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Old 12-27-2017, 07:22 PM   #1
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Overstocking small fish?

Hi all!

I've started a tropical tank recently in my 140L blue planet (35 or 37 gallons I think) after a long struggle with goldfish. I love them but i couldn't seem to keep them happy.

I was hesitant to give tropical another go because I tried a 70L tank with guppies and a beta (separately) but I kept getting fungal diseases.

Anyway, I sun bleached everything in the bigger tank and slowly started adding fish once it had cycled, and everyone is healthy and happy

My current set up is:
-10 neon tetras
-10 Cardinal tetras
-8 rummy nose tetras
-10 tiny ember tetras
-1 dwarf gourami
- ~13 red cherry shrimp that don't seem to be breeding

I've been using AqAdvisor (http://aqadvisor.com) for help, which I find really useful as it doesn't just use the 1 inch rule, plus it's got recomendations on compatibility and how many to keep in a group Etc.

My goal is to get a starlight bristlenose pleco, I'm talking to the local aquarium who's helping me hunt one down. They've provided great fish so far, no sign of disease or anything.

My question is: with this set up, would it be fine to go slightly over capacity? Putting in my tank parameters I underestimated quite a bit to account for gravel and decorations too, so my stocking level with the pleco would take me to 103%.

I'm happy to leave it at that, but I recently saw some cherry barbs and was thinking of adding 6 at some point, but this would take the stocking to around 120%. Is this a bad idea? Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-28-2017, 03:58 PM   #2
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You are fine. Have you seen how these fish school in the wild? They school by the thousands. You just have to have a good canister filter and do weekly gravel syphoning.
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Old 12-28-2017, 04:45 PM   #3
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You can probably pull off your present situation for a while, as long as you change out at least 50% of your water weekly. Youve got to be careful. A crowded tank invites the possibility of a fast spreading disease apocalypse. All it takes is the water quality to slip, or the addition of one new weakened fish for things to suddenly go south. I've been known to crowd out my tanks and have gone for years with no problems, but sooner or later Murphy's law kicks in and then you have the Ick / Oodinium or Columnaris outbreak. An over stocked tank severely complicates treatment and greatly increases the chances for a total tank wipeout. I like your selection of fish. They aren't big waste makers, stay small,and swim in tight schools.
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Old 12-28-2017, 05:10 PM   #4
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I agree with V227. Overstocking can be handled with frequent water changes but overstocking also puts everything on edge and one small problem can kick off a big one. Epoole.j says these tetras school by the thousands in the wild; yes they do but in the wild they have major river systems to swim in, not a 37 gallon tank. It's not the crowding, it's the waste matter accumulation that is important.
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Old 12-28-2017, 07:52 PM   #5
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I say don't buy pleco. You can overstock with small fish. They don't have too much of a bio load. Just keep checking your water for Amonia and no3 and no2 and you will be fine.
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Old 12-29-2017, 03:10 PM   #6
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If you want to add the pleco I would take out two of the four schools of tetras
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