Stocking a 30 Gallon FOWLR tank?

Question by Diver1070: Stocking a 30 Gallon FOWLR tank?
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Stocking a 30 gallon FOWLR tank?
I plan on starting up a 30 gallon FOWLR tank sometime this Fall. I was thinking about something along the lines of this:

A pair of Percula clowns
A Coral Beauty dwarf angelfish
A 3-4″ Fairy wrasse or Flasher wrasse
A goby or blenny of some kind (like a Canary Fang Blenny, Bicolor Blenny, or Shrimp Goby)
And either an Orchid or Sunrise Dottyback, or a Starcki Damsel

The clowns are non-negotiable, but the dottybacks aren’t. I know they can be real hellions, so a Starcki Damsel would easily replace them. For the others, any substitutes would be open to change.
I also know that the angel is pushing it in size, but all of what I have studied, including numerous reference books by authors I trust, tell me that a Coral Beauty will be fine for a 30 gallon.

The Starcki Damsel would replace the dottybacks easily and isn’t as aggressive as other damsels, so it would make a great substitute.

Also, would just a suitable power filter be enough with live rock, or would I need a protein skimmer as well?

Please, I am not an idiot and I am talking about setting up this tank, not that I have it going now. If you have a problem with the fish I have mentioned, any suggestions would be great.
I would like to know what others think of these stocking choices. I am only talking about six fish or less. I know that there are 15 gallon tanks with three fish with no problems. If this tank is overstocked, please suggest how to fix it.

Best answer:

Answer by Mike
How many times are you going to post this? It’s not even a question. It’s just a comment about you wanting a FOWLR tank. As your only question in the whole thing is about a filter being good enough or needing a Protein skimmer… That was well answered already the first time.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

3 Responses to “Stocking a 30 Gallon FOWLR tank?”

  • Jenny:

    Sounds pretty good to me, If I had the 30gallon I wanted, I would probably stock the same as you, but with a few varients.

    This is what I would stock if I got a 30gallon, over the 20gallon that I currently have running.

    1. My breeding pair ocellaris clowns
    2. Flame angelfish (another dwarf species, doesn’t grow as big as the coral beauty)
    3. 3-4 purple firefish or 2-3 jawfish, I would probably go with the firefish
    4. A sand sifting goby once the tank is mature, I hate stagnent sand
    5. A large midas blenny, absolutly love them but cannot keep one in my 20gallon

    Perhaps a six line wrasse if space allows, would probaby hold back on this fellow however.

    For inverts I would get:

    4 pacific cleaner shrimp
    2 sand sifting starfish – great for eating the detris that the goby will refuse to pick up
    5-6 reef safe hermits
    2 peppermint shrimp
    4 snails, I find my 3 keep my tank way too clean haha no chance for coraline to grow
    2 slugs, I find my reef safe hitch hiking slug loves to clean the glass for me!

    If it’s any help I run my 20gallon on stock filter with just some added media, carbon and other fillers such as PhosEx for phosphates and bio balls. I do have a small powerhead running over my Xenia and will be getting another one soon for the bottom of the tank.

    I do not use a protien skimmer in this tank – however it’s harder to keep clean! I am going to get one soon as I cannot stand the state of the cyanobacteria, although I am currently starving it and it has finally stoppped growing. (Although that could also be down to the fact that the water needs its magnesium and calcium adjusted badly)

    I do not run CO2 reactors/diffusers, calcium reactors, UV sterilizers, etc, in the sump all I have is the stock filter 😀
    I do however use RO/DI water – this is important in order to keep the salt waters integrity correct and the fish healthy!

    Hope this helps!

  • Kimberly:

    Yes, some people say a coral beauty can be in a 30 gallon, but that is ONLY if they are ALONE. 30 gallons per fish. You can’t dump a bunch of other fish in that 30 gallons and expect it to still be suitable for the coral beauty. End of story.

    And, you cannot get a pair of percula clowns unless they are a mated pair as they will fight one another if not mated. They either need to be mated when you get them, or you have to get them at the same time and hope they will eventually become a mated pair.

    30 gallons is a very small tank for any type of saltwater.

    remember, live rock takes up space. A 30 gallon tank with 30 lbs of live rock, which is the minimum for live rock recommended for that size tank at 1 lb per gallon, really only equates to about 20 gallons max of swimming room. Yet again another reason the tank is not suitable for a coral beauty.

    You cannot “fix” an overstocked tank. It does not matter how well you filter the water or how often you change it. Overstocking is an issue with the amount of water provided for a fish to swim around. Basically, you are looking to put these fish in a tank that would parallel to you being shuved in a walk in closet.

    I would suggest a mated pair of clowns and a goby, nothing more. Possibly a damselfish or the wrasse if it gets no bigger than 3 inches. Clowns really need an anemone to be happy. Lots of live rock will be ok without the anemone for them, but really, they will thrive more with one. You can get fake ones they will host if you like. I have seen some very pretty ones at Petsmart.

    Just remember, live rock takes up a LOT of space. The tank will be decreased by almost half the space when you add it if you use the proper amount. This makes the room for the fish cramped. As well, it’s not good to get a whole bunch of fish. Start off with one. Try getting a Damselfish. They are $3. If it survives for 2 weeks, you know you are maintaining the salinity and water quality well enough to go and get the more costly fish, like the $20+ clown/s. This will save you money from not killing expensive fish.

    Running a saltwater tank in the beginning is a little difficult, but it gets very easy once you get the hang of it. :) Its a joy to have and a great hobby.

    Good luck.

  • Iliana M:

    Live rock will displace quite a bit of water, and so will your sand bed. I strongly urge you to consider stocking less fish, not only because some of the species you have chosen are aggressive, but because they will also require more swimming room and territory room.

    The pair of clowns is a fine choice, but I recommend against the blennys and dottybacks, and also against the coral beauty. 30 gallons is the absolute minimum size for these fish, and in my opinion, not the size that should be given to them, and not the amount of water you will be working with. I suggest a small goby species as a bottom dweller, such as a blackray goby, or a yellow clown goby.

    You will definitely want to buy a protein skimmer. While some aquarists can get away without them, I don’t recommend skimping on this excellent piece of technology that is going to make your life easier.

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