Is My Aquarium Overstocked?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Stocking Questions' started by Bad Wolf, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. Bad Wolf

    Bad WolfWell Known MemberMember

    Hi guys,

    I've recently decided to add some fish to my tank as it's been pretty bare the last few months. For last several months, my 55 gallon tank has only been occupied by four fully grown Angels and an Opaline Gourami. I went to my LFS and bought five Danios. The week following I bought 12 more from another shop, along with four Bronze Cory's. I did a few water tests and it appears the ammonia has risen slightly to about .25, if not less. I'm going to assume it's because of the very sudden increase of fish. I've been doing second-daily water changes to lower the levels. As a last addition, I wanted to add an algae eater, most probably a Bristlenose, unless someone could recommend an equally reliable sucker fish. Providing I continue doing my regular second-weekly water changes, would this be okay, or does my aquarium seem overstocked as it is?

    Any advice is greatly appreciated,
    Best regards.
  2. Musey

    MuseyWell Known MemberMember

    I would say your tank was pretty close to fully stocked with just the Angelfish and Gourami. All those extra fish are going to put a strain on things.

    What kind of filtration do you have? A lot will depend on if you have enough filtration capacity to be able to even process all the waste from the extra fish in your tank. Some people can overstock slightly and do it successfully because they use extra filtration by adding additional filters. But if you only have one filter rated for a 55 gallon tank, and you overstock that 55 gallon tank (let's say 120% stocked), you are going to have big problems. There is no way that amount of filtration will ever be able to keep up.

    The other factor to consider is to make sure that your fish have enough room to be comfortable in the tank together. Overcrowding (despite how much extra filtering you add) can cause stress too.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
  3. ILikeFishies

    ILikeFishiesValued MemberMember

    I would say it does sound quite over stocked, but my tank is pretty over stocked too xD, but i do water changes twice a week to keep the water condition good :). Once in awhile i'd do a water test and always end up with 0,0,5 (nitrates never seem to go above 10 unless i don't do a water change in a few weeks
  4. Marijke

    MarijkeNew MemberMember

    A 55 gallon is a bit too small for four angels, they're very messy fish that produce a lot of waste. That might explain your ammonia readings. You can't just take one or two out either (angels actually prefer to live in groups of at least 5), so I think it would be a good idea to find another solution for that.
  5. Cichlidnut

    CichlidnutFishlore VIPMember

    I do not agree with this. Angels do not need to be in groups. They do fine singly. Housing an odd number of Angels together gives a greater chance of one being singled out and picked on.

    As long as you aren't getting any fighting, wolf, your tank stocking sounds fine. I'd do a water change and test for ammonia in another day or 2. Your filtration should be able to catch up.
  6. Marijke

    MarijkeNew MemberMember

    Angelfish are group fish in the wild. If you want to give them the possibility to act out their natural instincts, a group is recommended. I know not everyone is interested in achieving natural behaviour in a fish, though. It's a choice you make.
  7. Cichlidnut

    CichlidnutFishlore VIPMember

    Unless your getting wild caught Angels, you wont be getting natural behavior. We've been breeding them in captivity for over 60 years, they really don't resemble wild fish anymore. Also, Wild Angels don't live in large groups like Discus do. They are not schooling fish. Often, keeping groups can cause fighting from Angels trying to defend breeding territory.
  8. kinezumi89

    kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    I agree with Nut, angels can be kept singly, as a pair, or in a group. I'm currently quarantining one for my 55 and plan to have two in the end. It's similar to bettas; they've been bred so much that they don't really resemble their wild counterparts at all anymore.

    I also agree it's a bit improperly stocked though; it's usually advised to not mix cichlids and gouramis. But four angels in a 55 isn't unreasonable. If your gourami is getting along with the angels, I think it seems fine.
  9. OP
    Bad Wolf

    Bad WolfWell Known MemberMember

    My Gourami shows no aggression towards the Angels and vise versa. Two of the male Angels occasional show some signs of aggression, but nothing worth worrying about. There's plenty of swimming space all the fish are happy. When it was just the four Angels and the Gourami, ammonia levels remains 0, nitrite 0 and nitrate at 5 to 10. Signs of ammonia were only noted recently. As for filtration, I have two internal filters filtering at 1,500 and 1,200 L/Ph. I'm considering buying a canister filter, once I have enough money.