We have set up a 10 gallon freshwater aquarium and are about to start slowly stocking it with fish over time. I have maintained tanks in the past and I am familiar with the old rule of thumb of keeping 1" of fish per gallon (10" in my case). Our planned inhabitants would overstock the tank a little based on full adult size of the fish we were planning to add. Obviously, they may be smaller than full size when originally added to the tank. My question is does the 1" per 1 gallon rule follow as tightly if the fish are distributed throughout different levels of the tank? Or, is the rule based solely on the bio-load of the fish?
These are the fish we are planning to add:
1 male Red Mickey Mouse Platy
6-8 Black Neon Tetras (Hyphessobrycon Herbertaxelrodi)
3-4 Albino Cories (Corydoras Aeneus)
That could mean as much as 17"-22" of fish. As the tetras and platy should stay near the top though, and the cories along the bottom, it seems there may at least be enough room for everyone. I have augmented the filter (Top Fin Aquarium Power Filter 20) with about ten Cobalt Aquatics Ceramic Rings to help eventually handle the bio-load. There is room to add a couple more as we add fish, if needed. I should note I check water quality religiously and plan to do water changes as frequently as necessary (I tend to prefer frequent, smaller changes in an established tank, rather than a large one less frequently).
There are also plants that have been in the tank since cycling began:
2 small Anubias Nana attached to a piece of driftwood
1 small Java Fern attached to a suction cup along the tank side
2 small Hornwort attached to a suction cup along the tank back
Here is the entire tank setup:
Standard 10 Gallon Tank
Aqueon Deluxe Full Hood, 20"
(with 18", 15W, T8 Full Spectrum Bulb)
Aqueon Submersible 50 Watt Heater
Top Fin Air-1000 Air Pump
(with small air stone)
Top Fin Aquarium Power Filter 20
(with added Cobalt Aquatics Ceramic Rings)
Using the API Freshwater Master Test Kit
Any thoughts or opinions based on the experience of others are greatly welcome.