Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Saltwater and Reef > Saltwater Reef Aquaria

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
Old 09-04-2004, 01:12 AM   #1
Aquarium Advice Freak
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 309
Does the 5/1 stocking rule really apply?

I often see folks mentioning the 1 inch of adult fish per 5 gallons rule on the board, but when I think about it, that's not very much fish: that would make a 30-gallon tank with 2 clownfish (adult size 3.5 inches) overstocked. When I look at everyone's fish lists, it seems like not too many people stick to that rule, or even close to it. So I'm wondering--is the 5/1 rule a worthy one? An ideal that few but hard-core reefers achieve? Too conservative?

I'm not trying to start any fights here--honest! I'm just trying to figure out what I should be thinking about in my own tank. I know I've got plans for more than 15 inches of fish in a 75 gallon and I don't know if I should think about cutting back--or if there are lots of long-term successful tanks that are "overstocked" by that rule.

75-gallon SW tank with 29-gallon sump
Euroreef ES5-3
2x Maxijet powerheads
Mag drive 9 return
Coralife 4x65 Lunar Aqualight
120 lbs rock from liverocks.com
1 peppermint shrimp and 1 fire shrimp (very shy)
2 black Ocellaris, Squish and Smudge
3 chromis, too identical to name as yet, in QT
10-gallon tropical
29-gallon with two goldies, Carrot and Orangehead
blorkiemom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2004, 06:31 AM   #2
Aquarium Advice FINatic
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Cochranville PA
Posts: 698
Many people do go over according to that " rule of thumb". I know that tanks are easier to maintain if stocked lightly. Overstocking means more frequent water changes, as well as the possibility of lower water quality. Some thing that can be done to bend that rule include aggressive skimming, and a fuge with macro to help with nutrient export. I think some of the people that have problems with cyano may also be overstocked. I can't prove that, but overstocking won't help

A lot of ripples make a wave
darb2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2004, 07:31 AM   #3
AA Team Emeritus
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,257
Send a message via ICQ to fishfreek Send a message via AIM to fishfreek Send a message via MSN to fishfreek Send a message via Yahoo to fishfreek
The rule is more of a general guidance for beginners. So many starting in the SW hobby are carried over from FW where youc an really pack them in like sardeens. I personally follow the understocked rule of thumb as best I can. I belive whole heartedly that its more benifical to your tank to have a low percentage of fish.

Another factor that goes into keeping a tank sucessful above the 5/1 rule as you put it is the combo of fish. One of the reasons the 5/1 rule exists is the natural hostility that is in most saltwater breeds as compaired to FW. If the types of fish are selected inappropratly then you will have alot of fighting for turf and stress on the fish where as if the selection is done carefuly you can have more fish and less fighting for turf and thus a tank that is more sucessful.
Remember dont tap the glass, your fish will think you're an idiot -Anonymous mother

Check out our articles area. 30+ Aquatic articles for your enjoyment
Are you in or around the Shenandoah Valley area? If so click here to join our regional forum.
fishfreek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2004, 08:39 AM   #4
Aquarium Advice Freak
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: quebec canada
Posts: 252
i was wondering, if you are overstocked are their any inverts, corals or man made technology that can help reduce the number of water changes you have to do and increase your water quality

philly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2004, 09:06 AM   #5
AA Team Emeritus
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 7,224
Send a message via Yahoo to Hara
there are all kinds of expensive pieces of equipment that help with water quality..same with chemicals. Of course, the best solution is still no overstocking, no overfeeding and a stuck to routine of water changes.
Hara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2004, 05:27 AM   #6
Aquarium Advice FINatic
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Omicron Persia 8
Posts: 693
Hehe, I've got a 1.5" clown and a young dwarf angel in my 55 reef. Definately understocked. But my 115g new display is mixing salt as we speak. I didn't want to buy anything for the 55 as that money would come from my 115 budget. Anyway, reg. the cyano note above. I've had a healthy fuge with caul. in it for some about a year and have never seen a hint of cyano and my glass algae is really light. This is with overfeeding, prizm skimming and tap water. Last week I was screwing around in the fuge and in the process really disturbed my algae. Overnight cyano bloom. Took me a while to figure out what happened, but I figure I had a huge nutrient dump from the algae. LIve and learn.

indy is offline   Reply With Quote


Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Exception to the rule??? ryshark Saltwater Reef Aquaria 5 04-30-2008 06:40 PM
Stocking Rule - Surface Area calculation BlueDolphin Saltwater Reef Aquaria 9 05-10-2006 12:28 PM
rule for gravel? tropicfishman Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 10 04-02-2006 09:39 PM
Fish per inch rule, does this apply to inverts? byrdman81 Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 1 05-15-2005 06:32 PM

» Photo Contest Winners

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:10 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.