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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm curious to know if my tank is overstocked.. I've read articles on one inch per gallon, one inch for three gallons and others that indicate to overstock because cichlids are crowded in the natural environment.

I just checked my water quality and nitrates were fairly high with low levels of ammonia.

I have a 55 gallon standard long aquarium with the following:

3 inch yellow lab
4 inch yellow lab
3.5 inch blue peacock
4 inch peacock hybrid
3.5 inch albino pindani
6 inch frontosa
3.5 inch algae eater

Total inches 27.5

It might seem like a stupid question to some people who've been looking after aquariums for years but I'm still new at this.

Any information is appreciated.

Thanks
 

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Inches per gallon does not apply to cichlids or much of any fish other than skinny one inch fish like neon tetras.

Are you going for an all-male tank?

I'd say your tank is understocked but some of your fish choices may not make good tank mates. For example, the frontosa likes a 72" tank and will be freaked out of active mbuna like socolofi (used to be called pindani).

The labs and peacocks could be the start of an all-male tank with one breeding group (labs). I would remove the frontosa and socolofi and add 3 labs and another 1-2 peacocks. Choose peacocks that look nothing alike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
As far as good tank mates go, all my fish get along great. It's only been in the past week that the large lab started fighting the frontosa (I've had the tank since July 2010). Which was another reason why I thought my tank was overstocked. I'll have to figure out where all the nitrates are coming from... maybe tap water because they certainly aren't being overfed.

The problem with changing the fish is that I absolutely adore my frontosa. I know eventually (she?) will need a bigger tank and I will take your advice into consideration, especially when a new tank is involved.

Thank you!
 

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Are you changing water at the rate of 50% weekly? There is no problem with changing percentages larger than 50% as long as you match your parameters closely.

When a fish reaches 6" it is a good time to consider upgrading from a 55G. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ahh, I'll have to keep my eyes open for new tanks then or consider selling her to someone with a larger tank.

I typically do 25% weekly changes. Maybe I should look at increasing that. Hmm

A lot of think about

Thanks again!
 

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Nitrates are the normal and expected end product of the nitrogen cycle going on in everyone's tanks and are normally only removed through regular water changes. As long as they do not build up too much between water changes, they are not a problem. Do you have a nitrate measurement from your test kit you could share?

Of more concern is that you mention "low levels of ammonia". Ammonia levels should be zero if your tank is cycled and the filtration setup is functioning properly, but there could be other causes. Maybe we can help you get these under control.

Could you tell us more about your filtration setup?
Could you test your tap water for ammonia?
 
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