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Old 05-31-2009, 09:20 PM   #1 
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Location: Beaverton, OR
Community waste produced VS. tank size VS. filter size calculations?

Is there any somewhat scientific way for the average person to determine what waste load level is generated by having A, B, and C species in it, and similarly what waste loads would be safe in a tank X big with Y filter?

I've read enough posts to have somewhat of an idea what kind of fish can live together safely, but when I see people asking about how many of each various type can co-inhabit a tank, the answers always seem to be based on prior knowledge that a newbie couldn't possibly have. Is there a better way to figure it out than past experience?

I guess I'm just trying to demystify how you would decide what's reasonable for a community tank.
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Old 06-01-2009, 01:26 AM   #2 
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A lot depends on size of tank,size and number of fish, size of filter,and how many water changes one is willing to perform.Obviously a twenty gal long for example, would house many more neon tetras than it would giant danios.One must also consider the number of times fish are fed daily, along with how much food is being offered. I don't believe there is a scientific formula although it would be great if there was. One must also consider the growth of the fish. You could keep a couple hundred Tetras in a 80 or 90 gal tank but that same tank would only support possibly two Oscars into adult hood.
Anyhow,, that's my take on the matter.
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:38 AM   #3 
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As 1077 mentioned above there is no "scientific formula" for cleanings, filters etc.

Your best bet is to get the filter for the size of the tank you are getting(they are labeled) so you can jus tplay it safe there.

If you want to be safe with amonia levels then you need to find the best amount of water to take out and how many times a week you do that. The best way to do this is by ration: The smaller the tank the more cleanings it needs and the more fish you have the more cleanings you need.

Examples: I have a 10 gallon tank with a single male betta in it and cleaning it once a week is fine since I have a filter. It was not cycled when I got the guy and I have had him for only a month and it has been fine. Just be diligant in the beginning and check the amonio and nitrite/trate levels twice a week.

The safest route, ESPECIALLY if you plan on getting a large community of fish is to cycle the tank. Yes it takes a few weeks and yes it can be a very annoying process but you do not want to spend so much time, money and care for a bunch of fish to have them die on you. Your best bet on this route is to use plants to cycle the tank and use some water from the tank you get the plants out of. That is how I always cycle my tanks and it works wonders(cycling with plants and the proper lighting/chemicals only take two-three weeks for me).

Hope this helped

edit: Also I would like to add if you plan on getting a Snail then plan on cleaning your tank even more. Those things produce more waste then they eat >_> They are good for an established tank(I usually wait a month or two to get a snail because of the waste >_> )

Last edited by Angelmonster; 06-01-2009 at 09:48 AM.
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