Stocking Guidelines for Newbies

Written by

aapic 19

Tips for the freshwater first timer. Choose fish, plants and equipment.

This article is contrubuted by Aquariums Advice member Coolchinchilla

The usual guideline out there for newbies is the “1 inch rule” (e.g. one gallon of water for each inch of fish). I remember being told the “1-inch rule” followed by the statement that “it was a VERY general rule so not to follow it too closely.” ??? huh? So you give me a rule then say it is a very poor rule at best? So what fish can I have? What other things affect how many fish I can have? I had no idea. I was certain to make a mistake. And I did. I had a 15-gallon tank with a 6-inch ornamental goldfish, 2 corys, 2-3 swordtails and about 8 guppies. All of these fish died and I felt terrible. Now I know that this tank was VERY POORLY stocked. I would have loved better guidelines than just the 1 inch rule. It would have made better sense to me and those fish may not have died.

One thing you will soon learn is that opinions differ widely as to how many fish you can keep in an aquarium. Many features come into play. My goal is to give a few more tips to the NEWBIE. This is not the absolute law to stocking by any means. As you, a NEWBIE, get more experience, you’ll learn where you can nudge the guidelines so you can have more fish in your tank.

Before I get into more specifics, I want to encourage you. You’re here trying to learn more about becoming a good aquarist. Maybe you’ve come to AA because of problems with your tank like I did. You are to be commended! YAY for you!! Keep reading, you’ll appreciate it and your fish will appreciate it. Keeping fish is FUN and many people here are happy to help.

Reasons for having a properly stocked aquarium:

Filed under Articles, Freshwater.