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Old 03-13-2005, 08:02 PM   #1
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Inch per gallon

The recommended size of fish is an inch per gallon when stocking a tank. Does this take into account decorations that take up volume in the tank? I just put in a large log that looks takes up...probably a gallon or two in volume...is this going to affect the overall fish that I can safely put in the aquarium? What about a heavily planted tank? Should that be taken into consideration also? I've got a 130 gallon tank right now, and have 22 fish in there all a little over an inch in size. My betta is about 2 inches, but the rest are about an inch...Should I be worrying more about how "Comfortable" they look rather than going by the "inch per gallon" measurement?

Right now, they look very happy with lots of room to swim. But I don't want to be doubling my stock, or quadrupling my stock if it's going to start to get cramped in there.
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Old 03-13-2005, 08:14 PM   #2
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It's not only the length of the fish. You could have a 6 inch small bodied fish and a 6 inch large bodied fish and they would have very different tank requirements. However it is actual water volume not what the tank would hold without gravel and ornamentation.
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Old 03-13-2005, 08:15 PM   #3
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Any idea how to calculate that or do a rough estimate?
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Old 03-13-2005, 08:20 PM   #4
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No idea. Keep up with your water tests and keep an eye out for amm spiking to let you know you filter is not keeping up. I would think that with a wide bodied fish you should account for body mass and maybe count 1 1/2 to 2 inches for every actual inch in length. It sounds like you have plenty of room for more fish in a 130. 22 probably looks kinda empty.
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Old 03-13-2005, 08:41 PM   #5
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Well, it looks a lot better than the 10 I had in there last week...lol. But yes there's a lot of room for them to swim...and a lot of room where other fish could be added. I just don't want to over do it....Thanks for the input!
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Old 03-13-2005, 10:51 PM   #6
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The 1 inch per gallon rule has been pretty much bashed on this forum. It is actually just a guage for newbies. In our 55 gal cichlid tank we had 80 inches of fish. They weren't full grown yet so it didn't matter. Even then, it just depends on the type of fish that you have. I believe FancyGuppyGuy had 40 guppies in a 10 gal tank. They were all happy and healthy. It comes down to your own experience with YOUR fish. If you have 30 inches of fish in a 55 gal tank and they act like they are starting to become stressed, maybe it's time to take 1 fish out. If they are happy and healthy, add another.
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Old 03-14-2005, 05:50 AM   #7
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Alot has todo with the type of fish. I would study the types of fish and learn what their requirements are. Some fish require massive amounts of room while others are happy in smaller amounts. theres a big difference between cold water fish and tropical fish too.

For a brand new person 1" per 1-2 gallons will help them learn how to keep fish alive. once they learn the basics and understand their fish better then they can decide what is healthly for their fish and the size of tank they have.
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Old 03-14-2005, 08:01 AM   #8
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All these guys/gals posting are right on the money. The 1 inch/gallon rule is mainly for people who are new. With frequent partial water changes and good filtration, you could go to like 2 inches a gallon or even maybe higher. It all depends on the level at which your fish are swimming also. I know common plecos can get fairly huge, but even in a 55 gallon tank a common pleco with a shoal of 6 - 2 inch corries takes up about 20 inches of swimming space. thats 36% stocked according to the 1 inch/gallon rule with no mid or top dwelling fish, which would give the tank an empty look! Add some neons (say 15 or so) at 2 inches max each, thats another 30 inches added making a total of 50 inches already. 50 inches/55 gallons according to the rule would just about be stocked. I keep 10 neons in a 10 gallon tank myself. Even so, the tank wouldn't be complete with just 15 neons in it. Add some top dwelling fish, or another group of mid-bottom dwellers, and you'd be fine. The key to keeping fish is no the inch/gallon rule but it is how you monitor your ammonia,nitrites, and nitrates along with how crowded your fish will be when fully stocked.
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Old 03-14-2005, 03:01 PM   #9
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Yes, your input did help. I always thought it was how happy the fish looked when they were in there. Right now, they have a LOT of room to scoot around both vertially and horzontally, but it looks pretty barren....of course, I'm no where near having a fully stocked tank...

Is it just me, or are bettas one of the most unhappy fish on the planet? I just added a betta and he seems to be one grumpy little dood...not wanting to socialize, always finding a corner to sit in....He's like the shy kid in school that everyone avoided cause they wore bell bottoms...
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130 Gallon Aquarium, Ehem 2217 Filter, Supreme Skilter 400 Power Filter, 2 Flora Glow 30W Lamps
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LiveStock:
9 Neon Tetras, 6 Royal Black Emperor Tetras, 3 Head and tail light Tetras, 3 GlowLight Tetras, 4 Ottos, 4 Black Mollies, 2 White Balloon Mollies, 6 Scissor Tail Danios, 6 Mickey Mouse Platties, 6 White Platties, 12 Olive Nerite Snails, 11 Golden Clams, 3 Swordtails, 2 Panda Cories, 2 Elegan Cories, 1 Veil Angel, 3 Ameno Shrimp, 1 Baby Plattie
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Old 03-14-2005, 03:43 PM   #10
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Bettas are not really expecting very much room. That's why they are well suited to small bowls. They are not usually over active and don't need much space. He will probably find on spot he likes and stay there most of the time.
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