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Old 03-07-2008, 09:41 AM   #11
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A valid question Kurt and I wish we had an "easy button" to depress. As some of us experienced aquarists know, there are very few hard rules in this industry. No one may be stating any particular rules, but "inch/gallon" was brought up and is common mythinformation. How do any of us begin to understand what can and cannot be done? Well, we research. This may be a very generic answer, but databases, publications, and scientific 'works' are available that provide free information on fish specie representations. To a certain extent, much is guesswork in that you are forcing an animal to "behave normally" in an un-natural environment where variables are constantly being tested i.e. territory, predator vs. prey, locomotion, food, growth, aquaculture vs. ornamental, etc.

I know I am seemingly floating around the answer and probably because there is no easy answer. IME, the aquarist must educate themselves on the dynamics behind their system(s) and understand that specie behaviors play an intricate role in an "expected" outcome.

In a nutshell, it would be best to point a new aquarist in the right directions for self-knowledge and answer questions to a greater extent (medical implications as well) rather than simplified means such as minimum size differentials.

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Old 03-07-2008, 10:58 AM   #12
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We're really all saying the same thing. I just guess I'm not seeing the harm in giving a stocking "range" along with several caveats. (Make sure the minimum tank size for the fish is maintained, don't stock the same species unless mated pairs or you understand the risks of trying to mate them, take into account how the fish feeds (messy?clean?), etc.)

When I look back on my original "plan" for my 46g, I laugh at how many fish I had planned for in there. They were all size-appropriate for a 46g, but there were just too many. Then I started researching and ran across the variations of the "rules". After popping my eyes back in my head, I whittled down my list to a more reasonable goal. And as continual education goes, it got whittled down yet again as I started to stock my tank. I now have 3 chromis, 1 clown, 1 bangaii cardinal, and 1 y.clown goby in my tank. (About 2.5"/gal of full grown fish, if you're counting.) Even with an oversized skimmer and plenty of live rock, I think my tank is probably one fish over its capacity but will deal with it. I can't fathom the problems I would've had if I'd of tried to carry out my original (or even #2) stocking plan.

You're right though - "rules" that really aren't rules pervade all hobbies, industry... you name it. I think of the "rules" I use to do my job, and realize that only after having maybe 10 years experience do you understand when it's OK to break those "rules" or where the rules don't apply. Back in our hobby, look at the tank turnover rule: 10-20x your tank size, in gallons per hour... right? Well... after having MaxiJets and then switching to Koralias, I can tell you that 200gph out of a MaxiJet is NOT the same as 200gph out of a Koralia. We're using FLOW as a "rule" where we really should be using the water VELOCITY because that's what's really important. But should we throw out that rule? Personally, I'll still use it because it gives someone a reference - a good starting point - to explore what will work in their tank.

OK... I feel like I'm beating a dead horse, so I'll just sit on my hands now!

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Old 03-08-2008, 01:05 PM   #13
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Kurt you brought up a very valid point. I think we all have had hopes of schools of fish in our tanks. Those smart enough to listen to the folks who made that mistake years ago are still in this hobby. I know I go throug periods where I don't to tank maintenance as often as I should, or overfeed, so overskimming, lots of LR and a large volume of water have saved me. I consider my 125 fully stocked with my 9 fish, but so far it works and everyone is happy.
7" Sailfin tang
7" Foxface lo
4" Blue tang
3" A. percula
2" A. percula
4" Coral Beauty
3" Pajama cardinals (pair)
3" Green Mandarin
I miss my bi-color blenny, maybe I can add 1 more....
But I also miss my royal gramma
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Old 03-12-2008, 12:04 AM   #14
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Bioloads are dependant upon the type of system one is running. In salt systems with decreased oxygen levels try for a more realistic rule of 1 fish for every 10 gallons. Fish are small at first but they Grow! Also in most salt tanks there is more than fish contributing to the overall bioload! I see many folks overstocking and overfeeding and quoting inch per gallon statistics. I get calls to fix those systems alot! Read read read. Look for books with publication dates 2000 or newer. Also look at newerskimmer designs. You get what you pay for. I can tell ya Seaclones, Skilters, and Prizms are all junk!

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inch per gallon

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