How do I know when I have too many fish? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 03:19 AM Thread Starter
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How do I know when I have too many fish?

I have a 20 gallon. It contains 9 celestial pearl danios, 6 neon tetras, 3 cory's, 1 dwarf gourami, 3 oto's.

The nitrates and amonia levels are consistently fine. the tank is moderately to heavily planted but there is plenty of open swim space. How many more (if any?) fish do you think I can fit (neons and/or CPD's)

I know this whole 1 inch a gallon deal but I also hear that with a lot of plants and decent filtration (has an eheim 2213 on it and a cheap 20 gallon rated HOB) you can 'fudge' with the rule a little.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 03:24 AM
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I would say you could keep about double the amount of fish that you currently have now. I have succesfully keep 90+ fish in my 38gal. heavily planted tank with no problems. And I am currently keeping 40 fish in my 10gal. 20 neons and 20 white cloud mountain minnows.

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10gal. Planted Aquarium, 38gal. Planted Aquarium.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 03:27 AM Thread Starter
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Really? That seems like a lot of traffic!
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 03:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nemosreef View Post
I would say you could keep about double the amount of fish that you currently have now. I have succesfully keep 90+ fish in my 38gal. heavily planted tank with no problems. And I am currently keeping 40 fish in my 10gal. 20 neons and 20 white cloud mountain minnows.
40 fish in a 10 gallon...
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 03:42 AM
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I'm curious if the people who get away with heavy stocking are keeping snails. I'm starting to wonder if its really snails that are using up my tanks carrying capacity.

The reason I'm worried about this is I put 3 european ramshorn snails all alone in a 1 gallon fish bowl two weeks ago and the mess they have made in there is mind boggling to me.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 03:47 AM
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I certainly wouldn't recommend adding 22 more fish to your 20g, but I guess it's possible...

Sounds like your tank is perfectly stocked at the moment.

By the way, snails do not have much (if not none) of an impact on a tank's bioload. In a 1g though, thats a different story.


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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 04:14 AM
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I have a heavily planted 20G Long and it has 35 fish in it who all act perfectly content.

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 04:16 AM Thread Starter
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what kinda fish?
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 05:08 AM
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I would have no qualms about doubling your CPD levels.

My 10 gal currently consists of 3 small nerites, four WCMM's, 8 Danio erythromicron (cousin to the cpd) 1 female betta, 8 Chili Rasboras with very little problems. The tank is very heavily planted, high light, pressurized co2 and normal fert. dosing.


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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 01:11 PM
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I've got a friend that has a 29 gallon and if I had to guess I would say he had over 100 guppies in it, plus a huge SAE, tons of cherry shrimp and ramshorn and pond snails. He only does a water change once a year and the rest of the time he just tops off. Plant wise he keeps 1 huge amazon sword, 1 huge anubias, a crypt wendti, guppy grass and duckweed. His water parameters are never bad and everything is thriving.

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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 01:21 PM
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i think that over stocking is a pretty relative term.

If you have healthy animals and constantly good water parameters with 35-40 fish in a 10g then you are fine...

how many people lightly stock a tank and still can't maintain good water quality?

I would agree that you have a lot of room in that tank for more fish, you can safely add about 20 more, but slowly, 5 now... wait a few weeks to get a fair reading on the water quality changes, figure how much more food you need to add to the tank, and most importantly monitor things!

i had a 40g cichlid tank a few years ago with about 30 fish (all 4"+) i did my water changes, and i didn't overfeed, never had an issue.

The amount of fish you can keep in a tank really depends on both your skill level and your dedication level, not the size of the glass box you are using.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 05:06 PM
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I agree with F22, but i find the more fish I have the more I have to clean my filters and the more i have to battle algae. A light fish load makes maintenance easier i think.
Also for the fish's sake, its a good idea to not over stock certain zones of the aquarium. Having a good spread of bottom dwellers, mid level swimmers and surface fish, allows all the fish to have their own space even when overcrowded.


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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 05:31 PM
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This biggest issue with what I can tell with overstocking is the possibility that something could go wrong. Like for instance, I just over cleaned my filter and torched a bunch of my biofilter. If my tank wasn't very understocked, I'd be concerned.

Other than that, I think people tend to be a bit paranoid about stocking. As long as the fish are happy and healthy, and don't look like sardines in a can, I say go for it.

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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 05:33 PM
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There's obviously a limit to what you can cram in there long-term, but who knows what that limit is? If your biological system does not seem taxed, then it comes down to the psychology of the fish. They'll let you know when they are stressed from being overly cramped. Watch for behavior and feeding changes, and other signs of stress.

The one-inch-per-gallon rule really only applies to the smaller species like you have. Don't start trying to stuff 20 inches' worth of full-grown oscars into that tank.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 05:36 PM
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Depends on type of fish, fish size, agression, feeding, filtration, ammount of plants, etc.

You can always find a balance. But Each fish has its own requirements.

The stocking 'rules' can be bent(1inch per gallon), but i dont recommend breaking them

Less is more IMO.
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