Ok, I have up my first 75G planted tank, and I need your experience with how overstocked I will be in the end (currently under-stocked) when I reach my final goals, and what my final goals would be. Current Stocking level
for about 2 months: 4 x 2-3" Fancy Goldfish, a few MTS, 5 Fancy Male Only Guppies, 1 baby BN Pleco, 2 Zebra Nerite Snails. Current Tank Setup:
This is a 75 Gallon tank, and it is well planted, so i have extra filtration. The filters are an Eheim 2217 canister, and an Aquaclear 110 hob. Pool Sand Substrate for 1"-1.5", driftwoods, and alot of plants. Pls note this is my only tank, except for a 10G Rubermaid Hospital tank, which will only be used as Quarantine or Hospital usage, thus i currently only have space for this 1 x 75 Gallon Aquarium, so suggestions must take this into account. Plants are all compatible with the goldfish. Food for goldfish is New Life Spectrum, so they get all the nutrients they need and thus munch on plants and other things much less. Original Desired, but changed, final setup
: 6 Fancy Goldfish, 2 BN Pleco, 3 Dojo Loach. If going by AqAdvisor, that would be seriously outdoing it, though i have had a few members tell me it is possible with 50% weekly water change. However, looking at AqAdvisor (link bellow), i see this will be beyond 135% stocking level, which worries me. After carefull thought, and knowing I need at least 3 dojos as a min to have them happy, and that they eat snails, I have opted for excluding this fish, though quiete sadly, but just feel it would be too much for me to handle, considering my priority is the fancy goldfish. Note on the Male Guppies:
2 possible dangers / comments from some members, though some would argue otherwise: 1) Temp difference (Lupin has confirmed i could do this however, and have seen other members with succes, but still watch out and be ready for #2 that follows), 2) Possiblility exist that the fancy goldfish may be able to swallow the guppies, if they can actually catch them. I am willing to take this risk however, as i have seen other do it with success, and knowing the fancy goldfish are slow. Now I did want to rehome them for white mountain minnows as the bioload is much better, so i could have more fish in the same tank, but my wife doesnt want me to and likes the guppies more. Obvioulsy, ideal is to have both these at minimum required schooling-happiness level. Priorities are as follows:
1) Fancy Goldfish, I will have this come to 5 in total to be more school like, and goldfish is my first priority, but i still want to max the life in the tank. I wanted 6 goldfish, but... that would leave little or no bioload left for other creatures to hide the in the plants and make the rest of the space beautifull. So sacrifice #2, but hardest one: limiting the Fancy Goldfish to 5, with great sadness though.
2) Keep the 4 male guppies to keep wife happy. Also, they have been with me a while, and are pretty and i do like them. I will bring this to 6 Male Guppies to keep a schooling group, and keep them happy as well.
3) Nerite Snails. Compatible with Goldfish, and extremely low bioload, I will have a total of 6 - 7, and there will be enough algue for them to much. Though I will first add 2 more to existing 2 and see how that goes before buying the last 2-3. If I feel at 4 it will be enough and algua would be too litle for more, i will stop at 4.
4) White Cloud Mountain Minnows. It has been some time i have quiete wanted these, to replace the dojos actually, and personnaly more than the guppies. There bioload is much less than guppies too. Schooling number is 6, so I would get 6 of these. Optionally, I could keep 4 guppies, and have 6 minnows to reduce bioload by 3% according to AqAdvisor. I have a feeling you guys are going to tell me to skip this one, and i really really really wanted to have this one.
5) MTS snails, I have a handfull, and they dont get much food to be honnest, so they dont really grow in numbers, as I hand feed the goldfish just what they need, and the guppies eat everything (i dont overfeed really). They will stay to keep that 1in sand well aerated, plus i love snails.
6) I may add 2 - 3 x 2inches Wood Shrimp. Bioload is only 1% for adding this. Size is big enough not to be eaten by goldfish. If they are eaten though, then bon appetit, expensive meal. But i feel not at that size, as they go from 2 to 3 inches in sizes. Pls note this is not a must, but wanted some bottom feeding dwellers. Again, not a must though, just would make the tank more lively at bottom if they dont hide all the time. I may opt for another more snakier shrimp (red or ghost cherry) as they have plenty of good hidding spots and some will survive.
7) Finally, remains the Bristlenose Pleco. He is a new member, only 2-3 weeks, but i never ever see him, expect when i sneack up on them at night when all is dark. It is quiete frustrating, as the bioload for this fish is 5% each according to AqAdvisor, but i can never see him, and feel maybe his job can be done by the snails anyways. Also, hard to feed it wafers as the goldfish will eat it instead. Feel bad about rehoming him, and it was a gift from my wife, and always having seen them in aquariums, i really wanted them, but after owning it, I feel I may have to rehome this one.....unless someone can convince me not to.
Ok, so if i were bold enough to have all these fish, and keep the BN Pleco too, then here is what AqAdvisor would give, 119% stocking, 163% filtration, 42% weekly water change. This does not take into account the extra filtrations from all the plants, and i donot know if it takes into account fish swiming space level. See bellow link. http://www.aqadvisor.com/AqAdvisor.php?AquTankName=TankA&AquListBoxTank=Cho ose&AquTankLength=48&AquTankDepth=18&AquTankHeight =20&AquListBoxFilter=Aquaclear+110&AquTextFilterRa te=110+&AquListBoxFilter2=Eheim+2217&AquTextFilter Rate2=160+&AquFilterString=&AquListBoxChooser=Wood +Shrimp+%28Atyopsis+moluccensis%29&AquTextBoxQuant ity=3&FormSubmit=Add+%3E&AquTextBoxRemoveQuantity= &AlreadySelected=200911191424%3A1%3A%3A%2C20091119 1425%3A3%3A%3A%2C200909300033%3A1%3A%3A%2C20090930 0070%3A1%3A%3A%2C200909300250%3A6%3A%3A%2C20090930 0093%3A6%3A%3A%2C200909300241%3A6%3A%3A&FilterMode =Display+all+species&AqTempUnit=C&AqVolUnit=gUS&Aq LengthUnit=inch&AqSortType=cname&FilterQuantity=2& AqJuvMode=&AqSpeciesWindowSize=short&AqSearchMode= simple
To improve this, I could do the following: Remove the Pleco, and have only 5 Nerite Snails, 2 wood shrimps, and keep only 4 guppies (ie not add 2 more to make them school). This would result a much nicer 110% stocking, which seems much better - manageable. But I dont have the experience to say for sure, and the big downside might be that the guppies wont be a school, though i cant say they are currently sad either. Adding those 2 Guppies, and removing another nerite snail would make it 113%. stocking. What do you guys think about this. Still, maybe even the 110% is too high also, i dont have the experience to say really.... If i could have rehomed the guppies, but they are nice, i could have had the 5 goldfish, 8 White Mountain Minnows, 4 Nerite Snails, 2 wood shrimp at a nicer 105% stocking, at which i feel even more confident to say i am not overdoing it, though it is still above 100%. The Final Alternative is 5 Goldfish, 6 Gupies, 5 Nerites Snails, 2 wood Shrimps for 110% stocking level, but that would be no nice new White Mountain Minnows... Pls help me decide, I know i cant rely on a AqAdvisor as this is not pure experience and doesnt take everything into account, but this is extremely hard on what has to be sacrificed when living in a condo with limited space and aquarium size. Almost wished i got the 90 gallon tank, but it would be too hard for me to do proper regular maintenance on the plants and aquarium due to the height increase and me not being able to reach the bottom, and also would have been much more costly too, and risky for a condo.
Pls keep in mind that AqAdvisor is telling me 5 fancy goldfish alone would be 98% stocking level, and if i had followed the 10G per fish rule, or even the rule of 20g for first fish, and 10g per additional fancy goldfish, i should still be able to do 6 - 7 goldfish, so I understand that AqAdvisor may be overdoing it somewhat, and this makes me feel more relieved actually. 6 fancy goldfish alone are at 112% stocking, and 7 fancy goldfish alone are at 125%... Personnaly, 7 goldfish seems too much even if nothing else, but this may be the only exception i find good enough to have a goldfish only tank (with the nerite snails too though), and reason enough to rehome the guppies and bristlenose, though morally i feel it
may be wrong to do so.
Thanks in advance for sharing your experience.