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How many Cardinal Tetra's in a 24g aquapod?

1897 Views 10 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  jaidexl
I am going to set up a 24g aquapod with one school of cardinals and some shrimp. How many cardinals can I have? about 2 dozen?

I am still in the planning and researching stage...

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my 2 cents
while the rule of thumb is 1 inch of fish per gallon ther are many exceptions. I would reccomend adding 6 at a time to determine what kind of bioload they add to your tank. If you tank has alot of plants then you should be able to add several more groups of six over time. Monitor your water chemistry and depending on your maitenace routine you may be able to hit your goal. Be very wary of fatalities as they will crush your water ballance in a smaller tank and may be hard to find in a densly planted tank. just take your time, Rome wasnt built in a day!
I you dont mind I would reccomend neons because they look the same for the most part and don't get as big. I think 2 dozen neons would be easier on the bio-load.
I would say no more than a dozen and maybe add 3-4 ottos or pygmy corys for variety.
id go with 30 or so, you will have no problem with that many in a 24g tank. cardinals are much more attractive then thier neon brother but are also more finickey about the water and water temp.
Is this a cube tank? I'm going to agree with one dozen cardinals + whatever ottos of corys you might want to add but, I prefer to understock a tad. You won't really have 24 gallons once you add substrate and plants and a dozen to 15 will be plenty.
I would go for 12, adding 4 at a time over the course of 3 weeks.
I have 10 cardinals, 10 trigonostigma hengeli and 5 small SAEs in a 31 gallon Walstad type tank.
I would go for 12, adding 4 at a time over the course of 3 weeks.
Agreed. I add five at a time. It gives you a chance to decide when it's getting cluttered and not have to net and return a bunch of fish, not to mention it's kind to the biofilter and disease isn't as catastrophic. 24g is not a lot of swimming space for a school of tetras IMO, and I don't personally like my tanks cluttered.
Depends on how much plants mass there is and how frequent water changes are. I'm sure you could stuff 50 of them in there, but they'd have no swimming space and you'd have to do water changes three times a day or something.

I like the consensus of a dozen or so. It's a good number for swimming space and school size!

I don't think cardinals are big eaters/poopers anyway, so they won't have too much waste. The inch per fish rule IMO doesn't work for planted tanks, or in general for that matter. It all depends on how much filtration you have (plants included), the number of water changes you're willing to do, and the fish requirements in terms of space (i.e. discus need tall tanks, schooling fish need long tanks).

Edit: I also agree adding a few at a time is ideal. That way, you get a nice idea of how many fish you think looks good. By the time you get past 12 cardinals, you'd have trouble telling the difference between 13, 14, or 15.
I totally agree with dekstr on the point that planted tank husbandry can make up for some bioload, but there is still a point where the surface area of a tank can only support so much of a bacterial colony. Push the envelope far enough and you will alway finds the point where ammonia is detectable the next morning, requiring daily WCs. Obviously, it's going to take a lot longer to find that point detectable on tests in a heavily planted tank, but not everyone knows how to grow plants or has a tank with that level of uptake. Cardinals are light on the load but not the lightest, a school only multiplies it, and they add up to whatever other stock you choose.

My 2¢
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