05-29-2007, 03:00 PM
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Everyone tends to have different opinions on stocking - it's not a tried and true method. Everything depends on wide variables.
At any rate, many people do not agree on the inch per gallon, but it's not a horrible place to start for the average new fish owner, and typical small popular fish.
It doesn't work very well because as you pointed out, it fails to take into consideration the natural behaviour of the fish. Some need to bunch together for security (and in that case, it would be better to add the extra 1-2 fish that normally wouldn't "fit" in the inch/gallon) and some need to spread out a ton because of territory issues.
Some cichlids are pretty tame, angels, rams, apistos I think, etc. Others like convicts require territory, etc. You'll have to look over the fish profiles, and a good place to start is liveaquaria.com and then check a few other sites to see a good balance of information.