Is overstocking ever OK?

  • sharyn
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sharyn created the topic: Is overstocking ever OK?

Here is a link to a vid of my placid community Oscar tank...no this is not a contradiction in terms, it is true!




OK, so I think I have mentioned once or twice that my 6 footer is overstocked! This is mainly because I kept 5 of my own babies with a view to choosing the best 2 and giving the others to the LFS…but now I am attached! None of the O’s have reached sexual maturity, the oldest ones have just turned 1 year old.
In my tank I have:
7 juvenile Oscars ranging in size from about 4 inches to about 10
4 Silver Dollars
3 Clown Loaches
4 Convicts
2 Siamese Flying Foxes
1 large Angel fish
1 Red Tailed Shark
1 Common Bristlenose
1 Zebra Cory Dora
1 Tandanus Catfish
My water readings on the weekend were 0 for ammonia and nitrite, 5 for nitrates, ph 6.8 – 7. Running 5600 l p h filtration (2 x 2800 filters), 30% weekly water changes.
As you can see from the video there is no aggression in my tank – the angel, convicts and red tailed shark get snippy but don’t they always! The O’s NEVER fight, most of them grew up together from eggs. They swim past the little zebra cory all day and never touch her – she was with them when they were fry, she was on clean up duty when she was 10 times bigger than them and she still eats their poo! The O’s are model community fish.
So my question is..if you manage your water parameters and have O’s that get on, is it OK to overstock? I might have to rethink when they hit sexual maturity but for now, what would you do?
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Capt Dave replied the topic: Re: Is overstocking ever OK?

How many gallons?

I have no idea why the water bill is so high
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sharyn replied the topic: Re: Is overstocking ever OK?

Capt Dave wrote: How many gallons?


OK just measured it and checked the calculator because gallons are not my thing...It is a 6 x 2 x 2and a half (yes that is odd) so according to the calculator in Imperial gallons it is 187 or US 218...what is that about guys - why do you have different gallons...cant you get along! Or in my language 841 litres....
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Miss Nicki replied the topic: Re: Is overstocking ever OK?

I think it is great that everyone is getting along... I find it kind of surprising...
Your water readings look great...
So the only issue I see besides aggression issues later is Stunting....

Those babies are a year old and 4 in???
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Capt Dave replied the topic: Re: Is overstocking ever OK?

If you can maintain water quality and aggression then you should be okay. I thnk it will be tough tho....

I have no idea why the water bill is so high
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sharyn replied the topic: Re: Is overstocking ever OK?

There are a couple from the second batch...about 7 or 8 months old. One is 7 inches but his little sibling was the runt of the litter which is why I kept it..about 4 inches is my guess. Was always tiny. It is amazing they all get on. I wonder if it is because there are so many that they do get on!
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sharyn replied the topic: Re: Is overstocking ever OK?

Capt Dave wrote: If you can maintain water quality and aggression then you should be okay. I thnk it will be tough tho....


Might have to make a tough decision later...or get more tanks...... :)
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Capt Dave replied the topic: Re: Is overstocking ever OK?

More tanks!! Lol

I have no idea why the water bill is so high
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Big-Ken replied the topic: Re: Is overstocking ever OK?

I was reading on another site and came upon this article titles "The 5 Gallon Oscar Tank" its a very interesting read but i dont think it would ever be feasible in the long run when the oscars reach full sized

The 5-gallon Oscar Tank
Speaker: David Boruchowitz (Editor-in-chief of Tropical Fish Hobbyist Magazine)

Keep in mind that the information documented is based on an experiment that David is currently doing. Even though the experiment has shown some incredible results we are not recommending that this is a preferred method of fish care.

- David believes that using water straight from his tap is the best because he does not believe in doctoring water and he truly believes that when doctoring water it is next to impossible to maintain consistent levels (e.g. pH). Each time you change the water, especially when making the amount of water change in this experiment he believes that consistent water is better than having changing levels. Keep in mind that David has well water which does not contain chlorine or other additives that most public water contains. Also, if the water the fish is used to is different that what comes out of the tap and weaning process will need to be done.

Experiment:
- Can an Oscar live happily, even more happily, in an equivalent of a 5-gallon tank?
- The only way an Oscar could truly live in a 5-gallon tank would be to have constant water flow (3” bulkheads on both ends of the tank). However, realistically the fish would be too cramped. So, having said that the following is the basis of his experiment.
- His theory started based on how the Amazon works, which is the river drains and fills up from rain never using the same water. He wanted to simulate that the best that he could in an aquarium. Based on the math he compared 12 Oscars and 1 Pictus Cat fish in a 75-gallon tank (which equates to 5.7 gallons / fish) to the same fish in a 500-gallon tank. Changing 100% of the water in the 75-gallon tank daily and changing 100% of the water in the 500-gallon weekly. The math shows that the pollution percentage of the 75-gallon in any one day is still a little less than the 500-gallon in the week. However the 75-gallon trend is much healthier for the fish. David has the math worked out into bar graphs which I have requested a copy of and will post when he sends it to me.
- David decided to try this experiment with a 75-gallon tank, 12 Oscar’s (approximately 4” in size) and a Pictus Cat fish. He started the experiment with a cycled filter and an absolute bare tank (no substrate). Every day he would clean the tank out, bringing the water level right to the bottom. The Oscars were literally lying on their sides. He said the first time he did this they were freaking a little, but after the first time they actually reacted as if they were excited to get the fresh water. He would then fill the tank with water from a hose using a garden nozzle with the water coming out full blast to degas the water (see the note below about degassing the water). As the water was be replaced at full pressure the Oscars absolutely loved it and would get right into the main stream of the water. Their reactions were absolutely amazing. By doing this 100% change on a daily basis he is essentially bypassing the biofiltration. However, there are times when he can not change the water daily and the filter still does its job.
- NOTE – Degassing Water – One item that David mentioned is that water needs to be replaced in a tank at full pressure in order to degas the water. Apparently micro-bubbles that can enter a tank when replacing water slowly have been known to cause embolisms that can lead to death. Personally, I never knew this and found it intriguing. I would like to hear from anyone that has any knowledge on this topic. I remember seeing a posting about someone who did a water change and the next morning his fish was dead. I would be curious to know if this could have been the cause.

Results:
- So far the fish are healthy and seem happier than other Oscars he has raised. He also stated that the Oscars appear to be growing quicker.

Other Notes:
- On a side topic David thinks Oscars are racist – haha!! Before he started this experiment he had a number of the Oscars, mostly Tiger O’s and one Albino Oscar. When he populated the tank for this experiment he used those Oscars and evened out the group so that he had 6 tigers and 6 albinos. The original sole albino that used to hang out with the tigers jumped groups and started to stay with the other albinos once they were introduced and literally stayed on separate sides of the tank. He had some pictures to prove this – quite interesting. His question was how do they know what color they are? He did state that now they are getting older they are starting to mingle as they would in the wild.
- David also talked about size of Oscars and myths of how Oscars growths can be stunted if placed in a smaller tank. He agreed that yes an Oscar’s growth can be stunted, but it is not based on the tank size, but the stress that the Oscar is put under. Stress and size are directly correlated which is part of what he is trying to prove in this experiment. Basically an O in a small tank contains more pollutants and less room to move which increases stress and will slow there growth. However if placed in a larger tank, even though over crowded with mass water changes the Oscars growth is actually better proving that the pollution causes stress which stunts growth and not necessarily the size of the tank.
- I cornered David last night and asked him the following question….By replacing 100% of the water daily how is that affecting the bio-filtration? Is it depleting the bio-colonies? He responded by saying that yes it is depleting the bio-filtration, however it will never deplete it to the point where it will not work and if he is unable to change the water for a couple days and the filtration still works adequately.
- One question that was posed is how is the aggression levels in the tank? He stated that he has not noticed aggression in the tank. He says that he thinks the water changes are making them happy.
- Based on his math and your wallet (if paying for water) a 50% weekly water change has the greatest long term benefit. This is solely based on the math and the most efficient method of turning over the original water. I am not stating that this is a best practice in fish care.

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  • askhammatt
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askhammatt replied the topic: Re: Is overstocking ever OK?

Capt Dave wrote: More tanks!! Lol


x100000000!! fish room - oscars only! :p
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