Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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MOA 01-15-2010 07:02 PM

A Theory for Your Consideration

I have been working on a little side theory called structure theory that recommends a certain amount of structures be placed in an aquarium based on the number of possible fish-to-fish and fish-to-structure interactions. I was wondering if you guys had any thoughts on the matter and what you thought of the overall concept. The specifics of my thoughts on structures in the aquarium can be found here:

Tutorials and Videos (MOA's: How Many Fish?, Stocking Freshwater Aquariums)


stephanieleah 01-16-2010 11:20 PM

I didn't find the article that I believe you are referring to. Is there an exact link?

MOA 01-17-2010 01:48 AM

It is not an article. It is a couple of video tutorials.


MoneyMitch 01-17-2010 11:55 AM

it all makes sense on paper but not in MY aquarium. i have probobly 11 fish total and maybe 6-7 good hiding spots and i dont have barely any aggression issues even with them all being african cichlids. good vid tho~

stephanieleah 01-17-2010 12:08 PM

Okay I found it (duh!). I agree with the last statement "The more structures you have, the happier your fish will be". Period. Like Money Mitch implied, I don't know if in reality it can be measured with a structures:fish ratio. I could go on and on but will refrain as I tend to overanalyze these things, I'll save you the lengthy dialogue. In short I think it's tricky to measure and compare "interactions" between fish and animate beings (other fish) versus fish and inanimate object (structures). Also, way too many variables to consider! :shock:

MY theory--live plants are the best! Fish make as many "structures" as there are leaves and branches :-D Before I removed my overgrown aponogeton ulvaceous, it was like a ten bedroom mansion!

MOA 01-17-2010 02:49 PM

Lol, I'm sure my fish felt the same when my hornwort began to die off (too weak of lighting, so it never lasted very long). As to the precision of the whole theory, it is not meant to be a cut off line between no aggression and aggression. Instead, the spreadsheet offers a ratio based on what you think is ideal. I tend to be very idealistic and thus put the marker at 75% benign. Obviously, as MoneyMitch pointed out, 75% is not a necessity, just a suggested ratio. The theory does not so much point to a specific number as it does a specific trend: as the number of fish increases, the number of structures increases disproportionately (more than proportionately). Aside from this basic truth, a lot is going to depend on what the aquarist considers ideal. Personally, I do not just check that there is no obvious agression but also consider what would happen if something should go wrong (such a consideration usually implies that more structures will be needed). At the same time, I realize that not everyone would agree with me on this.

Perhaps the better way to phrase the question is whether or not my spreadsheet/theory works as a decent guideline? Do you think that new aquarists would be safe if the used the ratios I suggest? Granted, they may do fine at a lower number, but will they be okay at my higher number?

Hopefully that Helps,

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