08-04-2013, 11:39 AM
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The actual number of gallons is largely irrelevant when it comes to stocking. What is important are the dimensions of the tank. The inch per gallon rule is meant for small schooling fish, and works just fine for that. It's actually a bit conservative in my opinion, as I stock tanks with small schooling fish at around 1 fish per gallon.
You could keep 3 schools in your tank - one for the top, one for the middle and one for the bottom. So, for the sake of discussion, lets say 8 zebra danios, 12 cherry barbs and 8 corys. Right there, you are at 1 fish per gallon and the tank is not even heavily stocked (by my standards). Not that heavily stocking the tank should be your goal, but it gives you an idea of what the tank can sustain, provided the filtration is there to handle it. Then, in addition to the 28 fish listed, you could add some sort of centerpiece fish and perhaps a small pleco.
Should you get all these fish at once? No. It should take time to stock your tank. Start with small schools and add to them over time as to not overload your filtration.