Stocking Rules

Lorekeeper

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Your original post was saying that people on this forum stock very lightly and therefore, create more stable tanks than any rules. I was simply pointing out that from a bioload perspective, which is what drives water quality and stability, that isn't true.
How is what I said not true?

A smaller bioload in a tank will allow ammonia to accumulate more slowly.

In a 20 gallon with 24 neons (overstocked, imo), the fish will put out enough ammonia that if something in the tank causes the cycle to fail, or something happens that causes half the fish to die, there will be a large spike of ammonia. If the cycle is still intact, then it will still take some time to get rid of the spike created, risking the lives of the fish in the process.

In a 20 gallon with 12 neons (just right), the fish will still put out a sizeable amount of ammonia. However, if will be half of what the 24 neons would put out (I'm aware that it's not exactly half, but it's a decent estimate) which means that in the case of a cycle failing or a large amount of deaths, there will be less ammonia in the same space.

Stocking lightly does create more stable tanks.
 

vikingkirken

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I wasn't disagreeing that stocking lightly creates a more stable tank. I was pointing out that stocking by the inch-per-gallon rule is more conservative (when used for small fish, as it should be) than many of the stocks suggested here.
 

Lorekeeper

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I wasn't disagreeing that sticking lightly creates a more stable tank. I was pointing out that stocking by the inch-per-gallon rule is more conservative (when used for small fish, as it should be) than many of the stocks suggested here.
I disagree with that.

When the stocking lists come from knowledgable members, this forum seems to stock lighter than most of the others that I've come across. A lot of forums say that neons do great in a 10 gallon. This one says they do not, even when a school of 8 neons (by the inch per gallon rule) should be okay in a 10 gallon tank.

Maybe I've just not been around to see some of the stocking recommendations you're talking about, but I haven't seen any ridiculous heavy stockings recommended without A) another member stepping in to correct the stocking or B) members recommending ways of keeping a safe tank at stocking capacity/slightly overstocked (overfiltering, excessive wc's, chemical filtration, etc.)
 

vikingkirken

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Here's an example, for a 29 gallon:

8x skirt tetra
10x harlequin rasbora
1x dwarf gourami
1-2x Bolivian rams
8-10x cories

Using the inch-per-gallon guideline, that tank is grossly overstocked with over 50 inches of fish. Now, I respect the person who suggested this, so I figure it'll probably be fine. But it's a whole lot more aggressive than a "29 inches of small fish" stocking would be.

And this is not one isolated example; this is typical. I continually see people attack the inch-per-gallon rule here, but I think it has value for estimating a conservative bioload. Of course you then have to take into account compatibility, temperament, overall size, and activity levels as well.
 

Alhana

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And this is not one isolated example; this is typical. I continually see people attack the inch-per-gallon rule here, but I think it has value for estimating a conservative bioload. Of course you then have to take into account compatibility, temperament, overall size, and activity levels as well.
I agree with your point here. Also the inch per gallon rule while not completely accurate is a lot easier for most lay people to understand. As someone who works with fish and the general public, I have to give them some kind of starting guideline that is easy to understand. If I don't use something easy then the people have already tuned me out and are buying 17 fish at one time to put into their ten gallon tank. I do also talk about how many fish to add at one time so my hope is usually that if they only get 3-6 fish at that time, that gives them a little bit of time to do more research and find a better stocking rule than the inch per gallon.
 
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chickenghost

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There are certain species that are overstocked to reduce aggression like certain African cichlids and Central Americans. But we're not talking about a 20 gallon tank. The tanks that I've seen overstocked are usually 150g or bigger and they're over filtered usually with 2 canisters and 2 hobs or a huge sump.

As we all know the more water volume the less likely it is for the parameters to crash. As per above there are no certain rules for stocking because each species is a case to case basis.
so essentially what you are saying is the bigger the better?
 
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