"don't Try This At Home..." Overstocking Tanks?


Well Known Member
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4 years
I have 6 GBR in a 10 gallon quarantine tank, along with some guppies (~7 fry/juvis). Water parameters are good so far, with low nitrates, 50% water change every 10-14 days. Planted is heavily planted w/ hornwort with a FInnex Planted Plus light on it (high light for a 10 gallon tank). Minimal to no algae in it. I think the high light + hornwort + water changes is helping keep nutrients in check. The QT tank has been in constant use for 2 yrs now, and previously had over 30 guppies in there (also in QT)

I was afraid the GBR would die on me quick, as per their reputation, but so far they are doing great. Got them from coralbandit on aquabid.. very happy with them so far; going on 3 weeks now!

Tank is heavily planted... the fish can barely move around... plus, I added in a 2" thick mattenfilter from SwissTropicals which is beast in this tank. Keeping water at 81.5 degrees.

They even spawned in QT: (eggs on the sand)

Going to move them to my 55-gallon planted tank which I realized is pretty moderately to heavily stocked now:
- 12+lemon tetras (they keep having babies)
- 4 pearl gourami
- 15 cardinal tetra
- 10 sterbai cory
- 2 kuhli loaches
- 9+ guppies
- countless MTS, but they have been dying off , not sure why; maybe i'm feeding less

Nitrates on the tank seem to be around 20-30 ppm with monthly water changes. (I used to be better, but trending at monthly now). I need to get them lower prior to adding in the GBR.

Adding the 6 GBR to the tank will increase the bioload further, of course. But that made me think, African Cichlid owners heavily stock their tanks, why not non-African cichlid owners? granted, it's a "dont try this at home" type of thing, for non-beginners, but wondering, why not? Would my above stocking plus 6 GBR be "heavily stocked" or "moderate"? Not planning on doing this, but tempted to get more cardinals.


Well Known Member
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2 years
IMO some reasonable overstocking is okay for experienced fishkeepers. For newbies it’s better to stock lightly but anyone who can keep stable parameters and does regular maintenance should be fine.
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