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michealprater 12-17-2002 12:31 AM

fish load question
How much do shrimp impact the fish load. I have plenty of room for more fish in my 100 gallon. (I have about 8 to 9 inches of fish, Im allowed 20).

I have a pair of maroons (one large, one medium) two blue damsel(about 1 inch each) yellow tang (small, maybe 2 inches) and a neon dottyback(medium). Several corals, snails and hermits. three cucs. pair of coral banded shrimp, pair of harliquin shrimp, pair of peppermints.
So how much room do I have left?? I was thinking on getting a flame angel and a powder blue tang.

Bob Ashcraft 12-17-2002 08:50 AM

Re: fish load question

Originally Posted by michealprater
How much do shrimp impact the fish load. I have plenty of room for more fish in my 100 gallon. (I have about 8 to 9 inches of fish, Im allowed 20).

It sounds like you're saying that your tank can support 1" of fish per 5 gallon. While this may or may not be true, the only correct way to determine a maximum fish load is to somehow, (and I'm not quite sure how to do this) calculate how much waste your biological filter can process. You then need to determine how much food it would take to produce that much waste. Finally, how many fish that amount of food would support.

I'm not sure where this 1"/5 gal rule came from, but there are so many variables involved, that it should be taken with a grain of salt...

So, to answer your question, it would depend on how much you need to feed the shrimp.

fishfreek 12-17-2002 10:15 AM

Inverts in general have a very small impact on bioload. Many of them are scavengers and there for acutally consume food that the fish may have let float bye.

As far as the 1 in 5 rule I dont know where it came from either just that it seems like most of the books and such that I have read over time have made refernce to this.

Not only is the waste load a factor but also the oxygen content in the water. Overall saltwater holds less oxygen per gal than freshwater.

How much less? I dont know. Since I dont have a lab in my house to test such things.

reefrunner69 12-17-2002 10:28 AM

I think the 1"/5gal is a good rule for beginners to keep them from overstocking there tank. I also agree there are too many variables to say it is correct. If you have a whisper 2 filter with no other supplamental filtration, you obviously can't do 1"/5g on a 55g tank, where you might be able to do it on a 10g-15g. I have a 65g predator tank, it has 2 fish. By the rule, I should be able to keep 13" of adult sized fish...right? Well I have approx 40" of fish in that tank. See, ya'll thought I was understocked untill you found out how big they were. Two fish approx 40", 65g. The fish in question do not swim a whole lot (predators don't generally speaking) they also have little compatability issues, they'll either eat it, or leave it alone. My wet/dry is more than capable of handling the waste load from the fish. So you can see the rule did not apply in my case, but I can think of several species of fish that due to compatability, energy levels, need for space, etc...where you would only keep 3"/5g. Basically I'm saying, until you are experienced with your tank and your fish, it is best to follow the rule, but it really is just a starting point.

targaboy78 12-17-2002 01:32 PM

Hey Michael,

I am not sure where I read it... but a wise man once said;


michealprater 12-17-2002 01:35 PM

Thanks guys, thats kinda what I thought. I was just kinda curios how the fish load calculator worked. That explains it. But, would you feel comfortable adding a flame angel and powder blue tang if this was your tank? Its just an opinion question.

reefrunner69 12-17-2002 01:37 PM


where you would only keep 3"/5g.
That should read 1/2" per 5g, don't know how the fingers typed that... :oops:

Toomanyfish 12-17-2002 02:49 PM

The flame angel would be fine IMO, the powder blue is iffy. As much as I like that fish, I have read that they are rather difficult and I don't know how well it will do with a yellow tang already in residence.

BTW, how do you like your harlequin shrimp? I think they are awesome shrimp, but I'm leery of them because they eat only starfish.....
How often do you have to feed yours? Do you feed them the whole starfish or just parts? (I've heard of people doing that....)

michealprater 12-17-2002 03:07 PM

I really like my harliquins. From what I can tell they are a very hardy shrimp too. I feed them chocolate chip stars. Although these star fish are not reef safe, the shrimp contains them so that they cant get a shot at eating anything in my reef. I feed them one small chip star once a month. It usually takes them about two weeks to eat one. Then they go two weeks without eating. I do this to keep them very hungry, that way when I put a chip star in the tank, they are quick to contain it and it dont get to my reef. I have my lfs stock these chocalate chip stars and they go for 4-5 dollars. I figure 5 bucks a month to feed these critters aint bad at all. I would recommend these shrimp to anyone with a reef tank. However they can be kind of pricey.

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