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Old 04-01-2014, 08:40 PM   #1
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Fish space

How do they determine how much space a fish needs? I know with freshwater you can do the 1 inch of adult size per 1 gallon as a general guideline but you can't do that with saltwater.

I'm asking because my lfs has several beautiful types of fairy wrasse in but they all seem to need 50 gallon tanks but only get 3-3.5 inches. Is this all a behavior thing? Are these requirements still needed if it would be the only fish in the tank? Thanks.

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Old 04-01-2014, 08:43 PM   #2
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The inch per gallon rule is horrrrrrible for even freshwater. Some fish are more active then others. Some need larger territories. Some put out more waste. If you want to know how much you can put in your tank, put a list of fish you want on here and let someone with experience tell you a good stocking list.
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Old 04-02-2014, 12:25 AM   #3
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What size tank do you have?
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Old 04-02-2014, 01:18 AM   #4
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Fish space

IMO/E 1" per gallon is an unreliable guesstimate. It will all depend on the fish (both species and number of) bioload (from fish and planted/unplanted) filtration, feeding habits and WC's and the amount of effort you want to put aside to make all these things work out.
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Old 04-02-2014, 01:54 AM   #5
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There really is no way to determine fish space that applies to all fish. I would look at the species you really want and research things like size, how much waste they put out, how much swimming space they need, and aggressiveness. Then, see if they are suitable for your aquarium. It is also a good idea to ask people who have kept those species so you know what you are getting into by keeping certain species of fish.
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Old 04-02-2014, 01:31 PM   #6
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I think that swimming behaviors are the biggest factor in the suggested tank sizes you see. What I have found over the years, is that going bigger is much better than trying smaller. You will see different sites make different suggestions for the same fish. My take on that is they are hoping to sell you a fish that will probably be okay for a while and by the time issues arise, you aren't blaming them. I like liveaquaria as a guide, but I don't agree with them on everything.
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Old 04-02-2014, 01:40 PM   #7
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I have a dozen fairy / flasher wrasses so I can help if you can tell me what size tank you have.
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Old 04-02-2014, 05:15 PM   #8
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The tank I have at home is only 10 gallon so way to small. I was really just wondering how they determine what space something needs and who decides it. It was more of a curiosity question and less of a needing help question.

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Old 04-02-2014, 05:17 PM   #9
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They swim a lot, so longer tanks are better for them then short tanks.
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