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Stocking Freshwater Aquariums

This is a discussion on Stocking Freshwater Aquariums within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Thank! That's the most interesting part to me! Check your pm btw....

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Stocking Freshwater Aquariums
Old 08-19-2009, 10:29 PM   #11
 
Thank! That's the most interesting part to me! Check your pm btw.
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Old 08-19-2009, 11:03 PM   #12
MOA
 
Thanks for the pm.

Sorry, but I declined .doc and went straight to .pdf. If this doesn't work for you, please let me know.

MOA
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Old 08-20-2009, 01:32 AM   #13
 
pdf is classier anyways ;)
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Old 08-20-2009, 09:26 AM   #14
MOA
 
LOL,

As long as it works.

MOA
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:04 PM   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MOA View Post
Hi Again,

Actually, the spreadsheet does address stocking limits on a tank-by-tank basis. Also, it does account for filter strength. The sticky point that most people get hung up on is that the spreadsheet accounts for both overstocking and overcrowding (they sound similar but are two completely different considerations):
  • Overstocking: Overstocking occurs when an aquarist keeps too many fish for the aquarium filter to handle.An easy way to tell in a tank is overstocked is to check the nitrogen compounds. If the ammonia or nitrite is above zero (0) or if the nitrates are above eighty (80, though many sources feel that 40 is the true safe limit), then the tank is overstocked and either needs a more powerful filter or needs to be cleaned more often.
  • Overcrowding: Overcrowding is when the fish stress each other out via their presence. This sounds a little weird but it is the same principle as living in an apartment with a roomamte. If you get along with your roommate, then life will be relatively stress-free. However, if you add more roomamates to an apartment, then (eventually) peoples' nerves are going to fry. There will not be enough room to sleep, cook, or just live. Everyone needs some personal space and the same principle applies to fish. Having a huge filter does not help out the aquarist much if the fish are stressing each other out. (even nice people become grumpy if forced into crowded conditions). Additionally, overcrowding is not just big fish picking on little fish--it includes the stress a species can place on itself. For example, 10 Neon Tetras can live a long time in a 10-gallon tank, but they almost always live longer if they are given more space per fish (regardless of filtration).
FishsheetA6 accounts for both situations. Overstocking is taken care of with the filtration fields while overcrowding is taken care of with the "space" (gallons unused/overused) fields. Of course not everyone is going to agree with the limits imposed by FishsheetA6, but I would rather be safe than sorry. I have been keeping fish over a decade and also used to sell fish and have never seen fish live up to their full potential in a tank that ignores overcrowding. Lots of fish, even common little ones, can usually five years if just given a bit more space.

Okay, I'll get off my soap box now. Sorry to add so much filler, guys. Anyhow, besides altering the buffer zone, FishsheetA6 allows users to change how space requirements are calculated. You can swith the formula by selecting "moderated to reduce impact of large fish." As the phrase suggests, this field most changes how fish over three inches are accounted for. Smaller fish will still require roughly the same amount of space. Also, remember that the idea behind FishsheetA6 is getting fish to thrive, not just survive.

Thanks,
MOA

P.S. Again, sorry for rambling so much.
These "definitions" are misleading and frankly inaccurate. The issue for overstocking has to do with the water quality, water parameters, and compatibility of the fish and plants. The filter is but one (small) part of this equation. Overcrowding is also basically a question of water quality; generally this is solved by increasing the tank volume, but the reason this works is the improvement in the water quality (water changes not filtration), not the space. Knowledgeable fish keepers like Jack Whattley (discus) have proven this, and Laura Muha wrote at length on this in her article in the December 2006 TFH and she had considerable evidence from scientists and ichtyologists.

Also, waiting until nitrate readings are too high to decide the tank is overstocked is poor aquarium management and irresponsible. And the solution to increase the filter size is meaningless, that will not solve the problem. Responsible aquarists know their fish before they get them, and they know the limits, and they know what maintance must be performed to keep their fish healthy.

If you read articles on biotope aquariums by Heiko Bleher (a member of this forum) and others that have appeared over the past year or so in TFH and AFI you see suggestions for a130+ fish in a 40-50 gallon aquarium. But there are two critical criteria: (1) the fish must be compatible, and that means share the same requirements wth respect to water parameters (temperature, pH, hardness, salinity), habitat (plants or no, wood, rocks, light, dark...) and have behaviours that are compatible; and (2) the regular and consistent adequate tank maintainance by the aquarist. There are limits, but the limits are determined by these criteria.

Byron.
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:22 PM   #16
MOA
 
Byron,

The definitions I posted are modeling referrence points. That is, they place different factors in different areas to make the computations cleaner. They are not meant to coincide with other people's definitions since most other people don't use multi-faceted computations when dealing with aquariums. When I talk about overstocking and overcrowding, I am referring to the spreadsheet's computational logic, not accepted aquarist terminology (modelers sometimes use different definitions than aquarists or scientists).

When I refer to filtration, I refer to anything that removes or converts wastes, meaning both the filter itself (the converter) and water changes (the remover). The spreadsheet actually deals with this issue very accurately in that it has an aerobic filtration formula (conversion capacity (actually conversion rate capacity)) and a remaining waste index that cross-references the bioload per gallon and the cleaning schedule. The base formulas that the spreadsheet uses were developed by a mathematics student at the College of Southern Idaho and were adapted from some of Newton's and Leibniz's work.

Also, I have kept and sold fish over the past decade and have seen that fish can be stressed by the presence of other fish (even compatible species) if there are too many fish in the tank (regardless of water quality). Besides, I think everyone can agree that good aquarium husbandry includes efforts to see fish thrive rather than just survive. The simple logic that more fish can be kept does not mean that we should do it. My spreadsheet is not about telling people what they can do, but rather what is most natural for the fish (I have yet to see a 40-50 gallon self-contained pond in nature that can sustain 130+ average fish (not babies or air-breathers, etc.) in good health).

I am sorry to sound so...well...mean. No less, you are treating me like I am incappable of simple research and logic. If you have looked at the website, then you will see that I back up all of my computations with evidence and that I am very careful to address people's concerns. Your concerns are addressed by the remaining waste calculation. Since you did not address anything in the spreadsheet, I am tempted to believe you did not look at it. Consequently, I have a hard time really paying attention to you since you have not taken the time to see where I am coming from.

Furthermore, if you would have looked at the site in detail, you would have noted that I am actually opposed to using test kits as the sole means of judging tank capacity (I am now avoiding using the words "overstocking" and "overcrowding" with you). I make it quite clear toward the bottom of the first page that I am a strong advocate of researching each purchase well before the purchase is made. In fact, that is the idea behind the spreadsheet: Get a working idea that can be "tested" without harming any fish. The spreadsheet is designed for safety, so yes, some limits are going to be imposed that do not necessarily apply to every situation.

I am really sorry to bite your head off like this, but please give my work a chance before judging it. I am sorry that I was not more clear about my terminology. I admit that is was irresponsible of me to use terms that were not germane to the rhetorical situation and for that I sincerely apologize. Also, you mentioned some material that will make for an interesting read. I will go over your sources and adjust as is appropriate.

In Short, Thanks for Keeping Me Straight,
MOA

Last edited by MOA; 08-20-2009 at 05:27 PM.. Reason: Grammar
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:13 PM   #17
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MOA View Post
Byron,

The definitions I posted are modeling referrence points. That is, they place different factors in different areas to make the computations cleaner. They are not meant to coincide with other people's definitions since most other people don't use multi-faceted computations when dealing with aquariums. When I talk about overstocking and overcrowding, I am referring to the spreadsheet's computational logic, not accepted aquarist terminology (modelers sometimes use different definitions than aquarists or scientists).

When I refer to filtration, I refer to anything that removes or converts wastes, meaning both the filter itself (the converter) and water changes (the remover). The spreadsheet actually deals with this issue very accurately in that it has an aerobic filtration formula (conversion capacity (actually conversion rate capacity)) and a remaining waste index that cross-references the bioload per gallon and the cleaning schedule. The base formulas that the spreadsheet uses were developed by a mathematics student at the College of Southern Idaho and were adapted from some of Newton's and Leibniz's work.

Also, I have kept and sold fish over the past decade and have seen that fish can be stressed by the presence of other fish (even compatible species) if there are too many fish in the tank (regardless of water quality). Besides, I think everyone can agree that good aquarium husbandry includes efforts to see fish thrive rather than just survive. The simple logic that more fish can be kept does not mean that we should do it. My spreadsheet is not about telling people what they can do, but rather what is most natural for the fish (I have yet to see a 40-50 gallon self-contained pond in nature that can sustain 130+ average fish (not babies or air-breathers, etc.) in good health).

I am sorry to sound so...well...mean. No less, you are treating me like I am incappable of simple research and logic. If you have looked at the website, then you will see that I back up all of my computations with evidence and that I am very careful to address people's concerns. Your concerns are addressed by the remaining waste calculation. Since you did not address anything in the spreadsheet, I am tempted to believe you did not look at it. Consequently, I have a hard time really paying attention to you since you have not taken the time to see where I am coming from.

Furthermore, if you would have looked at the site in detail, you would have noted that I am actually opposed to using test kits as the sole means of judging tank capacity (I am now avoiding using the words "overstocking" and "overcrowding" with you). I make it quite clear toward the bottom of the first page that I am a strong advocate of researching each purchase well before the purchase is made. In fact, that is the idea behind the spreadsheet: Get a working idea that can be "tested" without harming any fish. The spreadsheet is designed for safety, so yes, some limits are going to be imposed that do not necessarily apply to every situation.

I am really sorry to bite your head off like this, but please give my work a chance before judging it. I am sorry that I was not more clear about my terminology. I admit that is was irresponsible of me to use terms that were not germane to the rhetorical situation and for that I sincerely apologize. Also, you mentioned some material that will make for an interesting read. I will go over your sources and adjust as is appropriate.

In Short, Thanks for Keeping Me Straight,
MOA
I have no problem with your response, thanks for pointing out some things. My post was referring solely to the two definitions which appeared to have been cited from the spreadsheet site. Knowing that several on this forum will probably take these out of context caused me to point out that they are not reliable as they stand cited in the post. I am still of that opinion.

No, I did not look further into the spreadsheet because I have no reliance on these things, just like the "rule" that is still referenced by beginners of an inch of fish to a gallon of water. That can work but it usually doesn't. And I was not aware that you are the author of all this.
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:57 PM   #18
MOA
 
Byron,

Thank you for a generous response. Very big of you and I appreciate it.

Of course I wish you would at least give new ideas a chance, but I can also see your point of view. The sources you mentioned were interesting, but they are not idealists like myself. Despite this, my spreadsheet still accounts for their data, depending on which field data is examined. I have no problems with their results, just their logic: doing something because you can is not a reason to do it. I simply cannot force fish to live in crampt quarters simply because the environment is clean enogh. It would be like stuffing 5 people in a telephone both and hosing it down whenever the feces piled up--horrible logic.

Nonetheless, I probably think too much of my fish. I did not begin my theories to disqualify all other opinions, even if different than my own. Thank you for reminding me of that valuable lesson. Hopefully, despite an ideological rift, we can still collaborate. Even if you do not like the spreadsheet idea, I would still value any suggestions. Furthermore, I will help with any questions you may ever ask me.

Always,
MOA
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Old 08-21-2009, 01:00 AM   #19
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MOA View Post
Byron,

Thank you for a generous response. Very big of you and I appreciate it.

Of course I wish you would at least give new ideas a chance, but I can also see your point of view. The sources you mentioned were interesting, but they are not idealists like myself. Despite this, my spreadsheet still accounts for their data, depending on which field data is examined. I have no problems with their results, just their logic: doing something because you can is not a reason to do it. I simply cannot force fish to live in crampt quarters simply because the environment is clean enogh. It would be like stuffing 5 people in a telephone both and hosing it down whenever the feces piled up--horrible logic.

Nonetheless, I probably think too much of my fish. I did not begin my theories to disqualify all other opinions, even if different than my own. Thank you for reminding me of that valuable lesson. Hopefully, despite an ideological rift, we can still collaborate. Even if you do not like the spreadsheet idea, I would still value any suggestions. Furthermore, I will help with any questions you may ever ask me.

Always,
MOA
Thank you, sincerely [i.e., not meant derogatorily].

I would totally agree with not keeping fish in cramped quarters. I'm not of a mathematical mind, so I find it troublesome dealing with spreadsheets and such; I just don't work that way. I function best by researching whatever I need to know, from as many sources as I can, and using that knowledge to the best of my ability. I've nothing aginst new ideas, but I believe it is scientifically accurate that the key to a successful community is one of compatibility in terms of water parameters, environment/habitat and behaviour. Once all these are met, then the limit is obviously determined by bioload, water quality, tank maintainance...etc. I just get at this result by research which is what I understand best, so it works for me.

Byron.
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Old 08-21-2009, 01:12 AM   #20
MOA
 
Fair enough. Research always should hold the highest place. After all, without it I would not have a spreadsheet at all (LOL). There is a certain wisdom to the old saying: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." New aquarists who have done research have never been a problem for aquarium husbandry--only those who have not done research.

Thanks,
MOA
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