Why Can't I Have More Fish.....

Butterfly

Member
Theres been a lot of overcrowding issues and discussions around the board lately so I thought I would post this article. It will answer a lot of questions I think

Carol
 

Isabella

Member
Excellent article Carol. Thank you for posting it.
 
  • Thread Starter

Butterfly

Member
Welcome
Carol
 

chickadee

Member
Thanks, Carol. That was long needed. We have a lot of folks wanting fish and many of them do not have room for them. It is important that we all know that there are consequences that we may be asking the fish to pay for our actions.

Rose
 

nmwierman1977

Member
Thanks carol. Very good article and much needed info. Natalie
 
  • Thread Starter

Butterfly

Member
Glad it was helpful.
Carol
 

Buzz

Member
Wow, Thanks,

This explained so much!!!

We have a male swordtail that we raised from a batch of fry who got sick and it was a constant process of medicating for ich and when the ich started to ease, it was fungus. This kept on happening for weeks - needless to say despite the frequent water changes, the water quality always deteriorated rapidly with fry dying etc. He was the only one that survived (and was our favorite from the beginning as he is an almost transparent swordtail with a thin black stripe on his sword)

He's tough, but he has never fully grown. despite the fact that his sword is developed, he's very small for his age (1 Year) and has not managed to reproduce at all.

This article has made me understand a little better why he's this way

Thanks much,
Buzz
 
  • Thread Starter

Butterfly

Member
Glad it answered some questions Buzz.
Carol
 

robby270

Member
Bravo Carol, Bravo. You deserve a cookie..... well actually virtual cookies are bad for your computer so....... anyways you deserve something sweet.

About time some one posted that, after all i've heard 1 inch per gallon which in my opinion is rediculious (sry my spelling) I fell sorry for any 30 inch pacu in a 30 gallon tank.

Once again bravo Carol, brovo.
 

robby270

Member
(sigh) all that waste build up, all those lives lost, all the money spent, all that effort wasted, such is the price of over crowding fish.

Bravo Carol, bravo
 

atmmachine816

Member
Ya I always think it's weird how people say they can have a pirahana in a 20 gallon tank, the one inch per gallon rule is good for fish that are 3-4" or under (correct me if I'm wrong)
 
  • Thread Starter

Butterfly

Member

river

Member
Many years ago when I was a newbie keeping fish I bought a ten gallon tank.  I bought the cutest blood parrots, two.  The lady that sold them to me said that they would'nt get that big.  That it would be ok in the ten gallon tank.  As these fish grew and grew I continued to purchase larger tanks.  A 20 gallon, then a 40 gallon, a 55 gallon.  By now we were wondering just how big they were going to get. Two add to our growing fish we added two more blood parrots.  My husband said now we should buy a larger tank.  So he bought me a 125 gallon tank.  Blood parrots are messy eaters.  I have two large fluval filters one at each end of the tank.    The moral of this story.  Do your homework first. Read up on the fish BEFORE buying them.  See how big they will get, what they like to eat ect.  Another thing is always buy the largest tank that you can afford.  By the way my Blood parrots are seven inches long and very plump.  I guess they like the food that I feed them.
River
 

jason in houston

Member
WOW!! I thought DONT grow to the size of the tank! now I know!
 

ecnaj143

Member
Just reminds me of a story to tell. It was mean and stupid, my bro-in-law and myself were mad at my father-in-law for days because of this.

My bro-in-law gave my father-in-law a 55gal tall aquarium. Good enough for a few nice cichlids.

Well, he decided to go waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay overboard. He stocked that tank of 46 different fishes. From tetras to cichlids. We told him he can't do that, he said he didn't care he liked it like that.

I was so mad. Fishes started dying left and right. How stupid was he??
 

Shrimpy

Member
That article will helo a lot of hobbiests good job
 

f_i_e_a

Member
I recently bought a 10 gallon tank after winning a few goldish at a fair.  It has already cycled and I decided to add a few more since the tank looked a bit empty.  At the moment, I have two fantail goldfish (one 2" and one 1"), one 2" chinese algae eater, one 2" mollie, and a little 1" albino cory cat.   I do plan on getting a 20 or 30 gallon tank in a few months since I figure my goldfish will be growing quite a bit.  But is my tank considered overstocked since goldfish are so dirty?
 

sgould

Member
I recently bought a 10 gallon tank after winning a few goldish at a fair. It has already cycled and I decided to add a few more since the tank looked a bit empty. At the moment, I have two fantail goldfish (one 2" and one 1"), one 2" chinese algae eater, one 2" mollie, and a little 1" albino cory cat. I do plan on getting a 20 or 30 gallon tank in a few months since I figure my goldfish will be growing quite a bit. But is my tank considered overstocked since goldfish are so dirty?
Yes, it sounds like you are overstocked...by quite a bit. You go by the adult size of your fish, even though they may not yet be adults, aiming for a maximum of 1" of adult fish per gallon of water. 2 goldfish could work in a 10 gallon tank. However, Chinese algae eaters get up to 10-11", Mollies 3-4", and the cory around 3". That means you now have a total of approximately 27 inches of fish in a 10 gallon tank, which is way too much. In addition, goldfish are coldwater fish and should not be kept with tropical fish...there temperature and other care needs are just too different. I would suggest getting a new tank as soon as possible. Leave the goldfish in the 10 gallon, and move the tropicals into the new tank, which should be a minimum of 20 gallons. Also, just a heads up...chinese algae eaters, when they grow up, are very hard on other fish...they will literally chew holes in them. For the most part, just adding the 2nd tank you are already thinking about will help you a lot, but you may want to give serious thought to taking the algae eater back to the store.
 

BoSox Fan7

Member
THAT IS A GREAT LINK THANKS FOR PUTING IT ON!
 

Bill

Member
Hi,

Just wanted to put a little bit of my own experience in here, not trying to be devil's advocate or anything

We have a ten gallon (UK) biOrb, that's about 12 US gallons. With some goldfish and white clouds in it, that we've had for about 8 years. After reading allthis information on the internet, I've come to know that it's really overstocked! 12" of fish, right? Well, we've got 8" of white clouds, and about 15" of goldfish.

By all the standards, the goldfish should be "deformed little runts", especially as goldfish are so messy, but they are in perfect health - one of the current goldfish is fully grown, 6", and has been in there for about 6 years, another recently died, also at the length of about 6", who had been living in there since we got the tank 8 years ago. Even out of the white clouds, only one has died, and that was due to stress during a water change; all the rest have lived for about 5 years. The only maintenance on the tank is a water change every couple of months (I'm going to ask my mum to do it more often now, but the fish have managed fine for years in that situation).

Here is another very overstocked tank that seems to be doing well: .


All I am saying is that fairly small fish, from experience, seem to be okay with overcrowding. Obviously we didn't know anything about the 1" of fish per gallon rule, or even the nitrogen cycle, when setting up the biOrb (we just had the advice of lfs), and I wouldn't do it like that again, but some smaller fish are clearly able to reach their full potential in a crowded tank.
 
  • Thread Starter

Butterfly

Member
Bill thank you for sharing your story with us
Goldfish can live very long lives if given room to grow some can get quite large. I'm glad you are going to ask mom to clean the tank more often. Your fish will appreciate it I assure you. Please don't add any fish to take the place of the one who died. Generally their insides are stunted as well as their size being smaller when they are crowded. With more often water changes and more room to himself the goldfish left may start to grow again.
Carol
 

Bill

Member
We have 3 goldfish and 4 white clouds in there - lfs always told us that 3 goldfish and some other smaller fish was alright for that tank size. The recently deceased one has already been replaced (before I decided to get tropical fish and joined fishlore, you understand). We started with two goldfish in there, the 8yr old one has been in there since the start, his companion died a few years later, then we got 2 more, one of whom is still in there, he other who died another few years later, who was replaced with our current third goldfish... none of them ever stopped growing, and like I say, the oldest living one and the 8yr old one both maxed out at 6 inches, which AFAIK is the goldfish's largest potential size.

I'm not defending the conditions they are kept in, which are obviously not ideal, but all our goldfish seem to have coped very well, with no cases of disease.

Having done a bit more research on the internet, apparently body mass is the factor, not length, which is more easily measured and so used instead; a full-bodied tiger barb will produce much more waste than a slI'm guppy of the same length, for instance. I think if you keep up with water changes, it might well be possible to have a very crowded tank of tetras and guppies, for example, much more happily than a very crowded tank of chunkier fish. Just my opinion.
 

armadillo

Member
I find Bill's point an interesting one. It's definitely a popular (and controversial subject). My parents and friends keep confronting me with this question: if goldfish were so unhappy in undersized aquariums, then why do the ones we know who live in fishbowls live the full lifespan, show no neurotic behaviour (just calm browsing) and grow to their max size for the species? And I just don't know how to answer them with any evidence, aside from my intuition that the fish would be happier with more variety (decorations) and space. All I know is that I prefer erring on the comfortable side if I am asked to quote a fish' need. Bill's experience illustrates this. His fish live in a somewhat undersized and overcrowded environment, but we can't deny that they seem to be doing well.
 

Bill

Member
I tested the goldfishes' water yesterday - Ammonia 0.5ppm, Nitrite 0ppm, Nitrate 7.5ppm. This is several weeks after their last water change, so I'm guessing their ammonia is a bit high because there are too many fish in there, and they're messy, right? I did a water change anyway, but I suspect they must have put up with much higher levels of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate during their time in the tank. Maybe we've just got particularly hardy fish... I expect it does vary between the individuals, but I'm still quite surprised they're all doing so well, after reading about exceptions to the general 1" per gallon rule - it should only be small fish who thrive in such a situation according to everything I've read. Frequent water changes, good oxygenation and large surface areas of biological filtration will allow you to far exceed the rule, but none of that is as yet present in the biOrb!
 

armadillo

Member
Well some goldfish can be crazy hardy. I know of so many long-lived ones in unfiltered, tiny tanks.
 

Angelgirl

Member
*First post*

A friend of mine had a goldfish in a little bowl for years, it is much smaller then what you would expect for the age it was, but it was 'alive'. I felt bad for it though.
 

COBettaCouple

Member
welcome to fishlore angelgirl.
 

armadillo

Member
Yes, welcome to Fishlore.

In a way, I wish goldfish were not so resistant to bad treatment, as it prompts my family and friends to ALWAYS argue that no, their goldfish is fine in these appallling conditions.
 

COBettaCouple

Member
yea, they don't understand the difference between living and existing/surviving.
 

armadillo

Member
My dad who loooooves animals told me last night that he wanted a goldfish again, in a bowl. I asked why a goldfish and he said because they're the ones who don't need any care and can live in a bowl... He just wouldnt' take no for an answer. Really frurtrating.
 

Angelgirl

Member
Thank you FLBettaCouple and Armadillo!
 

armadillo

Member
's alright, Angelgirl. We also find it frustrating when people think we're fish-nuts for thinking that fish, too, feel suffering and have feelings.
 

Ladybug

Member
Re: growing to the size of the tank, I thought I'd share my story.

I got one of those ping-pong prize goldfish at a fair. I felt sorry for him and put him in a 10 gallon tank. He grew and I felt bad that he didn't have room to really swim around, so I got him a 20 gallon. He grew. Felt bad, got a bigger tank. He grew. Time passed. He ended up with 55 gallon tank and grew to over 15 inches long (with tail) and over three inches thick. Sadly, he passed away this year. He was almost 12 years old.
 
  • Thread Starter

Butterfly

Member
Good for you for providing him with the room he needed to grow to his full potential! Sorry for your loss but you know you gave him the best life possible.
Carol
 

armadillo

Member
Wow, Ladybug. If only everyone knew how to treat goldfish so good. I am getting really frustrated because my dad won't listen as my cousin is very successfully keeping a goldfish in a tiny bowl. He's been there... 9 years, and that's their evidence that he's happy.
 

COBettaCouple

Member
funny how people can confuse existence and living.
 

Ladybug

Member
I suspect that goes for people, too
 

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