Am I overstocking my 10 gallon? + Algae help? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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Am I overstocking my 10 gallon? + Algae help?

Hey everyone. I knows decent amount about planted tanks and fish, seeing as I work in a Petco and am frequently working in the aquatics area, but that also leads to temptations in buying fish.

Right now I don't know if my 10 gallon would be considered overstocked or not. I currently have:
4 Male guppies (2 are still young adults. I bred them)
3 Female guppies. (Who I would Definitely say are on the chunky side)
2 Platies (a high-fin Red wag and a Sunset wag)
And 1 Albino Pygmy Cory

I know their full size is usually 1.5 to 2 inches, which makes me think I could be pushing it, but they seem to be doing well and the only thing going on with the tank right now is a bit of a green algae issue that I'm treating (although I can't get it off the plant leaves). I want my fish to be healthy and happy so worst case I could adopt them away...or release them in my pond if I HAD to. Let me know what you guys think.

I'd also love some tips on the algae too. It's a dark green algae that's on the gravel and plant leaves. Hard to get off surfaces, and I DO have a Marimo moss ball in the tank.

Thanks for the help!
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 06:01 PM
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You are overstocked now for a 10 gallon. And soon you will be WAY overstocked when all of those guppies start giving birth. It will happen. So you should probably start making a plan now for what to do with them.

For stocking questions, I always use AqAdvisor . It has a calculator that you put in your tank size, filters, and the fish you want/have. It will then tell you your stocking level, whether you have enough filtration, and whether there are temp, PH, hardness, and aggression incompatibilities with your fish choices. It's definitely a good starting place. You can overstock by a little as long as you have good filtering and you do regular cleaning and water changes.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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You are overstocked now for a 10 gallon. And soon you will be WAY overstocked when all of those guppies start giving birth. It will happen. So you should probably start making a plan now for what to do with them.

For stocking questions, I always use AqAdvisor . It has a calculator that you put in your tank size, filters, and the fish you want/have. It will then tell you your stocking level, whether you have enough filtration, and whether there are temp, PH, hardness, and aggression incompatibilities with your fish choices. It's definitely a good starting place. You can overstock by a little as long as you have good filtering and you do regular cleaning and water changes.
alright, I do clean and do water changes but ill check out that website.

As for the babies, I have a small tank set up for the babies to go in while they grow up with some Cherry Shrimp eventually.

How overstocked would you say it is now without the babies? how many fish would I need to take out?

EDIT: I am gonna take the AQAdvisor with a grain of salt... It's saying a single betta is 123% stocking for a 4 gallon tank. Maybe I'd be ok if I removed the cory from my 10 gallon? Its also saying i need a bigger filter. Yet my water in that tank is crystal clear.

Current Fish tanks:
20 Gallon SE Asian biotope?: 8 amano shrimp, 1 Gold Gourami, 6 Panda Corys
10 gallon: 3 Female Bettas, 3 nerite snails, 4 Emerald Green Corys
7 gallon cube: 3 Licorice Gouramis, 1 leftover Dario Hysignon
4 gallon cube: Male Halfmoon Plakat Betta
2.5 Gallon: Male Bumblebee Betta

Last edited by EmeraldAlkaline; 03-01-2017 at 06:23 PM. Reason: New info
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 06:20 PM
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Using that website it says 140%, which seems about right. It's probably not quite that high currently, since they aren't full grown. But the babies will add to that. I see in your sig you are planning on using a 2.5G for the babies. That won't be enough. With 3 females you will have 30-50 babies every month from here on out. I had one female and one male guppy. The male died within a week of purchase. The female has produced at least 30 babies in the last 3 months, without a male present. And those are just the ones that survived on their own without any intervention. I have 2 GBR and a dwarf gourami who pick off the babies when they seem them. I was putting them in their own 10 gallon after a few weeks, and it soon became overcrowded. Needless to say I gave away all of my guppies.


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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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That tank would just be until they were grown enough to be given away. I've had the tank for a year and haven't had a MASSIVE amount of babies but a pretty steady flow. I suppose I could maybe get rid of my guppies in favor of some Tetras or something. The babies are a bit of a hassle. But if I want to keep them, what do I get rid of? I'm okay giving up the Cory I know. maybe one of the extra male guppies. Would I have to do more than that?
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 06:42 PM
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Try using that website. It will tell you what the effects of any fish will have on stocking level. You can play around with it and see what is best. If you do want to get different fish you can plug them in as well.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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Try using that website. It will tell you what the effects of any fish will have on stocking level. You can play around with it and see what is best. If you do want to get different fish you can plug them in as well.

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Okay, It looks like it should be okay if I removed the Cory and guppies in favor for some Tetras or Rasboras. I may do that.

Is it unethical to put Guppies in a lake if my petco won't take them? :P

Current Fish tanks:
20 Gallon SE Asian biotope?: 8 amano shrimp, 1 Gold Gourami, 6 Panda Corys
10 gallon: 3 Female Bettas, 3 nerite snails, 4 Emerald Green Corys
7 gallon cube: 3 Licorice Gouramis, 1 leftover Dario Hysignon
4 gallon cube: Male Halfmoon Plakat Betta
2.5 Gallon: Male Bumblebee Betta
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 07:23 PM
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Okay, It looks like it should be okay if I removed the Cory and guppies in favor for some Tetras or Rasboras. I may do that.

Is it unethical to put Guppies in a lake if my petco won't take them? :P
Yes. And in many states (Florida being a very likely one), it may be illegal as well. You should never introduce aquarium species into local waterways. Best case is they can't tolerate the conditions and they die. Worst case (again, Florida is prone to this), they love the lake and take over, crowding out the native species. This can be incredibly destructive, and isn't worth the risk. Even if you happened to be keeping native species it would be a bad idea, since you could potentially introduce new diseases into the wild populations.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 07:42 PM
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If the pet stores or LFS around you won't take them, do not put them in the lake (agree with above). I would be surprised if you couldn't give them to the stores.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
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Oh wow okay, definitely won't release them. My manager said we can probably take them so thankfully I can clear the space out. I checked on AQAdvisor and my plan now is to stock it with 6 Glowlight Tetras, the 2 Platies I have in there, and one more Platy. As well as a few ghost shrimp for cleanup.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-02-2017, 12:11 AM
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just want to point out, corys need a school of 6 or more and generally speaking a 10G is to small for them.
Also I thought it was in all states but oh whale, releasing captive fish into the wild is highly illegal. In most states if not all.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-02-2017, 02:34 AM Thread Starter
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Well thanks for the warning. And huh, they do? Well good to know

GOod news is we have space in one of the tanks for my fish so I can get them out of the tank.

Im probably gonna do a 3rd platy and some Tetras but I'm considering chili Rasboras too if i can find an online seller
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-02-2017, 02:41 AM
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Originally Posted by EmeraldAlkaline View Post
Well thanks for the warning. And huh, they do? Well good to know

GOod news is we have space in one of the tanks for my fish so I can get them out of the tank.

Im probably gonna do a 3rd platy and some Tetras but I'm considering chili Rasboras too if i can find an online seller
TBH I don't recommend (but you can if you want up-to-you) getting rid of a fish that was adding to much bio-load to a tank, then replacing it with another fish that has that same amount or more.
Gonna be straight here:
4 Male guppies (2 are still young adults. I bred them)
3 Female guppies. (Who I would Definitely say are on the chunky side)
2 Platies (a high-fin Red wag and a Sunset wag)
And 1 Albino Pygmy Cory

If that is your current stocking lets say, then I would ditch the cory (ditch, I mean give to Petco or sell it) since it needs 6 or more and that wouldn't work in a 10G anyway.
Remove the guppies (give to Petco, they will surely take them)
then from there you have 2 Platies. You can basically start over right there with some other type of fish you like. I don't recommend WMCM (just saying future reference) or tetras, well im iffy on tetras in a 10 gallon. I guess tetras would be ok again up to you though.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-02-2017, 03:07 AM Thread Starter
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TBH I don't recommend (but you can if you want up-to-you) getting rid of a fish that was adding to much bio-load to a tank, then replacing it with another fish that has that same amount or more.
Gonna be straight here:
4 Male guppies (2 are still young adults. I bred them)
3 Female guppies. (Who I would Definitely say are on the chunky side)
2 Platies (a high-fin Red wag and a Sunset wag)
And 1 Albino Pygmy Cory

If that is your current stocking lets say, then I would ditch the cory (ditch, I mean give to Petco or sell it) since it needs 6 or more and that wouldn't work in a 10G anyway.
Remove the guppies (give to Petco, they will surely take them)
then from there you have 2 Platies. You can basically start over right there with some other type of fish you like. I don't recommend WMCM (just saying future reference) or tetras, well im iffy on tetras in a 10 gallon. I guess tetras would be ok again up to you though.
Yes I was planning on getting rid of the cory and guppies. Petco will take them. All I'm going to have in there is the 2 platies.

And what makes you iffy about tetras in a 10G? AQadvisor seems to suggest its alright. If not, what would you recommend?

Current Fish tanks:
20 Gallon SE Asian biotope?: 8 amano shrimp, 1 Gold Gourami, 6 Panda Corys
10 gallon: 3 Female Bettas, 3 nerite snails, 4 Emerald Green Corys
7 gallon cube: 3 Licorice Gouramis, 1 leftover Dario Hysignon
4 gallon cube: Male Halfmoon Plakat Betta
2.5 Gallon: Male Bumblebee Betta
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-02-2017, 03:10 AM
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A couple things to add on from previous posts. Yes I agree you are over stocked and also yes cories are schooling fish so they need at least 3 but people are saying 6 which in my opinion is even better. The AqAdvisor is pretty accurate. I know you were skeptical because it said a betta in a 4 gallon tank is 123% overstock but that's actually quite true because they thrive in 5 gallons or more with filter and heater. People have the misconception that bettas can live in a small bowl with nothing but tap treated water. They can survive, but no they can not thrive.

As for your algae problem, how long are your lights on? Algae usually exists when your lights are on for way too long. I work at a PetSmart and our aquarium lights used to be on from god knows how early in the morning to late at night at 10pm or later! We had the worse hair algae problem and all you could do was keep scrubbing and vacuuming the algae. Eventually we changed the lighting schedule so that it turns off when the store closes. It still turns on a bit early BUT the algae is SIGNIFICANTLY better.

A good rule of thumb to remember is that an inch of fish requires at least a gallon (except for goldfish because they need at least a 30 gallon tank no matter what). So guppies grow to 1.5 - 2 inches which means in a 10 gallon you should really only have about 5 guppies. You can get away with a little more fish if your filtration system is strong and you keep up with your water changes. But let's be real, I'm sure any fish would enjoy a larger amount of room to swim in!
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