Overstocking To Take A Tank Down

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Robert Fletcher

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I have a bit of a dilemma. My community tank is 29 gal. I am located in the UK but I will use US measures where I can. I want to take my 29 g down to aquascape it. It will take some time for livestock to be added. The answer as I see it is to pick up a tank for the current livestock. You have to remember that UK tank sizes are different from US sizes.
I have budget constraints. A 24-inch tank I can easily find a stand. 36 inches is much harder to find.
I have put my stocking levels into the AgAdvisor calculator (below) this gives me a stocking level of 182% with 73% weekly water changes.
I can see all sorts of problems. I would welcome any suggestions and alternatives.

Tank: 24 inch(L) x 12 inch(D) x 18 inch (H), 72L - [ 19 USG]
10 x Harlequin Rasbora (Trigonostigma heteromorpha) -
2 x Cherry Barb (Puntius titteya) -
2 x Bristlenose Pleco (Ancistrus sp.) -
1 x Siamese Algae Eater (Crossocheilus siamensis) -
2 x Molly (Poecilia sphenops) -
12 x Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon innesi) -
3 x Leopard Danio (Danio rerio)

Your estimated stock level is 182%.
 

jaymethy

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If you pick up a new aquarium for the current livestock, you'd have to cycle it before you could use it... so that would be a several week process before you could even move the fish in.

Generally aquascaping can be done with the fish in. I'd suggest that, unless you have a reason why you cant?
 

Robert Fletcher

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If you pick up a new aquarium for the current livestock, you'd have to cycle it before you could use it... so that would be a several week process before you could even move the fish in.

Generally aquascaping can be done with the fish in. I'd suggest that unless you have a reason why you cant?
Yes, I realize I have a lot ahead of me. The new tank will have to be planted and those plants have to be actively growing before I can transfer the fish. The current tank has inert substrate and I want to use good buffered substrate. This would take a few weeks before it is stable enough to accept livestock. Can you see my dilemma? If I was overstocking for just a couple of weeks I would just do but as you pointed out several weeks are needed. The new tank may even become their permanent home but not at 182% o/s.
 

jaymethy

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Yes, I realize I have a lot ahead of me. The new tank will have to be planted and those plants have to be actively growing before I can transfer the fish. The current tank has inert substrate and I want to use good buffered substrate. This would take a few weeks before it is stable enough to accept livestock. Can you see my dilemma? If I was overstocking for just a couple of weeks I would just do but as you pointed out several weeks are needed. The new tank may even become their permanent home but not at 182% o/s.
I do see. I think for a couple months, if you keep on top of your water changes and monitor ammonia and nitrates/nitrites you'd be okay with overstocking the tank with the exception of the plecos.
I think the plecos are a really big issue because the produce so much waste, and I've heard stories of them becoming aggressive when in cramped aquariums. But IMO two pleco's is too much for a 29 gal too. My opinion would be to rehome at least one of them, maybe even just for the time being.
 

Ms rose

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Sounds like 73% water changes a week, is what s going to need to be done.
"Best of wishes to you and your fishes"
 

TexasDomer

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Inert substrate can be perfectly good for many plants, just add root tabs below the root feeders.

What kind of substrate did you want to switch to?

Even your 29 gal has stocking issues - would you be willing to rehome some of your fish?
 

Robert Fletcher

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I do see. I think for a couple months, if you keep on top of your water changes and monitor ammonia and nitrates/nitrites you'd be okay with overstocking the tank with the exception of the plecos.
I think the plecos are a really big issue because the produce so much waste, and I've heard stories of them becoming aggressive when in cramped aquariums. But IMO two pleco's is too much for a 29 gal too. My opinion would be to rehome at least one of them, maybe even just for the time being.
I agree with you on the brittle nosed plecos. In fact, that is one of the things that worried me. I might try to get them a new home. Someone at the LFS insisted I should have them I should have had more sense to listen. They are both female thank goodness.
 
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