New Saltwater tank need help


Reefing newb
Hi fish community,

I'm new to saltwater tanks and I have experience in freshwater (75 Gallon). I just set up my old 30 gallon tank I had laying around and need some help. Its been set up for a month now. I have 6 damsels in there now, I got the damsels from my neighbor so I didn't pay for them and are only in my tank to help cycle it faster. ( I will be getting rid of them soon)

Heres my set up:
8lbs of live rock (might add 4 more pounds but I know your suppose to have 30lbs but I don't want a whole lot of rock)
thick live sand bed
Aqua- Tech hang on filter. 30-60 gallons, 330gph. (got it for free)
power head

Question is: Is my filter going to handle a salt water tank. I've been reading that its best to have a sump (but that cost $200 or DIY $40). And canister filters are better but not the best and hang of carbon filter pads are the worst. Since I have a 30 gallon tank I've been told that the hang on could work but would be sorta difficult.

I plan to have a few fish:
diamond goby
peppermint shrimp
lawnmower blenny
blue hippo tang (1.5-3 inchs than upgrade tank later or give it away if it gets too big)
2 clown fish
maybe another goby (golden headed)

and thats it for fish, no coral.
As long as you keep up with your water changes and have plenty of live rock, there's really no need for a filter. (Unless you decide to venture into coral.... then I would look into a skimmer.)

Also in a 30 gallon tank you're limited to 3 (MAYBE 4) small fish. And even if you get a small hippo tang, it will be miserable in such a small tank. Please rethink that fish.

I run a hob filter, much better than a canister due to ease of cleaning. I use it mostly for flow since mine adds very little to water volume (albeit valume is volume in my book; every bit counts) and instead of filter media, I use live rock rubble to add to that biological filter. Others leave the tops off, aquaclear is a favourite, and use a small clip on light, usually cheaper LEDs, to grow cheato, however I have some macro on my display so I stuck with rock in my filter.

Just my 2¢.
Erin: I was thinking def diamond goby, lawnmower blenny and one clown at least. I'm not sure yet if i want another goby, clown and the hippo tang. The hippo tang said min 40 gallons. But the purchase size was .75-1.5 (pretty small). so i wasn't sure how many fish I would add since the goby is in the sand and the blenny is going to be on a rock. I wanted a fish that swims around alot.

As far as rock, how many lbs do you think I should have?
You want 1-2 pounds of rock per gallon.

I don't know where you heard 40 gallons for a hippo tang... but minimum tank size for them is 180 gallons. This site: Aquarium Fish: Tropical Freshwater Fish and Saltwater Fish for Home Aquariums is a great reference.

If it was me, I'd do a pair of clowns, one of the bottom dwellers (so either the goby or the blenny) and then pick an active swimmer like a sixline wrasse or a firefish. I wouldn't do both the goby and the blenny in such a small tank.
Mine is an Aqueon PF20 I think. They should be at all major stores. The other one is an Aquaclear 110 that's really popular for hob refugiums.

+1 again on a six-line. I really like those.
Erin: Blue Hippo Tang
thats the website I was going to buy my fish from. theres 2 blue hippo tangs one for 34 and one for 49. i saw min 40 gallons and thought maybe 1 hippo 1 clown. but I guess ill just wait and get a hippo when i upgrade later when im more experienced.

as far as live rock i def need some more if i only have about 8 lbs in 30 gallons. Ill get on that. thanks for the quick replys.
That's a sale tactic. 40 gallons would be a great minimum size for him...until he gets 2.5". The hippos really need a 6 foot tank, preferably 8-10' for them to do really good in. They can get 15" easily and they do a lot of swimming.