Question Stocking A First Time 30 Gallon.

atoken64

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A few weeks ago I saw a Coral Life 30 gallon saltwater tank for sale at my lfs (it had everything you need to get the tank up and running). When I went back it was sold, but the other day the person brought it back. My lfs will buy your tanks and equipment as he does have a demand for used tanks.
I wanted to buy it, but the lfs owner wouldn't sell it to me, as I have a 220 gallon on order from him and have 6 tanks up and running (funny thing, just got into hobby last August). He suggested that once my 220 is up and running that I should convert one of my tanks to SW.
So what I am going to do is convert my 30 gallon to a saltwater tank in the next few weeks. I have been doing some research and think it's time to try it.

Now comes the tricky part as I am unsure what the stocking should be. I know that the first tank should have hardy fish that can be forgiving while learning the ropes. I also will be adding around 30 pounds of live rock. So here it is, opinions and suggestions on what I want in tank. I know it can't be over stocked and I can probably fit 7 fish in tank. So in no particular order or numbers here is what I like so far.

2 or three Green Chromis
2 Clown fish
1 Dottie Back
1 Coral Beauty
2 Firefish
2 Cardinal Fish or 3 Pajama Cardinals
1 Royal Gramma Basslet
1 Yellow Line Goby
For a clean up crew, maybe 10 hermit crabs and a few snails to start. My lfs recommended the Chromis as they are hardy and not too expensive. He suggested I start with them or the crabs. I also want to add Coral but not right away, it was suggested by my lfs to start with a mushroom first when I am ready. I will be using my Fluval 306 as the filter along with a power head, will I also need a protein skimmer?

I would appreciate any comments and suggestions on how to proceed.
Thank you.
 

Mrfister1116

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I’d skip the coral beauty, they’re wonderful but my small one is all over my 75g tank. Even a small one would get stressed out and stress out the other fish.
Everyone smarter than me suggest odd number chromis so they don’t bicker my three seem quite happy
Careful with clownfish, they can bicker in pairs and kill each other, had to save one of mine and move it as it’s tankmate nipped off half its tail fin
For a 30 you’re only going to want 1 firefish, they need lots of hiding spaces and unless you get a mated pair they can get a bit agressive with each other
For the rest ... in a 30g you would want either chromis or cardinals as they fill up the tank super fast

If you went with either chromis or cardinals, 2 clowns, and a fire fish I’d say you be about maxed out. The goby could maybe be added but definitely start slow. The learning curve on salt is a harsh mistress. I’ve had fw tanks most my life and saltwater is a lot to relearn.

Start with chromis or the clowns, watch your levels and slowly add anything else. Don’t forget in your bio load you’ll want a clean up crew, atleast 15 snails/crabs
 
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atoken64

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I’d skip the coral beauty, they’re wonderful but my small one is all over my 75g tank. Even a small one would get stressed out and stress out the other fish.
Everyone smarter than me suggest odd number chromis so they don’t bicker my three seem quite happy
Careful with clownfish, they can bicker in pairs and kill each other, had to save one of mine and move it as it’s tankmate nipped off half its tail fin
For a 30 you’re only going to want 1 firefish, they need lots of hiding spaces and unless you get a mated pair they can get a bit agressive with each other
For the rest ... in a 30g you would want either chromis or cardinals as they fill up the tank super fast

If you went with either chromis or cardinals, 2 clowns, and a fire fish I’d say you be about maxed out. The goby could maybe be added but definitely start slow. The learning curve on salt is a harsh mistress. I’ve had fw tanks most my life and saltwater is a lot to relearn.

Start with chromis or the clowns, watch your levels and slowly add anything else. Don’t forget in your bio load you’ll want a clean up crew, atleast 15 snails/crabs
Thanks, I was told that if I wanted a pair of clowns to make sure when I buy them that they were in the same tank at the store. I was also told to add them at same time. I just want a peaceful saltwater tank as my South American Cichlid tanks can sometimes be a bit rowdy.
 

Mrfister1116

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Well, that doesn’t always work with clowns just keep an eye on them. If you add them at the same time, and get a long term pair or a very young pair you should be fine.

Chromis are great fun they’re my fiancé’s favorite fish I think, fire fish are probably mine
 
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atoken64

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Well, that doesn’t always work with clowns just keep an eye on them. If you add them at the same time, and get a long term pair or a very young pair you should be fine.

Chromis are great fun they’re my fiancé’s favorite fish I think, fire fish are probably mine
I think the Cardinal fish are nice and am leaning towards then. The Coral Beauty at my lfs has awesome colors, but per the advice I won't get it. I also think I may go with one clown, maybe one of the newer varieties. My lfs has one tank with two young clownfish that seem to get along, one is slightly bigger than the other. As I said I am in the planning stage and the tank stocking and set up are a few weeks away. I just want to make sure I am doing it right and avoid any impulse buying of fish for the tank. I did that with my Cichlids and now have to upgrade and move my Jaguar from a 125 to the 220.
 

Jesterrace

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Definitely ditch the Coral Beauty. 30 gallons is too small for their level of activity and their potential attitude with smaller more peaceful fish, also ditch the dottyback. Chromis tend to pick each other off in smaller tanks so I would avoid them as well. The rest of the list looks about right for a 30 gallon.
 
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