Fish Bioload comparisons
Although I have been keeping fish for awhile I have just come across the AqAdvisor Stocking Calculator and decided to play around with some combinations for stocking my future projects. The list of my intents is as follows:
(x)Red Cherry Shrimps
Sumps are not an option so I just selected Eheim 2213 since I have a couple as placeholders. Tanks will be heavily planted so I only plan to have my sumps at 3-5 turnover rates. The tanks I will be running is a 29g quaratine w/2213, (4)40g breeders w/10g sump, 180g community w/90g sump. Filtration is not my concern here, stocking is.
Now how accurate is Aqadvisor. Either there is something it secretly knows or there is something I don't know. I ran several combinations on all three tank sizes as both species tanks and as community tanks. My main question is what is it about a Cardinal tetras that makes them so high in the bioload count. They are similar sized to all the others on my list. In every scenario I plug them in, they add more than 10%+ to that of the others. Although I have keep Cardinals for several years, I don't see them being any messier than any other fish I have kept. Enlighten me please.
AQ advisor is a nice tool to have, and I like to run things through the program and see what it has to say - but it isn't something that I would base my decisions on 100%. It's a calculator - it does exactly what it's programmed to do, and not a bit more. It looks (to me) like you may have found a glitch in the system!
I've never kept Cardinals personally, so I could be wrong, but I can't imagine that their bioload would be any larger than any other similar-sized Tetra, either! Perhaps someone else who has kept them will be able to chime in with a better answer. . . but I'm betting that your experience with these fish is the very best thing to base your decisions on!
That site has a forum, with a suggestions board, if I remember correctly. Perhaps it would be a good idea to send them a PM or put up a post and let them know that there may be something off in their system? There are a lot of people who might be getting inaccurate readings - Cardinals are a very popular fish!
All of that aside entirely, I'm really hoping you plan to share your tank with us as you get it together - it sounds like it's going to be lovely!!!
The only thing I can think is that, since cardinals are relatively sensitive to water conditions, they bumped up the bioload to compensate. Chesherca makes a good point about AQ Adviser as a tool. I have seen threads where the poster cited AQ Adviser as their source for stocking info and the more knowledgeable members have had issues in some areas.
A glitch is possible which is why I was concerned. But yes your correct to not solely base my decision upon it. With a heavily planted tank in mind and a 90 gallon sump, my filtration should be able to handle a little overloading.
Being sensitive to water conditions could indeed be a factor as well. Definitely something to consider. However from my experience otos are just as sensitive. I haven't keep RCS but since they are invertebrates, I would assume they are sensitive to water quality to a degree as well. On the other hand RCS size accounts almost next to nothing in a tank compared to the others. For example in a 40g breeder stocking it 100% (just a number) it takes 56 cardinals to reach 100%, 712 RCS for 100% and 95 otos for 100% and otos can be poop monsters with a good food source.
For the 180g community I was aiming for 18-24 glowlight's, rasbora's, and cories. 100 RCS's with 1/2 dozen ots. I wanted the cards to be the featured fish at 50-75. Its a given that RCS and the cories will breed so I accounted for those numbers already. The numbers just really jumped when I add the cards. These are just rough numbers I played with for they can and will be tweaked as needed.
It really sounds like you have had enough experience with these and other fish not to have any problems at all - however you decide to stock. And in a tank that large. . . and with that kind of filtration. . . there's wiggle room, for sure! :-D
If you don't want to, I'll pop in on that site and let them know that their numbers may be a little bit . . . off with these fish. AQA is a really wonderful resource to have available when stocking, I'm glad it exists. I've always wondered how they figure their numbers out, though. . .
I'll let you know if I hear anything back from them!
ETA: Or maybe I won't!??
Well that is good to know that their site has undergone a little setback. I have seen many post refer AqaAdvisor for stocking purposes before I decided to try it. So I assumed they had a good thing going. Perhaps I had perfect timing to try it out, lol. If you don't mind dropping in on them I am sure everyone would appreciate it. With my intents I will go trail and error and ignore what they are saying in reference to the cardinals. I will try back at a later date to see if any info has changed. But I will mainly go off experience of keeping other similar sized fish. Thanks for all the input.
We often forget how complicated stocking a tank can be, and no program has yet been designed that can take into account all the variables. Relying on factual knowledge is safer.
As a simple example, in a normal 20g tank, you could easily have 20 cardinals. But 20 Zebra Danio would not be wise. I'll leave it for any of you to figure out why [quiz of the day:-)].
Sweet, I got it right, lol. I took acctivity into account with the list above though. One species in particular I figured would out bioload the cards was the Rasboras. I haven't kept them yet but I have seen several youtube videos of them and they are a tad larger and fairly active in comparison to the cards. Yet the cardinals number on aqadivsor was way off in my opinion considering the loads and activity of each fish I input. Therefore I was questioning the accuracy of the site. With my planting intent and the sump filtration in mind, I should easily be able to handle any reasonable bioload I throw at the setup.
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