# i never did understand this...

#### Akari_32

##### Fishlore Legend
Member
so every one knows how when your look for a fish you want you have to make sure you have enough room for it right? so I could never really that figure out. lets just say, the fish you wants like 10 gallons. does that mean those 10 gallons are just for its self or can it share its 10 gallons with, say, 2 other fish that like 5 gallons (assuming that the three of them are community fish)?

#### mathas

##### Well Known
Member
There really isn't a hard-and-fast rule that will fit all stocking situations, so to answer your hypothetical situation, it would depend on why that fish is recommended to have at least 10 gallons.

Some fish need to be in aquarium of a certain size because they're territorial, and will harass or kill others that get too close. Some fish need to in an aquarium of a certain size because of how large they get or how much waste they produce. Some fish need to be in an aquarium of a size because of how much swimming space they need.

Identifying why a certain tank size is recommended for a specific species is necessary to understand if tank mates are an option should you choose to house the fish in the minimum recommended space.

OP

#### Akari_32

##### Fishlore Legend
Member
mathas said:
There really isn't a hard-and-fast rule that will fit all stocking situations, so to answer your hypothetical situation, it would depend on why that fish is recommended to have at least 10 gallons.

Some fish need to be in aquarium of a certain size because they're territorial, and will harass or kill others that get too close. Some fish need to in an aquarium of a certain size because of how large they get or how much waste they produce. Some fish need to be in an aquarium of a size because of how much swimming space they need.

Identifying why a certain tank size is recommended for a specific species is necessary to understand if tank mates are an option should you choose to house the fish in the minimum recommended space.
why didnt I think of that??! duh lol

#### sirdarksol

##### Fishlore Legend
Member
As a couple of examples:

Goldfish are suggested to have 10 gallon apiece (with 20 gallon for the first one) because of size and waste production. They're also intelligent and just need a certain amount of space to be able to explore and feel comfortable. If you had a 30 gallon tank, you wouldn't want anything more than just the two goldfish.

Bala sharks need a huge tank, let's say 200g, primarily because they're so active (though also in part because they get so huge). You could also have other fish in this space (presuming they won't get freaked out by, or eaten by, the sharks), as long as you pay attention to bioload. This is because your primary reason for getting such a large tank is for the sharks to be able to zip back and forth.

Bettas need a certain size tank so that it can be heated (though you wouldn't want to go much smaller than that, anyway, as the betta also likes being able to explore). As long as you find compatible tank mates (otos or cories, for example), you can have some others in the same space.

#### LyndaB

##### Fishlore Legend
Member
Akari_32 said:
so every one knows how when your look for a fish you want you have to make sure you have enough room for it right?
There are a surprisingly large number of people who don't take this into consideration..... :-\

#### peacemaker92

##### Well Known
Member
LyndaB said:
There are a surprisingly large number of people who don't take this into consideration..... :-\
I'm not surprised... A lot of people are just not educated about our tropical fish and tanks nowadays.

#### jab91864

##### Active Member
Member
I thought that was a really good question.

I think it can be very misleading to someone shopping for fish to walk into a fish store or pet shop and when they choose fish from tanks the tanks are fully stocked and not set up for long term housing. How often does the fish store talk you out of buying fish because you probably don't have enough room... not often I'm thinking.

And it is also really hard to sometimes separate yourself from the fantasy fish list and the reality fish list. You think well they are small now and I can change them to a larger tank down the road.... down the road doesn't always happen and sometimes it's just circumstances that play against us.

I spent a lot of time last night at Wally world in the fish dept and seeing the Betta cups is really sad. 90% if not more are going to go home to someone who will stuff them into a bowl and think they are doing great because they just doubled the size of the water space the fish had at the store... it's a bummer.

#### blkdeath75

##### Well Known
Member
My son got a gift of a betta in a "goldfish" bowl with shiny smooth rocks on the bottom. Being new to fish I always thought it was 10 times better than the dixie cup they sell them in and never knew any better. Anyway he lived a miserable painful life in there for 3 years without filtration or heat and I never thought ill of it until visiting this site and learning more about the requirements and needs for a HEALTHY and HAPPY fish that thrives in its environment.

Research is key and nowadays with the ease of the internet it is too easily accessible to not read as much as you can before doing it wrong. You took the right step coming here and asking first I will tell ya that But don't think that this one source of information is enough(no offense FL members ) Research research research! and you will be much happier(as well as your fish) in the long run!

#### jetajockey

##### Fishlore VIP
Member
jab91864 said:
I thought that was a really good question.

I think it can be very misleading to someone shopping for fish to walk into a fish store or pet shop and when they choose fish from tanks the tanks are fully stocked and not set up for long term housing. How often does the fish store talk you out of buying fish because you probably don't have enough room... not often I'm thinking.
Not often at all, it doesn't make business sense to do so. Uneducated consumers purchasing incompatible fish for their setup will end up coming back for meds because of the diseases caused by stress, then they'll come back for upgraded filters, different gadgets and gizmos that they think will make the fish happier, then once the fish die they'll be coming back for new fish, and eventually will realize that they need a bigger tank so they'll be back for that as well.

I don't often see a salesperson telling someone that they don't 'need' to buy something, although rarely i've seen them direct consumers to something more applicable to their situation. (keyword: rarely)

OP

#### Akari_32

##### Fishlore Legend
Member
thanks guys! its not that I didnt get the rules about stocking, its just that that always seemed to confuse me >.< I like to understock my tanks anyways, excecially with the guppies (we all know how fast a live barer tank can become overstocked! XD).

and I thot goldfish like 20 gallons? and then 10 more gallons after that for each other goldfish u add?

#### NMfishman

##### Well Known
Member
Akari_32 said:
and I thot goldfish like 20 gallons? and then 10 more gallons after that for each other goldfish u add?
That is the generally accepted rule for fancy goldfish, yes.

#### jetajockey

##### Fishlore VIP
Member
depends on the type , fancy goldfish are smaller than comet goldfish so they require a bit less.

OP

#### Akari_32

##### Fishlore Legend
Member
jetajockey said:
depends on the type , fancy goldfish are smaller than comet goldfish so they require a bit less.
well, like I said, I like to understock, so that's the rule the rule I go by ^_^

#### sirdarksol

##### Fishlore Legend
Member
jetajockey said:
depends on the type , fancy goldfish are smaller than comet goldfish so they require a bit less.
Actually, it's that common/comets get much bigger than fancy goldfish, and really need more space than that. Gremlin has a few of these guys that look like they're over a foot long.

OP

#### Akari_32

##### Fishlore Legend
Member
sirdarksol said:
Actually, it's that common/comets get much bigger than fancy goldfish, and really need more space than that. Gremlin has a few of these guys that look like they're over a foot long.
yeah I had a common that I saved from a fair at school and I was all exctited because my mom had told me we were gunna make a pond and get some koI when we had the time. then I got Copper (the goldfish) and I thot we were gunna make the pond sooner, so I just put him in a 1 1/2 gallon (just for a temp home, he was only 1 1/2'') and then a few days after I got him, he got his guts sucked out thru his gills by the filter T_T I miss Copper... he was stupid tho because he like to hang out under the filter intake instead of in his plants, so he had it coming for him, I guess >.< I really wanted to see him get a foot+, but he did cooperate with me lol

#### Aquagirl1978

##### Well Known
Member
My mom n pop store always says a gallon of water to an inch of fish 4 inch gourami= 4 gallons on tank.......I understock also otherwise id have 10 guppies instead of 6.

OP

#### Akari_32

##### Fishlore Legend
Member
Aquagirl1978 said:
My mom n pop store always says a gallon of water to an inch of fish 4 inch gourami= 4 gallons on tank.......I understock also otherwise id have 10 guppies instead of 6.
well I think that's ok with small fish like guppies, but what if u shoved a hyperactive fish like an oscar (lets say its 6 inches long) in to tank that's 6 gallons, not only will he out grow it quickly (or be stunted), the water conditions will suck horribly unless u clean it everyday. he'll be sick, inactive, probly won't eat, and will soon die. its just not right (or humane, for that matter)

#### Aquagirl1978

##### Well Known
Member
The point of the post was......................I have a 3 inch gourami, hes in a 20 gallon tank, I have a juvenile BRP cichlid, hes in a 20 gallon tank totally alone, soon to be upgraded to a 75 gallon tank. My guppies, I have six in a 10 gallon tank. As I was saying big fish ='s BIG TANK. I personally would not home an oscar that big in anything under 75 gallons. Huge bio-load and hes a big fish. I would never shove a fish in tank that was too small. I was giving a general rule of thumb as far as for every inch of fish you need a gallon of water just for his basic living, that doesn't include his bioload and his area of need. So again, Big fish='s Big tank.