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Old 08-27-2009, 06:14 PM   #1
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Here comes the noob question...

I know there is a general rule of thumb as to how many inches of fish without tails you can have per gallon of water your tank holds... What is it?



ALSO, does that count for the gallons in just the display or does it count the volume in the sump as well?
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:31 PM   #2
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There is no credible rule like that in SW. What you have in your tank is based on size, If they are messy eaters and what type fish. Also your tank filtration plays in there.
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:32 PM   #3
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I believe there is an "one inch per gallon" rule, but I have read that 3 inches per gallon is a better rule. The experts here may have more solid advice.
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:38 PM   #4
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ok so about how many smaller fish... clown, gobie, etc.. fish will I be able to have in my (someday) reef?
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:44 PM   #5
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4-6 depending on what they are. I know you are looking for a clear cut answer but not to be ugly the answer is vague because the question is vague. I`ll tell you what you post a list of the fish you want and the people will have better answers for you. They`ll tell you if the fish will be OK in that size tank and if they are compatible with each other and others comments that need to be made. Good luck on the tank.
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:54 PM   #6
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Yes I know. I have been through this a little in the past but most of the knowledge I did have is gone now haha. I kind of know what to expect and everything depends on everything else. Thanks for answering to the best of your ability.
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:30 PM   #7
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I think the issues of compatibility and overall messiness (is that a word) of the fish are more important than the inch per gallon rule. Not to mention overfiltration, maintenance schedules....etc...etc....etc.. I could go on and on.
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:49 PM   #8
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Not really a question of just maintenance or water quality, but also territory, each fish needs to have an area to claim and defend. If you want to go inch per gallon, I would say 1" per ten gallons, JMO. Then just supplement purchase addiction with corals and some inverts.
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Old 08-28-2009, 12:00 PM   #9
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You'll find many books giving different figures, but for SW most fall in the range of 1" per 3 gallons to 1" per 5 gallons. That assumes full grown fish size... not the size they are right now. I think that's a fair rule to do some early planning for your stock list, just so you don't think you're going to put a ton of fish in there. But if you're going to use the "rule", you have to take into account the things that have already been mentioned. "Minimum tank size" is really important, as well as what type of eater/pooper the fish is. Some 4" inch are waaaay messier than other 4" fish, and should be stocked accordingly.

While I agree that any "rule" shouldn't be followed blindly, I still think they have their place in the planning phase of things.
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