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Does anyone else here like to overstock their tanks? I just don't like the look of a "properly" stocked tank. A 10g with five 2" fish? It looks empty. I prefer to see tanks with a ton of fish in them. They look so much more lively that way.

Instead of stocking an inch per gallon, I go by the rule of thumb that a fish should have enough room to swim 4 body lengths (non schooling species) or 10 body lengths (schooling species) and that there should never be more than 30ppm nitrate before a water change. I find this gives me a lot more freedom in choosing my fish without sacrificing their health.
 

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If he was dead I bet you could cram him in there :)

In all seriousness, as far as rules are concerned it's not a terrible one, considering there are very few 55" fish being kept in aquariums anyway.

As long as you're using adult inches you'll be close to right. Especially if using the 1/3 rule and dividing those inches into 3rds and filling in top/middle/bottom fish.
 

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It can't be a community if there're only 1 ~ 3 families :bounce: But to maintain this idea, I had to over spend on accessories.
 

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At the monment I have about 34 fish in both my 20 gallon high tanks one is my show high tech tank and my other is a low tech tank with general pet store fish. My high tech Is heavily planted and all of my fish are under 3 inch nano fish. my low tech tank is low to moderalty planted with a large 8 year old pink kissing gourim and normal petsmart fish larger than nano fisg. Its okay to have an overstocked tank as long as you have the know how to keep it up. When I was little when I started my first aquarium I couldnt keep my fish alive everybody has trouble starting up,whether its with fish or with algae.the secret to my personal success is peaceful fish. I'm a stickler for fish chasing each other because it generally leads to death. Algae issues will be killed with high doses of co2 booster and then the plants will do the rest. Just make sure you ease off each dose. Until you can stop dosing perminatly. For beginners always start small to get the hang of it
 

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Its okay to have an overstocked tank as long as you have the know how to keep it up.
That's the key, right there: KNOW HOW! I don't claim to be anywhere near expert at this hobby but I hope I've learned from all those times I did an impulse buy and then watched the poor fish die because I hadn't thought things thru ahead of time.

When you get right down to it, this becomes a matter of semantics. What "overstocked" means to one person isn't the same as it means to another, because we are all operating on different levels of knowledge, with different equipment, livestock and goals. Just use common sense, get all the info you can before you set up, and pay close attention to your tank.
 

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I try to place fishes in my tanks that share similar water chemistry need's,temperature,and compatibility with other fishes.
Oddly enough,this seem's to limit overstocking.
 

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Its not a rule, its more of a guideline. I always ask myself this question if I put X amount of fish in my aquarium are they going to be happy?
 

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If your water parameters are all inline, your tank looks healthy, and your fish are happy, you are probably okay. In my 60cm tank that's 17 gallons, I have:
  • 5 dwarf rasboras (< 3/4" long)
  • 5 neon tetras
  • 5 porkchop rasboras
  • 6 CPDs
  • 4 panda cory's
  • 1 pleco
Also, about 10 amano shrimp.

So that's 26 fish (mostly in the 1" long range) in a 17 gallon tank. I'm roughly 50% over the 1" of fish per gallon rule, but my tank is heavily planted with good water parameters and plenty of hiding spots. I also have a filter for a 70 gallon tank and do 50% weekly water changes. I've been as high as the low 30's for fish, and that was okay also.

It never looks too busy in there until I feed them, and then it's crazy and super fun to watch.
 

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I could see those stocking level for a large tank but I think on 20 gallon you may hurt the fish by crowding them. I would rather keep my stocking levels lower and have my fish grow and live a long life than having more.

Another hobby, you are max out on fish but if it works I glad for you. Do you check your nitrates very often? They got to go high before w/c.
 

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Another hobby, you are max out on fish but if it works I glad for you. Do you check your nitrates very often? They got to go high before w/c.
I've had the tank running for about a year and half now, and after seeing the same test results over and over, I stopped testing my water. I haven't tested for nitrates in a long time, but when I was checking (and stocking levels were the same) it was nothing alarming. I'm probably due up for some testing.
 

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It's hardly anatomous if the usernames aren't being blurred out haha.

I admittedly kept an overstocked tank for a while but its fixed. Had a Leopard Sailfin Pleco... poop machine of the fish world! Had him in a 10g with daily 50% water changes (god that sucked) till about 8" long I think then got ahold of a 55g and canister filter. Kept him in there till about 13" long and clogging the canister constantly with his poo (doing 10g water changes 3x a week.. also sucked) also had an aquaponics stem set up.. basically a garden in a pvc pipe above the water that the canister outflow went through to help absorb nitrate (and get some yummy lettuce).. Was planning a home built tank and filter (200g+).. But after upgrading the 55's canister to the largest and most powerful (and expensive x.x) reliable canister on the market and it STILL clogging from his long turd strands I gave up on that fantasy of a diy build and re-homed him.
Now no more over stock issue here, though some people would argue a betta in a 2g is overstocked (the vehement "must be 5g or more" people).. I'd disagree though as my nitrates are nice and low and my betta is happy ^^
 

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Interesting topic. I have a 33 gallon long, so it has the footprint of a 55 gallon. (Although 55s are taller.) I run an Eheim 2217 canister filter. I've always wondered what was "appropriate" stocking for a tank like that.
 

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I used to go off what aqadvisor would say, but I found out quickly that what it says is 100% stock looks barren in a heavily planted tank. Now if I use it to plan stocking I go for something more like 150% lol.
 

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I gotta admit, having a 5 gallon tank is hard. I used to have 20+ livebearers in there (they stocked themselves), but it still seemed pretty empty. Now it's empty, and I'm really trying to hold off stocking it, in case I need an emergency separation tank for the wild bettas I'll be getting someday. But it's empty. And there's a decent fish store 10 minutes away from my house. And the fish are calling me, telling me to take them home D:
 

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I have the same tank but do not (at the moment - intend to upgrade soon) have near as much filtration as you. My tank currently houses 10 emerald rasboras, 6 irian red neon rainbows (not to be confused with the big irian reds), 5 sparkling gouramis, 10 pygmy cories, and 10 ember tetras. Everyone has plenty of room in their area of the tank, everyone seems happy and healthy, and I never have water parameter issues, even though I've been working crazy hours and am horribly behind on tank maintenance.


Interesting topic. I have a 33 gallon long, so it has the footprint of a 55 gallon. (Although 55s are taller.) I run an Eheim 2217 canister filter. I've always wondered what was "appropriate" stocking for a tank like that.
 

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I have the same tank but do not (at the moment - intend to upgrade soon) have near as much filtration as you. My tank currently houses 10 emerald rasboras, 6 irian red neon rainbows (not to be confused with the big irian reds), 5 sparkling gouramis, 10 pygmy cories, and 10 ember tetras. Everyone has plenty of room in their area of the tank, everyone seems happy and healthy, and I never have water parameter issues, even though I've been working crazy hours and am horribly behind on tank maintenance.


Interesting topic. I have a 33 gallon long, so it has the footprint of a 55 gallon. (Although 55s are taller.) I run an Eheim 2217 canister filter. I've always wondered what was "appropriate" stocking for a tank like that.
I love the 33 long. I have 30 darters, dace and shiners. I was thinking of adding another pair of darters, but I'm not sure because of the stocking issue. Water parameters have always been totally fine.
 

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I got on a little bit of a pickle, I have 14 CPDS (breeding colony) and 1 tiny teeny mickey platy, less than an inch. (just never grew, was in a 29 G kept it well fed)
I got 5 more. Then decided I like the look of pgymy cories, got 5. (planning on 12) Then some other fish had problems and the store gave me 5 more pgymies for my troubles. Was supposed to get Hasbrosus cories (peppered little guys) and instead I got 13 more. I now have 23 of these guys.

14 cpds
22 pgymy cories
WELL planted, Aquaclear 50 and a Aquaclear 30 (going away)
c02, Lots of bolbitis and florida sunsets.
Little overstocked.

Do water changes weekly, they are fine. I am WAY planted!
 
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