Max fish count in a reef tank.

FishxTank

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I have been looking into how many fish I can fit in my 200ltr tank. Mr. Internet says the general rule of thumb is an inch of fish to 5gal of water or something along those lines. Will research it more when the time comes, and of course end up over populating anyway as I'm just greedy like that.

Question is, since this rule is based on a tank being able to clean up after the little fishies, do things like shrimp and other "clean up crew" critters count towards this limit. Are they cleaning up enough to look after themselves.

Secondly. If I have a decent clean up crew in place, I assume they would clean up more than their share of the dirty stuff, could I then increase the amount of fish in the tank.

This question is based on the 200ltrs. A bigger and bigger sump would increase that. As would more live rock. But I'm more interested in the way the rule works.
 

EFJ

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With marine fish it is difficult to say as some fish you could apply to the 1inch-5gallon rule but most fish mess more. Also adding extra clean-up crew also adds to the bio-load. I know that there is alot of guys who overstock there tanks and counter that with a higher filtration setup, bigger sump, extra reactors, bigger skimmers etc. At the end of the day if you want to add more fish upgrade your filtration system. Just another thing, with a mixed reef extra bio-load is not advisable as it can cause things to go south quickly.
 

hotdog83

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I don't think there is a hard and fast rule around fish per liter. It all depends on your equipment and housekeeping regime, if you are dilligent in doing water changes etc you can probably keep a bit more than normal.

Another thing that for me is the most important thing that can increase the tank's capacity is a proper battery backup / generator that runs the tank during a power outage. This is crucial and probably the single most important piece of equipment for a heavily stocked tank.

I currently have around 50 fish in a 6ft tank, of which probably 10-15 are quite big, and all of them are still happy (upgrading soon to 2000 liter tank) and haven't lost a fish in ages, even though there has been latent white spot in the tank for the last 2 years. Each tank has its own capacity, no real hard rules.
 

RiaanP

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sump size means nothing if you do not have back up power.

Also keep in mind the sleeping space you got. The more little holes you got the more fish you can keep. Not enough sleeping space and they will fight for the prime spots.
 

chikaboo

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Another factor to consider is the manner of swimming styles of the different fish ... you don't want fish that are bumping into one another while swimming their fast usual way or too many bottom dwellers trying to look for routes to take when the floor is completely covered with obstacles .. kinda like having traffic jams ... road rage in the tank can lead to unhappy inhabitants which in turn leads to an unhappy tank and losses ... also competiton for food and real estate in the tank needs to be considered .... more than the numbers of fish inside think more on the lines of husbandry and compatibility of occupants in your tank .. you need to strive towards a balance in your piece of ocean in a box ... having enough of a cleanup crew is brilliant as you don't want them fishes swimming around in their own poo but the rule of thumb takes all of the above posts into consideration as well ... like power outages means livestock depleting their oxygen levels faster if the numbers are greater so lots if stuff to remember when planning how many in your tank to keep ....
 

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