quick stocking question....
I've been reading this forum for awhile and finally decided to join. I have a 20g long tank which is cycled. Right now there are 10 neon tetras and 3 schwartzi cory cats. I'm curious as to how many neons I can add assuming that I keep on top of water changes etc. A store near me has a tank full of what must be 100 very small (half inch) neons. If I added 12 of these little guys, would that be to many at once taking into account their size? And after they are fully grown, assuming I lose a few, will 20 neons and 3 cories leave me overstocked? Any idea how long it will take for them to reach adult size?
Thanks in advance and I have to say that of all the forums I read it's refreshing to come here and see so little bickering and arguing between members!
Hi Ryan, welcome to fish forum. We pride ourselves here on the accurate information we are able to provide and the lack of "issues" bewteen members. Our mods are top notch and they all work very hard to keep this a peaceful and unique place to thrive on the net. Also, our administrators are among the best in the world. They are actively involved in forum happenings, unlike many who leave it to the mods to deal with. Our rules are strictly enforced, and while a few may not agree with that, it works the best for the majority. I hope your life here on ff is a long and educational one!
In answer to your fish questions, yes, 20 neons will leave a 20 long overstocked. Adding 12 at a time is also a lot, even if they are not full grown. 6 at a time is a good number to work with once your initial school is established. Total number of neons safe to mix into your tank with the corys would be about 15 for a total number, provided your water params are kept in check at all times. If the fish are healthy and properly acclimated, not overstocked, there should be no reason to expect to lose any.
When you visit your LFS and see how they stock their tanks, there are a few things I would like to ask you to keep in mind. #1 and foremost, they do not stock their tanks for long term survival of those fish. Most LFS's will stock according to what leaves their tank within about 1 wk. These are "holding tanks" and do not receive the same kind of care that a home tank needs. These tanks also have their own unique filtration methods that are not practical for a home aquarium unless your house looks like mine where there is a tank everywhere you look... and even then, the tanks need to be within a certain distance from each other to make that kind of filtration possible. The other thing I'd like to tell you about LFS tanks is that you, the customer, are not privy to certain information. Death rates tend to be very high in an LFS setting, and is typically dealt with when customers are not in the store (before opening and after closing hours). Shipments tend to be brought in the same way, so customers are never allowed to see the actual death rates in their tanks. It would be quite upsetting to most people, and is considered "business loss and casualty that can't be avoided".
Please never use a LFS tank for an example on how to properly stock a home tank. As the public is finally learning, the majority of LFS's don't really know much about fish keeping and the science behind it. They are there to take your money however they can, again... it's called "business".
I hope this helps!
Going by the one inch rule, it would be overstocked. The rule is a good one to follow just to give you an idea of what to expect and get the hang of dealing with potential problems that can occur. It is really an outdated rule and needs to be revised because small fish don't fit the rule and anything the size of an Dollar or larger doesn't fit it either.
Also remember that not every LFS is the same. I have seen LFS that take better care of their fish than most knowledged home aquarists and I have seen those that were terrible. Walmart stores that have the worst fish I have ever seen and ones that took better care of them than my descent LFS. Petsmart, PetCo and any company can be as different from store to store as any person can be. Make your own educated judgements once you get to know the store, don't base it on name or corporation.
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