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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I've decided I want to add some top dwelling fish to my 15 gal tank but I'm not sure if it will be too overstocked.

Tank specs and picture below.

CO2 : 2 bps
Lighting : 4 x 24w
Filter : Eheim 2215 (163gph)
Substrate : ADA New Amazonia
Temp : 24-26ºC
Fauna : 15 Cardinal Tetras, 1 Otto, 3 SAE, 30+- Cherry Shrimp.
Flora : Dwarf Hairgrass, Mini Pellia, Vietnam Moss, Chrismass Moss, E. vivipara



As you can see, the top portion of my tank is pretty empty. Thinking of adding 10-15 Boraras Brigittae to my setup.

Would this be overstocking? Even with filter media in my Eheim 2215 my turnover is still at least 7-8 times the tank volume.

Thanks.
 

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You will not be likely to be overstocked by adding small fish. I find turnover rate to be a pretty meaningless method of thinking about bio-filtering. How fast the water is moving through will effect how the debris may move but does not indicate how much filtering is going on. The amount of filter media and how often it passes through is more indication. Water passing through a handful of poor media twenty times may still be less filtered than water passing through a bucket full of good media once. I test for ammonia and nitrite to determine how my bio- filtering is doing.
Another way to get more fish to the upper levels is to add more height to the structure in the tank. Fish often like to feel close to things so they might tend to go higher if the cover was there. Depends on how you want it to look, of course.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You wouldn't be overstocked if you added Boraras brigittae (they have a tiny bioload) but they wouldn't necessary be top dwellers. They love to explore and hunt in all levels of the tank.
You will not be likely to be overstocked by adding small fish. I find turnover rate to be a pretty meaningless method of thinking about bio-filtering. How fast the water is moving through will effect how the debris may move but does not indicate how much filtering is going on. The amount of filter media and how often it passes through is more indication. Water passing through a handful of poor media twenty times may still be less filtered than water passing through a bucket full of good media once. I test for ammonia and nitrite to determine how my bio- filtering is doing.
Another way to get more fish to the upper levels is to add more height to the structure in the tank. Fish often like to feel close to things so they might tend to go higher if the cover was there. Depends on how you want it to look, of course.
I see. I've added two pieces of wood into the tank at mid level, we'll see what it does for the tank. I've got my 2215 filled up to the brim with Eheim Bio Rio and Eheim Mech, along with one circle filter floss so I should be fine right?

Will look to get my hands on some B. Brigittae soon. Should I add 10 or 15? The LFS that stocks them is a 45 minutes drive from where I live here in Malaysia, dont wanna make two trips ;)
 

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I'd do at least a dozen. 15 probably wouldn't be too many.

Just keep in mind that they won't really occupy the top of your tank - they'll be all over and may even hide if the Cardinals are aggressive.

You'll also want to use a pre-filter sponge over your intake because Boraras brigittae will get sucked in through the openings of Eheim strainers.
 

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I have about 35+ Platy and a Gourami in a 20g long. Bare bottom with 2 pots of plants, a AquaClear 20 and AquaClear 30 are on it. 50% water change a week.
They will easily double in the next month, unfortunately, but they seem overly happy all the time, so I don't worry. It's their wintering over tank, they'll be back in my pond in spring.
 

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I would think the 2215 will be fine once the tank is fully settled and the bacteria is fully cycled. I find filtering is too often looked at as a firm answer for all tanks. I see it as quite different from tank to tank. The mechanical filtering is easier to judge as we can see if the water looks clean and the debris is carried away to suit our personal taste.

Bio-filtering is where I often have a different outlook than others. How much bio is needed can be changed in several ways. Many want a larger amount of water (turnover). But I find I can get the same result from moving the water through twice or using double the media. Different setups for different fish?
What I look at is if the ammonia and nitrite are all being converted well and on a cleaning /water change schedule that fits my time and effort. A filter will often lose some filtering capacity as it gets dirty. If I want to clean more often, I can use less filter but if I don't want to clean as often, I can get the same result with a larger filter.
That leaves a lot of room for making personal choices as we all have different methods and tanks.
 

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Yes, add five otos please. You'd be surprised how much more timid they are in small numbers.
 
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