Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Austin 02-15-2010 01:36 PM

Well, I know my fish tank is a little overstocked for what it should be...

6 balloon mollies
5 platies
3 guppies (2x female 1x male)
1 african dwarf frog (don't think this adds much to the bioload though?)
3 ghost shrimp (don't think this adds much to the bioload though?) 2 of them are white though.... so I don't know that they are going to survive anyways :/ so far they have, though, and I haven't seen the clear one in a bit... he's probably there somewhere though.

29g tank.

But anyways, I know that's probably kind crowded... ya...

I'd move them in with my angelfish but the last fish I moved in there....... turned into a casualty (and the others didn't look happy so I moved them). It was a black male guppy, bigger than one of the platies in with the angelfish (he's been living there his whole life so I'm not moving him. he seems fine :))

But my question is, if I change around 40-50% of the water weekly, firstly, will that be alright to change that much water? Will my fish be ok even though its a bit overstocked if I keep up with the water changes?

Secondly, it's not cruel to have that many fish inside of a 29 gallon tank? Will they feel crowded and unhappy? They all seem happy and I am keeping the water clean and under control so far. I felt kinda bad reading the other topic "ALL of my fish are dead or dying!!!!" that my tank was overstocked...

Angel079 02-15-2010 02:13 PM

What size is this Angel tank and who all lives in it???

Either once a week 50% or 2x week 25% to keep the stress of changing water lower on the fish.

What I really find anything but desirable on that very set up is the single frog; not only do they need groups but they're also needing some way different water then your Livebearers there and you either have the water for them coming from your tap water or for the frog's needs but not both.

I'd not necessarily call it cruel; just not ideal. Do you offer them hiding places, many plants to have visual blocks etc?

Austin 02-15-2010 02:57 PM

4 Attachment(s)
Thanks for the reply, Angel.

My angelfish tank is 44 gallons. I have 4 angelfish. One really large angelfish (he's the dad, and he's had 2 mates that have died), and 3 babies from his second mate. The babies are getting large though and catching up to him. It has:

The 4 angelfish
1 Blue Gourami
1 Balloon Molly (I've had her since I set up the tank, like 5 years ago! the pet store gave me her as a baby free. :-D)
1 Male platy
3 Plecostomus (Petsmart had them on sale for 1$ and we had one and my dad bought 2 more! Cus the tank had an algae problem and he didn't ask me... I'd prolly maybe have bought one more... all 3 are alive tho)

I attached some pics... I know that the 44g tank looks like crap atm.... I'd redo it if I could afford it.

50% is much more than 25% 2 times... cus It's like 25%, then 25% again... which is like in the middle somewhere like 37.5% of the total tank water gets changed.... idkk. Maybe I'll do the 25% 2 or 3 times a week... Right now I'm taking time off before college so I got nothing better to do, anyways. Though I worry 2 times might be more stressful than 1? :/ Or you think not? (I know that probably made no sense this last paragraph, sorry.)

But ya I think there's adequate hiding places, though they rarely hide... they always beg for food.

I attached some pictures of the decor in my aquarium.

And ya, I know the frog was probably a mistake to buy. I hadn't researched them and I saw it in the community section at the store so I thought it'd be fine... But he's made it a month so far and so idk what I should do with him... I can't set up another fish tank. :/ I'm afraid he'd probably get stressed and die at the fish store anyways... But since he'd been in there for over a month I think he's finding food. And sometimes I'll move him into the breeder box and put some blood worms in there and turn off the lights and they are gone later when I come back to let him out. He mostly hides in the rocks.

Attachment 8719

Attachment 8720

Attachment 8721

Attachment 8722

kelly528 02-15-2010 03:04 PM

Overstocked tanks have a potential to work, but special care needs to be taken to support the bioload. this involves

a) Making sure the filters are powerful enough (and have enough surface area) so that they can house enough bacteria and supply ammonia and nitrite-rish water to the bacteria fast enough so that the ammonia and nitrites are always 0.
b) Removing the nitrates as they get too high.

If you haven't already done so you need to purchase a liquid master test kit so that you can make sure all your parameters are safe.

Austin 02-15-2010 03:06 PM

What kind of test kit would I get? I used to always use the strips but i've been reading around here and it doesn't sound like that is what most people use... How much is a good test kit where I can get exact numbers? I'll need to save up for one. Can't afford it yet, but maybe in the future.

Angel079 02-15-2010 03:18 PM

Never mind then putting some fish over to the other tank isn't a option neither.

I'd reconfigure both tanks and let some fish/ frogs go back to the LFS.

How's 50% water more then 2x25%? If you have a 1g jug and exchange 0.5g water (being 50%) or 2x 0.25g water (being 25%) 2x0.25=0.5g......Doing larger w/c and more often is a must in these tanks there.

Also I'd strongly consider a LOT live plants to help maintain a good water quality as they filter the water through as well.

Just whatever you're doing there; keep in mind that surviving and living adequate & happy is 2 different things;-)

Ditch these test strips they're about as accurate as me looking at your water and reading parameters to you. I'd strongly advise you to invest in a liquid test kit (eg API or Tetra). You can get the combo set at Walmart from Tetra for like $18.

Austin 02-15-2010 03:28 PM

How many times will an 18$ test kit test my water?

Is it possible to keep my fish happy in my 29g tank, or are they just going to be "surviving"? :/

And what I mean with the water changing thing is, that if you do it 2 times a week

the first time you have:

25% new water
75% old water

the second time you end up taking out:

25% of the 25% of new water... 6.25% of new water
and 25% of the 75% of old water... 18.75% of the old water

so your really only taking out ermmm 25%+18.75% = 43.75% of the old water I guess.

Anyways I'm making no sense, but the 2nd time around you change the water, you drain out some of the new water as well from the 1st time in the week, so in all you end up taking out less of the old water. It probably all mixes in though so it doesn't matter. :p

Angel079 02-15-2010 07:06 PM

Heck I donno maybe you can read that up on any online pet shop. My last kit with having 7 tanks lasted me for some 3 yrs. And I doubt you have that many tanks in your house and/or test weekly like I do.

I think to create a more happy habitat there I'd add live plants do more w/c and when the occasion arises work on that stock (as in giving some away rather then adding to it).

MOA 02-15-2010 07:14 PM


If you are interested in specifics as to exact quantities of water that need to be changed, etc, then you can use one of my stocking calculators: HMF Home (MOA's: How Many Fish?, Stocking Freshwater Aquariums)

No less, you have already been given some pretty good advice ;).


iamntbatman 02-15-2010 07:16 PM

That 29g has a lot of decor. So long as you keep up with the water changes you should be fine. A good way to measure the amount of water you should be changing is just to see how much the nitrate climbs every week and adjust your water change so that nitrate doesn't continuously increase.

I'd be more worried about the 44g, as four adult angels in there is really pushing it and if you're talking about common plecos, they'll get much too large for a tank of that size.

Each individual test in the liquid test kits lasts a different amount of tests as they use different drops, but I believe even the ones that go the quickest (i.e. require the most amount of testing solution per test) still last around 100 tests or so.

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