40 breeder suggestions?


I ended up tearing down my tank a while back, but am planning to start a new one soon (hoping to get rock this week.)

It'll be a while before I can stock it, but I'm having trouble deciding on what to put in it. I'm thinking a couple/few springer's damsels (have read they stay more peaceful, and saw some at the LFS recently and fell in love with them). No idea what else, though.

I'd LIKE to get something that stays on the rockwork, but I'm not sure what. I'd been thinking neon gobies, but the short lifespan turned me away from them. I'd like a variety of corals/eventually a clam so anything (like blennies) that may or may not nip is out, as is something like a hawkfish that would eat my inverts. I do barebottom, so anything that needs sand is out. I'd consider a dragonet, but since I've never tried to culture pods I'm a touch leery at getting something it'd be mandatory for.

Seems the ones (aside from the sadly short lived neons) that I keep going back to are the shrimp gobies or jawfish, though. I know sometimes for QT people will do a tupperware of sand. Is it possible to do something similar, but use some craft mesh to keep the sand in one area and use LR rubble to keep it steady-ish? How much space would I need to do that? I've read anywhere between an 8" square and up, from 2" deep to half my tank+ deep. Would it be safer to use jawfish since if the pistol shrimp decided to wander, it'd potentially lose the sand bed? Tank won't have a skimmer or sump (planted fresh is on the bottom of the stand, and I've never gotten a skimmer to work properly for me before.) so would it be possible to add some sort of shorter seagrass if I did that? Or would the fish/shrimp digging constantly be too much for the roots in a smaller system like that?