Help me decide!

elbereth

Jack Dempsey
Original poster
MFK Member
Feb 22, 2018
208
91
36
Toronto, Canada
I'm looking to upgrade my 15g reef tank to something bigger. I want the new tank to house a pair of clownfish, a goby and pistol shrimp pair, a cleaner shrimp and at least two mandarin gobies. Initially I planned on a 35g tank plus 20g sump but now I wonder whether that's overkill for the fish I want to keep. I know mandarins need lots of pods but I'm planning on breeding those separately anyways. And yes, I know a bigger system means more stable parameters but I think a smaller system would be easier for me to maintain. Not to mention that a bigger tank will encourage me to spend way too much on coral!

So should I go with a smaller system, 35-40g total, or keep the larger set-up? Are there any other cool fish I could add to the list above that would make the larger system worthwhile? Though I'm not sure I'd want anything that would outshine the clownfish... Just throw your ideas at me folks! Thanks!
 
  • Like
Reactions: mattybecks

mattybecks

Polypterus
MFK Member
Feb 21, 2012
449
352
87
29
Dubai, UAE
I would do the larger set up. I have never once had a tank where I looked at it and thought "hmmm. smaller would be better'. But when I have decided to go small, sooner or later I always wished I had gone one size up.

If you are wanting to keep two mandarin gobies, I would say try and get as a large an area as possible for them. The larger the area, the more food they can graze on, and with two mandarins that's a fair amount of pods.

As for other potential fish candidates in the larger tank:

Pygmy angels (cherub fish I think they are aka)
Tailspot blennie
Royal gramma
Cardinals
gobies (I really enjoy the firefish gobies).
 

elbereth

Jack Dempsey
Original poster
MFK Member
Feb 22, 2018
208
91
36
Toronto, Canada
I would do the larger set up. I have never once had a tank where I looked at it and thought "hmmm. smaller would be better'. But when I have decided to go small, sooner or later I always wished I had gone one size up.

If you are wanting to keep two mandarin gobies, I would say try and get as a large an area as possible for them. The larger the area, the more food they can graze on, and with two mandarins that's a fair amount of pods.

As for other potential fish candidates in the larger tank:

Pygmy angels (cherub fish I think they are aka)
Tailspot blennie
Royal gramma
Cardinals
gobies (I really enjoy the firefish gobies).
Thanks for your opinion. I like the idea of firefish gobies. Do you think I could add two or three to a system that size?

What about a wrasse? I really red velvet fairy wrasses but could I get away with keeping one in a 55g system? And behaviour-wise, would they do well with the clownfish?
 
Last edited:

mattybecks

Polypterus
MFK Member
Feb 21, 2012
449
352
87
29
Dubai, UAE
I am fairly new to saltwater, and I don't have much experience with wrasses but from what I heard from the lfs, and online is that they can be aggressive. If you were to add one I would add it in last after your other fish have become established. The 35g system may be a little on the small side, but as I mentioned I have no experience with them so I could be wrong.

My two firefish I have found to be quite peaceful in my tank (100cm x 40cm x 45cm) 170L. I toyed with the idea of getting a group, but I read that once they become comfortable and settled they can start to kill each other off. In my LFS the staff said the same thing, and that they have personally kept pairs of them with success (two different staff from two different LFS). But they have kept them in smaller tanks. In longer tanks you may have more success.
So a pair is what I am doing now.
If you want a group I would suggest a larger group to disperse aggression, and make sure you have loads of rocks and crevices they can hide in. If they have their own territory's and holes to hide in, you may it works well. And that they are all added in at the same time.
 

twentyleagues

Blue Tier VIP
MFK Member
Apr 5, 2017
3,930
5,381
429
Flint town!
I'd say go bigger. Once the clowns pair up they could claim up to a 3' cube of space.
As for pods alot of mandarins are being captive bred now and eat frozen and sometimes even pellets. Firefish would be fine ive kept regular, helfrichi, and purple. The purple killed my two regulars so adding him to the tank was a bad idea. The purples are the most aggressive. As for a group my friend has a dozen in a tank with jaw fish and garden eels. I think 150 tall?
 
zoomed.com
hikariusa.com
aqaimports.com
Store