How do you balance/add filtration?

TheFISH12

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I have been told that I can have more fish than one inch per gallon if I get better filtration and can balance it. How do I do this?
 
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erinw347

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The one inch per gallon rule is not accurate or reliable. It all depends on the type of fish you’re keeping.

Some fish have really light bioloads, like small schooling fish.

Some though have very heavy bioloads, like plecos.

The key is to find how much your tank can support.
Adding filtration doesn’t make it all that much better. Yes it adds additional surface area for beneficial bacteria, but it’s all about how much nitrates are produced.

You can overstock your tank if you’d like, but that means you have to do extra water changes to keep nitrates down.
 
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TheFISH12

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erinw347 said:
The one inch per gallon rule is not accurate or reliable. It all depends on the type of fish you’re keeping.

Some fish have really light bioloads, like small schooling fish.

Some though have very heavy bioloads, like plecos.

The key is to find how much your tank can support.
Adding filtration doesn’t make it all that much better. Yes it adds additional surface area for beneficial bacteria, but it’s all about how much nitrates are produced.

You can overstock your tank if you’d like, but that means you have to do extra water changes to keep nitrates down.
How do I find out how much my tank can support?
 

smee82

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The one inch per gallon doesnt just nit take inter consideration bioload but also a heap of other factors. Probably the most common argument against it is you cant keep a 10inch oscar in a 10g tank.
 

RomeoOscar

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Yep the 1 inch per gallon is really not thaaat accurate. It's a guide for beginners. I keep an overstocked tank. It's all about getting the right fish for the right levels of the tank. Obviously don't overstock too much, fish need space to move around. Also its about keeping nitrates controlled, you'll want them at about 20 or less. Preferably. Nitrates go away with water changes. Plants help too. Stuff like pothos or sweet potato will do wonders, if you're not into planted tanks. As for the bio media, you can even do DIY systems that work pretty well, in one of my tanks i have a cheap filter with nothing but sponges and then I've got a small box (reused from old filter) filled with ceramics and when water comes out of the filter, it passes through the ceramics. Hope this helps. You don't need a fancy filter, just a pump moving water through media. If you're into spending money, get a cannister filter and should work great, just make sure you dont remove much of the space. And get fish in a smart way. Some fish prefer bottom, some surface, some bushy plants.
 

flyinGourami

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The inch per gallon rule isn't accurate, honestly, sometimes I like to say all it takes in is that you are putting fish in water.

Overstocking takes up space, a 10 gallon with 10 neons biologically really isn't a lot but when you consider how active these guys are and how they act, it would generally be "overstocked". Adding more filtration handles the bio-load, but I think generally when I personally think of overstocking, by the point the filter can't handle bio-load I wouldn't have those fish in there. If that makes sense. So even though adding more filtration can help, you have to think of other things such as enough space for the species, compatibility, stuff like that... JMO.
 

FinalFins

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TheFISH12 said:
I have been told that I can have more fish than one inch per gallon if I get better filtration and can balance it. How do I do this?
Addressing the 1inch/gallon, don't follow that as it is a rule of thumb that is not accurate.

But yes you can have more fish if you get better filtration and balancing it. But it's a careful process. You must choose the right fish to add, taking in consideration swimming space and where the fish roam.

Then you must be willing to do extra water changes to counter more wastes and other things in the water.
 

erinw347

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TheFISH12 said:
How do I find out how much my tank can support?
Again it depends on how many nitrates are produced. You generally want to keep nitrates under 20, but some fish are okay up to 40. If your fish produce, let’s say, 5ppm nitrates a day, you will have to do 50% water changes every other day if you want to keep nitrates under 20 ppm.
 

erinw347

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TheFISH12 said:
What level nitrates are zebra danios and corys fine with?
Zebra danios are hardy and will probably be fine up to 40 but my corys get stressed over 20. Both of those fish have a relatively low bioload though.
 

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