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ranetree

Questions on Stocking

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First off, I hope this is the right place for this kind of thread. (It was either here or the Tanks forum.)

Secondly, I have, as the title says, some questions about stocking. I recently purchased a 40B tank for my future fishies. I plan to stock it with fancies. Here's where the question comes in.

I've seen two different opinions on stocking with fancies. Side A says that they all need 20 gallons of space to call their own, regardless of their size, because they are goldfish and make a lot of waste, and greater water volume means it's easier to maintain stable water params.

Side B says that the first fancy needs 20 gallons of space, and that subsequent fish need 10 gallons, because fancy goldfish are smaller than and do not swim as energetically as commons, which these people agree all need 40 gallons to themselves, minimum.

I've noticed that the caresheets from people on Side B advocate larger and more frequent water changes than the caresheets put out by people who side with Side A. This says to me that the people on Side B acknowledge that goldfish are messy critters and that ultimately, you need to ensure that you can keep the water quality up if you want to keep them humanely.

So here are my questions:

-Assuming I kept water conditions perfect, do you think I would be able to house three fancy goldfish in a 40B tank?

-If you think three is too many, tell me how you came by that. Say you and I were looking at a 40B with three fancies in it, and you told me it was overcrowded, and I asked "How can you tell?", what would you say? (And don't just say "because each fish needs 20 gallons"--I mean, is there a certain look that tank would have? Are you dividing the tank into thirds and judging the size of the fish?)

Edited by ranetree

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Three is technically manageable but you need to put in a bit more effort to keep the params under control etc.

I think you ask a great question here, because no setup and fish are alike. :)

Aside from keeping the water parameters good, there are other things to consider:

Do the fish have enough room to move?
As an extreme example, you could have three fish in a 20g, change the water nearly daily and the params are always perfect. But is it a good environment for the fish, being crammed so many into a small space? Certainly not.

Size of fish and waste production are another important issue. One fish may under best circumstances never grow to be bigger than 2" body size, while another grows to be twice the length and with that probably three times the volume. The volume and weight of a fish in combination with how much you feed it determine the amount of waste produced, which directly relates to the toxins produced and with that the overall water quality.

For example, you could have one huge fish of like 300grams body weight in a 55gallon tank, and this would be all the tank setup could handle - or you could have five fish that never grew above 60grams weight, producing pretty much the same waste as the one big fish.

Because of that, I do not think that a number of (fully grown, adult) fish is what should determine what you have in your tank, because I can not even imagine the mess you would have with three huge fish in a 55gallon tank, even though we say that three is a fantastic number of fish in a tank this size.
Still, if you start out with young fish, you should always provide rather more room than less, in order to give them the room to grow and develop to their full possible potential.


The stocking guidelines though are only that: guidelines.
Having a basic, average rule of thumb to start out with, especially for beginners to this hobby, is very important. It happens to easily that goldfish tanks are overstocked and the fish stunted in the progress of it.
I personally think that no matter what size/weight fish, a 20 gallon tank should be the absolute minimum for one healthy fish, in order to provide enough swimming room. If the fish grows bigger, then an upgrade is definitely needed.
Other than that, a minimum of 15 gallons per average sized fish should be considered - 30g (or "29" since that is what many tanks are made to be) for two fish etc, if a minimum of 10x filtration and 50-60% water change weekly are provided. Again, if the fish grow larger, an upgrade will be required.
If you are more advanced or rigorous with your maintenance, it is possible to stock tighter in a larger tank, but that is nothing I would recommend to somebody I do not know well enough to be sure that they will keep up with it, no matter what.

Edited by Oerba Yun Fang

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There is actually no side B. There would have been one, but that was a few years ago.

Today, most of us advocate that you need at least 15 gallons per goldfish, but preferably 20. Fancy goldfish are not smaller than single tails. They are much more massive, and if you are going to have fancy goldfish, plan on 20 gallons per fish, but sometimes 30 or more gallons per fish.

Having increased water change schedules will help a little bit, in the sense that perhaps you can keep some bigger fish at 15 gallons/fish, but I don't think it's enough to house 3 fully grown goldfish in a 40 gallon breeder. I think 2 is a good number to shoot for, although in many cases, people have found that the bigger fish no longer fits into the aesthetic scheme of a 40 gallon breeder.

There are also advantages to having fewer fish. You can focus on plants, not have to worry as much (or at all) if you are a day or two late to change the water, and the lower the fish density, I believe the lower the chances of infections and increased health.

I hope this has been of some help to you. :)

___________

By the way, a weekly change of 80% WC is considered normal range and not increased WC, at least on this forum.

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I completely agree with Fang.

I had 3 in my 40B and they all did very well. One of them I've had for about 4 years and just isn't a very big fish. Another one was just a baby (and still is growing) and the third fish has grown from about 14 g to 84 g in about a year. If I had 3 84 g fish I would feel overstocked. If they were all 14 g fish, a 40B would be great.

The trick is, you just don't know. How big are they going to get? :idont If a 40B is the absolute biggest you'll go, then I'd stick with 2. If an upgrade in a year or two is a possibility should your fish grow very large, then go for 3.

I love the 40B tank. Great dimensions and not overwhelmingly huge. :D

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I agree with others. If you have the funds and room to upgrade whenever you want, then 3 baby fish in a 40 gallon is totally do-able for awhile. If upgrading is going to be an issue financially or in terms of room, you want to stick with a max of 2 fish in a 40 gallon, but also keeping in mind that they may outgrow it.

20 gallons per fish with a minimum of a weekly 80% water change weekly (although most do more frequent) is pretty well accepted as the minimum goldfish requirement on this forum.

My two fancies are currently in a 75 gallon and easily fill this tank up by themselves.

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I have 3 in my 40b; a common and 2 fancies. My params are always good and I think everyone has a good amount of room but I do worry that as they grow it will get kind of cramped, especially as there's no way I'll be able to upgrade unless we get a bigger apartment, and maybe not even then. My ranchu is very tiny still, my other fancy is also pretty young, and I swear my common grows every day. :yikes

There's no real guarantee with goldfish, since it's hard to predict if your fish will get huge or not. If we were looking at a 40b with 3 goldfish in it I would say it was over crowded if the fish were so big that they didn't seem to have enough room to move (Though this could always happen with 2 fish, or even 1) or if we checked the params and they weren't good because the fish were producing too much waste in too small a space. I think you would be ok with 3 fish for a good while, maybe permanently, but I would consider if an upgrade would be possible for you down the road and if you're ok with taking on the strict water change schedule that a well stocked tank requires.

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I'm lazy and have 1 fish in a 144liter tank. This allows me to do a 50% water change 1 week, 90% the next. I go away on vacation for 10 days and the water stays fine. I was able to add a snail. If I'm ill, I can wait a few days to do the water change. Understocking has given me this flexibility.

Truthfully, I do know people with successful tanks of around 40 gallons with 3 fish. They cannot be lazy or ill and get friends to change the water during vacations. I think that 2 in your tank would give you more enjoyment over the long run.

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Not sure if it's something you considered, but tank dimensions are important too.

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I types this out and then wasn't gonna post it. But this tour guide is a boring guy so here I am....

I have 15 gallons per fish in my 110 gallon. So 7 fish. I don't regret it at all but I'm ready for when all of them get full grown. I have only 1 full grown fish. She doesn't seem to grow much anymore. Baby is 113g and still growing. My others have tons of growing to go.

I do weekly 80-90% WCs and monthly 100% WCs. I could get away with less (I'm on vacation and told my boyfriend to do only 60-70% as the levels will stay low enough for that) but I like to give them lots of fresh water and know the nitrate levels will always be under 20ppm. I also have tons of pathos in my tanks which helps tons with such high stocking.

It's a lot if work. But its something I enjoy to do. I don't feel they are crowded. They could get crowded in the future but I a have a few that look like they will stay pretty small. I will reevaluate as they grow over the next year or two.

I would keep in your mind that all fish could get 300g. And make your decision based on that....

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

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There is actually no side B. There would have been one, but that was a few years ago. Today, most of us advocate that you need at least 15 gallons per goldfish, but preferably 20. Fancy goldfish are not smaller than single tails. They are much more massive, and if you are going to have fancy goldfish, plan on 20 gallons per fish, but sometimes 30 or more gallons per fish. Having increased water change schedules will help a little bit, in the sense that perhaps you can keep some bigger fish at 15 gallons/fish, but I don't think it's enough to house 3 fully grown goldfish in a 40 gallon breeder. I think 2 is a good number to shoot for, although in many cases, people have found that the bigger fish no longer fits into the aesthetic scheme of a 40 gallon breeder. There are also advantages to having fewer fish. You can focus on plants, not have to worry as much (or at all) if you are a day or two late to change the water, and the lower the fish density, I believe the lower the chances of infections and increased health. I hope this has been of some help to you. :) ___________ By the way, a weekly change of 80% WC is considered normal range and not increased WC, at least on this forum.

Argument over, then. If Side B is outdated information, that's all there is to it!

Thank you to everyone who's replied to this! :D I'm sticking with two for my 40B then. I'll just live under the assumption that they're all going to get freakishly huge and make all my decisions based around that. :lol3

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Ranetree,

There is also another very big practical to stay with 2 in the 40.

I guarantee that at some point there will come another fish that you have to have, at which time it's doable. If you have already 3 picked out, then it makes the situation impossible. :)

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I've been growing out 2 orandas in a 40B. They've been in there since they were just 3-4 inches total length. They're now approaching 6+ inches total length (& it's been less than a year) and they rack up the nitrate level real quick. Already I see that they're starting to get cramped and I know I will have to upgrade soon. I would not recommend keeping 3 goldfish in a 40 gallon. I personally think the maintenance would be a nightmare *-* I'm already doing 80% water changes every 5-6 days. I keep close track of their growth and feed exactly 1.5-2% of their weights daily. I truly think 2 is a good number for your tank, especially if they're still young.

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Ranetree,

There is also another very big practical to stay with 2 in the 40.

I guarantee that at some point there will come another fish that you have to have, at which time it's doable. If you have already 3 picked out, then it makes the situation impossible. :)

You know, someone else told me that. :teehee Definitely a good reason to stick with two for now!

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Ranetree,

There is also another very big practical to stay with 2 in the 40.

I guarantee that at some point there will come another fish that you have to have, at which time it's doable. If you have already 3 picked out, then it makes the situation impossible. :)

This is so true! I have found the perfect fish when I was already stocked to the max, then regretted the decision later because it is so much more stressful in terms of maintenance and sanity. I have 2 tanks that are stocked just right and those tanks don't get dirty nearly as quickly.

But then again, my fish are all pretty small (the largest 2 are 4" and are not in the overstocked tank; the rest are 2-3"), and I would be able to upgrade when the need arises. A huge fancy needs much more room than 20 gal, IMO. The LFS has about 6 massive ones in a 50 gal and they bump into each other nonstop. :-(

I'm also the type of person who does large water changes at the same time every week, no matter what. I just have to change a lot more in the overstocked tank.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk

Edited by *Amanda*

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