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Overstocking by Experienced Aquarists

This is a discussion on Overstocking by Experienced Aquarists within the Advanced Freshwater Discussion forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I have always been a very heavy stocker. For community tanks I follow the 1 fish per gallon rule, the caveat being appropriately sized ...

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Overstocking by Experienced Aquarists
Old 03-03-2014, 05:32 AM   #11
 
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Overstocking by Experienced Aquarists

I have always been a very heavy stocker. For community tanks I follow the 1 fish per gallon rule, the caveat being appropriately sized fish for the tank (mostly for small fish). I aim for close to 10x turnover from canisters for my filtration.

That being said, no amount of filtration can make up for a lack of space.

I see this concern expressed over and over again, but I just don't understand people's worries about "spikes". Aside from initially, when fish are first added, there should be NO spikes. That's why we run filters.
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:30 AM   #12
 
so ... this would be a bad practice right ?


LOL
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:42 AM   #13
 
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Yes, Flear, that would be bad practice, haha!
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:11 AM   #14
 
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I overstock at least a couple of my tanks . I don't follow any particular "rule".. As Mikaila was saying that part is more of an art .. And experience teaches you this . I only look at each fishes needs and follow my common sense . We all know there are rules for the species we keep .. But that's just a guideline. Generally designed for newish fish keepers . You need to start somewhere to understand stocking .

Overstocked or not I prefer high filtration . Between that and water changes I have very active healthy fish . If someone bashes you for your stocking that's only because they are applying newbie rules to you.


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Old 03-03-2014, 08:23 AM   #15
 
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Yeah, I was advised not to keep more than 3 fancies and 3 mystery snails in the tank. Uhm, I'm sorry, it's a 75 gallon, general rule when stocking goldies is 4ft tank, 20g for the first, 10g thereafter. 5 fish means 20+10+10+10+10=60 gallons. That only leaves 15 for the plecos and snails, but 3 snails won't push bioload in an over-filtered 75 and BN are bred in 10 gallon tanks. I understand that some people, especially with goldfish, like to be conservative but I'm not. I like to push my stock a bit for a more active, full-looking tank and am capable of doing so. It may mean more, much stricter maintenance but in the end as long as my parameters are stable and the fish can turn around, it's my tank.
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:59 AM   #16
 
Let me start by saying this is just my opinion and I respect your thoughts on this.I couldn't disagree more with overstocking.I think it's cruel to the fish and not what we should be striving for.You could fit four or five people in an elevator ,clean it everyday,filter the air and give them good nutritious food but this would still be a miserable existence.I think that when one is entrusted with a living animal one is also accepting the responsibility of providing it with the best care possible.
In my largest tank (90 gallon) I have one fish,a 10 inch senegal bichir. In my 75 I have 8 fish that are a little over two inches long with the hopes of adding 8 more of a different species but of similar size.The mollies that I love are kept in groups of 5 in 55 gallon tanks. I like to think my fish live long stress free lives. I have no cleaner fish or algae eaters (my job) to help keep populations low. In over 40 years of keeping fish I have never,not once,had a disease outbreak. I also enjoy watching fish behavior more then just looking at their pretty colors and fish in a low density tank behave more naturally. Yes some of my grow out tanks get temporarily crowded but this gets corrected ASAP.This is just my view and hope no one takes offense.
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:34 AM   #17
 
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I'm not offended by your view . We all have our own way of doing things.
When I say I do overstock(pretty sure I can speak for many of us) I don't get carried away. And disease is not an issue I deal with here. Only "outbreak " I can recall is when I forgot to plug the heater back in on one tank . The clown loaches had ich after that. They got chilled as the tank dropped to the mid 7
60's over night . Been keeping fish 22yrs and that's about all I can recall for disease . Aside from a few times newly bought fish were heat treated for ich right away.
Sickness shouldn't be an issue with overstocking if done right.. That's where it becomes an art. I honestly don't think I could teach someone to duplicate my way of overstocking . I expect almost all my fish to be around for a long time.


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Old 03-03-2014, 09:51 AM   #18
 
my g/f is getting into breeding snakes (ball pythons)
there is a standard expected tank size for how big the snakes get

be it a snake or a fish, this size is based on allowing the animal enough space to move around

my personal take on the subject is "does this said tank size allow the animal to live a full long life to the end of it's expected life expectancy or is it stressful and causing the animal to have a drastically shorter life ?

a school of neon tetras would love a 2000 gallon aquarium, ... but it's excessive

is the tank large enough to allow the fish to live a full long life ?
is the tank healthy enough to allow breeding ?

if yes to those, you're not overstocked

if you've got sufficient filtration & treatment/maintenance, ... you're good to go.
if the fish have ... "space to turn around" is vastly different from turning around comfortably, ... they need to be comfortable

comparing things to an elevator with 5 people, ... that's a harshly unrealistic comparison, ... i'm sure office buildings are packed with more people per area than how many fish per volume in aquariums.

as was said "an art and a science"
as was said "experience"
as was said "if your willing to do the labor for maintenance"

and it's all dependent on species
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Old 03-03-2014, 04:37 PM   #19
 
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Overstocking by Experienced Aquarists

Jpepe by that rationale we shouldn't be keeping fish, because there is no tank size that compares to the wild.

It's up to each of us to decide for ourselves how we want to stock and how much space our fish need to swim - it's very much an individual hobby.

Last edited by jaysee; 03-03-2014 at 04:39 PM..
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Old 03-03-2014, 04:48 PM   #20
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaysee View Post
Jpepe by that rationale we shouldn't be keeping fish, because there is no tank size that compares to the wild.

It's up to each of us to decide for ourselves how we want to stock and how much space our fish need to swim - it's very much an individual hobby.

Also if following that line of thinking .. My kids might be really suffering with our 1400sqft. But no.. They don't even want to move . They see my nephews in 2500sqft with MANY acres of land.. And the home I grew up in with 3,000sqft on 1 acre .. But they love where we live and it. So do I . Even though we are "overstocked " haha


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