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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

How Many Fish Can I Add To My Aquarium

When first starting up an aquarium there is an inclination to add as many fish as you can to your newly cycled aquarium.

If you are not sure if your aquarium has cycled yet, please check out this link before proceeding to add any fish: How To Cycle A Freshwater Aquarium Without Harming Any Fish

As a general rule it is best to add as little fish as possible but if you must add as many fish as your aquarium can handle, you need to follow a few rules:

- Make sure to have proper filtration; check that the filter you are using is able to handle the bio load of the size of your aquarium. In other words, if you have a 5 gallon tank and you have a one gallon filter, the aquarium will get really cloudy in a short amount of time. It is recommended that you use a filter for an aquarium bigger than the tank you currently possess. If you have a five gallon aquarium, get a filter for a ten gallon aquarium; it will help clean the tank better but it doesn't mean that you can add additional fish.

- Follow the rule of thumb: the general rule for fish in an aquarium is: One gallon of water per inch of ADULT fish. Do your research before buying any fish and check to see how big the fish are going get. So for example, If you have a five gallon tank and want to purchase 2 neon tetras (which can grow up to 2 inches) then you have one gallon left in the aquarium free. No other fish will fit in this aquarium. You are at the full capacity.

*Note: This rule only applies to smaller fish. If you have bigger fish, the best way you can make sure that your aquarium isn't overstocked is to check the nitrate levels in your aquarium. If the nitrates are always at a high level, then you have overstocked your aquarium.

If your water already has nitrates present in it when it comes out of the faucet, then you must stock less fish or do more water changes to remove the nitrates. You may also use chemicals such as AmQuel Plus
to remove the nitrates. (This is not the best thing to do but it will prevent your fish from being hurt. If there are nitrates and a lot of fish in the tank, it is better to clean it more often.)

-Last but not least, always check your aquarium and your fish. Use a test kit at least once a week to make sure that all the chemicals are in the correct parameters. Keep an eye on your fish and look for any signs of disease or stress. Preventative steps are always the key to maintaining a successful aquarium.

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