1. Please double check and update your email address --> http://www.aquariacentral.com/forums/index.php?account/contact-details
    Dismiss Notice

Read this before using the inch/gallon "rule"

Discussion in 'Freshwater Archives' started by Richer, Mar 22, 2004.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Richer

    Richer AC Members

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2002
    Messages:
    888
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Edmonton, AB
    Lately, I've been seeing a few people using the inch/gallon rule when it comes to stocking fish. This "rule" is a myth. I don't know how it came about, but this "rule" is no where near acurate when it comes to stocking a real life aquarium.

    Think of it this way... if the inch/gallon rule was true... then I would be able to stock 6 fully grown convict cichlids in a 30 gallon tank, and they should all be happy. Is this true? Not even close. In reality, putting only two fully grown convicts in a 30 gallon tank would be pushing the tank's limits.

    Why do you ask? There are a few things to consider when stocking a tank:
    1.) Fish behaviour. Not just their everyday behaviour either. You need to consider how the fish acts when it eats. How it acts if it breeds. How it reacts to its environment (ie. planted tank vs. non-plant tank). You also need to consider how the fish will react to other fish you might be into the tank (ie. putting fish that nip fins with fish that have long fins). Whether the fish is an active swimmer or not also comes into play.
    2.) Fish diet. Fish don't all eat the same things. Some fish require higher amounts of protein in their diet, while others cannot have much protein at all. The list goes on, but you need to insure that either you can feed the individual species of fish correctly, or that the diet of all the fish in the tank are compatible.
    3.) Fish size. Yes, fish size is important as the inch/gallon rule suggests. However, what the inch/gallon forgets to mention is that fish are 3 dimensional creatures. There are more to fish than just their length. One inch of neon tetras cannot be compared to once inch of a convict cichlid.
    4.) You also need to put into consideration what kind of filtration you have running. Generally, tanks with a higher stock of fish will have more filtration, compared to one with less fish.
    5.) Tank shape. You also need to consider the surface area of your tank. Generally, its better to have a longer and wider tank, compared to a deeper tank.

    There are many variables when it comes to deciding what to stock your tank with. Clearly, the inch/gallon rule is flawed in more than one way. The only way to really know whether or not your planned stocking will work is to do some work yourself. Research like crazy, and afterwards, ask questions.

    -Richer
     
    #1 Richer, Mar 22, 2004
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2004
    Anders247 likes this.
  2. RTR

    RTR AC Members

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 1998
    Messages:
    5,806
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Braddock Heights, MD
    Good post, Richer.
     
  3. aquariumfishguy

    aquariumfishguy Social Regular

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2003
    Messages:
    1,839
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    V good. I bookmarked it for future reference if you don't mind. :D
     
  4. daveedka

    daveedka Purple is the color of Royalty

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Messages:
    3,822
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Columbus, ohio
    Thanks Richer, It's so hard sometimes to get people to understand what it really takes to keep comfortable fish. Especially when they have the inch per gallon rule beat in to their head by so many books and LFS's
     
  5. roliva

    roliva Dovii/Umbee Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2004
    Messages:
    260
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lehigh Valley, PA
  6. WildFrisco

    WildFrisco AC Members

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah I definitely agree with your disagreement of the 1 inch of fish per gallon rule. There is another factor that can complicate things. Fish metabolism. Some fish are like living playdoh poop factories. This fancy swordtail I picked up excretes more than my 3 guppies and 1 beta combined. If I used that rule of thumb for swordtails I'd be changing the water in my tank everyday or every other day.

    Know where it came from? I've seen it in many older and some newer fish books. The info in most of the books are narrow and outdated anyway.
     
  7. TKOS

    TKOS Registered User of Fish

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2003
    Messages:
    5,888
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Perhaps it should be called the neon tetra rule as that is one of the only fish that can possible use it.

    Good post.
     
  8. mickeymacleod

    mickeymacleod AC Members

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    British Columbia, Canada
    Awesome post. I really wish I had been told this before I started collecting fish, I'm sure my goldfish wish the same thing. :)
     
  9. RobUK

    RobUK AC Members

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    0
    It must have came about many many ears ago when all you could get hold of was neons LOL :)
     
  10. hcgirl80

    hcgirl80 i is a gud righter lyke leela.

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2004
    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    USA
    I Always Heard That The 'Inch/gallon' Rule Was Only True till The fish got over 3'', Then It Got Different.

    But Hey, I'm Just A Newbie ;)
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page