How much is slightly overstocked?

MissMTS
  • #1
I know that it is safe to slightly overstock a tank as long as you keep up on the water changes and make sure that the water quality is always perfect. It also helps if the tank is fully planted. My question is, how much is slightly overstocked? It seems like it would be easy to unknowingly go from slightly overstocking the tank to really overstocking the tank. How many inches for instance would it be approapriate to overstock a fully planted 29 gallon tank? A non planted 80 gallon tank? I am just trying to get an idea of what is acceptable without running into overcrowding problems. Any and all imput would be great. Thanks
 
sirdarksol
  • #2
I wouldn't go over by more than 10%. So an extra 3" in a 29g, or an extra 8" in an 80g.

Like you said, however, it's better to not overstock.

These numbers do not go into other problems with fish. For example, many fish will become more and more aggressive as they get crowded.
 
MissMTS
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Thanks! I just always wondered what the standard was. It seems like one inch too much can be the straw that breaks the camel's back and totally mess up your tank.
 
sirdarksol
  • #4
The standard is 1" per gallon. I pretty much made the 10% up to consider that people make mistakes in stocking their tanks. For example, someone who has fully stocked her tank but only has one cory and three tiger barbs in it really should get more of both. I take 10% as the top that I will suggest to even out problems like this.
 
MissMTS
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Gotcha! I would never purposely overstock my tank, but its just good to know where the boundaries are.
 
sirdarksol
  • #6
Makes sense to me.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #7
How much is slightly overstocked depends partly on your tank population too.
 
susitna-flower
  • #8
I would say this is a completely subjective exercise....each tank is different. If you start with a tank that is understocked and don't have any problems keeping the nitrate down under 20 with weekly water changes of 25%.....you may be able to get away with adding another fish or two to round out a school....

To know for sure, keep testing the water, and if you see your nitrates creep up to 80 even with water changes, you ARE overstocked and you now need to upgrade your tank to a bigger one....QUESTION is do you really WANT a bigger tank? That would be me!
 
TFA101
  • #9
I thought i'd post a sub-question in this post.

My (20 gallon) tank is 2" overstocked, but I keep up on my water changes. I haven't had any deaths for the past...4 months? ( Rainbow shark incident... WOOPS!). Should I be good for a while? Many are tellling me to UpGrAdE... according to my parental units, it aint gonna happen for another three years.
 
sirdarksol
  • #10
I would think that, as long as your nitrates remain low, and as long as the black skirts don't get violent, you might be okay with 2" over in a 20g.
(I think that many of the suggestions for getting a bigger tank were directed at one of the other two tanks in the profile, but I'm not sure)
 
TFA101
  • #11
the ten gallon in particular. plus, the owner of the 15, who isn't me, has "fish addiction" syndrome. I told her no, but she didn't listen. Now she has an outbreak of snails, she just had to cure a case of popeye, and one of her cories has died...

I think I have to sell a few of my tank members
 
susitna-flower
  • #12
I would think that, as long as your nitrates remain low, and as long as the black skirts don't get violent, you might be okay with 2" over in a 20g.
(I think that many of the suggestions for getting a bigger tank were directed at one of the other two tanks in the profile, but I'm not sure)


I was talking about myself......I beat myself up harder than anyone else ever would.... I HAVE had overstocked tanks...I also think that doing it intentionally just sets yourself up for a lot of work. I personally think that a tank can be just lovely with fewer fish, more plants and decorations, no algae and just a few specimens.....

You are right, we battle all the time with trying to get people to understand you can't keep 10 goldfish in a 10 gallon tank, just because the fish store said you could! But that wasn't what I was alluding to in this post......it was that I am looking at a big tank to get....and am fighting my OWN MTS.....I know it didn't come through that way, sorry.

I guess what I was saying is that I THINK sometimes people really do want a bigger tank.......so whether it is subconscious or intentionally, they get more fish.....just to find out that they grow up, and now they "HAVE" to get a bigger tank....We do this to ourselves, or to "rationalize to a parent or husband, or wife or s/o....

I haven't even told my husband I am looking at a 180 gallon tank! Many of you know about it....so when I juggle the money, and look at those 10" bala sharks and feel guilty enough.....well it will be easy to spend the $ and get it....
 
MissMTS
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
I wish I had room for a huge tank like that. I was lucky enough to get my husband to give into my 80 gallon, especially since his big screen tv had to go in order to make room for it.......hehehe! Believe me, if I had the room I would do anything in my power to convince my hubby to let me get a tank that big. MTS has definetly taken its toll on me as well, and a few of my tanks have been bought in order to split up the fish that were in one tank because I overstocked it. Now my tanks are all perfectly stocked and I promised myself no more fish or tanks until we buy a condo where we will have more room......well, we'll see anyways
 
sirdarksol
  • #14
Susitna: I (and TFA, I think) was referring to other threads, as well.
We have discussed TFA's tanks in a few other places, and it's come up that the 10g, in particular, is overstocked.
I totally understand what you mean about being more rough on yourself than others, though. I would never blame anyone else if their fish had died the way that a couple of mine had gone, but I still kick myself for the deaths, thinking of what I could have done to avert them.
 
Lucy
  • #15
I would consider my tank slightly overstocked 12"of fish in a 10g.
I wouldn't go any further than that in such a small tank.
My water is stable with weekly water changes.
 

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