New Tank Opinion


Active Member
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Just started
HI guys, well I started a 29 gallon saltwater tank. I added live sand, live rock and dry rock and nutrisea water. The guy at the LFS told me I could add fish right after, but I waited 2 weeks before adding any. So, I added an orange ocerallis clownfish ,a saddleback clownfish, an arc eye hawkfish and a HaitI anenome. What do you guys think of this combination of fish? Right now it looks really empty lol I will be adding more live rocks. Also, I would love to add a goby with a pistol shrimp, plus some cleaning little critters, and a red shrimp, but I read that the HaitI Anenome and the Hawkfish can eat the shrimp and crabs? Please give me your honest opinion. And don’t judge my tank haha it will get better.
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5 to 10 years
HI Welcome to the salty side!!

To answer your questions... the hawkfish is definitely an aggressor that will eat inverts, perhaps even your anemone, plus any fish that can fit in its mouth.:nailbiting: Can your clownfish withstand him? Honestly, idk, clownfish can be aggressive too, though the hawk will outrgow both of those clowns and he is more aggressive than the clowns. Most if not all of the fish we can buy are juveniles and aggression often comes with maturity. In your place, I'd return the hawk and keep a very close eye on the saddleback as maturity comes. There may come a time when the clowns too will not get along, and clownfish are quite capable of killing each other. Ocellaris and Percula varieties are known to be the least aggressive, plus, they are smaller than most if not all of their cousins. However, even they do not usually do well with each other. This is just something for you to keep in mind so you might be prepared to separate the clowns if needed. A pistol goby/shrimp pair is a great idea for the future.

Idk about that insta-safe with nutrI seawater... but I've seen that on TV so your fish guy isn't the only one. Good on you for waiting a while. I'm not here to critique, only to help. With that in mind, I do have some questions/suggestions.

Are you testing the tank's nitrogen cycle? This will be the most important thing to do right now because you've just stocked it. That said, 3 fish is not too much for your tank, but it may be/likely is a bit much for your unestablished cycle. We just want to be sure the biofilter is catching up quickly so your fish remain safe. For now, I would feed them quite lightly... probably every 3rd day until you're sure your new tank is cycled. All fish are sensitive to ammonia and nitrites so feeding lightly will keep cleaner water and testing regularly will alert you to dangers.

Speaking of your biofilter... I know, it's a work in progress and that's how a lot of us get started, but, the rock in a marine tank is what holds the cycle, so I would suggest that getting enough rock for the tank is the next important step. The live rock should certainly help speed your cycle and in fact, you may be cycled already because of that live rock, but only testing will tell. Live rock can be great for cycling a tank, but that said, dry rock is guaranteed pest free AND cheaper. You probably don't need anymore live rock. In fact, I never got any live rock at all for my own 20g. It was all dry, but saying that, I should also say that the tank was cycled without fish.

I'm sorry, this is the last suggestion, and really, I only want to help. A RODI unit to make your own pure water seems like a large investment, especially when you've just invested in the tank and all it needs. However, long term, making pure water at home and mixing it with a marine salt of your choice will work out as a more budget minded option. The tank will need pure freshwater every day as it evaporates anyhow, and you'll need about 20% of the tank's volume in saltwater for weekly water changes. Right now, with an immature biofilter and three fish in the tank, you may need to do water changes more than once a week to keep ammonia and nitrite levels down. Plus, there's the emergency water change to consider just in case anything ever goes wrong, so it really is wise to have consistent access to good water.

Okay, with that all out of the way, I see you have what looks like output vents, so I'm curious about the particulars of the tank. What have you got in the rear compartments? Depending on the space back there, I'd be more than happy to help you make the most out of filtration.


Fishlore VIP
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Saratoga NY
More than 10 years
Keep your eye on the black clown .One of the meanest fish I ever owned .
The other and hawk my be fine as they were added with him so ?
Time will tell .


Well Known
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3 years
That's a lot of fish to add to a small tank at once. Definitely monitor that for a while. I have a hard time believing instant cycle, especially with dry rock (which has no bacteria whatsoever to begin with).

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