What do think of the stocking "calculators" out there?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Stocking Questions' started by Cathy B, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. Cathy BNew MemberMember

    Hi All:

    What do you guys that have been around for awhile think about the stocking calculators out there such as this one?

  2. LyndaBFishlore LegendMember

    Never saw the one you linked to. Didn't see where you would just pop in the fish you want/have.

    In general, I take these calculators with a grain of salt because they seem to only calculate based on tank volume and fish size. They don't take bioload, roaming room needed, etc. into consideration. So for me, these calculators are pretty worthless.
  3. Akari_32Fishlore LegendMember

    If we could *combine* the substrate depth of this one, and the rest of AqAdvisor, it would be almost perfect! Just need to set AqAdvisor straight about some of their recommendations about how much space some fish need...

    I use them as general guides, though, just to get a bit of an idea on what I want to do. I do not, at all, rely on them. Instead, I find its best to figure things out on your own, what works for you, and what doesn't work, and use the aid of other members here in FishLore, as well :)
  4. toosieWell Known MemberMember

    I plugged in my numbers and it's pretty close on most things. The heater is a way off, it says I only need one capable of 161W. My 300 watt heater has a hard time keeping up by itself but I have an open top tank so not as much heat gets trapped inside, but still, when I did have a glass top tank my 300W heater was definitely not too much. The inches of fish for a 10 or 20 gallon tank may work ok when you aren't working with a large volume of water and mainly stocking small fish like neon tetras or small danios but it really doesn't work for large tanks.

    They are fun to play with though. :)
  5. Cathy BNew MemberMember

  6. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    I would have to agree. AqAdvisor is a great one to use as a guide to stocking.

    I find the most helpful bit of AqAdvisor is it quickly compares requirements such temperature, parameters, recommended school sizes etc and general community compatibility to help narrow down a stocking plan. And it also guides you to other things to consider (like driftwood for plecos).

    It's a handy tool, but I certainly wouldn't consider it the 'oracle'.
  7. sirdarksolFishlore LegendMember

    I dislike them, except as a last-step check to see if you made any obvious mistakes. The amount of time and energy it would take to compile all of the information necessary to know how to stock every fish would be impossible. It is much better to research the fish you're interested in getting, and learn their stocking needs.
    Stocking a tank is part art, part science. There are some things you can't get around, like a Bala shark's need to swim in long, straight lines, or the bioload of a mass of fish, but there's some stuff, like aggression, that can be managed to some extent, if a person works the tank in the right way (for example, almost nobody would suggest a tank with African cichlids and generic tropical community fish mixed. And yet, my friend has had one running for over a year with only a handful of deaths, and with many of the fish breeding successfully.)
  8. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    I've never used one, never even visited any such website. I prefer to look up the information myself and compile a chart. But then again, I like making charts...

    Also, I think it's easier to make a thread and say "hey guys, I'm thinking of these fish, what do you think?" That way you get information straight from people who've kept the fish, and they may have extra tidbits that wouldn't be included in stocking websites.

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