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Old 05-13-2010, 03:16 PM   #1
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AqAdvisor - How Legit?

This is not a site plug, but a discussion of the merits and limitations of a tool...

If any of you haven't heard of AqAdvisor.com I suggest you check it out. I saw it linked in a thread here and I have been plugging in different stock combinations ever since. Personally I really like it, even if it is useless as a tool it's just fun to think of different stock combinations!

I really like it but I am unsure how much I should trust it. Obviously it is a web tool and this hobby is so fickle, that no matter how you formulate your tank ideas you could put it all together and have it crash and burn. For example, I had a freak tetra that killed all my other docile fish. No website could predict that, and I don't think even the most experienced fish keeper would either!

So that being said, how accurate of a tool do you think this is? Do you trust its recommendations? Do you notice any issues with it or anything it doesn't take into consideration?
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:23 PM   #2
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I played around with it, a while ago, and didn't really like what I was seeing. It was saying that my angelfish would eat my neon and diamond tetras. Said that my 30g long tank with an angelfish, 5 neons and 5 diamonds and a few juvenile guppies was overstocked?! This was a while ago so things may have changed but I'm not sure if I would even trust it at all. There is too many things you cannot predict with fish keeping.

I think of it as a way to get out of doing research, which I STRONGLY feel everyone should do before buying anything for their aquarium. I know it didn't get into detail about keeping male/female ratios for multiples of the same species or anything like that.

Sure it is fun (I guess) to mess around with but I just don't think it is really all that practical.
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:26 PM   #3
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personally i kind of hate these kinds of tools. people stop learning the basics and understand how things work out. like the inch per gallon i think it gives people a false scene of security. on the other hand..... it has to be better then some of the stuff lfs tell people.
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:40 PM   #4
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It always tells me I'm way overstocked...even up to 220% on one of my tanks.
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:54 PM   #5
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It's very conservative, but I'd rather see that than have the calculator tell me I can keep an oscar in a 10g. If you're new to the hobby, it's a better place to start then the 1" per gallon rule.
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:56 PM   #6
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I like to use it as a loose guide to stocking levels, there is a place on there where you can give feedback from your experience. I'd rather be understocked than overstocked though, and I always ask around on here for my ideas that are floating around in my head.

P.s., it sucks that they don't have all the species I have been researching, however, because I would love to see them on there. I.E Red Wag Platies
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Old 05-13-2010, 04:46 PM   #7
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I'm glad you guys think it lands on the conservative side. It was stocking up pretty quickly! For example it said 11 Tiger Barbs were almost 60% of the stock I could keep in my 30g, I thought that was a little high. In reading the FAQ I noticed it said it was conservative about manufacturer's filtration ratings, but not too much about stock levels.

I wish there was an AqAdvisor that would show all the fish swimming around so I could really see for myself what all the different combinations would look like

Of course I would only use it as a loose starting point. I've been in the hobby long enough to know that until you really do the research and corroborate from multiple sources you just don't know what you're getting into.
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Old 05-13-2010, 04:58 PM   #8
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I messed around with AqAdvisor again for the first time since it came out. It says my tanks are 173% and 268% overstocked. I have an AC70 on my 29g and an AC30 and AC50 on my 20L. The tanks are a little full, but the water parameters are never bad. I'd say the filter ratings could be made a little less conservative.
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Old 05-13-2010, 05:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylorodw View Post
I wish there was an AqAdvisor that would show all the fish swimming around so I could really see for myself what all the different combinations would look like

I know! I wish it did too, there is some feature where you can get an "image" and I thought that is what it was. Nope just crappy list image. There was some other site too where you could "build your tank" to see what it looks like, but they only had a pic of like a betta, some crappy plants, and gravel. Someone should make that !
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Old 05-13-2010, 05:02 PM   #10
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Also I guess I shouldn't worry too much about the overstocking then, because I was going by that as far as overstocked. It doesn't say anything until my tank is "150%" or so overstocked. I pretty much have been using this forum and some articles for my research
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Old 05-13-2010, 05:54 PM   #11
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I think it is a nice tool for beginners. It allows them to get an idea of what they can have in their tank. Compatibility can always be an issue with certain fish. I've seen angels eat every occupant of a tank before, so that might not be a good fish to add to a partially full tank, especially if it does become aggressive and you have no place to move her.

I'm all for providing easily accessible information to those who are getting started. Conservative is better for that group since they tend to over-estimate their abilities or the capabilities of their equipment.

It won't be as beneficial to advanced hobbyists who have practial experience and lots of practice.
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Old 05-13-2010, 06:21 PM   #12
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I've played with it but don't give it much stock (pardon the pun) It tried to tell me that synodontis catfish (featherfins) aren't compatible with african cichlids(mbuna) .
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:14 PM   #13
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I've played with it but don't give it much stock (pardon the pun) It tried to tell me that synodontis catfish (featherfins) aren't compatible with african cichlids(mbuna) .
I'm not sure specifically about the mbuna, but I have a Synodontis with a blood parrot cichlid and electric blue dempsey and they get along without any problems. In fact, I'd say the electric blue, which is sometimes the bully of the tank, is afraid of the catfish. They're all somewhat juveniles rigfht now, though.

As far as AqAdvisor goes, the stocking capacity it gave me for my 55 gallon tank was FAR different from the very reuptable people at my lfs.
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Old 05-14-2010, 06:07 PM   #14
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The syns and mbuna come from the same lake system. That's why I find it hard to believe they wouldn't get along (not to mention I've seen them in tanks together). I have 2 of them in our 120 with 2 JDs, 2 Jewels and crap load of giant danios, 3 pictus cats and 1 common pleco. Everyone co-exists perfectly (now that we moved the firemouths out) More people were worried about me mixing jewels with the JDs but pfffft, I've always done that and never once had an issue. The syns are some of my favorites out of the catfish family.
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Old 05-14-2010, 07:03 PM   #15
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I am according to AQ advisor.....647% overstocked in one tank and 900% overstocked in another.

guess more then two angels and 5 discus in a 210 is overstocking.
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Old 05-17-2010, 01:48 AM   #16
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I played around with it, a while ago, and didn't really like what I was seeing. It was saying that my angelfish would eat my neon and diamond tetras. Said that my 30g long tank with an angelfish, 5 neons and 5 diamonds and a few juvenile guppies was overstocked?! This was a while ago so things may have changed but I'm not sure if I would even trust it at all. There is too many things you cannot predict with fish keeping.

I think of it as a way to get out of doing research, which I STRONGLY feel everyone should do before buying anything for their aquarium. I know it didn't get into detail about keeping male/female ratios for multiples of the same species or anything like that.

Sure it is fun (I guess) to mess around with but I just don't think it is really all that practical.
Hi there,

I'm not sure when that 'while ago' was, but AqAdvisor does evolve quite a bit. I have been improving the accuracy of DB weekly for a long time now.

One thing you have to keep in mind is that everyone's experiences will vary. I receive hundreds of feedback every week, and I tend to go with safer end of the spectrum when it comes to warnings. I've received enough users who says their Angels ate their neons that I had to add that warning at some point. I have many other similar examples as well.

But I agree that nothing will beat research. Use it as a guideline, not a bible. This tool contains thousands of real user experiences built into it now. I am adding some every week. Still, I cannot cover every single situation. Common sense is always useful.
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Old 05-17-2010, 01:51 AM   #17
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personally i kind of hate these kinds of tools. people stop learning the basics and understand how things work out. like the inch per gallon i think it gives people a false scene of security. on the other hand..... it has to be better then some of the stuff lfs tell people.
That's the downside. It's a bit too easy to use AqAdvisor and get results.

The positive side though, is it will let users become more creative. I've seen hundreds of examples where they come up with all kind of potential stocking plans which they check against their forums. It is being used to quickly narrow down bad combinations and unsuitable tanks.

Just like everything else, there's pros and cons. If you can leverage just the pro side of all things, I think you can come ahead.
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Old 05-17-2010, 01:53 AM   #18
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It always tells me I'm way overstocked...even up to 220% on one of my tanks.
Then I suggest that you do look into your current stocking more carefully. Why not post it here?

I get criticized on both ends of the spectrums - too conservative and too aggressive. If you are getting 220%, there is a small chance that few of your species are mis-configured in AqAdvisor DB. Either way, it would be helpful to see your stocking in detail. In the best case, your stocking is ok and I get to fine tune the species further.
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Old 05-17-2010, 01:53 AM   #19
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It's very conservative, but I'd rather see that than have the calculator tell me I can keep an oscar in a 10g. If you're new to the hobby, it's a better place to start then the 1" per gallon rule.
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Originally Posted by logansmomma1228 View Post
I like to use it as a loose guide to stocking levels, there is a place on there where you can give feedback from your experience. I'd rather be understocked than overstocked though, and I always ask around on here for my ideas that are floating around in my head.

P.s., it sucks that they don't have all the species I have been researching, however, because I would love to see them on there. I.E Red Wag Platies
+1 to both of you.
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Old 05-17-2010, 01:55 AM   #20
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I'm glad you guys think it lands on the conservative side. It was stocking up pretty quickly! For example it said 11 Tiger Barbs were almost 60% of the stock I could keep in my 30g, I thought that was a little high.
I need to explain one thing about this case. When you see 60% level, that means your current stock requires 60% of your tank. Think this case - 20 neons may be ok in your 20g tank, but that doesn't mean 1 neon will be ok in 1g.

If you continue to add more fish at 60% level, you will find that the rate of increase will gradually go down. Try filling it up closer to 100% and you will see what I mean.
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