12-27-2009, 02:14 AM
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Is all well and good if trying to convince yourself is your aim. For myself,and those possibly new to the hobby,overstocking creates far more trouble than moderately stocking a tank.As you have stated,overstocking means more frequent water changes and some have trouble with once weekly changes never mind the possible two to three weekly water changes needed for some species of fish when kept in crowdeed conditions. Much more filtration both mechanical and biological must also be considered with crowded tanks to process the large amount of waste produced. Filter maint may need to be performed more often as well as water changes.
Fish that are in crowded conditions,are stressed more easily than those in uncrowded tanks and increased stress levels often lead to sick fish. Aggression levels as fish become sexually mature increase, and in crowded tanks,,often times fish can be seen with torn fins,scales missing,and or killed outright over territory and or the right to mate with females that may be present. This doesn't happen in only cichlid tanks but with other fishes as well.
I personally have found that a moderately or lightly stocked tank ,can be,and is for me,, much easier to care for and provides me with much more enjoyment , than tanks that are crowded.
Cichlid tanks that are crowded are often stocked with one sex or the other (usually females).