stocking advice

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stocking advice

Postby jennifer o » Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:00 pm

hello, just after a bit of advice please.

i currently have an 80l tank which has 1 guppy, 7 platys and 4 neon tetras.

i also have a 200 l which has, 2 mollies, 5 platys, 5 harlequins, 2 plecos, 1 chinese algae eater, 2 dwarf red honey gouramis, 6 black phantom tetras, and 6 cory cat fish.

I want to put the fish in the 80l into the 200l however im not sure if this would mean it will be overstoocked. can anyone help me with this one. many thanks :)
200l tank - 6 black phantom tetras, 1 golden chinese algae eaters, 2 pleco, 5 harlequin rasboras, 5 platys, 2 silver mollies, 3 panda corys

80l tank - 3 platys, 1 guppy, 4 neon tetras, 2 red honey gouramis

still learning
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Re: stocking advice

Postby san-ho-zay » Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:36 pm

What sort of plecs are they? Common, bristlenose? Something else?

Chinese algae eaters can be problematic as they get older.

My gut feeling is that the 200 litre is quite significantly overstocked -- take out the two plecs and CAE at their adult size and it's probably just over. The 80 litre is probably at the limit or just over.

If you can confirm the species of plec we could do some numbers.
Richard
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Re: stocking advice

Postby jennifer o » Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:13 pm

hi thanks for the reply.

wow i didnt think i was overstocked, seems loads of room left .

well the plecos are common, only around 3 inches in size and the cae, ive had him a while now i got him off a friend so hes about 3 years old, i assume full size, hes about 6 inches long

hes actually a really well behaved boy, apart from trying to dig under everything lol.
200l tank - 6 black phantom tetras, 1 golden chinese algae eaters, 2 pleco, 5 harlequin rasboras, 5 platys, 2 silver mollies, 3 panda corys

80l tank - 3 platys, 1 guppy, 4 neon tetras, 2 red honey gouramis

still learning
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Re: stocking advice

Postby san-ho-zay » Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:48 pm

The thing is the common plecs get quite big:

80 litre:
1 guppy @ 5cm = 5cm
7 platys @ 7cm = 49cm
4 neons @ 4cm = 16cm
Total 70cm

200 litre:
2 mollies @ 8cm = 16cm
5 platys @ 7cm = 35cm
5 harlequins @ 5cm = 25cm
1 CAE @ 15cm = 15cm (normally 20cm+)
2 common plec @ 30cm = 60cm
2 dwarf gourami @ 5cm = 10cm
6 black phantoms @ 4cm = 24cm
6 cories @ 6-8cm = 36cm
Total 211cm (minus CAE and plecs = 136cm)

Using the old inch-per (US) gallon rule, you get 50cm (20") for the 80 litre and 135cm (53") for the 200 litre respectively. Using the surface area rule that tends to be preferred as a guide on this site, I'll guess tank dimensions and you'd get about 65cm in the 80 litre and 150cm in the 200 litre.

Platys and mollies can get to 10cm, but I've used a widely used size of 7/8cm, so the 80 litre is pretty full. The potential size of the common plecs does the damage on the 200 litre and these are fish well known for not respecting the size of their tank. You need six-foot tanks for adult plecs really.

The fish are probably not adult size at the moment so it's no reason to panic, but some concerns for the future.
Richard
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Re: stocking advice

Postby jennifer o » Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:01 pm

yeh ive seen huge plecs in fish stores... when that day comes ill either get a bigger tank, or find a new home for the big guys

think it will be a few years yet though :)
200l tank - 6 black phantom tetras, 1 golden chinese algae eaters, 2 pleco, 5 harlequin rasboras, 5 platys, 2 silver mollies, 3 panda corys

80l tank - 3 platys, 1 guppy, 4 neon tetras, 2 red honey gouramis

still learning
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Re: stocking advice

Postby Carylnz » Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:04 pm

What are the actual tank dimesions Jennifer? I don't think you are overstocked at all, off hand, and some of those sizes for adult fish quoted by san-ho-say seem a little large to me. Perhaps your fish sizes differ to ours though.
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Re: stocking advice

Postby Dxmum » Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:32 pm

Hi Jennifer

I had a sailfin plec as a baby, (before I realised how big they grow :oops: ) and eventually up graded to a 180l tank, and she still out grew that. She was my favourite fish and I therefore kept her as long as possible before deciding to rehome her. Problem was whilst I had her I had to restrict what else I had in the tank, and when I tried to find a home for her it was sooo hard. There are so many plecs out there that have out grown tanks and nobody wants to take the bigger ones on. I eventually found a LFS that was prepared to put her in their display tank, where she is very happy. But what I'm trying to say in a long winded way, is don't leave it until the plec has outgrown your tank before trying to rehome it. A lot of LFS's will tank them, but keep them in tiny tanks waiting new homes, which I find heart breaking.

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Re: stocking advice

Postby jennifer o » Sun Jun 17, 2012 12:55 am

well my largest oldest platy is only two inches..i know mollies get a lot bigger...my plecs are so tiny right now but i know the tight things to do...im pretty sure my cae is almost full size too

.ive seen people with 200l with so much more fish than me and people saythey are okay
my 80l looks almost empty which is why im getting confused right now..


my 200 litre is 38 " length 21 " depth 18" width ....what you think
200l tank - 6 black phantom tetras, 1 golden chinese algae eaters, 2 pleco, 5 harlequin rasboras, 5 platys, 2 silver mollies, 3 panda corys

80l tank - 3 platys, 1 guppy, 4 neon tetras, 2 red honey gouramis

still learning
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Re: stocking advice

Postby ItWentWhereverIdidGo » Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:28 am

I'd say without the Plecs that both tanks are around their maximum for the adult size of those fish. I wouldn't put anymore fish in either tank but then things like decor, plants, whether you have an internal or external filter etc. anything that takes up volume.

I think if your big tank was a couple of years old and your water had always been well looked after then without the plecs you could probably put the fish from the 80l in.
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Re: stocking advice

Postby san-ho-zay » Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:49 am

OK, so 38" (97cm) long by 18" (46cm) wide gives a surface area of 4462cm2. Divide that by 12" (30cm) to get 149cm. So 150cm wasn't a bad guess for the 200 litre using the surface area guideline.

As far as fish sizes go, I took all but one of them from the fish index on this site. I've always found the sizes for livebearers high compared to other sources so I reduced those a little.

Take the platy for example: the fish index quotes 10cm. I have a book "Aquarium Fish" (Dorling Kindersley/Dick Mills) that quotes 4cm. Jennifer's are 5cm. Axelrod's "Aquarium Fishes of the World" reckons on 8cm for females and males slightly smaller. Wikipedia suggests 6cm ...

So it's a guessing game really Jennifer. These things are usually called rules, e.g. the inch-per-gallon rule, but they are only guidelines. Being a good schoolboy :innocent: I showed my working so that you can do your own digging and plug in your own numbers for fish sizes.

It's your tank and up to your judgement. People do "overstock" and run tanks successfully. ItWentWhereverIdidGo makes a good point about this being more successful in mature tanks. But browse through the Help forum and you get a perspective on what can go wrong. When things do go wrong, heavier stocking magnifies problems, e.g. power cuts leading to oxygen depletion and loss of bacteria, disease outbreaks and consequent treatments, algae outbreaks, ammonia or nitrite spikes or we have a heatwave in the UK and fish are gasping for air. OK, the last one is entering the realms of fantasy but you get the idea.
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Re: stocking advice

Postby jennifer o » Sun Jun 17, 2012 11:50 am

thanks for your advice.tanks been up and running 8 months now and i had been adding fish bit by bit

i do keep on top of water changes and also give the gravel a hoover twice a week

i was going to add the other fish to the tank as im away for 7 days in august and onky have one automatic feedrr :(



i do understand about the plecs however im quite fond of these two.when the time comes i will just upgrade to a larger tank.


im at the moment also thinking of an extrrnal filter
200l tank - 6 black phantom tetras, 1 golden chinese algae eaters, 2 pleco, 5 harlequin rasboras, 5 platys, 2 silver mollies, 3 panda corys

80l tank - 3 platys, 1 guppy, 4 neon tetras, 2 red honey gouramis

still learning
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Re: stocking advice

Postby englishmx » Sun Jun 17, 2012 5:11 pm

jennifer o wrote:
i was going to add the other fish to the tank as im away for 7 days in august and onky have one automatic feedrr :(


7 days is no problem without food, maybe feed a tad more on the days running up to going away as it makes you feel a bit better, a waterchange and away you go, done it plenty of times with no problems

Problem solved :wink:
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Re: stocking advice

Postby jennifer o » Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:05 pm

a whole 7 days though!?!?! im going to be so stressed out lol..only left them 4 days so far and was so worried then haha :rofl:
200l tank - 6 black phantom tetras, 1 golden chinese algae eaters, 2 pleco, 5 harlequin rasboras, 5 platys, 2 silver mollies, 3 panda corys

80l tank - 3 platys, 1 guppy, 4 neon tetras, 2 red honey gouramis

still learning
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Re: stocking advice

Postby Carylnz » Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:19 am

I try to be good when giving "good and proper" aquarium advice as I run my tank totally the "wrong" way and have no problems.
I only do water changes once every 3 or 4 months (if that). Come to think of it, it had a water change in February and before that I think it would have been 6 months before as I had a back injury so couldn't do water changes so it got even less that usual. It does get topped up when the water level drops due to evaporation. I clean the filter once every 12 - 18 months. I feed the fish once or twice a week (no good if you have fry) and that's it. :roll:
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