Is my 29g Community Tank Overstocked? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-01-2014, 01:03 AM Thread Starter
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Is my 29g Community Tank Overstocked?

Im Just starting out with my first planted tank and im addicted! its a 29 gal and i'm wanting to know if it's is badly over stocked or just slightly, Either way im pretty sure im pushing it. Also i was wanting to add a bamboo shrimp to complete the tank and wanted any opinions on the idea, Thanks Alot!

I have a 30gph and a 50 gph filter on it with an underwater whisper pump attached to a hose to increase the flow near the bottom. The bottom is white sand over a layer or activ-flora substrate with 13 plants growing and 7 pieces of driftwood in it. heres the list of fish ive had for a couple weeks now,

1 Dwarf Gaurami
1 Male German Blue Ram
1 Spotted african leaf fish(perch)
1 yoyo loach
3 Hatchet fish
2 oto
1 Glass catfish
3 corries
2 fancy guppys
2 borneo suckers
2 swamp darters
4 neon tetras
9 Ghost shrimp

I change about 20% of the water weekly and feed them frozen brine shrimp along with flake food and an algea pellet every now and then and there is always very little waste that accumulates on the bottom, almost none at all.
Thanks Alot!
Nitrite 0.0
Nitrate 20
PH 7.0
Carbonate Hardness 80
General hardness 120

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-01-2014, 02:21 PM
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I wouldn't think so but I don't know.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-01-2014, 04:05 PM
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I would say you are, if you don't have a tank to move some of these fish to once they outgrow this one.

Here are some issues I see with your stocking:
- Leopard Ctenopomas ("spotted leaf fish") get large, 6", and are predators. Your neons will be eaten.
- Yoyo loaches (/loaches in general) need to be in groups and get large. You should have at least 3, but more is preferable. Get up to 6".
- Hatchet fish need schools of 6 or more.
- Otos need to be in groups of 3 or more, but larger numbers are better. Don't think two ottos will clean enough in a 29 to make a difference anyways.
- Glass catfish are schooling fish and need groups of 6 or more. Very shy fish, wouldn't appreciate the more boisterous tank mates. Depending on the species, may get large.
- 3 cories is a bare minimum, more would be better.
- Neon Tetras are shy schooling fish. 6 is a bare minimum, but they would be happier with a larger school. Personally, I wouldn't go less that 10 with smaller schoolers like this.

And those are just the fish I'm familiar with. I don't know enough about the others to comment. A quick google search could probably help.

If I were you, I would decide on a few of these species that are compatible and keep them in here with appropriate school sizes, then rehome the others or get them some new tanks.

Hope I don't come off too harsh. I also learned the hard way that research is my friend and small numbers aren't okay. I research everything to death now.

Huge fan and collector of Asian catfish (particularly Bagrids).
My Display Tanks: 150g (+sump) planted tank, 60g (+sump) Sumatra blackwater tank, 30g Borneo blackwater tank, 55g hillstream tank, 30g H planted tank
In progress: 55g planted native tank
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-01-2014, 04:06 PM
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I find "overstocked" to be a term that needs more definition in many cases. It is not something that can be put into neat X number of inches in Y gallons. How fish act with each other and how the tank is maintained is far more important for my tanks. So this gets us back to what you find in your tank. Maybe not even something you can describe to us but more a "feeling"?
First might be a question of what you see as the way you want to do your tank. Do you see the fish as something you would expect to keep for maybe years without need to change them? If so you must stock much less and figure possible growth into the ideal stocking. On the other hand, if you are open to the idea that fish are going to grow and mature to act quite different, the stocking can be come more difficult to figure out depending on your views. If you expect to keep the same fish, stocking is really difficult because of all the potential ways the fish may develop. They can go all kinds of ways just as our children do when they grow up.
But if you are willing to watch and see how it works out, the stocking becomes much more simple as long as you are willing to make any changes as you see them needed. I go with a set of fish and change them often as I see things changing. I don't try to predict the long term future but work more with what I see now and for the short term! My time line is often in months rather than years.
Second big item is the way you want your tank to fit into your schedule and work habits. If you are having no problem with the filter and water work, your tank is not overstocked. But if you struggle to keep things in order or the fish are beating each other up, it may be overstocked.
What you see and feel is far more important than any magic number we might apply based on other people's tanks. Three fish in a 125 may be overstocked if one is going to kill the other two. Twenty fish in a ten can be right IF things are right.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-01-2014, 04:21 PM
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This is a 'Noah's Ark' tank: Couple of this, couple of that... not enough of any one fish to make a good social group or an impressive show.
I would split this tank into at least 3, one of them a much larger tank.

1 Dwarf Gaurami- OK. Do not add any more Anabantoids.
1 Male German Blue Ram- Even a single male might get a bit protective of an area of the bottom, but this is less likely without a female.
1 Spotted african leaf fish(perch)-Ditto notes above. Larger tank.
1 yoyo loach- Ditto: Needs a tank with a LOT more bottom space, and does better with companions. Not a fish for a 29 gallon.
3 Hatchet fish- Ditto- get more, except that some Gouramis do not like other fish at the surface.
2 oto- OK, more is not a problem.
1 Glass catfish- Ditto: very social fish. Get half a dozen.
3 cories- Ditto: they will be out and playing a lot more if you have half a dozen. What species? Some get larger, some are dwarfs.
2 fancy guppys- Male or female?
2 borneo suckers- Are these one of the hillstream loaches? They need a specialty tank that is not great with most of the other fish. Or is it a Garra? Several of your other fish come from slow moving water, and hillstream loaches come from very active water.
2 swamp darters-?
4 neon tetras- Ditto: Schooling fish. Get a dozen.
9 Ghost shrimp- Will be eaten by something, probably the Yoyo Loach.

You have enough fish to start several much larger tanks. Research the fish better and decide which way you want to go:
Warmer water? Yoyos, Gourami, Ram, Hatchets
Cooler water? Hillstream Loaches (If that is what they are), Neons, most Cories
Calmer water? Leaf fish, Hatchets, Gourami
Faster water? Hillstream Loaches, Glass Cats
Larger tank? Yoyo, Leaf Fish
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