the ppl at petco are telling me that i should only put 1 inch of fish per gallon in my aquariums. i know this will keep me at a good stocking level,but you all know i just want to go like 2 inches over. i was talking to some1 whos name i will not mention,who said instead of having 9 inches of fish in my 10 gal i could have 18. i just want to know what everyone else does. btw i can keep up on water changes very easily.
I heard it was 1 inch of fish per gallon too but i dont follow it lol.
Depends on the fish that are in the tank. If you have torpedo shaped tetras for example, they can be stocked with higher quantities as they are lower waste producers.
If you want to slightly overstock, make sure that you have good filtration in the tank.
In a new tank, less than 6 month old I would follow the 1 inch rule. Once the tank is weell established then you can think about "overstocking" but like has been said, it depends on the fish. I would not overstock with swords or platties because they produce a lot of waste. Tetras, especially the small ones seem to produce less waste and I actually have 18 noens and a glo lite in a 10 gallon tank and have never had a problem with ammonia or anything else and there are two Skunk Botia loaches in there also.
The main difference with my stocking is I have medium to heavy planted tank and the plants can help to maintain a healthy tank. This doesn't mean a heavily planted tank will let you stock 5 neons per gallon but it helps to break the rule and keep things in balance.
As for filtration, over filtering will help if you want to overstock but remember that fish need room to swim and some fish need a whole lot more than others. In the case of some shark, arrowana and baracuda, the size of the fish determines what size tank you need and filtration won't change this need.
One inch is the rule, but you have three things to consider. Type of fish, where they like to be in the tank, and bioload.
One inch of goldfish or pleco for example is a bad rule of thumb since they produce a lot of waste and can grow to be large and you wouldn't want a one 6 inch fish in a 10 gallon tank.
The other thing to think of is where the fish "live" in the tank. Do they stay at the top, middle, or bottom? If you divide up your variety of fish based on where they like to be, they will have more living space.
And lastly bioload. If you have an appropriate filter (not an undergravel), your tank is fully cycled/established, and you keep up on weekly water changes then you are more likely to have success with an overstocked tank.
Plants help keep a tank healthy, but do require some work. There is a product called Algone which is basically a plant in a pouch. I use it to have the benefits of a planted tank without all the work. I also mix artificial and live plants to fool the eye, it's very hard to tell.
I am overstocked. I have 17 beings in a 12 gallon. The rasboras stay more at the top, the danios/white clouds in the middle, the corys at the bottom, the snail and shrimp are all over. Everyone has their space, and without fail I change the water once a week.
What Andy or Sue said there is right. The only other thing to consider is that it only really works for small fish. You wouldn't put a 12" fish in a 12g tank, even though it doesn't break the "rules".
Andy&sue put it right, I wish I could have thought of the words but that is the basis. Like and rule, it can be broken and the fish won't suffer if done right.
When I was really overstocked, and i mean really overstocked. I have 14 copries on the bottom, 4 otos and 11 swords. The tank is filtered with an AC20 HOB which is slightly over filtered but not much. The key was a ton of fast growing plants, maily Wisteria. I never saw ammonia, nitrates nor any problems with stress and never lost a fish. Removed the Wisteria and I instantly saw the cories getting territorial and actually attacking the swords. It worked but it was still overstocked. Will I ever do that again, no way but is a prime example of where the laws can sometime be majorly ignored and still have a healthy tank.
(I did this before I started to come to forums and was told it wasn't the best idea. I feel bad for doing it but I don't feel bad for the fish because they were healthy and some of them still are 2 years later. )
ok i dont want to go wwaayyy over or anything. maybe 1 or at the most 2 inches overe the 1 inch rule,thats all.
Key to the old saying: If you never try it you will never know. But post your results. A weekly diary after oyu start something will help to debunk some of the myths and help us build a data base of fish that survive and do well aside from the 1" rule.
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