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Old 08-19-2005, 09:32 PM   #1
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1" per gallon rule

THis is currently one of the most controversial subjects on this site. Some people stick to it as a rule that has to be followed no matter what. And yet others completely ignoring, stocking however many fish they like as long as their water chemistry is in check.

I just want to hear what everyone things of this "Guidline".

My personal opinion: its a good guidline for beginner aquarist or those who don't want to spend a lot of time cleaning up. I believe it can be pushed if you are careful about what you stock and how you care for your tank, filtration, plants.. etc.

Everyone used to tell me that my tank was overstocked.. but my fish look great, eat good, and i haven't had a death in months. Ive traded in some fish to the LFS yes.. because i like fish.. i like variety, and personally i don't get attached to all the fish i buy. My ideas change and i always want something different. I am at this poing contemplating adding even more fish.. just maybe some more loaches for my one lone clown loach

anywayj ust state your opinoins, experiences, and referenceses..
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Old 08-19-2005, 09:55 PM   #2
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opinion - doesn't make sense to me. todays filtration systems are too good. however, too much overcrowding does lead to stress and consequent infections. but sensible overcrowding can be done. sometimes a necessity in mbuna tanks.

experiences - always have flouted it (except in my QT). not intentionally, just happened.

reference - any good book on fish-keeping for beginners and experienced aquarists .

pisces - be in peace

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Old 08-19-2005, 09:58 PM   #3
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I think it's a good general rule to stick with for most fish...but it all depends on the species. The ADULT size must always be used, and not the present size. Meaning, you can't put 5 2 inch angelfish into a 10 gallon tank. Some would say "Well, 2 inches each, times 5 fish, that's 10 inches for 10 gallons!" Doesn't work that way.

However, you could have 4 mollies in a 10 gallon tank, and a few cory cats, and ultimatley have more than 10 inches worth of fish in the tank. (say 2 inches per fish, and a school of 4 small cories = 12 inches)

That's my thoughts on the subject. 8)

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Old 08-19-2005, 10:03 PM   #4
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It is often been mentioned that it is a guide and only that. What has happened is folks will mention it as a rule instead. It is a good suggestion for the beginner...since it has everything to do with the initial bio-load of the tank.

Once the tank is mature, the bio-load is no longer a concern. Filtration and maintenance (PWC's, testing, etc.) become more important.

As DT states, some fish should not be ignored from the rule...others can. A good balance should be maintained never the less.
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Old 08-19-2005, 10:49 PM   #5
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yea, just a simple rule of thumb, certainly not a lawe to be ethced in stone, but good for noobs to follow. it is not universal, as discus require much more room than what 1" per gallon can provide.
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Old 08-19-2005, 10:52 PM   #6
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I would just like to add that it also depends on what kind of fish you have.. you wouldn't want 60" of cory catfish in your 55 gallon, but 25 inches of corys, 25 inches of Tetras, and maybe a pleco, and a few large ornamental fish would be just fine... thats how i plan on doing mine, right now i have 6 corys and 8 tetras.. but i want more corys and tetras to really fill it out. Plus my 3 angel fish, but everyone gives them wide birth.
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Old 08-19-2005, 10:54 PM   #7
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hehe i just done and blew up that rule, i have a way overcrowded tank, but my fish are happy
29 Gal Planted Community
Filstar XP2 | HOB Topfin 30 | Pressurized CO2
Plants : Wisteria | Amazon Sword | Sag. Subulata | Pennywort | Cabomba Green
Fish : Angels | Corycats | Rainbow Shark | Harlequin Rasbora | Red Tailed Shark
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Old 08-19-2005, 11:09 PM   #8
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It depends on filtration.

If you have bare minimum (small filter, low oxygen, etc) 1" PG is an OK guideline.

Now... (I will use ponds as examples as ponds you deal with LARGE fish, just to get my point accross).

How many 2' long koi can you fit into a pond thats oh? 3000 gallons? Not that many. Using that rule you can fit something like 125 fish in that pond that are 2' long. I dont think so.
Again it depends on the size and kind of fish.

Normally you could put around 10 koi into a pond that size. Now, I know of someone who has so many koi, that when they all come together in one group you wonder how that pond is big enough for all those fish (50+ fish at least, all 2' long).

Following all the "rules" you could not do this. And just looking at the pond you wouldnt do this. This pond is, overstocked.

But, the good thing about it is they have so much filtration it cancels out the overstocked part of it. They have a couple large filters, they have a pond devoted to plants (plants are a great filter as well) running to the main pond, veggie streams (Streams full of plants that help filter the water).

Its a perfect pond, with way too many fish than you would put in there if you didnt have tons of filtration.

Bottom line- The 1" per gallon guide is a guide for a new, basic setup tank. This approximation will vary from the size of the tank, the kinds of the fish, the size of the fish, and the amount of filtration availible.
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Old 08-20-2005, 12:33 AM   #9
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Virus started a thread in the lounge about this very thing. (S)He wants to create a sticky for stocking guidelines for newbies. Check it out and add your ideas. 8)

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Old 08-20-2005, 12:40 AM   #10
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interesting topic... similar except he wants to know what everyone thinks on particular species.. i guess it all boils down to how you feel when you look at the tank, and of course water chemestry.. ask yourself "do my fish looked cramped, stressed, unhealthy, lethargic???" and i guess that will give you your answer. i look at my tank and see lots of extra space and very happy fish, i add fish slowly and im sure i will know when its full.
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Old 08-20-2005, 09:39 AM   #11
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I agree with what has been said so far. It is a guideline, no more, no less.

I work in a pet store, and I give this guideline to people all the time. The experienced aquarists will know their tanks well enough to judge for themselves, but it's a lifesaver for the dorks who want a 10 gallon tank with 5 angels and a dozen or more other fish.

Just like any other guidelines, some people think it's God's law on a tablet of stone, others think it was created for everyone but them.

Look at pregnant women and due dates. Less than 4% of women will actually give birth on their due date. It's a guideline. But to some women, that date is IT. Don't even think of making a phone call, the baby is due that day. Other women think in terms of two or three weeks leading up to the date. Almost no one thinks of the two weeks after LOL.

Anyway, everyone needs a guideline or two when they start something new, and a person's personality and self confidence will often dictate how carefully and for how long they cling to those guidelines. Some people live more comfortably in a world with clear boundaries while others thrive on winging it.

Good discussion Ashley. By the way, love your new avatar


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