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View Full Version : How many fish is too many? Tank Stocking


Tigweldpro
01-04-2018, 09:44 PM
How many fish can be put in a tank? There are sooo many variables that contribute to answering this question.

As long as you can keep nutrients at bay can you keep adding fish?

My current fish list for my 90g is....

1 yellow tang
4 percula clowns
1 yellow corris wrasse
2 bangaii cardinal
1 yellow watchman goby
1 tiger pistol shrimp
2 green spotted mandarin
2 skunk cleaner shrimp
1 lawnmower blenny
1 blue hippo tang(still in QT will be adding soon)
1 leopard wrasse(still in QT will be adding soon)

I still want to add

1 copperband butterfly
1 foxface rabbitfish
1 bluestreak cleaner wrasse
1 melanurus wrasse

I'm running a phosban 150 1/2 full of biopellets and it keeps nitrate between 5-10ppm doing 5g waterchange once a week. Phosphate stays around .03-.1ppm
feeding 2-3 cubes PE mysis small piece of nori & small pinch of NLS marine pellets daily.

BCOrchidGuy
01-04-2018, 11:30 PM
The upside of a tank that's populated extensively is that any aggressive fish rarely target a single other fish so the bruises are shared.
The downside is it can get dirty quick. As long as you're doing maintenance and your fish are healthy I don't see it being an issue.
Sounds like a great tank to sit and watch

whatcaneyedo
01-05-2018, 01:23 AM
My advice is to slow down. Your system is only a few months old and already very heavily stocked in my opinion. Consider what it will look like in 5 years when those frags have grown into colonies and your fish have matured from juveniles to adult sizes (12" for a hippo tang).

Dearth
01-05-2018, 01:32 AM
I have stocked my 95 gallon tank with up to 20 fish but they were all small 5 inches and smaller I won’t put big fish in my tank due to possible stress, fighting over hiding spots or bullying.

I currently have 14 fish in my tank and they are always out and aside from my clownholes are peaceful with each other. Downside to this is that more fish create a heavier bioload and your tank gets dirtier that much faster and it is possible to have big swings in your tank parameters

Myka
01-05-2018, 02:38 PM
The fact that you have to use bio pellets to keep nitrate down, and it's still at 5 to 10 PPM, shows that your tank is already stocked more than it can handle. Maybe your skimmer isn't big enough or good enough, or your tank is too young, or you're not cleaning it good enough, the system can't handle it.

Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk

Tigweldpro
01-05-2018, 06:29 PM
The fact that you have to use bio pellets to keep nitrate down, and it's still at 5 to 10 PPM, shows that your tank is already stocked more than it can handle. Maybe your skimmer isn't big enough or good enough, or your tank is too young, or you're not cleaning it good enough, the system can't handle it.

The biopellets have been online since the tank was filled. skimmer is BM7.
I do spend a lot of time with the tank and do keep it quite clean.

When googling around the advice and opinions vary greatly, just wondering what other reefers here think.

Thanks

kien
01-05-2018, 07:49 PM
The reason why the answer varies is because there are so many variables that contribute to this answer. You can put as many fish in a tank as your tank can handle. What your tank can handle will depend on how proficient you are with maintenance which includes but is not limited to: cleaning, nutrient export, feeding, behavioral (stress, aggression, etc) control, and so on. You already know that all of these things need to be a balance for a healthy tank. The more fish you add the more challenging it will be to control/balance the other variables. This balancing act differs from tank to tank, even among tanks of the same size.

So, the answer to your question is: whatever number of fish you have that puts your tank out of balance is too many fish. Probably :-)

Tigweldpro
01-05-2018, 08:43 PM
Well just like all the answers to this question yours sounds right..... maybe :lol:

The reason why the answer varies is because there are so many variables that contribute to this answer. You can put as many fish in a tank as your tank can handle. What your tank can handle will depend on how proficient you are with maintenance which includes but is not limited to: cleaning, nutrient export, feeding, behavioral (stress, aggression, etc) control, and so on. You already know that all of these things need to be a balance for a healthy tank. The more fish you add the more challenging it will be to control/balance the other variables. This balancing act differs from tank to tank, even among tanks of the same size.

So, the answer to your question is: whatever number of fish you have that puts your tank out of balance is too many fish. Probably :-)

calo247
01-05-2018, 11:02 PM
adding the hippo tang will massively increase the bio load as they are big fish and a full grown one should not even be in a 90 gallon.

the foxface is a large fish with a big bio load as well

calo247
01-05-2018, 11:03 PM
i also see you have 4 clownfish, are they mature? it is VERY rare to see them all get along, chances are you will end up with 2


and 2 mandarins in a 90 wont work, even one will destroy the pod population in your tank, a mature 90 can support one though

Tigweldpro
01-05-2018, 11:20 PM
The 4 clowns all came from the same batch of fry. They haven't shown any aggression yet and are always together in a ball. Maybe when 2 decide they will be a pair there will be fighting but nothing yet.

Both of my mandarins actively chase down and eat mysis, and have fat bellies.

The question being asked is tank stocking levels, not compatibility and feeding requirements.

i also see you have 4 clownfish, are they mature? it is VERY rare to see them all get along, chances are you will end up with 2


and 2 mandarins in a 90 wont work, even one will destroy the pod population in your tank, a mature 90 can support one though

DorySaid
01-05-2018, 11:35 PM
I don't think there is an easy answer. The whole aquarium hobby is filled with anecdotal advice and strong debates. Only a fraction of the information out there is halfway correct for the simple reason everyone's system is different and there are too many variables that can vary results or experiences.
Some basic obvious things can be 100% relied upon such as, a tank has to cycle before adding a bunch of livestock or corals need some levels of flow to survive. As soon as we start venturing away from those basic facts, there are many different opinions out there revolving around many subjects. People are really only going to rely on their trials and tribulations when giving their two cents even if literature says otherwise.
But to your point, I really think you have to take an overall perspective of what is in your tank and what is going on in your tank. Nutrients are something important to consider, but also how happy are the fish invertebrates and corals. If you set a threshold for nutrient levels ( not necessarily a set number read from the internet ), where your corals and other livestock are content with, and also how well do tankmates get along then I think you wouldn't need the internet to give you a magic number.
As long as your fish are eating and happy and not bumping into each other, and corals are doing well, I don't think you need to align your tank parameters with anything else or anyone else's tank set up.

Tigweldpro
01-06-2018, 12:08 AM
Very true, I think I will add the 2 fish I have in QT in a week or so and then let things settle for a while before thinking about a copperband or foxface.

Most of the fish I have are small and or stay on the bottom. Blenny, mandarins, watchman goby/shrimp all keep to them selves. Wrasses are pretty timid and are buried most of the time, the only fish that actually swims around a lot is the yellow tang. Clowns stay in the top corner unless theres food.

When sitting back and watching the tank it does not look overstocked by any means.

I don't think there is an easy answer. The whole aquarium hobby is filled with anecdotal advice and strong debates. Only a fraction of the information out there is halfway correct for the simple reason everyone's system is different and there are too many variables that can vary results or experiences.
Some basic obvious things can be 100% relied upon such as, a tank has to cycle before adding a bunch of livestock or corals need some levels of flow to survive. As soon as we start venturing away from those basic facts, there are many different opinions out there revolving around many subjects. People are really only going to rely on their trials and tribulations when giving their two cents even if literature says otherwise.
But to your point, I really think you have to take an overall perspective of what is in your tank and what is going on in your tank. Nutrients are something important to consider, but also how happy are the fish invertebrates and corals. If you set a threshold for nutrient levels ( not necessarily a set number read from the internet ), where your corals and other livestock are content with, and also how well do tankmates get along then I think you wouldn't need the internet to give you a magic number.
As long as your fish are eating and happy and not bumping into each other, and corals are doing well, I don't think you need to align your tank parameters with anything else or anyone else's tank set up.

calo247
01-06-2018, 01:42 AM
it all depends on the fish lottery as well, i had a lawnmower blenny who was such a dick to my goby i had to take him out, but most times they get along fine as long as everybody has a cave they can call home.

Frogger
01-06-2018, 04:40 AM
The questions you have to answer is how long have you been keeping Marine fish, how long do you want to continue keeping Marine fish and what is the life expectancy you want for your livestock?

The more fish you add the shorter the answer will be to these questions.

DKoKoMan
01-06-2018, 08:56 AM
I have a pretty heavily stocked 150g and am now forced to go bigger as I have fish that have grown very large. I agree with the bioload adding to the high nutrients as I’m battling this at the moment. There are several methods to reduce the nutrients though. The biggest thing to me as mentioned above is the amount of room the fish have to swim, suitable hiding spots, sleeping spots and overall how well the fish get along. The more fish the more competition for the few spots in the tank. You are always drawing a straw with a new addition to the tank. Slow and steady wins the race :mrgreen: