Cycling an Overstocked Tank

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AspiringAquarist

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So local fish stores cram lots of fish into small and inadequate tank sizes right? So then they're probably like 500% or so overstocked...

How do they even cycle their tanks like that? Do they even cycle at all?
 
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Lucy

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Their tanks are usually on a huge singular filtering system that we don't see. Constantly processing hundreds and thousand's of gallons of water.
Much different than we have in our aquariums.
 
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Butterfly

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What Lucy said And they aren't in a permanent tank so they can crowd them more than we would want to.
Carol
 
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Prince Powder

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Lucy and Carol are correct. I worked at a Petsmart and their filtration system was HUGE. This is for a saltwater, but it shows the level of complexity that goes into commercial filtration systems. And using the man's hand as a reference, I believe that the main part of the filter (the grey tank there) is actually smaller than the one at the Petsmart I worked at. As for the overstocking, as Carol mentioned it is not meant as a permanent home so the fish will never have a chance to grow to their full size before being sold. Despite this, also keep in mind, many of the fish they keep in these overstocked tanks don't make it. Many of the stores suffer heavy losses on their fish, but the prices they pay to their suppliers compared to the prices we pay to them makes up the cost difference for the losses. Even those that survive are not always healthy. How many times have you walked into a fish store and seen tank after tank of ICH?
 
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