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Topics for Debate Give your opinions on topics that are hotly debated, such as glofish and conditions for bettas

 
 
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Bernie Bernie is offline
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Default Re: Space Requirements of Fish!

This thread was part of another thread http://www.tropicalfishforum.net/sho...1477#post21477 which was getting off topic. I moved some posts from that thread here so the discussion could be continued, if members wished to do so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fairbs View Post
Bernie - thanks for your suggestions. I feel actually that my tank is rather understocked as I use an oversize exrernal filter and all has been running at higher stocking levels for over a year now.

If I may Richard, I would like to explain why I think your tank is overstocked and some of the problems it causes, and I apologise in advance if the following sounds like preaching, but the overstocking issue can’t be emphasized enough as far as I’m concerned, and is one of the major causes of problems in an aquarium (besides overfeeding). You may know and have heard what I am about to say before, but there may be some hobbyists that don’t...so this may help them.

I completely understand that people may think their tank is fine in regard to stocking levels, particularly when the fish are small and having an oversized filter may keep the water quality very adequate, but there are many other variables to consider.

Stress is the prime killer of fish; fish can die from stress alone (may not show any outward symptoms at all) or from stress related illnesses (which a lot are, due to weakened immune systems from stress), brought on by water quality, lack of space, incompatibility, lack of hiding places to make them feel secure etc., fish may appear fine for years, but all the while they may be experiencing stress in one form or another that eventually takes it toll leading to their death.

For the sake of this exercise I will just refer to the SPACE factor! Fish weren’t really meant to live in confined spaces as in a tank and they can become very stressed by it over time, any gravel/décor will also reduce the space (not to mention the actual water, so in a 21 gal. tank you may only be looking at 19-20 galls). If we use the much generalized “1 inch per gallon” rule...A tank of 21 gallons should only hold 21 inches of fish and the adult size of the fish has to be used. Using the fish you have in your signature (and say the cardinals are still alive), which are: 2 black mollies 4 platys 2 swordtail 2 Guppies 6 Harlequins 11 cardinal tetras..

Livebearers can grow 2 inches or more (let's say 2”)
2 mollies = 4”
4 platys = 8”
2 swords = 4”
2 guppies = 4”

That is 20 inches just there.

Harlequins can grow 1.5 inches possibly more (let's say 1”)
6 harlies = 6”

Cardinals can grow 1.5 to 2 inches (let’s say 1”)
11 cardinals = 11”

This now brings the total to 37 inches. On top of that we now have to include the bristlenose and pearl gouramis (I am assuming here that they were in the same tank)

Pearl Gouramis can grow to 5 inches
3 pearls = 15”

Bristlenoses can grow to 5 inches or more (let's say 5”)
1 bristlenose = 5”

The grand total comes to 57 inches of fish (which is over double the amount), when you really should only have 21 inches, and just like humans, if personal space gets invaded it can cause stress and this on a continual basis for fish may lead to a shortened lifespan.

Thanks for bearing with me on this Richard!

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fairbs fairbs is offline
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Default Re: Space Requirements of Fish!

Bernie - thanks for all that info. It is all very interesting but also a bit scary as I use virtual online tanks to calculate fish/tank space and according to your figures they are way off the mark

Thanks for taking the time to write all that and I will study closely.
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Richard
8gal tank - cycling.

21gal tropical community tank
4platys 2swordtail 2Guppys 6Harlequins 2bristlenose 5 pristella tetra

8gal nursery tank
3 platysloadza different fry that will need a good home soon
400gal cold saltwater tank
2 - lobster6 starfish3 blennies2 pipefish2 scorpion fish 4 butterfish 6 different crabs anemones and mussels

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Default Re: Space Requirements of Fish!

The fish calculator and fish per inch thing are for reference only. You may have fish that will eventually grow quite large and you can adjust for that as they grow although you need to recognize it and be prepared. Generally most aquarium fish will stay under 3 inches for quite a while. If all of the fish in your tank are between 1 and 3 inches and you have 6 to 12 of mixed size in a 10 gallon tank things should be ok if you do regular maintenance and keep the water quality good. I like to use this analogy: If you live in a two bedroom apartment and your wife has triplets: do you rush out and buy a 4 bedroom house? No, but you start planning.
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Default Re: Space Requirements of Fish!

I think my point has been missed..(those are just very generalized rules I agree, 3 gallons per 1 inch of fish is another one)....Fish need space! (forget about water quality for a moment and that the fish are swimming in their own urine/faeces all the time), that is the only thing I am referring to here; besides what I mentioned previously, fish like to claim there own territories to varying degrees (some more so than others) and they can’t do this in an overstocked tank and hinders their natural behaviour, also no matter how small a fish is, in a confined tank they are trapped and can only go so far to escape from the other fish when needed for whatever reason, all this can cause constant stress.

Many hobbyists may fill a tank with fish because it may look boring otherwise (just a general comment and not inferring anything), this is doing the fish a major disservice. From the fish's perspective, compared to the ocean and rivers, a tank would be like being in a cup of water for the rest of their life...and we wonder why our fish keep dying on us!

Anyway, I have said enough...If you think your fish are fine/ happy Richard, that’s great! I am not a fish, so I can only surmise what might be best for them after having placed them in an unnatural environment to begin with.

These are just my thoughts, to either ponder or ignore..

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Default Re: Space Requirements of Fish!

Rules and guidelines are good and should be used with some good old common sense. That was my point.
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Default Re: Space Requirements of Fish!

...and I understood the point you were making Dan, I was just trying to clarify mine.

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Smile Re: Space Requirements of Fish!

First of all - happy Christmas to you both and everyone else

An interesting discussion on populations and thank you Bernie for bringing to attention the realities. I wonder what the difference is between captured wild and those home bred and known nothing else other than captivity?

It does sadden me when some die and that is always fishkeepers responsibility other than of course inherent weaknesses. I would like to think that fish are 'content' in the right captive environment otherwise we should not be pursuing this hobby.

Heck this getting serious! Happy Xmas again and much goodwill to all
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Richard
8gal tank - cycling.

21gal tropical community tank
4platys 2swordtail 2Guppys 6Harlequins 2bristlenose 5 pristella tetra

8gal nursery tank
3 platysloadza different fry that will need a good home soon
400gal cold saltwater tank
2 - lobster6 starfish3 blennies2 pipefish2 scorpion fish 4 butterfish 6 different crabs anemones and mussels

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Bernie Bernie is offline
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Default Re: Space Requirements of Fish!

Merry Christmas to you Richard

The differences in my opinion, is that most captive bred fish are more accepting of different water conditions and acclimatise better as opposed to their counterparts in the wild....but those captive born/bred fish now appear to be weaker and less resilient overall because of constant stress and possible inbreeding. I think even captive bred fish that have known nothing else and possibly kept in a confined space permanently, still retain their natural instincts and behaviours, but those instincts get inhibited and the fish are unable to fully show their normal/natural behaviour.

I do believe that fish can be “content” in the right captive environment (as you say Richard) and healthy, but if that environment is overcrowded....I feel they won’t be!

Many hobbyists may only have one tank, but as there are very many fish to choose from and they like the look of many, they buy them all and place them in the same tank just for the aesthetics alone.....This as I mentioned previously is doing the fish a great disservice and is cruel. Of course you can still have a lovely looking tank that isn’t boring, but the first priority should be to the fish, they are the ones that have to live in that tank after all, and as Dan mentioned, common sense also needs to be applied.
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Default Re: Space Requirements of Fish!

1 Research to acquire the knowledge.
2 Discipline to do the necessary things.
3 Common sense in applying the
first two!
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Default Re: Space Requirements of Fish!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dano View Post
1 Research to acquire the knowledge.
2 Discipline to do the necessary things.
3 Common sense in applying the
first two!


Heck Dan, those are 3 tough comments, especially the second one. BUT you are absolutely right. I have been guilty as a newbie to buying several different species for one community tank, getting into a muddle, producing far too many fry etc etc. Trying to beat the system by oversizing filters.

Now looking to get more tanks, keeping each one simple and I guess specialising a bit more. Hope this will be kinder on not just the inhabitants but myself as well.

Trick will be to decide on what areas/species/substrate etc to specialise in.
__________________
Richard
8gal tank - cycling.

21gal tropical community tank
4platys 2swordtail 2Guppys 6Harlequins 2bristlenose 5 pristella tetra

8gal nursery tank
3 platysloadza different fry that will need a good home soon
400gal cold saltwater tank
2 - lobster6 starfish3 blennies2 pipefish2 scorpion fish 4 butterfish 6 different crabs anemones and mussels
 


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