Stocking decision / neons vs pristellas 10 Gallon Tank

Discussion in 'Aquarium Stocking Questions' started by Cyndi Warren, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. Cyndi Warren

    Cyndi WarrenValued MemberMember

    Hello. I posted before about being sold two pristella tetras and the dilemma of being out of room to get more. The population of my tank has changed a bit since then. After mulling over the options I finally decided on kind of a less-than-ideal compromise of getting one more pristella for a total of three and downsizing the neons to 6 (rehoming two).

    cropped tank.jpg
    I also have 2 guppies.
    Tank is new but seems stable (3 weeks).
    13 plants
    20 gal filter (they love playing in the current on that side of the tank)
    2 mystery snails
    1 magnificent rabbit snail
    Water chemistry stable and always reads just right.
    Image attached (in case it's not obvious from the pic, gold fish and angel fish are clingies)

    Anyway, I currently have room for 1.5 more inches of fish. And I am not sure which would be better - to get 2 more neons or 1 more pristella.

    The neons do seem a lot shyer since they went from 8-6 so I am leaning towards getting a more ideal school of neons and keeping the pristellas at a less than ideal 3. At least that way, one set of tetras would be the way they should be. I have to say the pristellas seem happier and more confident than the neons. And take turns schooling with the neons and playing with the guppies.

    Advice welcome!

  2. Nikita

    NikitaWell Known MemberMember

    So your current stock is 6 Neons, 2 Pristella Tetras, 2 Guppies and the snails? If so, personally I think you could add 2 - 3 Pristella Tetra to the tank (To complete the school). A school should never be incomplete, the others can get really stressed if not in a school (And it's hard for them to show it to sometimes). It would be fully stocked then. The "inch" per gallon rule does not work, it's way too inaccurate.
  3. OP
    Cyndi Warren

    Cyndi WarrenValued MemberMember

    Thanks for your reply. :D

    I previously had two pristellas but rehomed two neons and added another pristella. So I was trying to decide between addding pristellas or neons.

    I found a formula that says 1 inch of adult fish to 24 square inches of surface area. I have 10.39 gal and according to this, room for 11.1 inches of fish. That would give me room for 1.4 more inches of fish.

    I'm curious, how do you calculate how many fish for each tank?

    BTW, I think I may have a bit of wiggle room because of the 20 gal filter and plenty of plants?
  4. kellyiswicked

    kellyiswickedValued MemberMember

    Wiggle room depends on how crowded you want your fish to be. The inch per gallon is like the Pirates Code, which as Pirates of the Caribbean taught us, is not so much a rule as a guideline. That being said, you could probably add another fish, I don't own tetras so I can't comment on that. It might be prudent because the pristellas might to be more comfortable, but also consider how crowded it will be in there. It's harder to live with 4 people in a small house than 3, and we at least get to leave! Just make sure it looks like they all have enough room to swim.
  5. OP
    Cyndi Warren

    Cyndi WarrenValued MemberMember

    yes, I'm learning that not everything has to be ideal or by the book to work with fish. I think the 20 gal filter and extra plants probably help. I'm tempted to leave it the same as long as the pristella tetras don't seem stressed out. I also want to leave the door open for another female guppy if the male harrasses the one I have. PetSmart and PetCo say the 3 are fine but most others say there should be 6. Unfortunately they sold me two without telling gme they were schooling fish so now I need a solution that works for everybody. Bah! What brain damage!
  6. kellyiswicked

    kellyiswickedValued MemberMember

    Haha yeah, take any advice from any store with a grain of salt. Even the reputable ones don't always give sound advice. If it were my tank, I would probably leave it be and just observe for a while. If the pristellas seem REALLY uncomfortable, then you could try one or two more, with the knowledge you'll need to pay close attention to water parameters. If, on the other hand, they "relax" and swim around freely, you'll probably be fine. I think it's kind of a toss-up decision (as are most in fish keeping) but do you at least you have some idea now what may come either way?
  7. OP
    Cyndi Warren

    Cyndi WarrenValued MemberMember

    Yes, I think so. Basically it is to decide whether there is more stress from crowding or not being in a full school. Kind of like deciding whether to have a roommate or be more lonely and have the space to yourself. ;)

    Right now the pristellas are active and sociable. Everyone seems to get along with no nipping. All the fish spend time with other species. The pristellas don't mind splitting up, maybe one with the guppies and the other two with the neons. Everybody has a good appetite. and they all *love* body surfing in the current on the side of the tank with the oversized filter. it is hilarious. Sometimes all six will push into the current for all they are worth and then relax and blow back to the glass and do it all over again in unison! Who knew?

    Thanks for your advice. I think I will sit tight and observe. They are in my office so I spend a lot of time watching. And am pretty tuned in to animal behavior in general. Even though I am new, it really, really seems like the pristellas are happy. I think the neons seem shier than when there were eight and would be happier with one more. But for now I'll keep watching.

    Thanks !!
  8. kellyiswicked

    kellyiswickedValued MemberMember

    I'm so glad to hear they're looking happy!! I think you have a good setup as is and hope it stays that way! Best of luck!

    ^^ I love this example. So perfect.
  9. flyinggogo

    flyinggogoValued MemberMember

    As far as i am concerned the inch per gallon rule is trash, its all about filtration.
  10. OP
    Cyndi Warren

    Cyndi WarrenValued MemberMember

    Interesting. Well that is good, then, because I do have a 20 gal filter on my 10 gal tank. I would like to think it gives me a little margin and flexibility. Hope it makes the fish happy anyway. :) They love playing in the current on that side of the tank.

    Also I keep the water clean, siphoning once a week and doing a partial mid-week as needed.

    I'm kind of learning I need to trust myself. I'm the one who is watching the fish and setting up the tank. Sometimes, like with my own doctors, the experts don't know as much as I do. I guess its a balance between trusting myself and following good advice. Kinda tricky. I hate that little fishy lives are in the mix. Sigh.

    Thanks for saying this.