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Old 06-18-2012, 12:09 PM   #1
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Stock Calculators - Friend or foe?

I know a lot of people here like linking stock calculators, because to be honest they are pretty neat.

The one I use tells you, by what filter you put in, whether or not you need more filtration, and what % your filtration is at. Like, say a filter meant for a 75 gallon tank is put on a 100 gallon, it will tell you in bold letters that you NEED more.

You add the tank size, or dimensions, of the tank you want or have, first. Then the filter, and then the fish. They have a HUGE list of fish to choose from (some of which I'm sure I wouldn't find) and then you add how many you want.

At the end, it gives you a % of how stocked you are. Anything under 100 is good, over is bad. But.. is there a limit to how far this goes, especially for an uneducated new fish enthusiast?

Say a person has a 75, but a few larger species that they want share the bottom. Now, in a large tank like that, generally that would be fine, except the layering. At best it should be heavily stocked, maybe to the point of being overstocked, but just fish wise, the calculator could say, 75%. I know better than this, but would a new hobbyist?

So what do you think about these programs? Great starting guide, or new hobbyist trap?
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Old 06-18-2012, 12:18 PM   #2
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I think they are a so-so resource. Like you pointed out, they are a good place to roughly "sketch" out your stock but will overlook a lot of compatibility issues. Also, a lot of the recommendations/suggestions are just plain wrong.

Nothing beats doing your own research.
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:14 PM   #3
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Stock calculators are frenemies (or however it's spelled). For beginners it's are a friend who'll help guide you into the correct path of properly stocking your tank. BUT then as you become more comfortable and experienced in maintaining good water .... it's like that overly involved friend who tries to control everything ... hindering you from stocking your tank the way you really want!
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Old 06-18-2012, 04:09 PM   #4
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Yeah.. like with mine this is what it gave me:



I'm pretty sure since 4 of those fish inhabit the lower middle and bottom that it's either at capacity or over. So once they all get to full size, I'll probably do one more upgrade if it looks cramped. But as low as 68%?

I like it, too, because it tells you also if some of the fish need special things. Like with the rainbows, it tried to tell me that they need more than 4, but since I have 4 of each type, and they mix school, I have 8.
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Old 06-18-2012, 04:59 PM   #5
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More faux than friend... IMHO
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Old 06-19-2012, 05:38 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by mfdrookie516
More faux than friend... IMHO
Do you mean foe lol. I guess they could be considered kinda fake
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:20 AM   #7
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Yeah it says I'm stocked to 158% if I have one male betta in my 5 gallon tank without anything else. I think these are more helpful for slightly larger tanks. It put me over 200% if I had 3 guppies in my 5 instead. And everyone is right, these stocking calculators are more of a guideline, not gospel.
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