How can I add more fish without overstocking?

Lgoldman

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Hi! I have a 20 gallon tank with 3 mollies, 3 platys, a BN pleco, and nerite snails. I usually siphon the tank every week and my filter is the one that came with a tank. (Its either Tetra or Aqueon). Recently I found fry in my tank. There were only two left by the time I found them, but I moved them to an extra tank and set it up with a filter and heater. I was wondering if there was any way I could keep the fry without there being too much ammonia and nitrite. I already have matrix in my filter. Would I be able to keep them if I upgraded the filter? Or is there media I could add?
 

PheonixKingZ

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If it's only 2 fry, they should be fine, assuming they don't get eaten.
 
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Lgoldman

Lgoldman

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If it's only 2 fry, they should be fine, assuming they don't get eaten.
Sorry, I worded that badly. I already have the fry in a separate tank. I was wondering about adding them once they are adults. Is 8 livebearers and a pleco too much for a 20 gallon? If it is too much would a better filter or filter media help?
 

Guyb93

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Sorry, I worded that badly. I already have the fry in a separate tank. I was wondering about adding them once they are adults. Is 8 livebearers and a pleco too much for a 20 gallon? If it is too much would a better filter or filter media help?
It sounds fair to me if your worried about the bio load I would just change more water weekly but a filter with a larger surface area would help you out but I’d save my money and enjoy the water changes lol
 
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Lgoldman

Lgoldman

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It sounds fair to me if your worried about the bio load I would just change more water weekly but a filter with a larger surface area would help you out but I’d save my money and enjoy the water changes lol
I think I’m going to get a better filter and add a sponge filter as well. I’ll probably Do a 25% water change every weekend. Thanks!
 

PheonixKingZ

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Sorry, I worded that badly. I already have the fry in a separate tank. I was wondering about adding them once they are adults. Is 8 livebearers and a pleco too much for a 20 gallon? If it is too much would a better filter or filter media help?
No, that seems about right. The Pleco will produce a lunch larger bio load than you livebearers, for sure.


I think I’m going to get a better filter and add a sponge filter as well. I’ll probably Do a 25% water change every weekend. Thanks!
A more powerful filter would definitely make this stocking a possibility.
 

carligraceee

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Sorry, I worded that badly. I already have the fry in a separate tank. I was wondering about adding them once they are adults. Is 8 livebearers and a pleco too much for a 20 gallon? If it is too much would a better filter or filter media help?
I agree with the people who responded. Overstocking really depends on how often you change your water when it comes to slim-bodied fish like livebearers and other fish. Of course, larger fish need more space and overstocking can be that the tank is actually too small for them. Slim-bodied fish will have plenty of space in 'smaller' tanks as long as you change the water thoroughly and often. I have seven livebearers and five snails and my tank is doing awesome. I change my water once a week at 60-70%.

Also- more filter usage will do you good. I don't have any but have been recommended several times to have a secondary filter (I don't have the space so I just stay on top of testing and water changes).
 
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Lgoldman

Lgoldman

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I agree with the people who responded. Overstocking really depends on how often you change your water when it comes to slim-bodied fish like livebearers and other fish. Of course, larger fish need more space and overstocking can be that the tank is actually too small for them. Slim-bodied fish will have plenty of space in 'smaller' tanks as long as you change the water thoroughly and often. I have seven livebearers and five snails and my tank is doing awesome. I change my water once a week at 60-70%.

Also- more filter usage will do you good. I don't have any but have been recommended several times to have a secondary filter (I don't have the space so I just stay on top of testing and water changes).
I dont think I’ll be able to do water changes that large every week since my ph has had problems with getting too low before, but I bought an aquaclear 50 and a sponge filter. I’ll probably do 30% water changes every week.
 

carligraceee

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I dont think I’ll be able to do water changes that large every week since my ph has had problems with getting too low before, but I bought an aquaclear 50 and a sponge filter. I’ll probably do 30% water changes every week.
Okay! You can also try getting API's PH helper. They have one that helps keep the PH up and one to bring it down. Just test regularly and if the ammonia and nitrites are too high- do bigger water changes.
 
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Lgoldman

Lgoldman

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Okay! You can also try getting API's PH helper. They have one that helps keep the PH up and one to bring it down. Just test regularly and if the ammonia and nitrites are too high- do bigger water changes.
I currently use Seachem Alkaline buffer, and it works pretty well. Thanks!
 

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