Do I have too many fish?

Richard40

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Trying to aquascape my tank with CO2 running for a week. It’s a 130 litre and wondering if I have too many fish. I’ve mainly different tetras, ember, rummynose, neon and phantom.
I do though have 2 bristlenose plecs, two Siamese algae eaters, 2 pyjama loach, 8 glass catfish, 4 corydoras, 3 pearl gourami and some baby apistogramma. Is this too many? Running an Oase 600 Biomaster thermal with Aquascaper glass piping with surface skimmer.
 

Millns84

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Yes, far too many and some get very big for a tank that size.

I'd keep the cories, tetras (depending how many tetras?) and one of the bristlenoses.
 

jaypeecee

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Hi @Richard40

That's way too many fish for a 130 litre tank. I'm tempted to ask how you managed to end up with so many fish but what is much more important is that you reduce the stocking level soon. So, that presumably means returning a lot of them to your LFS. And, what are your basic water parameters? What is the GH, KH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? Please also take a look at:

http://injaf.org/the-think-tank/do-fish-grow-to-the-size-of-their-tank/

JPC
 

Richard40

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Tested nitrite, ammonia and nitrate recently. 0 nitrite, 0.25 ammonia and low nitrate. I never test the water for GH or KH. All the fish are healthy.
Decided to take back to LFS a bristlenose, 2 loach, 2 panda Cory, 4 red phantom tetra, 2 Siamese catfish.
I guess as the fish have been healthy and in there for weeks with no problems I must be doing something right but after scaping last weekend it looked too over crowded so have decided to do something about it.
 

jaypeecee

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Tested nitrite, ammonia and nitrate recently. 0 nitrite, 0.25 ammonia and low nitrate. I never test the water for GH or KH. All the fish are healthy.
Decided to take back to LFS a bristlenose, 2 loach, 2 panda Cory, 4 red phantom tetra, 2 Siamese catfish.
I guess as the fish have been healthy and in there for weeks with no problems I must be doing something right but after scaping last weekend it looked too over crowded so have decided to do something about it.

Hi @Richard40

It is obviously reassuring that your fish are healthy. That's good. But, your ammonia, nitrite and nitrate figures are odd. Ammonia needs to be less than 0.05ppm and nitrite much the same. Nitrate should be less than 30ppm. If you don't know the water GH, do you have hard or soft water? If you don't measure KH (or pH) on an ongoing basis, your fish may be at risk of what is known as a pH crash. Now is the time to get acquainted with these important water parameters if you want your fish to remain healthy.

JPC
 

Richard40

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The water isn’t hard or soft, it’s in between as I live in Manchester it comes from the Lake District. Ammonia has spiked slightly as re scaped and Tropica soil contains ammonia which is why it’s slightly high. Been doing 50% water changes though regularly. PH is 7.4. Never had a problem with the PH it’s always stayed at this.
 

mort

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I have a 120l and only have a bristle nose and 15 beckfords pencilfish. For most this looks like a lightly stocked tank but the longer I keep fish the more I believe that less is more. I simply mean that your tank will look far more harmonious with less fish species in there so consider what you would like as a feature fish and stock around it. My advice would be to go for no more than 3 species and ideally one of those would be kept in good numbers (your shoal), a midwater swimmer complimented with either a pair of larger fish like apistogramma, or smaller fish in groups that inhabit other areas (top and bottom).

John's recommendation of 20+6 is a good average but depends on exactly what route you go to.

It's easy to overstock if we buy young fish because they add less bioload and it takes far more to make the tank look full. At the moment you may be fine but as they grow your water quality will take more work to keep everything healthy. So we have to balance what looks good now and onside what that might look like as they grow.
 

Richard40

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Yes I’ve come to the conclusion that less is more. I’ve ordered a load of plastic transport bags to take a load of livestock back to the LFS. Gutted but it’s the right thing to do.

I’m thinking to keep my 3 pearl gourami as they live in the top layers mainly and my rummy nose and neon tetra. Keep one plec.
 

mort

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Pearl gourami are a really nice centrepiece because they are gentle giants. They should be complimented by the rummy and neons well. So sounds like a good plan.
 

Basviola

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As a rule of thumb (for smaller fish):

1 cm fish / 1 liter water. (normal bio load)

10 rummy nose (5-7cm long) would then require 50-70 liters of water.

ofcourse you can double the bio load in your tank if you double the bio media in your filter.

But I agree with less is more!
 

alto

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Tank dimensions are also important when considering overall fish numbers and suitable species

You mention, baby apisto but not species or number - as these mature they will require more space/territory and depending upon species, you may suddenly have significant casualties

Pearl gouramis - while comparatively tolerant of conspecifics, if you watch George Farmer’s Aquascaper 1200 videos, one can observe significant harassment (chase, fin “talk”) and this is in large tank with decent “hiding” areas and broken “lines of sight” (though I’m somewhat dubious that fish are really that gullible ;))
For your tank size, I’d have just 1 - they grow into substantial fish and like other gouramis
Males are territorial with one another however and can also be quite hard on the females when they want to breed,
Obviously you can just wait and see how they get on

At present I suspect you’re seeing little “agression” as the tank stocking density is so high, this often works over the short term, but in long term contributes to significant stress levels (and fish become ill)

Corydoras - please don’t keep these in groups smaller than 6-7, and preferably same or similar species
(you mention returning 2 but not overall numbers)

8 glass catfish
https://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/kryptopterus-vitreolus/
It’s awesome that you have a suitable shoal size :)
Note they may not thrive longterm in a “too busy tank” (and are much slower feeders than the ravening tetra horde)

I’m dubious of claims that Tropica Soil releases significant ammonia - I’ve never observed this in an aquarium with a “cycled” filter, though trapped organic debris may be a contributor

When ANY ammonia is observed in a stocked aquarium, minimum 25% daily water change is recommended (measure ammonia pre/post water change if possible - I use Seachem’s Ammonia Alert and perform water changes as soon as there is any color change)
After significant rescape or substrate upheaval, large initial water changes and additional Seachem Prime (choose a water conditioner which actually binds ammonia), followed by daily water changes will promote good water quality
If you can’t manage a water change, then adding 3-4 x Prime dose should “remove” any ammonia

You can also use a product such as Seachem Stability (read instructions carefully)

Note: Seachem products are locally available and more economic than competitors, hence my preference (I’ve also been a long time supporter of the company, Greg Morin used to share interesting information/studies via the APD and company website (which is a much different place than “back when” :D )

It’s grand that you’ve ordered transport bags etc
Seriously Fish is an amazing site for species information

You might list detailed livestock information and tank specifics here (or in a new topic) for more opinions ;)
 

Richard40

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Apistogramma Borelli so one of the more peaceful Apisto’s.

I have 4 corydora’s 2 panda and 2 sterbai, had them since I started over two years ago and they seem fine. Are you saying don’t have any?

I bought the Male gourami two females to pass his aggression between the two of them.
 

Richard40

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So, I’ve taken loads of fish back to the LFS. I now have left L236 Plec, 1 bristlenose, 8 rummynose, 8 neon, 3 pearl gourami, 8 glass catfish, 8 phantom tetra (taking the phantoms back next week) 3 Apistogramma Borelli
 

Richard40

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Current stock

I’ve cut right down to 35 fish in total in 135litre tank. Probably 5-10 too many still. Struggling to think of what else to take out as I really like the rest.

1 L236 Plec
1 bristlenose
6 rummynose tetra
2 female pearl gourami
1 Male pearl gourami
8 Neon tetras
4 Apistogramma borelli. 3 of which are babies
8 glass catfish
4 black phantom tetra 3 males and 1 female
 

Tankless

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You should remove the phantom tetras altogether if you can't have more than 4 and then increase the rummynose to 8.
 

Richard40

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So I now have,

10 rummynose tetra
2 Apistogramma 1 Male 1 female
8 black phantom tetra 4 Male 4 female
8 glass catfish
L236 Plec
5 Drape fin Barbs

really considering taking the glass catfish back as they just shoal and don’t do much else.
Considering some threadfin rainbowfish. What do people think?
 

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