What size tank is required?

Vishwa.J

New member
Okay this is my first post here..I'm interested in starting a saltwater tank so I thought it'll be beneficial to be a member of a forum dedicated to it...

I don't have any prior experience when it comes to saltwater...but I have kept and still keeping Freshwater Fish and own a 180 gallon Geophagus tank..

Now , question I have is this...I want to start a saltwater (fowlr first) tank but
I'm not sure what size tank I'll need to keep the fishes I like...

Fish I'm interested in are ,

Clowns (Common Occellaris and Black and White Occellaris)
Regal Tang
Auriga Butterflyfish
Diamond watchman goby
Firefish
Bangai Cardinal
Bicolor Dottyback or Royal Gramma
Anthias
Chromis
Saddle Valentini Puffer or Toby Puffer
Yellowtail Damsel

First 7 in the list are the ones I like the most...Others are optional..
can these fish work together??
if so what size tank would I need??
thanks
 

toothybugs

New member
The firefish might get beat up a little (or just always hide - they're sissies) but your 180 would do you well for all those fish. Get rid of the tang and you could be fine with a 75, however with the 180 your tang will very much appreciate the swimming space.
 

username in use

Sciencing Daily
I agree with the others, the 180g is a good size tank with that fish list. Get rid of the tang and I still wouldn't go much below a 120g.
 

Vishwa.J

New member
Even a Juvenile tang will require 180 gallons? I can rehome him/her when it reaches a certain size..
will it be fine in a 5'x2'x2'?


Only problem I have with going with a tank with a huge volume is making the water...RO/DI is not available here unless I buy my own filter and salt mix is very expensive too..

will reducing the height of the tank make the tank look ugly? I like tall tanks..
 

username in use

Sciencing Daily
Don't put any fish in a tank with the idea of "rehomeing it when it outgrows". Yes, even as juveniles they need the space, they are extremely active and need the space or they will grow overly aggressive and experience health problems that will shorten their lifespan.

Not to mention, catching a tang in an established tank is a nightmare.
 

Pastey

New member
Long term, you'll save money by purchasing an RO/DI unit and buying your own salt mix. If you're going FO, you can save more money by running a salt that doesn't have high cal/alk/mag levels for corals (cheaper) and run a lower salinity level (saves more). Of course, I see you're in Sri Lanka so I don't know exactly what the situation is as far as availability, water pressure, etc.
 

Vishwa.J

New member
okay...advice taken :hmm5:

I guess I'll go with a Tangless tank till I can afford a 180g..


Other size option I have is only a 2.5'x1.5'x1.5' tank.. :eek:

so new question , what fish can fit in that tank with a pair of clowns??
 

Vishwa.J

New member
Long term, you'll save money by purchasing an RO/DI unit and buying your own salt mix. If you're going FO, you can save more money by running a salt that doesn't have high cal/alk/mag levels for corals (cheaper) and run a lower salinity level (saves more). Of course, I see you're in Sri Lanka so I don't know exactly what the situation is as far as availability, water pressure, etc.

Yes , RO units are available here but expensive...I'm not sure about the DI part..

what exactly do you mean by buying my own salt mix?

I'm going fowlr for now...might add few soft corals like zoas and mushrooms later on..


and yes , saltwater is not very popular here ..Fish are there but the availability of other equipment is next to zero...most of the time we've to import...
 

FraggledRock

New member
I would research the behaviours and requirement for each.

From my experience, Blue Damsels are VERY territorial, and WILL be aggressive towards anything you put in a tank/ they will try to keep as much space for themselves. I had one
in a 40g breeder with just 2 clowns and he made it known that it was HIS tank!

Royal Gramma are basslets and can be aggressive once they find a place to call home. they usually over around their spot and will be somewhat aggressive if anyone gets too close to home.

Regal Tang can grow to about 12" total and 180 Gallon is the reccommended minimum by Liva Aquaria:
http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=15+43+2767&pcatid=2767
 

Vishwa.J

New member
From your list, I would go with the watchman goby, a Royal Gramma and the pair of clowns and maybe the cardinal, but threadfin cardinals might be a better fit.


how about the Cardinal and firefish instead of the Royal Gramma?

or clown pair , watchman goby and 4xgreen reef chromis?

I haven't seen threadfin cardinals here...and they kinda look like Rams to me :D


sorry for asking so many questions! :worried::worried:
 

jason2459

Premium Member
Live Aquaria has a decent list of common fish and divers den will get in some not so common fish. They also have a fairly decent tank size recommendation per fish compared to many other places that would love to sell you a 1+ foot length fish in a tank that it would take up over a 1/4 or even 1/2 the space of.

I even dislike the fact I have a P. hepatus (regal or blue tang) that could get up to 1' in length in my 180 as the front to back is 2' and the fish will start looking rather large and start dwarfing everything else in my tank. A large fish crammed in a small tank just looks bad regardless if it's a tang, angelfish, blowfish, etc.

Tangs grow rather fast. I got my yellow belly blue tang (color variation of the regal but same fish) smaller then a quarter a couple years ago. He's the largest fish I have now and a good 5+ inches in length and growing. Eats a lot and puts a large foot print on the bioload of my tank. I couldn't imagine what that would do to a smaller tank and could cause nutrient issues if husbandry isn't kept up to par at all times. And yes, he loves to swim all over the place.
 

Vishwa.J

New member
Live Aquaria has a decent list of common fish and divers den will get in some not so common fish. They also have a fairly decent tank size recommendation per fish compared to many other places that would love to sell you a 1+ foot length fish in a tank that it would take up over a 1/4 or even 1/2 the space of.

I even dislike the fact I have a P. hepatus (regal or blue tang) that could get up to 1' in length in my 180 as the front to back is 2' and the fish will start looking rather large and start dwarfing everything else in my tank. A large fish crammed in a small tank just looks bad regardless if it's a tang, angelfish, blowfish, etc.

Tangs grow rather fast. I got my yellow belly blue tang (color variation of the regal but same fish) smaller then a quarter a couple years ago. He's the largest fish I have now and a good 5+ inches in length and growing. Eats a lot and puts a large foot print on the bioload of my tank. I couldn't imagine what that would do to a smaller tank and could cause nutrient issues if husbandry isn't kept up to par at all times. And yes, he loves to swim all over the place.


I'm trying to stick with the commonly known fish since I'm new to saltwater...
and buying from liveaquaria isn't an option for me :(
 

username in use

Sciencing Daily
how about the Cardinal and firefish instead of the Royal Gramma?

or clown pair , watchman goby and 4xgreen reef chromis?

I haven't seen threadfin cardinals here...and they kinda look like Rams to me :D


sorry for asking so many questions! :worried::worried:

No worries on questions, that's the beauty of internet forums.

I wouldn't put Chromis in a tank that size. They are usually sold as ok for smaller tanks, but they really aren't. They need some space, should be housed as a good size shoal and really need to eat many times a day.


Switching out the royal gramma for the firefish and the cardinal would probably be fine in that scenario with the clowns.
 

jason2459

Premium Member
I'm trying to stick with the commonly known fish since I'm new to saltwater...
and buying from liveaquaria isn't an option for me :(

You can still use them as a great place to window shop and guidelines for tank sizes. There's a sticky up top this forum too for getting great advice on planned fish lists for compatibility between the fish. I used and still use liveaquaria for the window shopping and good bit of information they give about the live stock.

Here's the link to that sticky on planned fish purchases
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2068112
 

Vishwa.J

New member
No worries on questions, that's the beauty of internet forums.

I wouldn't put Chromis in a tank that size. They are usually sold as ok for smaller tanks, but they really aren't. They need some space, should be housed as a good size shoal and really need to eat many times a day.


Switching out the royal gramma for the firefish and the cardinal would probably be fine in that scenario with the clowns.

Dottyback is a no go too right? I didn't ask about it since I knew they're very territorial and mose people use Royal Gramma as a substitute..


Ok didn't know that about chromis...I guess I'll go with clowns and the watchman goby first...since I have done my research about them...


thank you for the responses! :fish1:
 

Vishwa.J

New member
You can still use them as a great place to window shop and guidelines for tank sizes. There's a sticky up top this forum too for getting great advice on planned fish lists for compatibility between the fish. I used and still use liveaquaria for the window shopping and good bit of information they give about the live stock.

Here's the link to that sticky on planned fish purchases
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2068112

I frequently visit liveaquaria...but didn't look into diver's den since I cannot purchase..
I usually go there to check prices...but here in Sri Lanka Fish are much cheaper...
thanks for the link..I'll look into it :)
 

tkeracer619

Premium Member
Use the bigger tank and quarantine your fish in the smaller one. Always QT your fish to prevent introducing disease. It is much more difficult to treat a FOWLR tank compared to your avg freshwater setup if you let the disease get into the system.
 

Sk8r

Staff member
RC Mod
Aggression in most species is a function of tank size, which is another reason not to put some fish in a small tank. Damsels in 100 gallons up are totally differently behaved than in a 50 gallon: I keep a predominantly damsel tank and have no nipped fins. The gramma I've found is shy---mine decided to come out after 3 months in hiding. In general if fish have room to stay away from each other and not get cornered, things go much more smoothly. I also advise rockwork with a lot of holes and ideally some vertical spires, which seem to define territories and break up little spats. There's usually a boss damsel, but it's usually a dascyllus species.
 
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