How do you cycle a saltwater tank


HI guys I recently got the idea to start a saltwater tank and there's one thing I want to know.

1.How do you cycle a saltwater tank

other than that I need advice on my stocking and I don't know how many fish can go in so I'm just going to give some of the fish that I can afford and like. it is a 30 gallon tank

heres my list

1.Coral Beauty Angelfish
2.Royal Gramma Basslet
3.Sailfin/Algae Blenny
4.Starry Blenny
5.2 Ocellaris Clownfish
6.Cinnamon Clownfish
7.Court Jester Goby
8.Jawfish Dusky
9.Azure Damselfish
11. Red Elongated Dottyback
12.Colored Filefish
13.Yellow Prawn Goby
14.Clown Goby, Green
15.Greenbanded Goby
16. Falco Hawkfish
17. Jawfish Yellowhead
18.Six line Wrasse
19.Harleqiun Bass
20.Kauderns Cardinalfish
21.3 Chalk Bass

I know this is a HUGE list but here's some guide lines for me to make things easier

1. Has to be non-agressive to inverts and not kill them
2. Easiest for a first time beginner
3. Has to be peaceful

and ive heard if you keep species that are not that active then you can put more fish if you have really good filtration

but I'm open to suggestions on what to put for stocking

And I probably sound really dumb but I just started at the saltwater section and I don't even know anything about the fish in it so bare with me and if I'm missing anything please tell me

and lastly what will eat detritus and/or algae for my clean up crew

Ken Ooi

You have a long list of fish that you would possibly short list from advice received from other forum members who are familiar with species specific and those fish that could suit community living. Have you thought what sort of tank you wish to keep? FOWLR, fish only tank or a complete reef tank? The beauty of having a marine tank is to incorporate the natural beauty of an ecosystem so if you're going to have a clown fish you would have an anemone to create that symbiotic relationship in a natural setting. The Coral Beauty Angelfish is probably not going to be on that top list seeing the info provided by fish lore website indicates it's a poor choice for beginners. Stocking marine fish is hardest if you're unaware of certain species that are more aggressive and are to be the last to be added to the tank. Once you decide the sort of tank you want the rest of your choices just fall into place like a jigsaw puzzle. If you do research for each fish you would have an idea if they are suitable. I came upon a website that said which fish are not for beginners. Choosing and buying marine fish will take a lot of time in studying the intrinsic behavior thus saving you money and grief for poor choices made.


Oh my bad I forgot I want to do FOWLR tank and what was that website and how many fish can I keep in a 30 gallon tank and cycling and are there any angelfish that are sutable for a beginner

Ken Ooi

Fish lore on the home page has some information about main classes of marine fish. You can buy some books on how to setup a marine tank on Amazon. I bought a book on clown fish and basic guide to salt water tanks. Do the research carefully and take it slowly.


1Royal Gramma Basslet
1Sailfin/Algae or any Blenny
2 Ocellaris Clownfish
1 Azure Damselfish
1 Firefish
1 Yellow Watchman Goby
1 Kauderns Cardinalfish

I did 8 because ive heard the yellow watchman goby won't move a lot and the Cardinals fish stays in one place and I'm thinking about putting a 55 gallon filter for a 30 gallon tank so is this okay?

And I also want to put algae/detritus/ornemental inverts


I have a small peaceful 30 gal tank that is stocked fairly closely to the list in your last post. 2 Ocellaris Clowns, 1 Royal Gramma, 1 PJ Cardinal and 1 Watchman Goby plus a bunch of inverts and it is doing fine with that bioload. I would stay away from any Damsels in a tank that size because they can be real jerks. As far as cycling, it is basically the same as a freshwater cycle. To save some money you can start with mostly dry rock and a small amount of live rock and live sand to seed the tank. Take your time and don't add fish too soon.


Research, research, research, although peaceful community fish are great to house with other fish, stocking two of the same or similiar species, causes unwanted turf wars and stress. Goby's are a prime example. Two goby's in a 30 gallon won't give them enough room to establish their turf. The key is to allow your tank to cycle about a few weeks to a month and add a hardy fish. I waited a month, even before I added two clowns to a 60g. Definitely find out how big they can get so you don't overstock. Keep us posted.

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