I think it sounds like a good idea.
Sure there is controversy on how to stock a tank
but the discussion will be helpful. You can certainly give both sides as advice (Some stock their tank this way, while others feel more comfortable stocking that way...)
Obviously people are looking for guidance otherwise the "1 inch per gallon" rule wouldn't be invoked as often. It's the only advice out there for the newbie so to create a stickie with better guidelines would be a great help. It would also keep everyone from having to answer the same questions again and again.
Here are a few ideas to get people thinking.
Things that figure into stocking:
1. The amount of work the aquarist wants to do. For example, I know someone who put two FW
angel fish in a 90 gallon tank. He automated the lights with timers and filled an auto feeder once every two weeks. Not much work to do for that tank. Heavier stocking requires more work.
2. The experience of the aquarist. One with more experience will be able to recognize when things are going downhill in a tank faster than a newbie. Thus perhaps a newbie should stock more lightly to start off.
3. Filtration equipment. If someone has a lot of extra filtration on a tank then perhaps more fish can be happily housed in it. If someone has a canister on a 30 gallon would they be able to house more fish than for an HOB
? (I don't know the answer to this.)
4. Plants. Do plants affect stocking plans? (I don't know the answer to this either).
5. The type of fish. Large bodied fish need more tank space than smaller ones.l (e.g., goldfish need more tank space than a guppy). It would be good to give guidelines according to the kind of fish. One thing that always puzzled me was the concept that a fish is "messy." I didn't understand what that meant for a long time. As I take it, "messy" means that the fish consumes a lot of food and therefore produces a lot of waste. Big waste makers need more gallons to the inch than minimal waste makers.
6. Some fish are schooling fish so there should be at least 6 of them (e.g., tetras). I didn't know that you really should count on having multiples of some kinds of fish. In a stocking guideline this would be good to mention.
7. Tank size. Some fish need more swimming room than what can be had in a particular tank. For example two african ciclids make up about a total of 10-inches of fish. But to put them in a 10 or 15 gallon tank would be cruel because they need something closer to 55 gallons to be able to swim around.
8. Aggression. If a fish is more aggressive/territorial, then it needs more space in the tank, not just more hiding places.
9. Cold water fish vs. tropical fish. On the FW
side, I see people wanting to put goldfish or bettas in a tropical community tank. Guidelines should explain why these fish have different needs and shouldn't be housed together. I didn't understand the concept that these fish were different at the beginning. They are all lumped under freshwater so they should be able to be in the same tank, right? Wrong.
Just my 2 cents.