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Cardinal Tetras
February 26, 2011
1:05 pm
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Fishwife
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I have a 90 litre tank (length 62cm x width 39cm x height 52cm) in which I have 7 Cardinals, 5 Endlers & 6 Microrasbora kubotai. At the moment I'm cycling a 48 litre tank for the small guys and was thinking of making my 90 litre just Cardinals. How many do you think would be OK in there. I'm not talking stocking here as I have a couple of Corries and several old fish that are left from old shoals. But was wondering how many Cardinals would be suitable, what should be the maximum number do you think?

February 26, 2011
8:25 pm
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MatsP
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Tetras like the Cardinal Tetra are "the more the merrier" - a larger group is definitely better.

Somehow, either your measurements of the tank dimension or volume is wrong, as I get about 125 liter from that size tank.

The standard guideline says 1cm fish per 2 liter of water (or 1inch per gallon). 125/2 = 60 cm. Size of a fully grown cardinal is about 3cm, so about 20 cardinals if that's the only thing in the tank.

We can also calculate 1inch per 12 square inches of surface area. Your tank is 24 x 15 inches -> 360 square inches -> 30 inches of fish. 1 cardinal = 1.25 inches => 24 fish.

If I enter 25 cardinals into http://aqadvisor.com, it says 92% stocked, and need 24% water changes each week.

Of course, this is just a few of many guidelines for stocking. If your filtration and water change regime can make sure the nitrate and other nitrogenous waste is kept under control, then a bigger shoal could very well work.

None of the above takes into account your present stock - that clearly has to be done, but since you are a bit vague on the numbers, I can't say for sure how much needs to be deducted - I just wanted to show that there are many different ways to come up with a number, and the result varies a bit. The ideal method is actually to measure the nitrogenous waste, and adjust stocking/water changes accordingingly.

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Mats

February 27, 2011
6:59 am
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Bluedave
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Great reply from Matsp!

I would say 20-30 depending on your water change regime (worked out in the same way as Mats - I like to use the surface area calculation as it makes more sense to me than just an inch of fish per gallon rule). If you can religiously do a 20% water change a week and you have a few plants in there then I think 30 is your maximum assuming no other fish.

February 27, 2011
11:02 am
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Eyrie
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Only thing I'd add is that such rules are a basic pointer only for small fish. A 12" oscar requires much more room than ten 1.25" cardinals and will also place a much heavier load on the filtration - this would of course show up in the test results.

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February 27, 2011
11:25 pm
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Fishwife
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Thanks for the info, I found that Aqadvisor fascinating, I could play with it for hours /biggrin.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":D" border="0" alt="biggrin.gif" />

I haven't actually measured the tank, but the measurements I gave are the ones I got from the Aqua One AquaStyle AR620, but that may include the lid which is quite deep to accommodate the overhead filter, which I don't use.

The fish I intend to leave with the Cardinals are 2 Corries, 1 Galaxy & 1 Hengali Rasbora survivors of old shoals, 1 baby Danio which was found in the plants at the LFS, 3 Otos and a Stiphodon atropurpureus which I couldn't catch if I wanted to.

So I should be able to add quite a few more Cardinals, but think I'll only add another half dozen to the 9 I already have, then I'll see how it goes.

Again, thanks for help

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