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number of fsh per tank

(13 Posts)
lentilbake Mon 26-Dec-11 13:04:32

Why is it that, even though an aquatic shop recognises you shouldn't have too mnay fish in one tank, their tanks are full of fish.

I've always been amazed at how many fish they have in each tank! I think my tank is overstocked as I have been given conflicting advice but I feel disappointed that my tank looks empty!

hohohEauRouge Mon 26-Dec-11 17:50:17

It's because they usually have a massive big filter system that all their tanks are hooked up to so the actual volume of water is quite large even thought the fish are in a relatively small space. Also the fish are only there for a short length of time.

It does give a false impression of how many fish you can actually have. There are some tricks you can use to make your tank look more 'full' without over-stocking it.

-Lots of plants/hiding places make fish feel more secure so they'll spend more time in the open water

-A large shoal of one species is better than smaller shoals of 2 or 3 species, as above they will feel more secure and there'll be more interaction so it looks busier

-If you are mixing different species then go for one for each level of the tank ie one bottom-feeder species, one mid swimming species and one species of top level swimmers. Then there's some interest at whichever part of the tank you're looking at.

- Don't forget the ones in the shop are babies! Some of them will get much, much bigger so will fill a space in a year or so.

lentilbake Mon 26-Dec-11 18:10:36

yes i just found something o nline actually that says the tanks are hooked up.
can i ask you something eaurouge?

when first looking at tanks i said i couldnt have a big tanke because of limited space in my house. i was shown two tanks, the first one i was told would accommodate 10-20 fish (I said i wanted mainly neon tetras and he said i could fit 10-20 in there plus some mollies (his suggestion)). the other one he said i could get 20-30 in so i went for that.

However, when i went to get my first fish (recommended platys, danios etc as first fish) i was told 10-20 in this bigger one, since then another recommended 18-25 so I am now totally confused! This latter person said although the one who said 10-20 is very experienced so he is probably about right he said there is a very good filter on my tank so should be ok with up to 25!

I have since seen there are other tanks with the same width and length but taller so i could accommodate one of those but i think longer rather than taller is better isnt it? I ahve the aquastar 6o which is a 54 litre tank and i ahve 6 neon taetras, 4 corydoras elogans, 5 calico platys and 2 guppies. Now i ahve moved house i could take a longer tank as long as i buy a cabinet for it as it wont go on the chest i am currently using

i do ahve lots of plants, i think thats part of the problem, i seem to see all plants no fish!

lentilbake Mon 26-Dec-11 18:16:54

last post menat to ask who is anyone was right about how many fish in a 54 litre tank? is my tank overstocked? Last person and this was before 2 guppies died said i could ahve another shoal or maybe two shoals of 4 fish!

i did consider the bottom middle top feeders etc but not got any top feeders yet and dont think i have room for any more fish

ideally i would like another shoal of platys (different type), so 10 -12 platys altogether, another 4 neons / cardinals, a plec (I think they grow very big though) and some mollies or silver hatchets so what size tank would you recommend for these (oh and the four corydoras I have?)

hohohEauRouge Mon 26-Dec-11 18:49:56

The general rule of thumb when it comes to stocking tanks is not to listen to anyone that can make money out of you grin Occasionally you do get a really good fish keeper working in a shop but in my experience most of them are crap.

Most fish geeks keepers will work to around 1-2" of fish per gallon. I try to stick to 1" per gallon because I am lazy and I don't want to do extra water changes. In your tank you have about 33 inches of fish (allowing for adult sizes) so about 3 inches per gallon. I would guess you are overstocked! Also the corys are shoaling fish so really need to be in a group of 6+.

For all the fish you want you would need a pretty big tank! I would say around 200 litres which would be about 4ft long. You are right that length is important <childish snigger> to give the fish more swimming space. Hatchets are very active so need plenty of swimming space and you are right that most plecs get massive. There are some smaller species but most would get big enough to make a snack out of your neons so I would probably avoid them.

Neons and cardinals are separate species, I'd stick to just neons if that's what you have already. Easiest way to tell is that the red stripe on a neon only goes halfway along their body, on cardinals it goes all the way along.

lentilbake Mon 26-Dec-11 19:14:49

thanks, i was told that corys are shoaling fish so dont have less than 4
this is the shop that won first place inthe best shop in the south east awards

they also never told me to do fishless cycle. they just said after setting up tank, wait 48 hours and then ahve some platys or danios which will prepare the tank for other fish

two memebers of staff ahve told me i will know when my tank is stocked properly cos it will look right!

the man who said 10-20 fish rather than 20-30 didnt know i wainted mainly tetras - when i told him the other man said 20-30 he said oh ok, not everyone wants small fish so with tetras it wont be too abd but i stil wouldnt go for many more than 20

i was really disappointed as i thought with tetras being so small i would need at least 10 of them to actually see anything! and i thought the tank would look pretty empty. but cos of what he said i just bought 6, as i also wanted some plecs or corys as i was told they would help keep the tank clean. with these 5 platys and 6 new tetras the tank did still look empty and also i was no longer very keen on the calico platys i had as i felt id dint ahve enough colour which is why i now want some more platys (the orange with black tail). when i went to buy the corys i noticed the guppies and they said i could ahve those as well so i bought four of them. when i put the eight new fish in the tank i though ooh yes thats lovely now, my tank looks full enough, but now that two guppies have died it seems empty. i amy ahve to get rid of my two remaining guppies actually as they are bullying my platys!

hohohEauRouge Mon 26-Dec-11 19:41:04

I can't believe the shop won best in the SE, they don't sound like they know very much about fish confused.

Corys and plecs don't help to make the tank clean, any livestock adds to the mess so the cleaning is all down to you (sorry! grin). Shoals are usually counted as more than 6 (or sometimes more than 8 for some very energetic species) because that way the aggression is spread out more evenly.

Have you done any water tests recently?

lentilbake Mon 26-Dec-11 19:44:00

did water test christmas eve no ammonia, no nitrates

lentilbake Mon 26-Dec-11 19:46:11

so in my current 54 l tank, supposedly with a super duper filter how many fsh would you recommend as a maximum? you should get a wage for advising on here so much lol smile

hohohEauRouge Mon 26-Dec-11 20:07:23

No nitrIte or no nitrAte? No nitrIte is good, no nitrAte is odd.

I've got a 54 litre tank and I'm about to stock it with 6 or 7 minnows, and that's it! Like I said, I'm lazy and I don't want to do more than one water change a week. If I were to keep neons then I'd have a max. of ten. 2 ft tanks are really best off with one species or maybe two if you were going to have a pair of dwarf gouramis and a shoal of otos.

I have kept corys in a 2ft tank and tbh they prefer more space, they are playful little fish. There would be enough space for the 'dwarf' species (habrosus, pygmaeus and the other one that I always forget).

I might start taking payment in chocolate grin

hohohEauRouge Mon 26-Dec-11 20:08:46

Hastatus, that's the other one!

Pajbum Fri 03-Nov-17 16:41:48

Hello, I've just recently got a 54l tank and want mollies guppies tetras and a bottom feeder how many fish (including the bottom feeder) do you think I could get?

bunnygeek Wed 22-Nov-17 13:33:10

Personally I don't like the size of fish > volume of water rule. It's been taken out of proportion and definitely doesn't work for a chunky messy fish like a Goldfish compared to a low waste producer like a Neon Tetra.

So for @pajbum whose resurrected this very old thread, there's no magic number but a 54 litre is a very small tank so you cannot stuff it with much. Livebearers like Mollies and Guppies multiply, Mollies are too big for a 54 litre really. And there are a lot of bottom feeders but don't think they "clean" a tank, they don't! Some will be too big or too active for a 54 litre.

Instead, do some species research as Guppies are notoriously fragile and there are loads of different types of Tetras.

You could have 5-6 male Guppies and a 4-5 Bronze Corydoras in a 54 litre for instance (although Corys need a soft substrate, no big gravel!).

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