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Double check my math please.


MexiMike83

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I know I have had this answered before but I don't remember so bare with me. I'm just trying to plan ahead.

So the rule is 20g for the 1st goldie and 10 thereafter, correct?

So, I have a 56 gallon column tank (Dimensions: 30" W x 18" D x 24" H) and presently 2 orandas reside in there with a cory catfish. So that is 30 gallons of volume taken up plus a nickel for the cory. Now that leaves room for 2 more for max capacity, or 1 more for the extra "buffer zone". Throw in a nickel for the 1 cory cat, I'm thinking I should be ok with the 4 fish plus the cory? Is that right?

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Hi Mike,

Your math is correct :)

However, I think that in this case, it's best to be more conservative and use 15 gallons/fish instead of 10. The moderating team has been mulling this over, and it has become evident to us that for the type of maintenance that we normally recommend (1 50+% WC weekly), having 10 gallons/adult fancy goldfish is really not enough. The fish, and you, are much better off with 3 goldies + cory in that tank. Perhaps 1 snail could be added, or another cory?

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Ok, cool. I wanted to double check because although I'm hesitant on putting stock into online calculators, the Aqadvisor said that 4 fancies is 120% stocking capacity. I assume that this is more to do with available surface area for gas exchange than it is for filter capacity. Does that sound accurate? So, both you my friend and this calculator agree so 3 fancies it shall be. Thank you.

Edit: Would making a sump tank out of say...a 10 gallon tank be sufficient for the possibility of 4 fancies, or am I over thinking this?

Edited by MexiMike83
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It's not so much filter capacity, because you can always add more of that, but rather the actual of volume of water, and the amount of wastes that will be released by some very large fish as they get increasingly bigger.

In my 100g tank, when I had 10 all very large fancy goldfish at one time, I had to change the water every 3-4 days, or nitrates would shoot sky high.

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I think adding a sump is beneficial because it provides a whole lot of biological filtration, additional water volume (even though not a whole lot, I think most sumps actually contain less than 50% water since you do not have it filled all the way, which means a 10g sump probably adds another 5g - unless I am not understanding the sump right).

In addition you can also keep a bunch of plants in the sump to help reduce the nitrates, and the fish can't eat them. Since it's a sump, it doesn't even have to be pretty. If it gets some light, then you can probably just toss a hand full of anacharis in, and it will grow and multiply on its own.

Or check out shakaho's topic about the mini bog filter for tanks, which provide superior filtration :)

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I think surface area is more important than volume. But I have another concern. Breeders of fancy goldfish seem to have a strong preference for shallow tubs/ponds for their fish, particularly young fish. I think a reason for this is to help avoid swim bladder problems, but I'm not sure.

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We should be talking about how much water the fish population displaces to determine the gallons required.

It is important to have enough surface area for gas exchange.

The larger a tank is the slower the nitrates and other unknowns will rise.

Both are important.

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I think surface area is more important than volume. But I have another concern. Breeders of fancy goldfish seem to have a strong preference for shallow tubs/ponds for their fish, particularly young fish. I think a reason for this is to help avoid swim bladder problems, but I'm not sure.

Yes, surface area is more important. :)

In this case, a longer, but shallower, tank would have been preferable, but the one he has should be fine, too.

Shallow tubs/ponds are preferred to avoid SB issues, as you say, but it's also to provide correct stance for swimming for ranchu fry, and for correct finnage development of fish such as butterfly and tosakin tails.

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There is no proof or evidence that surface area is more important.

It is just another bit of net wisdom resulting from people repeating what they read and not understanding. It is one of the unfortunately down sides of the net.

One needs to look at the tank as a system. Isolating a single parameter and saying it is more important is like saying your brain is more important then your heart or lungs.

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There is no proof or evidence that surface area is more important.

It is just another bit of net wisdom resulting from people repeating what they read and not understanding. It is one of the unfortunately down sides of the net.

One needs to look at the tank as a system. Isolating a single parameter and saying it is more important is like saying your brain is more important then your heart or lungs.

The bigger the surface area, the more gas exchange, including oxygen. That's not net wisdom. That's scientific fact.

While there are lots of mumble jumble on the internet, some things do make sense. If I have a choice between choosing two tanks: one with more surface area and longer, and the other deeper and shorter, there's not a question which I'd choose.

Not everything in the aquarium world has passed scientific proof or muster, but that doesn't mean that everything is just bs. If you think that, why bother reading anything on the internet or join these forums?

http://books.google....quarium&f=false

And just in case you still think that this is still a bunch of net wisdom, let's see what some aquatic veterinarians have to say about stocking. Would that be more acceptable, or do you need something else?

Here's what is in Helen Robert's book with regard to stocking recommendation:

(1) For the average fish keeper, carrying capacity should not exceed 25 cm (10 in.) of total fish body length per 38 l (10 gallons) of culture unit volume (25 cm [10 in.] of fish body length per 76 l [20 gallons] of culture unit volume for the novice with very basic equipment, and 25 cm [10 in.] of fish body length per 19 l [5 gallons] of culture unit volume for the expert with sophisticated life - support equipment).

(2) Every 155 cm 2 (24 in. 2 ) of pond surface area will accommodate 2.5 cm (1 in.) of total fish length. This measurement is based on the surface area available, which is where gas diffusion will take place. For freshwater fish aquaria, the general rule of thumb estimates 1 in. of fish body length/12 in. 2 of surface area.

This is on page 47 of this book

http://www.amazon.com/Fundamentals-Ornamental-Health-Helen-Roberts/dp/0813814014/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346982330&sr=8-1&keywords=fundamental+of+ornamental+fish

All the contributors are veterinarians. The above stocking suggestions are just for fish in general, and not for goldfish specifically, but note the emphasis on surface area in point 2.

Seriously, it annoys the heck out of me that people just use the excuse of silly net info when it's something they don't want to hear.

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The bigger the surface area, the more gas exchange, including oxygen. That's not net wisdom. That's scientific fact.

And out of context. It is true but does not speak to what shakaho or I said.

I think surface area is more important than volume.

My point is that one has to look at the system as a unit and not just isolate one parameter.

Far better to point that out, and then say that if all else is equal go with the tanks with more air/water interface.

Fish mass is a superior measure to what Helen Robert's book says. A 3 foot koi is a much greater fish load then 3 feet of 3 inch fish. The larger fish also requires better conditions. If a pond gets too warm the large fish will die first.

Insteads of ruffling your feathers maybe you could try to listen and learn. If you would rather be left alone in you little kingdom of net wisdom I will gladly leave!

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If you have anything worth learning, I would love to hear it. Instead of just ranting about lack of scientific fact, how about providing some of these info? I have yet to see it.

There is no question that body mass is crucial because the more mass, the more waste, and mass does not increase linearly with length, at least not with goldfish. Surface area/inch and gallonage/fish have all been surrogates for determining the stocking level, and while they are far from perfect, they are something to work with.

If you have a stocking suggestion based on mass etc., by all means share. I am not averse to other opinions and suggestions. But do provide concrete suggestions.

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I think surface area is more important than volume.

My point is that one has to look at the system as a unit and not just isolate one parameter.

Far better to point that out, and then say that if all else is equal go with the tanks with more air/water interface.

As you will note, I was careful to say, "I think." I actually considered saying that meant that I knew of no research to support my opinion, but decided defining "think" might insult the intelligence of the reader. But I made the point for a reason. The practice of this forum is to base stocking levels on the number of fish and the volume of the tank. Ideally, of course, we would use the volume/mass of the fish and their potential for future growth, rather than just the number of fish, but you need simple guidelines for beginners, and number of fish of the same species is certainly better than inches of fish. The stocking recommendations used on this forum consider only volume of the tank. As a result, people with limited floor space tend to get tall tanks so they can have more fish without breaking the "rules." Thus I consider it important to point out the parameters they are not considering to people seeking advice.

Fish mass is a superior measure to what Helen Robert's book says. A 3 foot koi is a much greater fish load then 3 feet of 3 inch fish. The larger fish also requires better conditions. If a pond gets too warm the large fish will die first.

Completely in agreement with "net wisdom," and almost certainly true. But beginners wondering how many fish they can safely put in their tank are not likely to know the mass of their fish or be willing to measure it.

I think you would like to discuss how to best determine and describe stocking levels. That would be an excellent topic for a thread, and would encourage you to start one rather than trying to debate the topic on a thread intended to answer the OP's question. I would love to see people dig up some data on the subject. My husband teaches mathematical modeling and frequently has students looking for projects. I could probably find one who would be interested in creating a computer model for stocking goldfish tanks/ponds that would combine the various parameters. The problem is finding the data to use in the model.

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I did not fire the first shot but yet I am made out to be the bad guy here.

Darn tough to make much headway when a moderator is acting like a bully!

I do not need this.

HTH, I welcome discussions and disagreements. However, when you start out the discussions by saying that people are reading and repeating what they don't understand, that is an awfully condescending way to start any sort of meaningful discussion. If my response to your condescending tones is considered bullying, then so be it.

If you will read the discussions in this forum, you will see that stocking levels and recommendations are things that I am very much interested in. As shakaho mentioned in her post, most of the recommendations that we make has to be accessible to beginner goldfish keepers. Hence, we choose gallonage AND surface area. If there is a good and practical way to work in body mass to determine stocking, I would be quite happy.

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Wow, this turned into something like a discussion over Obamacare :lol. Hth, don't let Alex scare ya :) he and I got into a "discussion" when I first joined too over MSG. No one meant any harm.

I think a mathematical model would be fantastic, especially if you could figure out not only the mass, # of fish, and volume of the tank but also some of the other variables. I.e. filters, the size of the filters, bioload capacity and type of media used (yep surface area again), the temperature of the tank (as it will affect metabolism) as well as how much and how the fish are fed. I don't know if there is a definitive one size answer for my question - the gallon size question is just the easiest.

I asked about the sump because I could put plants in there which would lower the nitrate, increase water volume for dilution of wastes as well as adding more oxygen to the water. However, I do not know the rate at which CO2 will be eliminated from the tank which as I understand it, occurs at the surface and if my little 10 gallon would be enough. At the same time, I don't know if I'm comfortable relying on plants for control of my nitrates, if they die then that is an extra headache for me.

If a model could be constructed and put into a calculator here on koko's, that would be awesome!

P.S. if there are grammatical errors in here it's because I should have been in bed 4 hours ago. lol

Edited by MexiMike83
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So Alex, based on your second premise (if i did my math correct) the Sa of my AQ is 3384 in?. 3384 x 2.54 = 8595.36 cm?/155 cm ≈ 55.45 cm of fish/2.54 so i can understand it in american....gives me ≈21.8 inches of fish. I have probably 15 inches in goldfish and the1inch for the cory so that is 16 inches of fish leaving room for 1 six inch fish. This doesnt take in account the marginal addition of surface area of the water in my canister filter. I also dont know the degree to, or how to, include the effect that the bubbles/agitation of the surface has.

For first premise: 25/2.54 = 9.84 inches so 56.1 gallons / 9.84= 5.70 fish.

Lol still 2 different answers, i might have messed up on the math. I think i will do just 3 later on to be safe. When i buy a house i can get a custom tank built and fly to Ausie to steal Stakos jumbos. Hehe.

Now that i think about it, my SA calculation is wrong because we are only concerned about the SA of one of the sides of the tank, the surface right? Ugh, im going to bed.

Edited by MexiMike83
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Lol. I think 3 is a good number, and to be honest, any of these are simply guidelines. You will have to let your system guide you. What I mean is that with that number, a 50% weekly WC may suffice, or you might find that you need to do more WCs and more often. Moreover, if you find that your fish are experiencing recurrent stress-related type issues, then those are good indicators that there are undue strains in the system, and requires adjustment, including possibly reducing the stocking.

Having said that, I think you should be more than OK with 3. :)

Edit: SA calculations should be done using length x width of tank :)

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Years ago I wrote

If you are looking for a site with all the answers you may be disappointed. The people who breed fish disagree with the people who import fish who disagree with the people who keep golfish as pets. When you understand that the info these people give is based on what they are, it becomes clear that they differ because they, in part, have different goals.

I need to take my own advice and find a forum better suited to where I am.

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