07-06-2013, 03:51 PM
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There are no rules in aquatics, only guidelines. The entire guideline is one inch per gallon of slim bodied fish that grow to no larger than 3". This is generally a good starting point to keep new fishkeepers out of trouble. Forget half of it & your half way down the road to problems. There are many species it does not apply to.
No, people don't consider the behavior of fish, so every so often you see 3 oscars in a 30 gallon. People don't do research, sellers give improper information. Fish like comets, ID sharks, common plecs, plenty of species get tossed into too small of a tank going by the abbreviated version of this guideline.
I agree that too much is often expected of what are actually sales clerks at many shops. You wouldn't ask the kid behind the counter at McDonalds for the nutritional information on the products they sell, the kid selling products at a large corporate pet store isn't much different.