The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,574 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't know about you guys but it seems like a good majority of people on these forums seem to stock their tanks a LOT more than I would suggest. This is of course a personal taste but there are other considerations to take other than "plants will take in more nitrates." Swimming space has to be considered as well. A densely planted tank has a lot less available space than you would a spartan tank or a tank with only floating plants and some swords. On top of that fish don't like to be cramped. They like to maintain a safe distance from each other. Sure the schools look nice but I seriously doubt the stocking levels we perceive as "okay" are really....okay. I mean you're keeping maybe 20" of fish in 2 square feet of space. That just seems pretty....substandard.

I personally believe (no offense and please correct me if I'm wrong) that the majority of the pictures we see with lusciously stocked tanks are really just tanks stocked normally with a pretty conservative number of fish and then when photoshooting comes a long they toss in a few more to beef up the schools. I really think that some more discretion should be used when stocking tanks, including planted tanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
703 Posts
There are lots of variables involved and many experience levels among aquarists, and many types of fish are fine in crowded environments while others won't fair so well. I think some keepers overdo it, while others just like a busy tank and hopefully choose the fish and care for the tank accordingly. As someone who prefers well decorated and moderately stocked aquariums I would only judge a crowded tank as poorly stocked if it has unsuitable fish, equipment, or care to keep up with the stocking levels.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
166 Posts
I think that it really depends on the species of fish, the tank itself and what the tank and the fish can handle. There are some fish that I wouldn't keep more than a handful in in a much smaller, heavily planted aquarium, but there are others where I'm sure people would tell me I'm overstocking my aquarium.

I have to say though, the best looking planted tanks I've ever seen, with the best looking plants are always overstocked according to most people's standards.

As long as the fish are healthy and they have room to swim and explore, I don't really see a problem with stocking a tank to what many would consider a too high stocking level.
 

·
Fresh Fish Freak
Joined
·
24,403 Posts
Also keep in mind that many of the tanks you see on here are high tech tanks where people are doing EI dosing- which involves weekly 50% water changes. Between those big regular water changes AND all the live plants, the water quality generally stays in good shape, as long as the hobbyist is faithful about their maintenance regimen.

I personally stock pretty heavily in terms of numbers- but favor tiny schooling fish, which overall represent a fraction of the bioload that would exist with larger fish (big cichlids, etc).

So those are some additional factors to consider.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,994 Posts
There are lots of variables involved and many experience levels among aquarists, and many types of fish are fine in crowded environments while others won't fair so well....
Exactly!

The fish themselves dictate tank populations. Some fish like Neolamprologus multifasciatus (Tanganyika shell dweller) might live there whole like in 1 sq. ft of water. The cory cats live in huge schools. African rift lake Cichlids need to be crowded. Betta males...well you get my point.

I do agree that any fish should have the room it needs to be healthy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,536 Posts
Aquarists tend to overstock their tanks in general.

I don't do it simply because I don't think it looks realistic, and I feel guilty cramming piles of fish into small spaces. This has more to do with my own feelings than what is healthy for the fish. Like Laurealee said, a planted tank can handle quite a large bioload, especially with large water changes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,585 Posts
Small schooling species in a larger tank would have plenty of space for swimming in a large school. Personnal space requirements are less for schooling fish so they would feel less cramped. Each person's idea of cramped is different also. If you want to see schooling behavior as part of the tank then you will want to have a large number of the fish otherwise they will spread out through out the tank.
 

·
Children Boogie
Joined
·
16,743 Posts
The OP wasn't talking about bioload tho - he was talking about swimming space and a cramped environment.
Swimming space is a good indication of overstocked.

For instance, for the same amount of fish in a 29tall is heavily stocked compare to a 29G breeder/long. It has to do with the square area not the erroneous fish inch per gallon rule.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,945 Posts
Overstocked Tanks

Good morning Jeff...

I like what you said and agree with a lot of it, especially in regards to small tanks. I personally never liked small tanks. There's just no room to work and I wouldn't want to be confined to a small space, so I don't subject even my Fancy Guppies to those cramped conditions.

Anyway, it's good to get on a soapbox once in a while. It reminds me to take stock of what I'm doing with my tanks and rethink things to make sure I'm doing the right thing for my fish. After all, they're depending on me for everything.

Good post!

B
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,576 Posts
I'm actually quite pleased to see more planted tanks with fishes swimming about .
Most of the carefully aquascaped tank's I see photo's of, rarely have more than the obligatory dozen or so cardinal's ,rasbora's.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
575 Posts
Swimming space is a good indication of overstocked.

For instance, for the same amount of fish in a 29tall is heavily stocked compare to a 29G breeder/long. It has to do with the square area not the erroneous fish inch per gallon rule.
:proud::proud:
I have a 32 tall, but give me a 33 long any day of the week. I LOVE the dimension of that tank for both aesthetics, and the well being of the livestock.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
Before I say anything, I'm not speaking for any members of this site. Anyway, I feel the problem lies in the pet stores and the products they sell. Look at some of the "kits" they sell. Some of these tanks are 1 gallon in size... Nothing, not even 1 betta fish, should be kept in a 1 gal tank and will most definitely not thrive. No matter what the fish or quantity, nothing should be kept in a tank below 5 gallons, but from what I see, 50% of aquariums sold at LFSs are tanks under 5 gallons because it's cheap, nice to look at, and people are led to believe that it will take very little work and money to set up a nice little aquarium. Not to mention, the packaging will show multiple fish inside a 2.5 gallon tank, so given that image, why can't I fit 35 fish in a 15 gallon?

Many LFS employees will sell any fish, any combination of fish, and any quantity of fish to anyone without a single question asked. And many of those employees do it innocently because they don't know the difference between a fish and a hole in the ground (No offence to anyone on here that's works at a pet store. I've actually been lucky to find a place that actually knows what their doing for the most part)

In the LFSs' defense, if they all actually abided by the proper rules and conditions for which fish should be kept under and sold under, they would barely make any quatic sales and would probably have to cease selling fish. People simply don't want to spend the money and the time in creating a happy, thriving home for their fish. They want to buy the cheapest tank or bowl, fill it in their sink, and throw 3 goldfish in there so their kids can merrily look at it.

I know I'm taking it to the extreme, but in many cases, it's the reality. People are just under the impression that fish are small, inexpensive pets that are a lot hardier than they actually are, and simply can just live in a bowl of water. And it's the manufacturers selling the products and making the advertisements that are to blame, along with certain LFSs and now WALMART that are in it to make the quick buck regardless of how inhumane they are doing things. Go on youtube and type "Walmart fish" or any variation and see what you get...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
166 Posts
I'm sorry this is one of the funniest things I've ever read:

In the LFSs' defense, if they all actually abided by the proper rules and conditions for which fish should be kept under and sold under, they would barely make any quatic sales and would probably have to cease selling fish. People simply don't want to spend the money and the time in creating a happy, thriving home for their fish. They want to buy the cheapest tank or bowl, fill it in their sink, and throw 3 goldfish in there so their kids can merrily look at it.
Are you serious? It's not the job of a LFS to manage people's tanks for them, it's their job to be properly informed and to sell healthy fish. Almost all the LFS stores I go to ask questions about the tank you are adding the fish too but the last thing that I need is some LFS employee who knows less than me trying to tell me what to do.

I have several nano tanks, with appropriate fish in them that are 2 - 3 gallons. Microrasboras are a great addition to these tanks.

So many people get up on a high horse saying that people who have 'overstocked' their tanks are wrong, but as long as the tank isn't crowded, the water conditions are pristine, their plants are growing healthy, the fish show no signs of stress, REALLY who are you to judge?

What makes it even more amusing to me is that the 1 inch of fish for 1 gallon of water rule is long in the past, but people still clutch to it like it's nobody's business.

In the end do what you think is best for your fish, and let others do what they find best for their tanks, how is it any of your business? Like I said, if the fish are happy, healthy and not overcrowded how can anyone say an "overstocked" tank is cruel to the fish?

As for who to blame? It's the people who don't properly educate themselves. Not the people selling fish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
I'm sorry this is one of the funniest things I've ever read:



Are you serious? It's not the job of a LFS to manage people's tanks for them, it's their job to be properly informed and to sell healthy fish. Almost all the LFS stores I go to ask questions about the tank you are adding the fish too but the last thing that I need is some LFS employee who knows less than me trying to tell me what to do.

I have several nano tanks, with appropriate fish in them that are 2 - 3 gallons. Microrasboras are a great addition to these tanks.

So many people get up on a high horse saying that people who have 'overstocked' their tanks are wrong, but as long as the tank isn't crowded, the water conditions are pristine, their plants are growing healthy, the fish show no signs of stress, REALLY who are you to judge?

What makes it even more amusing to me is that the 1 inch of fish for 1 gallon of water rule is long in the past, but people still clutch to it like it's nobody's business.

In the end do what you think is best for your fish, and let others do what they find best for their tanks, how is it any of your business? Like I said, if the fish are happy, healthy and not overcrowded how can anyone say an "overstocked" tank is cruel to the fish?

As for who to blame? It's the people who don't properly educate themselves. Not the people selling fish.
I understand what you're saying. It IS the responsibility of the ppl buying the fish too, but u are saying a lot of "IF the fish are happy" or "IF the fish are healthy" and "IF the water is pristine".... I don't know what pet stores you go to, but here, the chains are petsmart and petco, and although they cant, and shouldn't, be able to restrict people on what they can buy, you can't possibly tell me that a .25 gallon container sold as a betta "kit" isn't asking for trouble and DEFINITELY morally wrong. Also, more than half of the aquatic customers at LFSs are not aquarium experts such as yourself and DO NEED an employee's guidance. Again, can't force someone to not buy it, so I agree with you there. And if you continue to advise against things, you can count on not having a job soon. But how many employees have I talked to that tell me they can't count the number of people that return dead fish after a few days, totally confused to why it happened and demanding refunds....all because they weren't informed correctly and their fish killed eachother, or their tank wasn't cycled.

I'm not looking to start a troll here, so I am done with the conversation. I may be harsh, but you walk into a Walmart where I live and you'd be pretty hot about the topic too. It's the purchasers responsibility ultimately, but put a loaded gun in a chimp's hand and you can expect that bad things will happen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
166 Posts
I understand what you're saying. It IS the responsibility of the ppl buying the fish too, but u are saying a lot of "IF the fish are happy" or "IF the fish are healthy" and "IF the water is pristine".... I don't know what pet stores you go to, but here, the chains are petsmart and petco, and although they cant, and shouldn't, be able to restrict people on what they can buy, you can't possibly tell me that a .25 gallon container sold as a betta "kit" isn't asking for trouble and DEFINITELY morally wrong. Also, more than half of the aquatic customers at LFSs are not aquarium experts such as yourself and DO NEED an employee's guidance. Again, can't force someone to not buy it, so I agree with you there. And if you continue to advise against things, you can count on not having a job soon. But how many employees have I talked to that tell me they can't count the number of people that return dead fish after a few days, totally confused to why it happened and demanding refunds....all because they weren't informed correctly and their fish killed eachother, or their tank wasn't cycled.

I'm not looking to start a troll here, so I am done with the conversation. I may be harsh, but you walk into a Walmart where I live and you'd be pretty hot about the topic too. It's the purchasers responsibility ultimately, but put a loaded gun in a chimp's hand and you can expect that bad things will happen.
I choose to be responsible about my fish buying and not purchase fish from any store where the fish are unhealthy. I'm not talking about overstocking in a fish store tank, what do you expect? They move a ton of fish. What are they supposed to do have 10 tetras in a ten gallon tank? How is that realistic from a business standpoint? It's not.

I'm not saying WalMart and the chains are blameless, their fish are unhealthy, mostly deformed and die shortly after people buy them. This thread is about AQUARIST overstocking their aquarium.

Like with any pet, it's the persons responsibility to make sure that they can properly care for the fish, not the employees of any stores. Their JOB is to sell fish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
703 Posts
this thread was about the fish keepers on typical forums and It seems the conversation has strayed into a debate on store policy and ethics.

The point here is not that people are flawed, but that they choose to stock heavily. The question is if, In theory, If I stock more fish then is normally recommended, yet I choose fish suitable for this and maintain the tank accordingly, and have no issues keeping them healthy for the long term - who has the right to tell me I'm poorly stocked because I keep heavier stocking then they like, or are capable of keeping, or because I don't follow their precious and largely flawed "rule of thumb"?

One can't just look at the number of fish and judge - what kind of fish are they? what equipment does the tank run? How much space vs decoration? How does the user maintain the tank? Every situation needs to be considered as it's own question, all generalizations are inherently false (including this one).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,702 Posts
I think it greatly depends on the tank... I don't like largely overstocked tank... But I also don't like barren tanks.. My mother is the type to stick 16 guppies in a 5 gallon... My friend is the type who puts 5 neons in a 20 gallon...
I personally choose my stocking levels based on the footprint of my aquarium rather than the bioload. My 6.6 gallon has 5 cories and 3 guppies. Simply because it has such a large long footprint... My 5 gallon however has a betta, some shrimp, and an oto. Because its much much smaller. It also depends on how you decorate youre tank... If its stocked to the brim with plants, i would go with few smaller fish.. I personally like leaving 3/4 of my tank free of plants... or maybe 2/3.. depending on the tank... So that the fish have swimming/foraging room... But thats me..


BTW I have to say, All the petsmarts, petcos, and walmarts in my area have huge pristine fish sections. even most of their oto's make it through the first week... With knowledgeable friendly staff that educates you while they get what you want.. whether or not you listen they cant control... It's actually all the mom n pop fish store that I avoid.. those places are nasty...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,568 Posts
In my 6.6 i have 3 cories and a female betta. In my 14 tall i only have 6 flame tetra. in my 46 bowfront i have 4 fancy goldfish. I also have 2- 3 gallon female betta tanks. 2 of those tanks may be overstocked. depending on the eventual size of the fish. i will watch water quality and upgrade if needed. oh btw i have had ppl at the lfs ask me what size tank i have when buying fish and have seen them advise people not to put goldfish in small containers.
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top