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Old 11-27-2013, 12:35 PM   #1
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Article on stocking

This is an interesting take on stocking. This certainly goes against conventional wisdom, but it's something to consider.

Stocking levels
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Old 11-27-2013, 02:07 PM   #2
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Excellent - well found sixtyfou

I especially like it because it backs up may thoughts I have had since working in the fish farming industry. Many of the past thoughts and theories go out the window!

If you have good enough filtration, you can really push the boundaries... often it is just ethics of what we consider enough room (coupled with common sense of course) that stops us putting fish in what we consider to be too small a tank.

I think back to my 15 gallon tank when i was a teenager. I had fish in there that most people on this forum would be too high a stocking density, but they were very healthy, well coloured, well fed etc. A well looked after undergravel filter was all I needed
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Old 11-27-2013, 02:29 PM   #3
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I'm using traditional guidelines for now, but I have a vision of a really showy tank at some point. I'd be willing to change the water a lot, and it would look cool.
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Old 11-27-2013, 02:30 PM   #4
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Interesting... but kind of reads as a plug for this person's stocking calculator. I have to disagree with most of what is presented there (and I tend to stock on the heavy side). I just don't think that formulas can really take into account what all should be considered when stocking your tank. Furthermore, I think that formulas/calculators/etc. draw attention away from things you really SHOULD take into account... for example, have you chosen a species that is a picky eater with a species that is a voracious eater? That makes the picky eater even more difficult to feed. Have you chosen fish that occupy the same area in the tank? You might not be overstocked, but the fish that occupy that certain area will be crowded.

And a thought on fish farms/lfs tanks.... yes, they certainly do have a high density of fish. But IMO using them as an example when the topic is a typical hobbyist's tank is ill-advised. While you can certainly get healthy fish from lots of sources, you certainly do get some BAD batches from the wholesalers sometimes (from personal experience and lfs jobs). I have no way to prove it, but I'd just about bet that overcrowding plays into it somehow. If nothing else, high densities of fish that are stressed is a recipe for any disease spreading like wildfire.
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Old 11-27-2013, 03:25 PM   #5
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I agree with S. Mama but found this to be the most important part of the article:

"Taking this into account, our guides are actually very cautious and you could probably stock more fish but it is always best to under-stock than over-stock.

And finally - None of this is correct, these are guides, not rules To get a real figure of how many fish your tank can house this is what we need to consider:

Aquarium volume. Fish size. Fish weight. Feeding frequency. Feeding quantity. Protein content of food. Food type. Filter flow rate. Filter media surface area. Filter sponge size. Chemical filtration type and capacity. Water change frequency. Water change amount. Water temperature. Plant coverage. Plant growth rates. Carbon dioxide fertilisation. Additional aeration. And more... "
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Old 11-28-2013, 05:13 PM   #6
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I've read a few of the articles on that site now. It has some good information. They seem to address a lot of views with out getting to lengthy.
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Old 11-28-2013, 05:47 PM   #7
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I think this article skims over many factors that change the " acceptable" stocking levels of a tank. Bottom line, common sense will do your fish more good than harm. Do the fish look crowded? Don't add more, subtract some! Do the fish fight often? There's too many in there and they need more space! Do the water parameters hold steady without abnormal fish keeping practices? If they do and the 1st and 2nd things I mentioned aren't happening, you are probably correctly stocked. The need to do massive weekly water changes should be taken as "You got too many fish in the tank!" Back in the day, ( Yeah, I know, I'm old!!! LOL ) we maintained healthy stocks of fish in our tanks just doing 10%-15% of volume water changes, once a week. IMO, if your tank isn't capable of being maintained this way, it's overstocked. Doesn't matter the size or decor or type of fish.

As for the 1"/Gallon guideline, this was where common sense needed to be applied. No, you shouldn't keep a 10" Oscar in a 10 gal tank but you very well could keep 10 adult neon tetras in that 10 gal tank.

That's my opinion on the subject
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Old 11-28-2013, 06:33 PM   #8
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Tried it and got almost double, looking at oversized externals? Not sure I got that right?
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Old 11-28-2013, 10:52 PM   #9
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I have some doubts about over sizing filters. One of my rigs is pumping more water than I think is right.
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Old 11-29-2013, 01:40 AM   #10
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Andy, I like your points. I'd never suggest an established tank be changed once a week. I like that he dares to venture from the mantra. So much advice caters to the lowest keeper, and it's impractical for them.!
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Old 11-29-2013, 07:35 PM   #11
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I'd almost always suggest that an established tank be changed once a week. Fish like clean water. My fish grow larger and breed more often with more frequent water changes. Right now I'm routinely changing more water than ever before in my fishroom, and my fish are doing better than ever before.
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Old 11-29-2013, 08:00 PM   #12
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My views and MO.

I use the apparently antiquated gas exchange method. It makes absolute sense to me.

If the power goes out, few problems using this method. You will end up with a nice view with a range of fish in a community setting, all of my current tanks work on this principle except my puffer tank.
Oversized filters can help with waste levels but, I'm a modern man, modern technology fails, a full stock tank relying on equipment are most likely going to fail with terrible consequences at some point.

If you don't respect animals just keep adding fish.

I use filter output to tune the turnover, fast, slow etc. also I use additional filters for a fail safe method. (Fish are worth more to me than a more expensive filter)

Species should be the most important consideration, if a fish likes space give it space. If it is sensitive to nitrogenous waste keep the numbers low and/or volume high.

In the UK commonly ten times tank length is a rule that is advocated by a few magazines and sensible shop staff, even this has flaws. I use it in most cases when selecting fish as it is sensible to a degree.

A question I ask is, why is the maximum number of fish always considered for the minimum suggested tank size for the species?

We (most of us) all know more space is better.
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Old 11-29-2013, 08:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by severum mama View Post
I'd almost always suggest that an established tank be changed once a week. Fish like clean water. My fish grow larger and breed more often with more frequent water changes. Right now I'm routinely changing more water than ever before in my fishroom, and my fish are doing better than ever before.
Andy, define abnormal Fishkeeping practices?

I pretty much agree with you SM.

My water changes are well over the recommended 10% a week or even 25%
All of my tanks see fresh (I mean clean) water at least twice a week. Normally dividing the week in half. Some tanks sometimes only go every other day or similar over the odds effort, new stock in a cycled tank.

Fish in cycle(beginners boo boo) twice or more a day. That was normal because it was necessary.

SM will probably agree with this, it isn't abnormal to spend part of everyday changing water on one or more tanks. Sometimes a whole day disappears on the task.

It is normal, maybe insane, but normal for me, I worked my way up, it's abnormal not to be cycling water through tanks. I feel bad if I don't do it.
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Old 11-29-2013, 08:34 PM   #14
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Just my meager two cent's worth is KUDOS to the Aqueon or Python water changing hoses. After so many years of bucket hauling, these things are awesome. The old saying, " A chore made easy is a chore done often". Much to the health of our fish! OS.
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Old 11-29-2013, 09:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Scales View Post
Just my meager two cent's worth is KUDOS to the Aqueon or Python water changing hoses. After so many years of bucket hauling, these things are awesome. The old saying, " A chore made easy is a chore done often". Much to the health of our fish! OS.
Got to get one! Just done 200 litres with buckets out then back in... Had an extra slice of banana cake to recuperate.
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Old 11-29-2013, 10:28 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.Mcpeak View Post
Andy, define abnormal Fishkeeping practices?
Abnormal to me is intentional overloading of fish stock, the need to do massive water changes to make the water safe for the fish, relying on chemicals to do the work of water changes, incorrect mixing of fish stocks ( i.e. keeping goldfish with tropical fish). As you even stated, using these "antiquated methods" seem to have better results when the power goes out which says to me, they are a better method. At least they give you a better chance to save them in that event.

The water changing practices I learned WAYYYYYYY back when and mentioned before were taught to my by my Mentor who, besides owning a little pet shop in NJ, was also a certified Ichthyologist. 12 years of schooling!! What made his little store so unique was that every fish that was sold in the front of his store was bred in either the back of the store, his home or eventually my house. I spent 10 years breeding fish for his store and eventually other stores to sell. I never did more than a 10%-15% water change weekly and I had enough fish to keep his place full. Maybe times were different then ( early 1960s- early 1970s) and the water quality from the tap may have been different than today's water but that was all it took back then. I eventually moved to FL in 1974 and opened 3 fish hatcheries between '74 and 1987 and continued to use this method with great success even tho the PH and hardness of the water was very different from where I came from. This is why I still practice this method on my tanks today. And I am back to breeding fish again as well.

Hope this explains things better
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Old 11-30-2013, 04:36 AM   #17
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I'm really surprised so many people are doing weekly water changes on setup tanks. I have to question the wisdom there. If your breeding I get it, but otherwise,that seems foolish.
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Old 11-30-2013, 05:57 AM   #18
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I try to change water once a week. I use my nitrate reading as a guide for how much water I change. I look for a weekly balance of nitrates. Right now every Sunday I have 10ppm nitrates so I change about 30% if I have had a week where I have fed a little bit more than normal nitrates are up at the end of the week so I change more water. If I have fed normally and my nitrates are up I know my canister is due a clean. If my nitrates are up and I have cleaned my filter and fed normally I know my stocking levels are not right.

If I want a fish that is sensitive to nitrates I will either buy another tank or remove bioload from the current tank.

I can't deny that my fish seem to be a lot happier after a water change. It's just trying to find the balance. If your nitrate readings increase faster than your plants can use them (assuming you have live plants) then you are going to have to change water at some point.

In the wild it rains. Fresh water is added from a stream from where it has rained.

Also sixty if you are going to imply that the act of carrying out weekly water changes is an act of a fool you need to explain why. This will help the 99.9% of people that keep fish can be re-educated and helped on the right path.
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Old 11-30-2013, 06:24 AM   #19
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As I've said in other threads. I'm a testing water changing fool. What I do is extreme. A well stocked established tank shouldn't need to be changed weekly.
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Old 11-30-2013, 06:27 AM   #20
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If you tank NEEDS weekly changes, you messed up.
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