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Old 10-29-2006, 01:19 AM   #1
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46 gallon stocking question

OK... my first fish (O.Clown) is out of my quarantine tank and in my main 46 gallon. Woohoo! Next week I'll probably start hunting for Royal Grammas at my local fish stores. Which brings me to getting everyone's opinion on stocking levels.

Some say 1" per 2 gallons. Some say 1" per 5 gallons. I'm guessing it greatly depends on your individual setup, but with no experience I'm not really sure what the correct stocking level is for me, and I don't want to find out the hard way! My setup is a 46 gallon bowfront with about 65lbs live rock (lots of nooks and crannies, very open) and about a 3-4" sand bed (60+ lbs or so). I've got a Remora Pro skimmer, and all the other pariculars are in "My Info."

How's this sound...

(1) O. Clown
(1) Royal Gramma
(2) Bangaii Cardinals
(1) Yellow Clown Goby

I'm pretty sure this wouldn't tax my system too much.

What if I wanted to add (3) schooling Chromis (probably blue-green, or something that doesn't get over 3 inches long) to the above list? Too much? Maybe if I just go with (1) Bangaii and leave out the Clown Goby, then the (3) Chromis would be OK?

Originally, when I started planning, I was thinking I'd go with (1) clown, (1) Royal Gramma, (1) B. Cardinal, (3) Blue/Green Chromis, and (1) Dwarf Flame Angel. But after reading about the Flame's tendancy to nip coral and since I eventually want to add some low/medium light corals, I'm rethinking that plan.

Just thinking for the future. I'm going to be adding a fish every 4-6 weeks so I've got a while to rewrite my list several times over again!

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Old 10-29-2006, 01:39 AM   #2
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I would say that 1" per 5 gal is better but you are correct that individual situations are different. For ex. you PWC schedule, feeding, refigium use, protein skimming....all play a role. The fish may not be crowded but to many nutrients can lead to algae blooms along with other issues.

However, I must admit I do not follow the " rule. Think about it, 2 3" Clowns would be 30 gal? Keep in mind some fish are thicker and make more of a mess than others and that all plays in. I think your list looks fine but I know nothing about cardinals as far as compatibility.

I would stay with a Goby but that is because I love them. I think you will be fine with around 5 small fish and if everything goes well for months maybe 6 small. I think 6+ is to much. fish. I will probably get grief for saying 5. If you maintain good PWC's. you should be ok.

I think you will do well since you display patience. Add them slow and adjust as you go.
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Old 10-29-2006, 05:50 PM   #3
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IMO it should be based on the fish themselves. I know sometimes we use a inch rule and that`s ok to use sometimes as a guide but also sometimes a closer look at the fish itself would help us to devise a stocking rule. You gave some good examples there Mike.


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46 gallon, 6 gallon, stocking

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