Project "FOWLR Setup"

Which set of Fish do you Like?

  • First Set

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
Marine Man
  • #1
Starting now will be the start of my saltwater tank experience! So far, I have plotted my tank out.

I will be getting 5 summer jobs and plan on buy a Red Sea Berlin Airlift 60 internal Protein Skimmer, a couple bags of Natures Own Bio-Active Reef Sand, 50 pounds of ATLANTIC CORAL ROCK from Amazon, a Hagen AquaClear Power Head Multifunctional Water Pump (175 GPH), and 30 gallons of ocean water.

I am starting to save for all o this equipment now. Also I have to possibilities for fish right now:

1 raccoon Butterfly
3 Firefish
3 Ocellaris Clownfish
1 Flame Angel


1 Bicolor Angelfish
1 Raccoon Butterfly
3 Purple Firefish Gobies
1 Longnose Hawkfish
1 Powderblue Tang

I like the second choice the best! Which one do you like? I will keep you posted...

  • #2
Good luck to you Michael, as I don't have any Saltwater Experience I will not attempt to say anything other than good luck, although I look forward to your progress.
  • #3
I'm sorry, but I can't vote for either setup. The raccoon butterfly fish will easily outgrow 30g, as will a powder blue tang. Aside from that, you've got a lot of fish that grow relatively big for the space you'll be giving them. Granted, I'm a huge fan of understocking. I like the thought of a few fish in a tank that size.
Marine Man
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Okay well I will look into more fish. Just found out that next Sunday I am going to go to Reef Remedies in Denton Texas! Going to talk to the staff about my set up! Most people say LFS usually rip you off bu they breed everything they have in the back of the store and there has been lots of great reviews! Keep you posted...

What about Lemon Tangs?! Are they good to have and/or base your aquarium around? Like I said I am going to Reef Remedies and I believe they have some.
  • #5
Quick Google search of "lemon tang" turns up the fact that they grow to 10" long and require at least a 70g tank.
Marine Man
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
  • #7
I'm with SDS, I can't vote on either. We're all trying to help you in your other thread:

For everyone's benefit:

1 raccoon Butterfly - min 55G
3 Firefish - best kept to 1 per tank.
3 Ocellaris clownfish - best kept singular or in mated pairs, 3 is too many for a 30G
1 Flame Angel - would be ok.


1 bicolor angelfish - OK
1 Raccoon Butterfly - see above
3 purple firefish Gobies - see above
1 longnose hawkfish - could be ok, but can be aggressive with all species, best if introduced last
1 Powderblue Tang - NO - Tangs are very active swimmers and require a minimum 3 foot tank, preferably 4 foot or larger. Swimspace is very important for Tangs. IMO no Tangs should be kept in anything under 3 foot, although others will disagree (there are some smaller Tangs out there)
Marine Man
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Okay, THAT was what I needed. Thanks ryanr! Like I said I will keep you posted as time passes by. Tell you how The Reef Remedies went this sunday!
  • #9
I agree with Sam and Ryan's thoughts above.

Re: the powder blue (one of my favorites) - as well as the 30 gallon tank size being way too small for them, the powder blue tang is considered difficult even for seasoned hobbyists to get acclimated and eating. They need a very large tank and should be kept with some cleaner shrimp species.
Marine Man
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
Okay, then what fish do you recommend for newbs?! Was I right with the Gobies?! Also I am now going to the Reef Remedies shop on Wednesday or Thursday! Yay! They look great.
  • #11
HI Marine Man,
Fish-keeping is not an exact science, and whilst we'd love to be able to give guarantees on stocking, we simply can't.

Whether it be Saltwater or FW, we (Fishlorians) try to give advice based on a combination of personal experiences, research and the experiences of others. But it is just that, advice. I'd love to be able to tell you with certainty that species x will work in your setup, but that would be foolish of me.

What I (and the others) can do (and have tried to do), is provide you with as much information as possible to enable you to make the most informed decision as to what might be suitable in your tank/setup.

I know what it's like trying to get the 'perfect' stocking, but what has worked for me, Mike, Sirdarksol, Disc61 and other members may not work in your setup. There are no guarantees in life, much less in fish keeping. Particularly with marine, where we literally take wild animals from their natural habitat and try and put them in our homes.

Every fish has its own personality, just like dogs, cats, rabbits or any other pet, and they don't always behave as per a profile sheet. As humans, we owe it to ourselves, and more importantly, the animal to do the research into their requirements, and to try and provide the best captive environment we can.

No-one here at Fishlore wants or likes to see animals die, but unfortunately, sometimes it happens. Ultimately, each aquarist needs to do their own research, and make their own decision, after all it is your tank, we can't do your tests for you, we can't monitor what happens, and we're not in control of it, so the advice we give is often generic in nature, but provided with the utmost care to enable you to make the most informed decisions.

For what it's worth, every dollar I spend on my aquariums (you don't want to know the total figure) is a considered purchase. It is researched prior to the purchase, and I understand the risk. I prepare for the worst, and accept the fact that I cannot control nature, and if the worst happens, I take the time to learn and understand what went wrong so that I might avoid it re-occurring in the future. (and yes, sometimes it has cost me some money)

We're not trying to discourage you, but what we are trying to do is to provide you with enough guidance and information to make the most appropriate decision for your circumstances.

  • #12
Okay, taking things back to square one:
I'm presuming that, because nobody has commented on the equipment/live rock you're talking about, that it sounds like a pretty good setup, so let's assume that it's a good start.

Fish/inverts: My opinion on setting up such a small marine tank is that it works best with a very small handful of fish.
Picking from the fish you have listed, I'll give you an idea of a potential stocking that I would be willing to work with, if I had money to start a 30 gallon marine tank.
1 Purple firefish goby- Fishlore's profile on these guys says that they can be aggressive unless kept in a male/female pair, and that, since it's difficult to differentiate between genders, limiting it to one in the tank is the best bet. Since you're new to this, I'd suggest not taking a chance. Go with one of them.
Then pick one other fish. Flame angel, clown, or longnose hawkfish. Ryan's post suggests you might be able to get away with a mated pair of clowns.

Here's the part that, based on your comments in the other stocking thread, you're going to find difficult: Sit down and research the two fish you're going to keep in the tank (purple firefish and then angel, clown, or hawkfish). Spend no less than half an hour reading everything you can about these fish. Preferably, spend a couple of hours each. Find out if you can provide the type of care that each of the fish is going to need. If you can't, pick a replacement.

After this, pick some invertebrate livestock, if you want. A brightly colored shrimp. A snail or two. Just like with the fish, don't go overboard. And just like with the fish, research. Some shrimp are avid hunters and are doom to their tankmates. Other shrimp clean parasites off of fish, or eat algae from the walls, or clean detritus from the substrate, or filter organisms from the water column. You want to know what the shrimp eats, as well as if anything in the tank will eat the shrimp. Likewise with snails. Some snails will kill other slow-moving inverts (there's one type of freshwater snail, called the assassin snail, that feeds on other snails by chewing through their shells). Others eat algae or detritus.

Then, with an idea of two or three fish and maybe a couple of inverts, you can figure out the order of getting your tank set up, how you're going to cure the live rock, cycle the tank, etc...
Marine Man
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Okay thanks you SOOOOOO... Much!

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