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Old 01-08-2005, 11:22 PM   #1
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Here Comes the Rant! Topic: Overstocking

I'm somewhat mad at the way people act when someone shows a tank with a large bio-load.

Yes its nice to help them and explain to them that they could possibly be overloaded. My issue is those that post: ARE YOUR KIDDING? IS THIS SOME KIND OF JOKE? ...It makes me mad when I see this...So they didn't know better explain a little and maybe they will change their tank's stock.

I would like everyone to know that the 1 inch per gallon rule is a bunch of bull and anyone who has looked a little deeper about stocking a tank knows this.

The main things I believe your stocking relies on is your filter, your water change level, and the type of fish.

I have a very healthy guppy tank that is about 12 gallons with near 50 fish in it. The tank has had at least this many guppies in it for about two years now with no major problems.

Please be kind when people post and try to help them not belittle them or ridicule them.

Please keep in mind that when you think something is overstocked it may very well be your opinion and yours only.

Oh yes...I'm not trying to yell at anyone...

I hope everyone has a great new year and the best of luck to all of you with your aquariums
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Old 01-09-2005, 12:30 AM   #2
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If you test your water and know your tanks limits and needs then your not really overstocked Just well informed!!
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Old 01-09-2005, 12:39 AM   #3
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Old 01-09-2005, 03:34 AM   #4
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The real problem arises when aggressive, water parameters and/or illness take hold in an overstocked tank. Sure, if you know the 1"/gal is nonsense, that's fine. However, for a peaceful, tropical tank, that rule works out okay. Since people come here for advice, we advise.
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Old 01-09-2005, 05:22 AM   #5
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Yep PK, I tend to agree. All tanks are a lesson in overstocking when compared to 'natural' conditions and we just stock tanks to the level that they will take, which is very dependent on filters and fish types and general tank proceedures. With new people it pays that they have lower stocking levels or they will get into trouble. More experienced people are likely to get away with higher stocking levels. I stock the tank to whatever seems to be working and take little notice of any inch/gallon rule, but I don't really stock very heavily as it tends to be a bit more work
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Old 01-09-2005, 06:57 AM   #6
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For someone who is new to aquariums the inch per gal rule is a GOOD starting place because most of the time they don't know to test their water or that some fish are more aggressive than others- once they learn more then they can go from there.. until then its a good rule

I know what post you are talking about and that is an isolated insident, you got mad at peoples reactions... while I got annoyed at the original post... it ways one where the person tried to get a reaction

I digress...
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Old 01-09-2005, 07:34 AM   #7
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But an inch/gallon of fish is often too many for someone new to fish of course - esp when talking about the teensy US gallon
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Old 01-09-2005, 09:09 AM   #8
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Well the poor guy did take a beating on that thread. I think he left himself wide open to it though with the choices on his poll. I mean the last one was, "You're a moron and you shouldn't keep fish". That led me to believe that the post was more for humor.

But to get back to your point PKTester, AA is a very friendly place. Flaming is almost non existent here and the vast majority of posters are patient and courteous.
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Old 01-09-2005, 09:50 AM   #9
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I also believe you can succesfully overstock your tank, but i think when you get 'angry' or bad reactions, it's because the people that react see fishkeeping in a different way. I for one enjoy having a light stocked tank where i know my fish have enough room so they don't have to worry about other fish chasing them, getting beat up,.....
If you wish to keep many fish in little space, please know that there are always going to be people who disagree, because they have a different view on the fishkeeping hobby.
My goal isn't getting as many fish as possible in as little space as possible.

JMHO
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Old 01-09-2005, 10:01 AM   #10
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Re: Here Comes the Rant! Topic: Overstocking

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Originally Posted by PK Tester
I would like everyone to know that the 1 inch per gallon rule is a bunch of bull and anyone who has looked a little deeper about stocking a tank knows this.
Finally. The voice of knowledge manages to break free. Thank you for expressing (in a much nicer way that I usually do) the simply ridiculous way that people cling to this nonfactoid. I'm tired of screaming at my monitor. - Frank/Guppyman®
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Old 01-09-2005, 10:30 AM   #11
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I agree with you for those experienced in the hobby. Otherwise the stocking gidelines are good to follow for those just getting started. To me it is a guideline more than a rule developed for those new to the hobby so they do not start off on the wrong foot and lose interest in the hobby.

As for the other thread, I agree with Brian, Lance is looking to get a rise out of people I believe in a humorous way.

I have always overstocked based on the "guidelines" just look at my current SW setup. If you compensate with other factors then you can be very successful.

If lance was new to the forum and the poll was set up different then I think you would have seen a different reaction from people myself included.

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Old 01-09-2005, 10:38 AM   #12
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Quote:
I would like everyone to know that the 1 inch per gallon rule is a bunch of bull and anyone who has looked a little deeper about stocking a tank knows this.

Quote:
For someone who is new to aquariums the inch per gal rule is a GOOD starting place because most of the time they don't know to test their water or that some fish are more aggressive than others- once they learn more then they can go from there.. until then its a good rule
both are excellent views...even with modern filtration systems with their high capacity, it is just not possible to maintain a stable tank with a high bioload WITHOUT FREQUENT PWC'S...the problem is that it is a closed eco-system...
just a little fact...the filtration system can convert the wastes into stable nitrates, but even nitrates in higher levels can be stressful for most fish...so u have to flush the nitrates eventually...

so the fact remains that pktester or frank or anyone with 'many fishes in a small tank' has to do frequent pwc's...and for anyone who is lazy enough not to do those, it's just asking for trouble...

another major issue is aggression...if u keep guppies in a overcrowded tank, it should work out well...try to just pack a pair of breeding kribs or angels with them...and pow...
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Old 01-09-2005, 10:46 AM   #13
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Water changes

Quote:
Originally Posted by tetrin
so the fact remains that pktester or frank or anyone with 'many fishes in a small tank' has to do frequent pwc's...and for anyone who is lazy enough not to do those, it's just asking for trouble... - Quote edited by Guppyman®
Excellent point. There is always a price to be paid. If I have 50 to 60 adult guppies in a 10 G tank - you better believe that I'm doing a 25% water change daily. Also, keeping that many fish in a 10 G. is by no means the norm and I certainly do not recommend for those who don't have the time, energy, committment (and water testing kit) to actively monitor and maintain that type of bioload in a tank. Lastly, I'm not "bragging" that I keep that many fish in a tank and I wish that at times I didn't have to - but sometimes you just do. Remember, as always YMMV. - Frank/Guppyman®
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Old 01-09-2005, 11:05 AM   #14
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I think you would have known it was a joke if you looked and saw the 10+ MTS. and the 40+ Japanese snails. Where on earth would they have been...lying on top of each other?

I saw the post while at work, laughed and left it alone.
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Old 01-09-2005, 11:17 AM   #15
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After getting some experience (in months, not weeks), I have no problem with people going over 1 inch/gallon. Most of the people that get bagged on for being overstocked are people that are NOT likely going to be doing daily water changes and testing enough to maintain suck a high load. I feel confident that I could keep over 20 fish in a 10g tank if they were the right fish, because I would do PWCs often enough to make it work.

Most of the time when people bring up overstocking in a thread, the original poster already has a problem! We get tons of thread like, "Hi, I have these 40 fish in a 15g tank and they keep floating at the surface or getting infection but I keep replacing them because I get a good deal at the LFS. What is wrong?" Or the thread is like, "My new 10g is running great, the Goldish and Pleco get along perfect with the Baby Oscar I have!"

The 1 inch/gallon rule is simply a GUIDELINE preached to people with new tanks, or ones that need to get some experience. Or sometime it is preached to people who have CONSTANT problems with their tanks. At some people, it can really help when an experience fishkeeper smacks them down and says, "You have WAY too many fish, you are causing your own problems! Back to the LFS with some of those fish!"

Quite simply, encouraging new/inexperienced people to stick to 1 inch/gallon saves fish, and saves frustation. Very, very rarely do experienced fishkeepers get feedback that they are overstock, if they have already shown the ability to keep fish alive. Guppyman could stuff as many Guppies as he wanted in a 10g tank, and I trust that he would only keep them in there as long as he could maintain healthy conditions... No one every tells me my tank is overstocked, however I better if I put 10 more Platys in there, and start having trouble with the tank I would get some feedback that it was overstocked.

People get feedback based on how much experience we think they have, and how they have represented themselves on the forums.
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Old 01-09-2005, 03:00 PM   #16
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In my belief, Overstocking your tank is not an option. People believe that just because the fish are living in those conditions DOES NOT MEAN that they are thriving in those conditions. YES the one inch per gallon rule could just be thrown out, but newbies need to have a guideline like that, IMO newbies should have a understocked tank more like 2 gallons per inch. When they get the hang of in slowly increase that to 1 gallon per inch and possibly less than that. It also depends on the species you are talking about. Some fish like tetras need more swimming room, even though they are a schooling species. I just got done saying in another post that 40 tetras and other fish in a 30 gallon would not work! Its irresponsible, unethical, and frankly I hope people get laughed at for it, ESPECIALLY ones that are experianced, newbies have an excuse, we do not.
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Old 01-09-2005, 03:41 PM   #17
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Overstocking doesn't necessarily mean having 40 tetras or guppies in a 30 gallon tank. You can overstock if you pay attention to the habitat and general area that each species will take as it's territory. It can be as simple as having 2 angels in a twenty gallon (recommended that each angel have 10 gallons at the least) and have a school of 6-10 cories. Then add a pleco (the smaller kind like a gold nugget or rubberlip), some snails, some oto cats, and maybe two african dwarf frogs. Now, that tank would be overstocked, but everyone has their own space to swim in and nobody is bumping into eachother. The water perams can be kept pristine, and I agree that a tank like this would need to be kept by someone with either a little more experience or the willingness and dedication to work and learn a little more.

However, it is best for inexperienced people to take it one step at a time. No use jumping into the deep end if you don't know how to swim It will only discourage them from this wonderful hobby.
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Old 01-11-2005, 03:26 PM   #18
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Bravo to all. I watched that thread and laughed every time someone new posted. LanceM was looking to get everyone riled up. It worked. I didn't post in it because I didn't have anything nice to say and all the not nice had already been said. I have seen some cut-throat forums. This one is not like that, I wouldn't still be here if it was. PK for the most part what Lance got was constructive critisim. I'll admit a few did push the limits but Lance asked for it. All in All AA ROCKS
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90 gal
9 L. Cearuleus
5 C. Moorii
4 P. Acei
2 N. Venustus
2 I. Sprengerae
1 unidentified Mbuna
1 Peacock with a slightly deformed tail.
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Old 01-11-2005, 04:31 PM   #19
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The whole problem with discussing "overstocking" is that we tend to think in terms of human comfort, not fish comfort. We, as a species, have a territorial imperative that is far different from most aquarium fish. Case in point. If you've ever been to a commercial trout hatchery you'd see fish so tightly packed together that swimming in place is all they can do. Most people might feel sorry for the conditions of the trout, yet the hatchery is providing the ideal conditions to maintain the growth and health of the fish. Some fish actually do better in close conditions.

The reason for the 1 inch per gallon rule is not fish comfort but fish health. An experienced aquarist understands that he/she is dealing with a closed ecosystem and the water quality issues take precedent. With many species, if you can provide the right water conditions it makes no difference how crowded the tank might seem.
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Old 01-12-2005, 01:12 AM   #20
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Overstocking??

LOL...I so totally agree with many here...

#1) overstocking is more than inches per gallon....

#2) habitat, territory, species should all be taken into consideration.

#3) The 1" per gallon rule should NOT be used for fish that get larger than 2" at adulthood...that's what that "guideline" is meant for. I would never, ever advocate putting a 10" oscar in a 10 gallon tank...as stated, its a guideline...and one that should NOT be used for new fishkeepers. Most new fishkeepers don't even consider adult sizes...they count how big the fish is NOW. (oh, btw...I saw the cutest, tiniest clown loaches today...can't I put 20 of them in my 55 gallon tank? *kidding*)

Take it from someone with a 125 gallon 6' long overstocked tank...there's so much, much more to overstocking than some silly rules or guidelines.
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