The Planted Tank Forum banner

1 - 20 of 38 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,653 Posts
Lots of folks in the cichlid world overstock to control aggression. I myself never did and I personally find it to be a horrible idea. Understocking is a much better way to go. The fish have much less stress. If something happens to the tank it is easier to get under control. Disease outbreak does much less damage and is easier to cure. There is much less pressure on the bio-filter. These are just my way of doing things and I am not by any means saying they are right for everyone as there a lot of heavily stocked cichlid tanks, it just isnt for me or my style of fish care.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,653 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
721 Posts
IMO it depends on the situation. I would not overstock a small tank with large fish, but I would overstock a large tank with small fish. I could also understand overstocking as long as the fish will occupy different levels of the tank, that way they will not overcrowd each other. IMO there is a difference between overstocking and overcrowding. I think that if the tank has plenty of swimming room, plenty of hiding spots, the fish species are chosen wisely, and large water changes are often then overstocking is possible without negative affects.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,617 Posts
It depends, I plan on slightly overstocking a 180 non-planted in the future. But I try to understock my 55g planted
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,283 Posts
The question:
Can you overstock a tank?

The answer:
Yes. You can.

What it boils down to:
Understocked aquariums are easier to maintain and have less risk involved.
Overstocked aquariums require more work to maintain and have more risk involved.
It all depends on how much time, effort, and money you want to put into it. Always consider the quality of life you can give to the plants and animals in your care.


.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
945 Posts
I guess for me you would have to explain what over stock is. If the fish are growing and healthy are they over stocked? This isn't the wild theses are our pets and if they can have life that has less stress and they feel comfortable and the really only way to know is to watch how they react and grow. So yes you can over stock with two fish but yet not with 30 fish so it really depends on each tank and it's owner.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,559 Posts
I've kept pretty well stocked tanks for many years. Some would call overstocked? Maybe?

If you follow some basics, you can get away with a lot more. Here's what works for me.

Multiple filters and heavy filtration. Clean filters often. Large regular water changes. Heavy surface agitation. Heavy flow throughout tank. Don't over feed.

In my opinion lack of regular good maintenance will result in much less margin for error.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
For me stocking is one of those things that you can play around with and it is not set in stone. For me good maintenance, the right filtration and stocking the tank with species that utilise different levels of the tank. Has allowed me to keep more fish then running less filtration, having all the fish as just mid level fish and having a so so maintenance routine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
Another important factor is oxygen consumption. Greggz hit on this point when he mentioned having plenty of surface agitation which will help increase the amount of available oxygen.

It's important to note that higher stocking will mean that your fish will be at a greater risk of running out of oxygen in a power outage when the surface agitation stops. You will also have a much smaller safety margin for available oxygen if you are running CO2 injection or operating at a higher temperature (e.g. in a Discus tank).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
600 Posts
I believe overstocking falls into two definitions:

1) Having too big of a population/tank size to allow for natural breeding/raising of young. I have always approached Fish keeping from a natural standpoint, trying to mimic what nature does the best I can. Since the day I began I would keep community fish and aggressive fish in the same tank. Provide the right type of cover, enough room, and make sure your community fish are quick, and you are all good (loosing 1 or 2 a month). Having 30 neons in 29gal with an oscar... wouldn't work.

2) Having too big of a bio-load and other chemical/environmental dependencies. Too much oxygen use, too much ammonia, too much poop for the filter, etc... This is what I believe most people would consider "Over-stocking". The number of fish associate with this can be increased with additional labor and maintenance.



Also somewhat tying back to #1... aesthetic appeal and natural behaviors go away when a tank has too much commotion. I've noticed that if you have too many fish per sq inch... even the most notorious schooling fish will opt out of this behavior. Something to think about.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,862 Posts
I'd have to respectfully disagree with the above post by MikeP.
I overstock heavily (you don't even want to know), and believe it or not, natural behaviors and aesthetic appeal (IMO, the more active, peaceful, coexisting life, the more Utopian it looks) increase. I find it to be true from there being no aggression among the fish in the slightest, no lethargy and many of the fish species even spawning on a regular basis. And yep, my schooling fish would still school regularly, and not out of stress. Everyone is active and their colors are bright as can be (though when I switched over to a heavily planted tank, that changed fish behavior, which is another long story I have talked on a few times in the past). I do observe fish behavior quite heavily and can definitely tell if fish are in distress, and none of my fish are stressed in the slightest, even though there is a ton of fish.

Can't say I'd recommend an overstocked tank to any average fish keeper though, as overstocked tanks do require a well versed aquarist to keep them successfully long-term.

In regards to MikeP's definition #1, I'd also have to not agree with that type of set up. Well, at least to a degree. I am all for nature, but the average hobbyist would not have, what I would consider, a large enough tank to appropriately house prey with predators (or community fish with aggressive fish), in the same tank. Even with plenty of plant cover/places to hide, it's just not a nice environment for the "prey" to live in constant fear/stress of predators in close proximity (in comparison to nature, where there is usually a lot more room to be safer away from predators). In a really large tank (how large depends on the size of fish and how the tank is furnished), this could be done, in what I may consider acceptable (if the "prey" have more a of a fighting chance to survive/get away and have more area to feel safer in, not having to constantly remain hidden or run away most of it's life to survive each day).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,862 Posts
Oh, just wanted to clarify that I only overstock/stock fish in tanks able to properly accommodate the size and activity needs of the fish. I don't put fish in tanks that don't have the dimensions for the fish to move around/grow/live in appropriately. Overstocking and "improperly" housing (tank dimensions too small for kept fish) are two different things.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
167 Posts
I have had this overstocked setup for about 3 months without any issues, just a persistent and consistent maintenance schedule for sure.
Excuse the off topic comment... Noooice Daemons! Not a fish I see being kept a whole lot. Do you have them in low ph? They would make it into my HEAVILY STOCKED dream tank along with Brasiliensis, Red Shoulder Severums and (True) Parrot Cichlids. I miss my big cichlid 125.

On the subject, I agree with those that say that it is possible to overstock, but the fish can thrive with a diligent maintenance schedule. My 72 is 100% stocked and all the fish are living happily together. The flipside is a heavily stocked tank can crash and burn very quickly with just a few weeks of missed maintenance. Stocking fish is just like planting a tank. Adjust it to your lifestyle. A diligent homebody can keep a heavily planted/ stocked tank no problem. A person who is out and about most of the time may have trouble with that set up.
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Top