do plants make a difference in stocking ability?

frogster221
  • #1
I asked a reputable guy at the pet store some questions about stocking and he said that I could put more fish into a tank if that tank has plants in it. is this true or is just another bad story or some thing? thanks for any help.
 
Angela_96
  • #2
I don't think so, imo you should stick to your inch per gallon stocking rule. The plants will aid to your o2/co2 exchange... but it will not allow for extra fish in the tank.
 
Blub
  • #3
In a heavily planted tank, (I mean like an ADA scape), the plants will help out the filter in filtration, so it's possible to keep a bit more fish in the tank than normal.
 
frogster221
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
wouldnt it help with the breakdown of nitrites and nitrate and keep the tank cleaner with less algae. also wat would the rule be for fish then like .75 or half an inch per fish
 
Butterfly
  • #5
If the tank is stuffed with plants a little careful overstocking can be managed. But not grossly overstocked. The plants will use the Nitrates to grow on. If this is done the parameters still have to be watched very carefully.
Carol
 
frogster221
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
cool ill have to try it out
 
sirdarksol
  • #7
Yes, plants will take up more nitrates.
However, they also take swimming space away from the fish, and this is another important part of the inch per gallon guide. Some fish will actually be happier with the plants clouding their vision. Other fish (ones who live in clear stretches of water, for example) will be stressed by the extra visual blockades and the fact that they have no idea whether or not a tankmate is around the corner, so be sure you take into account the type of fish. If you are looking at fish that prefer moderately to heavily planted tanks, you probably could get away with a little more fish in the tank, but not much.
 
Blub
  • #8
cool ill have to try it out

Be sure to do your research - it's much more complex than just shoving a fews plants in and go!
 
sirdarksol
  • #9
Be sure to do your research - it's much more complex than just shoving a fews plants in and go!

Precisely. Very well said.
 
Butterfly
  • #10
Be sure to do your research - it's much more complex than just shoving a fews plants in and go!
Exactly that's why I specified "a little careful overstocking".
Carol
 
frogster221
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
do zebra danio have a priblem with an obstructed view and the same with neons
 
Butterfly
  • #12
Danios need lots of open swimming room. They will swim in and out of plants but they still need some open space. I imagine it would be the same for neons.
Carol
 
sirdarksol
  • #13
Neons, I know, love darting in and out of plants. As long as there are some open spaces (usually at the front of the tank), they should be happy.
 
Blub
  • #14
When you aquascape your tank with the plants, make sure you leave a space at the front with only low growing plants there, the zebras should be cool.
 
Angela_96
  • #15
Now I could see this rule w/ dwarf puffers that like their view obstructed and diff surroundings, GBR's, fish that like stuff to break up their view... I wouldn't want to chance grossly overstocking a tank.
Even w/ our lake malawI cichlids that are supose to be overstocked and we have overfilitration going in our tanks its a twice a week job to keep the tank crystal clear, and a lot of fish poop to vacuum once a week. (not complaining, well worth it)
 
joy613
  • #16
When you stock your planted tank do research and don't stock with plant eaters. I am planning a 40 gallon now and wanted some buenos aires tetras and found out they aren't recommended for planted tanks because of their diet. I don't trust the pet store they are in the business to sell, I do my own research. I always under stock.
 
frogster221
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
would a forest of hairgrass look really cool or just be weird
 
sirdarksol
  • #18
Some people do it. I think it would be cool.
 
frogster221
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
good so if I covered the back and sides with hair grass and the had anubias nana in the middle my fish will have swimming room and be fine right?
 
_Fried_Bettas_
  • #20
I would understock the tank and monitor my water quality (with a liquid test kit and written log) and the behavior of the fish to get a good idea how hard it will be to keep the water quality good as well as make sure the fish do not seem to be stressed. Personally I think the one inch rule is bunk. For some species 1 inch is way too much and others can be comfortably stocked higher. The actual mass of the fish would probably be a better judge, but it is kinda hard to weigh fish. But once you have the tank partial stocked and it isn't taking any Herculean efforts to keep the nitrates down, I would feel comfortable adding a few fish more. Keep an eye out for any behavior that might indicate that the fish are being stressed by the lack of space. You will also have to be very dedicated to maintenance with a tank stocked so.
 
Jimold
  • #21
OK,if you use just hairgrass and some small anubI you should have enough space... but that's not going to be your problem as I see it. First, is your tank set up to handle plants (lights, substrate, etc...)?? And how much do you know about water bio-chemestry in relation to plants and fish? The reason I ask is mainly because of photosynthisis at night. Most people know plants breath in (so to speak) CO2 and give off oxygen, but most people don't know if this is true ONLY during the day. At night it switches and the plants absorb O2 and give off CO2. And this is where stocking a tank can get tricky. I have to run a bubble stone at night (only) just to keep my fish from suffocating!! FYI, this is why labrynth fish like Betta's and GouroumI developed the ability to breath air. In their native Asian swamps the water is so still and calm the O2 levels soar during the day, but bottom out at night and are nearly zero at dawn. So fish from this region, especially Bettas, developed the ability to "breath" air.
 
sirdarksol
  • #22
Mostly true on the labyrinth fish, Jim. There were a few other reasons. During the dry season, rotting vegetation would make the water nearly toxic, and the high temperatures could suck the oxygen out of the water like nobody's business.
But you make a very good point. Anubias wouldn't take up so much oxygen (it's a slow grower), but the hairgrass, I believe, would. Depending on the tank setup, you might need extra aeration. I wouldn't suggest doing the "only at night" thing unless you really, really pay attention to water parameters. Depending on other factors in your water chemistry, aeration can change the pH. If this changes severely between day and night, it can stress the fish. From what I've read of his other posts, JI'm pays crazy attention to the water quality in his tanks. If you're going to do this, you would do well to have an airstone going, or at least get a dissolved oxygen testing kit and test the water at night to make absolutely sure that the fish are okay.
 
frogster221
  • Thread Starter
  • #23
ok well then I need to get a liquid test kit and my 20 gallon has lots of plants in it and no air but my fish always seem happy maybe its because I have a biowheel filter
 
frogster221
  • Thread Starter
  • #24
wouldnt ghost shrimp also help in lowering nitrates and nitrites by eating the very small food stuff that lands in the gravel
 
Jimold
  • #25
wouldnt ghost shrimp also help in lowering nitrates and nitrites by eating the very small food stuff that lands in the gravel

yes, they are great little garbage eaters, and a lot of fun to watch.
 
frogster221
  • Thread Starter
  • #26
I have over 20 in my 20 gallon I love them I also love my zebra danio
 

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