistol shrimp pair, could they co-exist with a lone Yasha? Just curious, since I'm replacing the 2 yashas with a Watchman/shrimp pair.
     
  15. J

    Jesterrace Well Known Member Member

    Yes, between the amount of TDS, what kind of solids are in said TDS (which is not always easy to figure out), and the occasional flukes that can happen that can be potentially life threatening to your tank, it's hard not to justify the relatively small investment of an RODI system or at the very least buying RODI pre-mix from your LFS.
     
  16. stella1979

    stella1979 Fishlore VIP Member

    I honestly don't know but it is advised not to have two of these guys unless they are mated or you have a large tank. I suppose if I really wanted both I might try it in your tank if say... a goby and shrimp were paired and had established a safe feeling burrow... and the rock structure was set up where the other goby could be introduced to a different area where he could establish himself and his burrow without sight lines or high chances of running into the YWG. Also, I would prepare for rehoming one of them if things did go bad, (these guys are not easy to catch, and it may mean pulling rocks from the tank.)

    Either of these species will pair with a pistol shrimp. I'd highly recommend picking one or the other to pair, then observing for a while to see if you really want another fish that will behave almost exactly like the one you have.;)
     
  17. OP
    OP
    i

    iDon'tCare Member Member

    Thank you, I'm going with the yellow watchmen goby. It's very interesting to watch these simbiotic relationships!