Overstocked Or Understocked?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Stocking Questions' started by akitaken, Apr 14, 2017.

  1. akitakenValued MemberMember

    Man, I feel kinda bad all I do is ask questions on this website... But i'm sure my fish will thank me.

    Set up a 40 breeder a few weeks ago and i'm waiting for it to cycle. i'm definitely going to have a bettafish, 8 kuhli loaches, and a clown pleco. I also have 6 neon tetras in my current tank that I am considering rehoming. That doesn't seem very full to me, but I've got nowhere near as much experience in the hobby as most of you guys.
    Anyway, I really want a school of upside down catfish. Would having both the neons and the UPSD cats put me over the edge?
    Running an aquaclear 50 and a 3" sponge cube filter. Wouldn't mind adding a bit more filtration or doing larger water changes as long as the fish would still be happy and healthy.

    (Also, I know neons aren't ideal in the setup i'm planning, but I'm not sure i could find anyone who'd take good care of them in my area.)
  2. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    That's exactly what this forum is for, so ask as many questions as you'd like :)

    I would actually leave the betta out - he'll really limit your stocking as they're not community fish and don't usually do well in community tanks. Additionally, he's not temperature compatible with neons. Neons also don't have much temp overlap with the upside down cats, so I would choose one or the other. Your local fish stores might take the neons back, you should ask!

    What about something like these?

    Cooler water stocking:
    10x Neons
    10x Cherry barbs (or another appropriate schooler)
    12x Kuhlis
    1x BN pleco
    2-4x Honey gourami

    Warmer water stocking:
    10x Cardinal tetra
    6x UPSD cats
    12x Kuhlis
    1x Clown pleco
    1x Dwarf gourami
  3. akitakenValued MemberMember

    The betta is one that I already have, and he's always been very amiable with other fish and he's currently in w/ the neons, so I'm not concerned about him doing well in a community. (-: That's definitely a valid concern for future bettafish, though. This dude's getting near the end of his lifespan; I got him from *walmart* in middle school, so I'm not sure how long he'll be kicking. :( LFS keeps some of their bettas in community setups, so I'm wondering whether I couldn't just buy one of those guys and see how it goes. I figure the worst case scenario is that I have to move him to a separate tank.

    I know the neons aren't temp compatible, but unfortunately I listened to some bad advice while I was just starting out. :facepalm: Will ask LFS next time i'm there -- if they won't take them back, i'm sure they'll point me in the right direction.

    Oh man, MORE kuhlis? I am most definitely going to take your advice on bumping the number up to 12. I'm nuts about those squiggly guys, but I didn't think I could fit more. I also think I'm gonna need a middle - top dwelling species for sure, since it seems like UPSD cats are mainly bottom dwellers like kuhlis.
  4. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    What tank is he in now? You could leave him in this current tank and move the neons to the 40 breeder, that way the betta is kept alone (or rehome the neons if possible). Having a betta in a tank really limits your stocking options, and just because he hasn't killed any fish yet doesn't mean that he's not stressed by them, or won't attack in the future.

    And UPSD cats aren't strictly bottom dwellers. The ones I've seen were all over the tank.
  5. akitakenValued MemberMember

    He's currently in a 10g w/ the neons. I did consider leaving him in there, but I think he'd do better in the 40g. Plenty of people do keep bettas in community tanks successfully, however, I've heard stories of fish turning on each other after doing just fine for a long time just like you said. I understand the risk for sure, but I don't feel like it's an unreasonable one -- especially with my betta. He's old and he's been in with a variety of fish in his lifetime and he's never exhibited much aggression towards them. I've also looked into stress in bettas and from what I can tell, he seems happy. Buuut, he's not exactly fluent in english, so it's open for interpretation. He's active, his fins are always relaxed, his coloration is great, and he overall seems pretty healthy. The stress part is a big concern for me, since fish aren't really the most expressive animal.
    I'm gonna try and find a good betta forum to join and run it by some betta people to hear some more stories and get a better assessment of the risk -- specifically with adding an unfamiliar betta to the community tank. :)

    I personally don't mind my stocking options being limited at all, honestly! I'm not super ambitious about keeping a bunch of species. I'm more than happy with just the 12 kuhlis, 6 upsd cats, and a clown pleco, especially if the cats are active throughout the tank. :) I might be interested in some top dwellers, but I've looked into it and I haven't found any species that I'm interested in keeping.
    If I can't rehome the neons, I'll have to make some changes -- probably just cutting out the betta and upsd cat part -- but I'm hoping i'll be able to find a good home for them.
  6. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    See green above.

    Sounds like a good plan for the tank!
  7. Anders247Fishlore LegendMember

    I agree with TD, you should leave the betta in the 10 by itself.
  8. akitakenValued MemberMember

    Still thinking about what to do with him... I remembered that I have 20 long in the shed, so maybe I'll set that up for him. I want to use the 10 as a QT tank while i'm stocking the 40, so I'm gonna move him regardless I think. Something tells me he won't mind living in the 20 (-:

    I'm content with the stocking I currently have planned, but I feel like this should be a bit understocked. I've got a pretty bad feel for these things, but i'm guessing that it'll still have enough room for another school of small fish, like cardinal tetras as was suggested earlier, or a couple of "bigger" fish like gouramis. As long as they're otherwise compatible, of course.
    12 x kuhli loaches
    6 x upside-down catfish
    1 x clown pleco
    Plus a bunch of shrimp and a few snails, but that's negligible as far as the bioload.
  9. BottomDwellerFishlore VIPMember

    He'll be very happy in a 20 long by himself! That's a brilliant tank for him.

    Your stock looks good. Understocking is better than overstocking.
  10. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    Or you could even keep him in the 10 gal and use the 20 long for a QT? That would be my choice.
  11. aquatickeeperFishlore VIPMember

    Sounds good!
  12. akitakenValued MemberMember

    Hmm, honestly I'd just prefer to maintain the 20g in the long term. It gives him a wonderful habitat and I could very easily divide the tank if I ever wanted/needed to for another betta or to breed shrimp rather than setting up another tank. (-: Sounds like it'd just be your personal choice, but if you've got other reasons i'm open to hearing them. Anyways, I'd only need the QT for a few months, so it wouldn't be a huge deal regardless if I used the 20g for QT.

    The 40g is cycling nicely, or at least I think so! Down to 0 ppm ammonia and... Well, I lost the nitrite testing kit, but it should be pretty high right now. Nitrate is around 20-40 ppm. So i'm hoping in a few weeks i'll be able to start actually stocking the tank! In the mean time, working on hardscape & plants. So dang excited about this tank; it's my second tank and my first "big" tank and I'm loving it so far. :p
  13. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    I would just use the 20 gal for a QT over the 10 gal as it's better for bigger fish (not all fish will fit in a 10 gal for a few weeks at a time).