Stocking Question: Can I add more?
I have 20 black skirt tetras and a bushynose pleco in my 47 column.
Tank is tall...30" but it's only 20" long and 18" deep! Not much of a footprint but it's got height.
Am I currently stocked or can I get away with adding more and if so I'd like suggestions.
I would say no to adding anything else. The Pleco creates a lot of waste and you are nearly at your maximum stocking capacity.
If I say um, I swapped the bushynose out to another tank in exchange for a few ottos...could I get away with more or some white skirts?
I would say if the pleco wasnt there then the addition of about 7-8 more fish would be absolute max for the tank.
7 additional White skirt would fully stock the tank in my opinion.
NO ONE can give ANY advice on stocking without knowing water quality. If no one even asks we might as well go back to 1986 and say 1" per gallon.
What is your water change schedule?
What is the nitrate concentration BEFORE a water change?
If it is under 20ppm or within 10ppm of your tap then you are fine chemically. You have a nice big school in there, are they filling up the tank with their activity? I would not ditch the bristlenose, they are great maintenance fish and are doing a lot of work for you for free at this point. If it was my tank I would probably have something to eat extra food (a trio of small-medium loaches or a school of 6+ cories, I prefer sterbai).
Had no idea which year that 1" per gallon rule in effect. Cool to know!
For this tank, I remove 30% water and replace it with new water treated with AquaSafe by Tetra. Weekly 1x.
The water has consistently remained as <10ppm for months now.
The black skirts will either be scattered about each one active as he/she swims it's own path, OR, many times they shoal together around the driftwood. They are most active whenever I go near the tank because they think/hope I am going to feed them. When in a shoal, it's tight and there's plenty of room left around them. When they're scattered around seperate, there's not as many empty areas. They do rarely venture to the bottom however.
Pleco sticks to the driftwood 70% of the time, is on the substrate 20% and on the glass 10% of the tank. Rough estimate!
Sounds good. With that water quality you definitely have room for more if you want it.
There are some other factors that should be considered here and that have not been mentioned.
First on the water change, there are reasons far more serious than nitrates for changing water, and these cannot be measured. Pheromones and allomones, urine (a tetra excretes over 30% of its body mass in urine every day), etc. Water must be changed regularly to deal with this, as these things seriously affect fish. No mention is made of the pleco size, but this fish alone would suggest more water should be changed, 50% once weekly wold be my aim.
The minimal surface are, both in terms of the water/air surface and the surface of the tank substrate, work against you in a tall tank as opposed to a longer tank. While greater water volume can help, the area is more important both for the fish's needs physically and for water quality.
Live plants impact significantly on both of the above issues (they help), and these are not mentioned.
This species, Gymnocorymbus ternetzi, is quite an active swimmer when young, but tends to slow down with age more than many other species in the characins, so that is in your favour long-term. But the tall tanks are better suited to sedate fish such as pencilfish, rasbora, etc. that are less active. These types of fish could be in significantly greater numbers in this tank than can more active fish. And always with lots of live plants, which can be very effective in such tanks.
I would not add to what you have.
I agree with Byron, oxygen exchange at surface is greater in standard shaped tank's over column tank's due to larger surface area. This would or can,,allow for larger number of fishes to live comfortably over the smaller surface area in column tank's.
As for Bristlenose, or any other so called"Maint fish", one must also factor in the waste created by the fish. And in the case of pleco's,, the waste(poop) created, is equal to the waste created by a group of smaller fish, so there is less of a benefit than one might think from water quality standpoint (more waste ).
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