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Types of Small Fish for Nano Reefkeepers

When it comes to small aquarium setup such as having the Aquapod or the JBJ Nano Cube with either the 12 or 24 gallon size, usually selecting the type of fish to complement your reef tank community can somehow be tricky. Actually the hardest part is to scout for the perfect tank mates and the main idea is to find a fish that is small in size that will fit in easily without harming the reef or invertebrates (especially sponges and sea urchins) and yet easy to take care of without giving much problem. Not sure where to start? Let me give you some hints and tips with some suggestions to help you decide.

So far, there are 3 types of fish all belonging to the gobies family that fulfills the criteria mentioned earlier thus making them one of those highly sought after by nano reefkeepers who intend to diversify and create a living reef system. The most popular among them are the coral gobies (sometimes called crown goby), firefish and the last one is shrimp goby. Few things that I love about these fishes are their attractive colors and with their peaceful nature, for sure, they will definitely qualify as excellent pets. Let’s find out about their characteristics, learning and understanding the behavior on each of these bottom dwelling species and why you should get one as well for your nano reeftank.

Coral/Crown Gobies
coral crown gobiesAttaining only a maximum size of around 2 inches, the fish in this genus are very tolerant with the presence of the other nano reef tank invertebrates. They can be kept in groups but since you want add them to a small Nano Cube reef system, you might want to limit the numbers to only maximum 4 so that it forms a perfect balance with the environment. There are reports of captive breeding of the fish taking place in home aquariums and the most popular and highly sought after among aquarist is the Citron yellow colored goby (G. cirtrinus). When selecting to fish to purchase, just make sure to find one which is always alert and active.

Firefish Goby (Dartfishes)
orange firefish gobyThis is perhaps one of the most popular among all saltwater enthusiasts. Their elongated body and cute innocent face is often hard to forget and anybody would be tempted to buy them regardless of what the price tags says. Adding them as pets to your Aquapod tank is indeed a fun affair as you watch them go around with their daily activities, swimming around but sometimes stay motionless, ready to dart if there’s movement which they deem life-threatening. What sets them apart and unique from the other gobies is the presence of an extra top fin located just close to its head. Among the most commonly sold in aquarium shops are the purple firefish (N. decora) and the orange firefish (N. magnifica) as seen with the picture above with the long and straight pointy fin.

Shrimp Goby
randalli shrimp gobyThis is a rather quiet but yet entertaining species to have around and one thing special about them is the symbiotic relationship which they form with a type of shrimp called the Alpheus which is how they got their name in the first place. You will often find the fish hiding by burrowing underneath the sand dug by its partner shrimp located right below the huge pile of rocks and reefs. They are very peaceful and will readily blend into the tank community without giving any problem at all and they spend most of their time staying idle by lying at the bottom while keeping a close on what is happening around with their surrounding. Domesticated specimen can adjust well to the home-made artificial tank environment but those which are caught from the open seas will often have low survival rate. Look for the pink spotted variety, Catalina goby (Lythrypnus dalli), yellow watchman or the Randall’s shrimp goby (A. randalli) when searching for the perfect nano reef fish.

Looking for some ideas on which invertebrate to get? How about adding these special colorful clams? Read up also about tiny seahorses in coral reef tank. Another reef-friendly species would be the fancy sea basses also known as bass anthias.



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About Me

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My fascination and interest towards aquarium fish has led me to devote my time towards caring and learning about this wonderful pet.

Aquarium fish keeping is a very challenging and exciting hobby. When I first started, I never knew much or have the necessary guidance back then because none of my family members were actually a keen hobbyist. And because of that, I’ve encountered numerous failures and the worst part is having to deal with dead fish every time when you started to grow fond and getting attached to my pets. However, I persevered and took steps to find out and search for information from other hobbyist, apart from the knowledge gained and learned from my own experience and research. The blog that I’ve created here is meant to share useful information and tips about aquarium fish keeping so that new hobbyist will not make the same mistakes that I’ve made in the past."

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