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'Correct' stocking levels for community
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Houston, Texas

PostPosted: 2003.08.30(Sat)12:04    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kunnagh wrote:
Does this also depend on what kind of 'overstocking' you mean?

My newbie brain can think of:

Too little swimming room (Danios in a fish bowl)
Too little territorial room (Several cichlid pairs in a 12")
Too large a fish for the tank (Tinfoils in a 24")
Too much bioload for the ecosystem if something tips the balance (1 livebearer in a 24" *lol* )

The first two seem 'crueller' in the short term to the fish, the third seems worse in the longer term, assuming you start with a young fish, and the fourth is the one that looks OK until something goes awry. Or am I oversimplifying?

I think that experience counts for a lot (speaking as someone with very little), but what you don't want is to only be able to tell that your tank was overstocked with hindsight...

BTW, this discussion is great for me, 'cos I'm building the stock up in my first tank - great timing!


Good points! I like the breakdown of ways to overstock!!

I think that knowledge or experience will prevent the first 3, but the knowlegable and experienced fish keeper is more prone to the last one. Why-- because you can read in a book about how big a certain fish will get, sometimes, if you research, you'll even see recomendations on swimming room for certain fish. Territorial problems ought to be anticipated with some fish, that knowledge is out there, though there is more room for unanticipated trouble there.

But the bioload thing is unquantified -- it is influenced by the fishkeepers actions, so we think we can push the limit.

No, I take that back, the lines are so uncertain between excess and not excess bioload that until something goes wrong, everything is fine. You don't know you've lost the margin for error until disaster strikes.

Now I'm getting a bad feeling that this whole discussion is a big hint that I need to remove some fish before it gets too late! With 15 cardinals, 6 serpae tetras, 5 kuhlies and a pair or otos and a corie in a 20 high (well planted and highly filtered with large weekly waterchanges)-- I can't catch the kuhlies until I break the tank down when all of them go to the 60 gallon. I might could catch the corie and move him to the Q tank.

Yup, this has begun to nag me. Wish me luck!
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