01-22-2007, 11:03 AM
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First, I am a little disappointed that the focus here has been on the idea that the tank is overstocked and no one has bothered to explain why, including myself. Also, it is not our place to ridicule a person for what they put in the tank. I personally think the legos were a good idea and I will use them for my stepping stones if I ever set up my newt or salamander tank. I also think that fake plants are uglier and more unsightly than a home for a newt made out of Legos but I won't tell someone that their tank is ridiculous just because they have fake plants in it.
Ok, let's set a few things straight here. First, I see absolutely no problem with the legos. They are light weight, can be made into any shape that a person wants them, they serve a purpose for the newt and for some people they are used for everything from nick knacks to full sized furniture. On top of it all, they are absolutely safe and non-toxic and will outlast any aquarium ornament and the paint that is used on them. A slate cave has sharper edges, is heavier on the bottom of the of the tank and if dropped when trying to remove will destroy a tank not to mention the limits of the shapes that can made with slate and the potential for contamination and leeching of chemicals by the slate.
Second, the tank is overstocked and I will explain why. A newt by itself needs to have at least a 10 gallon tank half full for itself. The platties number 6, which is 12 inches of fish and that by the rules of stocking makes them more than enough for the tank. The betta is being stressed by the other fish and should not be in there with that kind of biomass. As for the goldfish, you are doing good by taking them out soon but regardless of their size they are not meant to be in a 10 gallon, with any other fish. BTW, the general rule of thumb is 1 inch of fish per gallon of water and that is what is used to determine bioload and overstocking. For amphibians, that rules is 0.5 inches per gallon so a 5 inch salamander is all a 10 gallon tank should have. A pleco also produces too much waste and even the smallest needs a 20 gallon for both bioload and for room to move. Neon tetras on the other hand are such small producers that you can get away with 20 of them in a 10 gallon tank if that is all that is in there. Even with that, 10-15 is the max for a 10 gallon for even neons because of the tank size.
Overstocking is not the "look" of the tank although it could be but that is not the issue here. The waste produced by the newt is too much for the tank and the fish in there will be stressed by it. It could have been the cause of the death of the babies from the platty. Goldfish by themselves produce enough waste by themselves to overpopulate a 10 gallon tank. 1 goldfish in a 10 gallon produces too much waste to have any other fish in there. Again, I am not picking at this because you are removing them soon.
Also, an often overlooked item that is used in overstocking is the fact that waste is not just the stuff that your filters remove. There are dissolved solids in the water that you can ONLY remove by doing a water change. It is a simple fact; the more waste an animal produces, the more dissolved solids you have in any given amount of time. You may not even see any fish waste nor mulm when you do a water change and a gravel vac but the dissolved solids will buildup and eventually cause stress and fish death. This is all too often overlooked by even the seasoned fish keeper and is a cause of death even when we think the tank is balanced and should be safe for our fish.
Please take this is an education post and not a stab at your fish keeping practices. We all have to learn and I had hoped that others would have given a reason your tank was overstocked instead of bantering you about it. The site is meant to be educational and when someone new comes along and seems to need some helpful advice we all need to give it to further the education for the hobby and not to ridicule and deter others from wanting to keep fish and do it properly.