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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello all! I have had a 33 long planted tank for awhile now. It is pretty heavily planted and no issues. My only gripe about this tank is the small amount of water volume. I wish I could stock the tank a little more heavily. I currently have 25 Gold White Clouds and that's more than likely how it will stay. I would like to add another school of fish, possibly 8-10 more, but obviously IMO the tank would be pretty overstocked.

Is there a way to make something like this work? Like I said, the tank is heavily planted and I also have two Aquaclear 50 power filters. I generally do a 50% water change every couple weeks.

I had considered upgrading to another larger tank for more options, like a 40L, 55 or a 75, but I really enjoy this tank and maintenance is so easy, so I don't really want to.
 

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It all depends on how much maintenance you're willing to do. I've kept very overstocked tanks but in return I've done the daily water changes to compensate. As long as your fish have enough room to actively swim without having to jostle for room or privacy overstocking is only an issue on the water quality side. That's easy enough to handle with daily testing and water changes a needed, which is usually more than once a week. I don't usually agree with overstocking, but what you're talking about honestly sounds like something I would do and get away with using added water changes. It's not like you're wanting to throw a bunch of catfish or cichlids in there, just another school of small fishes. If you're willing to address the water quality issues I don't see any real harm in that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes I suppose with more frequent testing and at least once weekly water changes would help greatly. I suppose I could even go another direction stocking-wise make it easier, and just add a few more White Clouds instead of another whole school of fish. I had contemplated this as well.
 

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I'm currently heavily stocked with cardinals, rummynoses and cories in my 40b with no issues other than the occasional need to water change more than once a week of I space out and over feed. If you feed lightly and just have a 30 count wcm school it honestly doesn't even sound that overstocked to me. They have a really small bioload and with the size of your tank it sounds more like a fully stocked situation more so than an overstocked situation, IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I honestly don't feed that much, so pretty lightly. I forget to a lot of the time. I feed probably every 2 days or so when I remember. I suppose I could add more Gold White Clouds, or for a little variety, I could add some regular standard White Clouds, like 5 or 6 of 'em.

I also like this thought because I can have cherry shrimp with the White Clouds. I have some of the blue variety currently and they have been in there for awhile and the White Clouds leave them alone.
 

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I have about your current fishload in a 20 long and I consider it pretty heavily stocked, but i don't think it's unmanageable. I change 50% of the water weekly which is more than when there were fewer fish, and changed my fertilizer to just K, Ca, Mg, and micros, but nothing crazy. If I had your setup I would feel comfortable adding a few more nano fish, but would plan on making adjustments to your routine.
 

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Overstocking is never good long term. What happens is- fish will die until its no longer overstocked,then peace and harmony will prevail. Unless- you take the losses as reason to add more fish..then the cycle repeats.
Your idea to just go out and get a bigger tank is the best idea. Makes life better for the fish and you.
 

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My 29-gal is always very overstocked and I have very infrequent fish deaths. A UVS is a big plus in reducing disease. A heavily planted tank greatly helps for a number of reasons.

Cleanliness of the tank and filter is, of course, important. I would also make sure that you get as much gas exchange as possible. This means rippling the surface of the water, without breaking the surface. Filters, pumps (Hydor Koralia is a good one) and skimmers (my favorite) can accomplish this. I also monitor O2 levels with a Salifert O2 kit. They aren’t precise, but they get the ballpark number and are useful as a reference. Try to get an O2 reading in the 12ppm area according to the Salifert results. Also, keep an eye on TAN (total ammonia), particularly if pH is above 7.0.

If you don’t mind snails (Ramshorns are my preference), they will do much to clean your tank and help with algae (by cleaning the surfaces). They will also act as a warning about your feeding habits. If you see them proliferate, it means you are feeding too much. Bring feeding down and you will see their numbers decline.

You can also use this calculator for a very loose guide: AqAdvisor. Keep in mind that, if you do everything well, you can go well over their recommended numbers, e.g.; my calculated result is about 2.5 times their maximum recommendation. Some of my fish are very large Gourami’s in addition to about 40 smaller fish of various types.
 

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Overstocking is never good long term. What happens is- fish will die until its no longer overstocked,then peace and harmony will prevail. Unless- you take the losses as reason to add more fish..then the cycle repeats.
Your idea to just go out and get a bigger tank is the best idea. Makes life better for the fish and you.
Normally I would agree, but wcm can definitely use the inch per gallon rule, being they are about an inch 30 of them in a 33 gallon heavy planted tank isn't technically overstocked.
 

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Inch per gallon is so unscientific and just useless really. If you have 40 Harlequin Rasboras in a 30 gallon and they total 80 inches...Much better than two 12 inch Oscars who would be in hell in that tank.
I would say,if you have X number of fish and no problems,then you are not overstocked. Unless,power goes out and the fish are gasping for air in a short period of time. I always worry about that myself.
 

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Watch your Nitrate. Check it every three days. Change your water if it gets over 30 ppm. You can go higher than that but let's not. Don't get lazy about the water changes. This was your idea. @Deanna's advice was excellent. Check the O2 and get the UV sterilizer. Dr. Barr says 9 ppm O2 is OK. Pathogens love confined spaces.

EDIT: Put Purigen in your filter if you're not already using it.
 

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Inch per gallon is so unscientific and just useless really. If you have 40 Harlequin Rasboras in a 30 gallon and they total 80 inches...Much better than two 12 inch Oscars who would be in hell in that tank.
I would say,if you have X number of fish and no problems,then you are not overstocked. Unless,power goes out and the fish are gasping for air in a short period of time. I always worry about that myself.
That's the reason I specified wcm. They are one of the few fish that does, honestly, fall under the inch per gallon rule because of their bioload. I completely agree it's all circumstance based- I wouldn't keep my oscars in anything less than a 90 gallon, I digress, though. I just honestly think in this particular situation it's not unreasonable to have 30 wcm or similar nano fish, of you're willing to do the work. I'm a robot when it comes to water changes- every week, same day, same time, same amount. If you're diligent enough this is a doable tank set up, if you're not than maybe it's not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I actually picked up a 55 gallon tank from Petco this weekend. I did however decide to just stick it out with the 33 long. Returned to the store. The tank is still beautiful. I will just be more diligent with maintenance if I decide to get more fish. In the future, when I can find one for a decent deal, I will more than likely upgrade to a 40 long as I like their dimensions more than 55 gallon tanks.
 

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IMO 40 long, or 40b is the absolute perfect sized for a 'normal' single display tank for busy people. The dimensions make maintenance a breeze and it's long enough to keep a good sized stock list. Good luck!! Wish you the best!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks! I do like the 40 breeder as well, but being that the tank is in a narrow, hallway type area, a 12 inch tank works better. I would have to purchase a new stand as well. With a 40 long, I could use everything that I already got! I do also think that the 40 gallon tanks in general are great sizes for easy maintenance without a huge amount of time for commitment like a large tank say 75 and up, and can still stock the tank pretty well.
 

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I like 40B myself but 50B are also good - having said that if you are stuck with a 12 inch tank.... there is always the lousy 55. One advantage a taller tank might give you is the wcm will stay at one layer and you can add fishes at a different layer like cory or zebra loaches on the bottom.
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As for overstocking - what does it mean to be overstock ? my live breeder 29 has 20 or so guppies or 8 sword tails some kuhli and a pleco. Is it overstock? The nitrate stays at 20 over the last 6 months or so.... so i don't know... oh yea i tossed in some cockatoo to go after frys.... and i do have that one female betta in there who is a better hunter than the cockatoo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I dont like taller tanks. They are too hard to do maintenance in IMO. I used to have a 58 gallon which is slightly taller than a 50B. Didnt like it. Any tank over 17 inches is too tall for me. My go to options would be the 33 long, 40 long or 40 breeder. But I prefer a long tank.

One tank that I would love to have that Seapora used to make is the 45 gallon frag tank. Its basically a 12 inch tall 75. 48x18x12. They dont make them anymore though.
 

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Reminds me of my opinion on planted tanks. Square is better than rectangular. It just makes a nicer look,if you can find one. My tank is long..and just doesn't equal a same gallonage aquarium shorter,but deeper and maybe a bit taller. A better plant tank.
I did notice at Petsmart that new aquariums arent of the same dimensions as the previous 50 years of tanks had been. Deeper (wider) is nice.
 
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