1 inch per gallon + plants???
Ok I didn't know what to name this topic so sorry for the confusion. I was just curious. Say I have a 120 gal tank, that means I can have up to 120 inches of fish right? Well does that take into account my plants and decorations as well? As of right now, I do not have 120 inches of fish, but when all of my fish are fully grown, then it will definitely be right on the mark. I have some decorations and plants, but was looking to add more. Is this a bad idea, or do plants and decor not matter? Im thinking they do, but I just wanted to be positive. Thanks.
The inch per gallon "rule" is really a pretty terrible one. When you stock a tank, you have to consider so many different things: school sizes, swimming behavior, areas of the tank occupied, aggression, as well as bioload. For example, I would say you could fit much more than 120 (one inch) neon tetras in a 120g tank, but you could not at all fit 120 inches of oscar.
So...what do you have the tank stocked with?
As far as decor is concerned, it only subtracts from the number of fish you can keep when it significantly reduces the amount of water you have in the tank. However, having lots of decor to create territories can allow you to keep more fish in some cases. As far as plants go, plants actually use fish waste materials as fertilizer, so having more plants will actually increase the fish capacity of your tank.
Thank you very much that was very helpful. I have a lot of those greek decorations around the tank, and a mix of real and fake plants. Almost none of my fish are fully grown, so I know I haven't hit the 120 mark yet. I have some zebra danios, neon tetras, rainbow shark and bala shark, 2 rope fish, upside down catfish, algae eater, ghost shrimp and rock shrimp. Everything gets along, and nobody really has a territory besides the upside down catfish has his cave, and the 2 ropes sleep in the same cave.
What sort of upside down cat is this? Most of them are shoaling fish, and prefer to be in groups of 6+. I think you'd find you'll see a lot more of him if he's got buddies to make him feel safe.
Unfortunately, the rope fish will almost undoubtedly someday realize that the neon tetras and then zebra danios fit in their mouths, and are tasty snacks. They aren't particularly aggressive fish, but you'd be hard pressed to find any fish that won't eat something bite sized.
I wanted my community to be a nice mix of fish, and there are some rules with some fish I found to be bendable. The only way to find out was by trial and error, and a few times I found out the hard way that some rules cannot be broken. Fortunately, some I found can and as of right now my community is pretty much established, and everything seems to be getting along ok for the past few months.
I was having trouble keeping the neons from the start, and I knew there was a possibilty the rope fish could see them as food. But like most fish, if it can fit in their mouth, they might think the same way. I'm taking a chance with them, and it might turn out to bite me in the butt but hopefully not. Usually during the day around 1 o clock, both ropes will come to the surface and wait for some tubifex. Then at night, they will poke their heads out of the cave and wait for me to drop a piece of shrimp. I'm hoping this keeps up to avoid them looking at the tetras as food.:-) Thanks for the help I appreciate it.
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