Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Ulyaoth 01-09-2010 12:10 AM

How much fish can I have in a 16 gallon tank?
Just got a 16 gallon tank for Christmas after just having some small setups for single bettas. It's been up a week already, with 4 zebra danios and a betta in it, everything's good so far but I was wondering if eventually I'll have any room for more fish. I mean going by that 1 inch of fish to 1 gallon thing, just the fish I have now when fully grown will about fill the tank, but it just seems a bit empty still, although I'm not happy with the danios not schooling like I thought they would, they just go off on their own most the time with a bit of chasing every now and then. I like catfish but I know there's none other than maybe a few cories that would do well even by themselves in this tank. It is planted if that makes any difference to allow more or less. Any thoughts?

Kelso 01-09-2010 12:23 AM

Welcome to the forum!
That's about all you could get...4 or 5 cories. The one inch per gallon rule really only applies to fish under 3 inches, and it applies to their full size when fully grown.

The reason your danios don't school like you thought they would is because they are in a small environment and they are close to each other no matter what, so they don't school tightly.

Hawkian 01-09-2010 06:24 AM

Well I believe that the "one inch of fish per gallon" is sort of more of a guideline than an actual rule. You normaly can play with the numbers if you have fish that are bottom-dwellers, mid-tank dwellers, and top-dwellers.

+1 on Kelso's explanation for the Danios not schooling tightly.

If you do end up adding corys I would make sure to get a kind that stays relatively small, like the trilineatus.

Angel079 01-09-2010 08:20 AM

Welcome to the forum.

The only thing I could think of adding as well is small cory's, so NO Bronze cory's, grow to big and then get 5 of them (like panda, skunk etc). That said, Cory are extremely sensitive fish and I can not advise anyone getting them in a tank that has not been established (= meaning running for few months already w/out any issues). And once they're in there, they like a good water quality, so regular weekly maiantance is more so important then ever.
Alternatively a bunch ghost shrimp for the bottom.
Do you have live plants? That will also change the look of your tank.

Ulyaoth 01-09-2010 01:18 PM

I have a few live plants in it. An anubias nana, a java fern, and some other kind of fern that I can't remember the name of, just remember it's supposed to get about 24" long and it has lots of little leaves in bunches. And so it's more just the general amount of room the fish have that is the issue? I thought the thing was a water quality issue.

And according to this site Aquarium Fish: Tropical Freshwater Fish and Saltwater Fish for Home Aquariums most the cories need at least a 30 gallon tank and need to be in groups of 5-6 at least. And anyway, would they need sand? Because I have somewhat big gravel, though it's mostly smooth. I'm guessing platies and danios would just get in each other's way right?

iamntbatman 01-09-2010 01:23 PM

Sand is a nice bonus for cories but not a requirement so long as your gravel is nice and smooth. In smaller groups of 4-6, cories do just fine in tanks as small as ten gallons. Depending on the dimensions of your tank, I think you would be just fine with a group of 6 or so cories as well as a school of 6-ish smaller schooling fish (like the danios) or a similar number of something like platies or guppies.

Angel079 01-09-2010 02:29 PM

If you stay with Cory's that stay small as adult size you'll be fine with a lil group of them.
Fine gravel or Sand would be desired for them, but as long as your gravel you have now is rounded, no sharp edges, they'll do ok.
The Zebra Danios are superst active fish, so I'd not suggest adding more of them to your fairly small tank.
Platies on the other hand would work in the set up BUT I'd strongly urge you to ONLY get males then, cause any 1 female in there will have so much fry that your tank will be overstocked within weeks.

Ulyaoth 01-10-2010 12:49 AM

Are cories more mellow fish? Should they leave the betta alone? He likes to sleep on the bottom of the tank and in the little fake rock cave and coral thing.

iamntbatman 01-10-2010 02:28 AM

Some are more active than others but cories are 100% peaceful. They're to put it...sort of "bumbling." So, they might bump into the betta inadvertently while cruising around looking for food, but no harm will be meant or done.

Angel079 01-10-2010 08:34 AM

+1 on the cory behavior. Most I observed that Albion's & Bronze are more active (swimming around more) then Panda's & Skunks, they're lil calmer in my experience.

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