Saltwater Tank Help (clownfish)

Peachyk
  • #1
I’ve been thinking about starting a salktwater tank and getting a clownfish. Although I do have some questions..
1) is 20 gallon long big enough ?
2) do royal gramma fish, damsel fish and firefish get along with clownfish?
3) would it be ok to have a grammafish , damselfish, fire fish and clownfish in a 20 gal?
4) What kind of invertebrates should I add?
5) What do clownfish eat?
6) ideal temperature?
7) is it better to get one clown fish or a pair?
8) are clownfish aggressive?
9) What should I add in the tank (anemone? Live rock? Coral?)
10) is maintaining a salt water tank general hard?
I rlly want to start a saltwater tank with clownfish but I need these questions answered first, thank you so much!
 
-Sofia-
  • #2
I only have the answer to question 1, a saltwater tank can be as small as a 3 gallon tank (for inverts only) And something that I've heard you should use reverse osmosis for changing water
Edit: a tank that small is for experienced saltwater aquarists! My bad for saying that
 
Culprit
  • #3
1) is 20 gallon long big enough ? A 20 long is a perfect size to start. Lots of stocking options and easy to light.
2) do royal gramma fish, damsel fish and firefish get along with clownfish?
You could do a Royal Gramma, Firefish, and 2 clownfish but damsels are very mean. Other stocking options are Yellow Watchman Goby And Pistol Shrimp Pair, Six-Line Wrasse, or Purple Dottyback.
3) would it be ok to have a grammafish , damselfish, fire fish and clownfish in a 20 gal?
All good except for the damsel. The sentence above in red says other stocking options
4) What kind of invertebrates should I add?
A good CUC (Clean Up Crew) is Banded Trochus or Astrea, Nassarius snails, a Skunk Cleaner Shrimp, and if you like hermit crabs 1 or 2 blue legged or scarlet legged hermit crabs are good.
5) What do clownfish eat?
Anything from frozen mysis shrimp, bloodworms, brine shrimp, and other foods to dry pellets and flakes. However, its best to mainly feed frozen mysis and occasionally treats like bloodworms, brine shrimp, or the pellets or flakes.
6) ideal temperature?
78-80* farenheight
7) is it better to get one clown fish or a pair?
I would get a pair. They're so much cuter together, and they'll be happier.
8) are clownfish aggressive?
Yes. And no. If you go with a Royal Gramma, 2 clownfish (pair), and a firefish, you'll add the clownfish last and the Royal Gramma right before you add the clowns. This will give other fish time to settle in and stake their territory and then the clowns aren't as aggressive.
9) What should I add in the tank (anemone? Live rock? Coral?)
Whatever you want. If you want corals you will want good flow and good lighting. You definitely need live or dry rock, live sand, a powerhead with good flow, a heater, and a light. A good budget powerhead is a Jebao SW-2. It will have plenty of flow and its adjustable, and a wavemaker. Its what I use on my 20 long mixed reef.
10) is maintaining a salt water tank general hard?
Honestly not that much harder then freshwater. The more hard corals you get the more maintnence, but even with a mainly softie/LPS reef not much more then FW. On my mixed reef I do a 15% water change with gravel vac once a week, at the same time I scrape the glass and blow my rocks off.

Replies in red! Other good things:
Research reef tanks and FOWLR tanks. You can have a Fish Only With Live Rock which is cheaper then a reef tank because you don't need good lighting, but you can't get corals. An HOB fuge like an AC50 modded into a chaeto refugium is a great idea, really good nutrient export and a good pod farm. Feel free to ask as many questions as you want.
 
Peachyk
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
I only have the answer to question 1, a saltwater tank can be as small as a 3 gallon tank. And something that I've heard you should use reverse osmosis for changing water
OK thanks so much!

Replies in red! Other good things:
Research reef tanks and FOWLR tanks. You can have a Fish Only With Live Rock which is cheaper then a reef tank because you don't need good lighting, but you can't get corals. An HOB fuge like an AC50 modded into a chaeto refugium is a great idea, really good nutrient export and a good pod farm. Feel free to ask as many questions as you want.
Oh wow thanks so much for ur reply! I’m definitely more confident in starting a salt water tank I just have one more question if you don’t mind.. for clown fish do they need an anemone? If so, what kind are the best for fake percula clown fish and I hear anemones are hard to to take care of, is this true? THANK YOU SO MUCH
 
Culprit
  • #5
Oh wow thanks so much for ur reply! I’m definitely more confident in starting a salt water tank I just have one more question if you don’t mind.. for clown fish do they need an anemone? If so, what kind are the best for fake percula clown fish and I hear anemones are hard to to take care of, is this true? THANK YOU SO MUCH

Clown fish definitely don't need an anenome. A lot of aquacultured clownfish actually won't host on their own, you have to lock them in a breeder box with a nem to get them to host it haha. Red Bubble Tip Anenomes are good starter corals, very common and not too pricey. Anenomes can be hard to take care of, but really they just need good lighting and a stable mature tank. No problem! Can't wait to see your salty build.

Oh yeah. You'll want to either buy RO/DI water from a fish store, they generally sell it for about 50 cents a gallon, or buy an RO/DI unit and make your own unit. I'd suggest buy your own unit as its way cheaper in the long run.
 
Peachyk
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Clown fish definitely don't need an anenome. A lot of aquacultured clownfish actually won't host on their own, you have to lock them in a breeder box with a nem to get them to host it haha. Red Bubble Tip Anenomes are good starter corals, very common and not too pricey. Anenomes can be hard to take care of, but really they just need good lighting and a stable mature tank. No problem! Can't wait to see your salty build.

Oh yeah. You'll want to either buy RO/DI water from a fish store, they generally sell it for about 50 cents a gallon, or buy an RO/DI unit and make your own unit. I'd suggest buy your own unit as its way cheaper in the long run.
Alright okay thank you so much! I’ll defintely post pictures if I do start a saltwater tank
 
Jesterrace
  • #7
I’ve been thinking about starting a salktwater tank and getting a clownfish. Although I do have some questions..
1) is 20 gallon long big enough ?
2) do royal gramma fish, damsel fish and firefish get along with clownfish?
3) would it be ok to have a grammafish , damselfish, fire fish and clownfish in a 20 gal?
4) What kind of invertebrates should I add?
5) What do clownfish eat?
6) ideal temperature?
7) is it better to get one clown fish or a pair?
8) are clownfish aggressive?
9) What should I add in the tank (anemone? Live rock? Coral?)
10) is maintaining a salt water tank general hard?
I rlly want to start a saltwater tank with clownfish but I need these questions answered first, thank you so much!

1) Yes
2) Damsels are poor tank mates and firefish are generally the most easily bullied fish in a saltwater tank
3) See #2
4) Trochus and Astrea snails would be good. I like small hermit crabs to eat excess food waste in the tank, but some don't care for them. A cleaner shrimp is useful
5) They are omnivores a mix of frozen Reef Frenzy and Frozen Spirulina Formula would be a great diet for a clownfish
6) 78 degrees seems to be the best balance if you want to add corals in the future
7) You can go either route with singles or a pair
8) All clownfish are territorial/semi-aggressive to some degree (I really wish websites would quit calling Occ Clowns (ie Nemo) Peaceful, because they are not). The least aggressive clowns and the best fit for your tank are the Occ and Percula varieties
9) Live Rock is the only necessary thing and that has to do with the fact that it is your primary filter in a saltwater tank as it has crucial bacteria that breaks things down. Coral is beautiful but expensive and requires a light that costs some $ if you really want to go in on it
10) For a FOWLR tank it really isn't that hard. An HOB Filter (ie Fluval 50 or Tidal 55) would work great for your tank. Add in a chemipure elite bag after the tank has cycled and it will keep maintenance fairly easy. I would recommend changing out 3-5 gallons of water on a weekly basis and that will keep your tank nice and healthy.
 
Dean20653
  • #8
Replies in red! Other good things:
Research reef tanks and FOWLR tanks. You can have a Fish Only With Live Rock which is cheaper then a reef tank because you don't need good lighting, but you can't get corals. An HOB fuge like an AC50 modded into a chaeto refugium is a great idea, really good nutrient export and a good pod farm. Feel free to ask as many questions as you want.

That's awesome information. As I'm just starting my FO saltwater tank. Mind if I ask your recommendation on stocking it (you provide a lot of good candidature bit clearly all can't go in a 20)

Personally I'm looking at 2 clowns (I'm trying to figure out what to add with them and have a good CUC) I'll be using crushed coral as a sub not live sand (of it matters)

Also I planned on using a canister but with this setup is a HOB better?

OP sorry for jumping on your thread like this but hopefully you will get useful answers from my questions as well lol
 
Jesterrace
  • #9
For saltwater sump is best, HOB next and then canister filter dead last in terms of mechanical filtration methods. For a smaller tank a sump adds a needless degree of complexity and cost, so HOB is generally the most recommended. The canister filter is by far the most problematic method simply because it is difficult to get it completely cleaned out and there are many nooks and crannies in one in which nitrates can hide. Also I wouldn't say it's super common, but I have also heard of canister filters being more leak prone than the other methods when it comes to saltwater. Can't tell you how many people have done what they thought was a good cleaning job on their canisters and then over time the nitrates build up to ridiculous levels despite their best efforts. With an HOB filter like the fluval you simply replace the media bag and completely clean it out once in a great while, which is easy considering how open they are.
 
Culprit
  • #10
That's awesome information. As I'm just starting my FO saltwater tank. Mind if I ask your recommendation on stocking it (you provide a lot of good candidature bit clearly all can't go in a 20)

Personally I'm looking at 2 clowns (I'm trying to figure out what to add with them and have a good CUC) I'll be using crushed coral as a sub not live sand (of it matters)

Also I planned on using a canister but with this setup is a HOB better?

OP sorry for jumping on your thread like this but hopefully you will get useful answers from my questions as well lol

Is this for a 20 long as well?

No problem. Some different stocking combos in a 20 long are: Yellow Watchman Goby (YWG) with pistol shrimp pair, 2 clownfish, and a royal gramma. Another option is a blenny of some type (tailspot, midas, ect.), with a clownfish pair, and a sixline wrasse, or pygmy wrasse. You can also switch out the royal gramma the first stocking list with a purple dottyback.

Yes. Canisters are out of sight out of mind. It will quickly become a nitrate factory unless you clean it at least every week. Something like an Aquaclear 70 modded into a chaeto refugium would be far better as not only do you get mechanical and if you want chemical filtration, you also get chaeto growth (macroalgae), which you then trim, taking nutrients out of the system.
 
Jesterrace
  • #11
As beautiful as the 6 line wrasse is, I would avoid them like the plague. Lots of people who have had them in tanks over 100 gallons have them go rogue and start killing things. Too many horror stories with them. The only way I would do a 6 line wrasse would be if I put them with a bunch of mean fish (ie Damsels, Dottybacks, Pygmy Angels, Maroon or Cinamon Clowns) and I wouldn't attempt to do that in anything less than a 40 breeder. The Possum or Pygmy would be great choices though.
 
Culprit
  • #12
I've only heard a few horror stories but literally ever fish has though. For goodness sakes I saw today that some one had a tailspot blenny and it was eating their corals. Also clownfish go rouge and stuff. Really not that big of a risk. Also its braver then the possum or pygmy wrasses. Either way I'm going to "risk" it.
 
Jesterrace
  • #13
I only have the answer to question 1, a saltwater tank can be as small as a 3 gallon tank. (And something that I've heard you should use reverse osmosis for changing water
Edit: a tank that small is for experienced saltwater aquarists! My bad for saying that

A 3 gallon tank isn't suitable for any kind of saltwater fish regardless of the level of expertise. A wild caught clown needs a 10 gallon minimum and captive bred really need at least a 20 long to be happy in the long run (no pun intended). Culprit I'm sorry but I am going to have to disagree with you on this one. If you check many sites, forums, personal experiences you will find plenty of complaints about the 6 line wrasse. I agree that any fish can go rogue, but the frequency in which it is reported going rogue is about on par with the number of complaints that I have had about Tomato Clowns. The fact remains that if someone asked about a clownfish and was on the fence between an Occ or Percula variety and a Tomato Clown, could you in good conscience recommend the Tomato Clown? I couldn't. While the Possum or Pygmy Wrasse isn't as brave there has not been a single documented complaint about them killing off their tank mates. I wish I could say the same about the 6 line as it is a beautiful fish, but I have seen numerous complaints about them either tearing up or killing their tank mates in the long run.
 
Culprit
  • #14
I agree with the clownfish all the way.

I respect your opinion totally. In my experience, and I've met 2-3 local reefers with six-line wrasses that have been fine. I haven't heard many complaints even on other forums. Now that could be since i'm not looking for them, but... One guy had a 30 cube with a sixline, 2 clownfish, and a royal gramma. Anyways, I will be trying it in my tank, with necessary precautions e.g. a tank I can rehome it to if I need to take it out quick, and adding it in last. Other people can avoid it but I will be trying it
 
-Sofia-
  • #16
A 3 gallon tank isn't suitable for any kind of saltwater fish regardless of the level of expertise. A wild caught clown needs a 10 gallon minimum and captive bred really need at least a 20 long to be happy in the long run (no pun intended). Culprit I'm sorry but I am going to have to disagree with you on this one. If you check many sites, forums, personal experiences you will find plenty of complaints about the 6 line wrasse. I agree that any fish can go rogue, but the frequency in which it is reported going rogue is about on par with the number of complaints that I have had about Tomato Clowns. The fact remains that if someone asked about a clownfish and was on the fence between an Occ or Percula variety and a Tomato Clown, could you in good conscience recommend the Tomato Clown? I couldn't. While the Possum or Pygmy Wrasse isn't as brave there has not been a single documented complaint about them killing off their tank mates. I wish I could say the same about the 6 line as it is a beautiful fish, but I have seen numerous complaints about them either tearing up or killing their tank mates in the long run.
Tanks that small are for invertebrates only and that is what I've thought people would know (but I'll edit that now)
 
Jesterrace
  • #17
Tanks that small are for invertebrates only and that is what I've thought people would know (but I'll edit that now)

Exactly, and for the amount of effort maintaining one for a newbie, they might as well get a decent sized tank and then they can have cool fish and inverts.
 

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