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Thread: Do I have too many fish in my 50gallon?

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    Default Do I have too many fish in my 50gallon?

    So I currently have 2 discus 3 sterbai Cory cats and 13 cardinal tetra in my 55 gallon tank. It has maayybee an 1/8 thick of sand on the bottom with 2 little potted anubias and a little java fern mat. I do a water change about 5-6 times a week to keep my 2.5in discus healthy and thriving but I am planning on adding at least 2, ideally 3 more discus to the tank but ive been noticing that the nitrates are always about 10 to 15? 20ppm? With Am and Nitrites at 0. Discus are the top priority fish but I love seeing the tetra school together and the Cory cats do a great job at picking up the leftovers and would hate to get rid of them but I don't want to risk losing my $50-$80 discus do to over population of the other cheaper community fish. It's a fully cycled tank. It went fishless for 7 weeks, then added the community fish slowly over a month and now the 2 discus 3 Cory's and 13 cardinal have been on there another month if that information helps.

    I've had fish before but would always just go ahead and do water changes about twice a month with my previous more Hardy fish since I'm color blind and to do water tests with color coded bars suuucckkksss so I always go benefit of the doubt in terms of water quality lol. But being as discus are sensitive when young so I've been trying to test the water every time before a water change and I've been noticing its never truly 0 nitrates so I'm curious. Any info helps guys thanks a bunch take it easy.

    Also I tested the water from the tap there's 0 ammonia nitrite and Nitrate also

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    Registered Member zhuls1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do I have too many fish in my 50gallon?

    Your tank is not overstocked, only thing I would be concerned about is whether you have enough discus. Most here will suggest a minimum of 5 discus. Their is no need to test your water between every water change as long as you are doing them often enough. All the best with your discus keeping!

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    Registered Member bluelagoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do I have too many fish in my 50gallon?

    How much water do you actually change.5-6 times a week but how much.Nitrates shouldn't be that high if changing that often,so I'm thinking a greater volume at each WC needs to be done.Also,I guess you have already gone through some of the stickies for beginners where it says young discus are much better off raised in a BB non community tank for easier maintenance and better growth and less a chance with issues.

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    Registered Member Cosmo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do I have too many fish in my 50gallon?

    I had a whole thing written out, but.. you don't really give all the info needed
    - What do you use for filtration? - it should be a bio filter, not a charcoal one
    - How big are the water changes?
    - What is your water temp? Discus prefer 84/85 degrees, many little fish die at that temp
    - Ph? A Digital pen should work despite your sight issue
    - Do you add Prime or a similar product at each water change?

    Discus are schooling fish so yes, you do need more in the tank for them to feel safe. 5 Discus in a 50 gal should work so long as you have a good bio filter.
    Give the little guys their own tank, Discus prefer to be kept with Discus and can be spooked by fast swimmers (although I'm sure many will say I'm wrong on this)

    Good Luck
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    Default Re: Do I have too many fish in my 50gallon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmo View Post
    I had a whole thing written out, but.. you don't really give all the info needed
    - What do you use for filtration? - it should be a bio filter, not a charcoal one
    - How big are the water changes?
    - What is your water temp? Discus prefer 84/85 degrees, many little fish die at that temp
    - Ph? A Digital pen should work despite your sight issue
    - Do you add Prime or a similar product at each water change?

    Discus are schooling fish so yes, you do need more in the tank for them to feel safe. 5 Discus in a 50 gal should work so long as you have a good bio filter.
    Give the little guys their own tank, Discus prefer to be kept with Discus and can be spooked by fast swimmers (although I'm sure many will say I'm wrong on this)

    Good Luck
    So I have a SunSun 304b which is rated as 500+ gph (o feel likes it's more like 300 lol) and there's no carbon. All that's in there in some fine and coarse mesh, bio balls, cermamic rings and a purigen bag.

    I ALWAYS do at least a 50% WC

    The temp is sitting at 84.3 on one side and 84.7 on the other, I've thought about cranking it up to 86 degrees.

    My PH sits at a constant 6.8 or 6.4 (colorblind sorry lol)

    And yes after every water change I put in a cap full of Prime and because I'm doing so many WC I've been putting Seachem Stability in there after a WC to make sure I didn't remove too much BB

    And finally yes I'm aware that Discus prefer schools of at least 5 and that's why I was worried when my nitrates are never at 0 in my tank.

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    Registered Member zhuls1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do I have too many fish in my 50gallon?

    What are your nitrates from your tap?

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    Registered Member bluelagoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do I have too many fish in my 50gallon?

    Hi,it would be better to put the prime in before the untreated water.Most likely nitrates will never read zero.
    Last edited by bluelagoon; 04-15-2018 at 08:40 AM.

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    Silver Member Willie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do I have too many fish in my 50gallon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zclover95 View Post
    Discus are the top priority fish but I love seeing the tetra school together and the Cory cats do a great job at picking up the leftovers and would hate to get rid of them but I don't want to risk losing my $50-$80 discus do to over population of the other cheaper community fish.
    If you're serious about this statement, then get rid of the sand. 2.5" discus will likely not survive anything other than a bare bottom tank. You'll need to do 100% water changes 2 - 3 times a week AS A MINIMUM to get your discus to grow up.

    Most of us do 100% daily to raise small discus. And if you do that, you don't have to worry about measuring water quality. It'll always be clean. There's no problem having tetras and corydoras in the tank - again as long as you do lots and lots of water changes.

    Willie
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    Default Re: Do I have too many fish in my 50gallon?

    OK, so you will always have measurable nitrates unless you do a larger water change. Do the math. Half the water, half the nitrates. Actually, 100% water changes are a bit of an exaggeration. Given the math, theoretically, unless you take all of the water out, and dry out the tank, what ever amount of nitrates are in the tank with whatever water is left in the tank would take an infinite number of changes to really be 100% gone. Realistically, 100% means 2-4 inches of water left in the tank, and is all you really need to do. This will take your nitrate readings to near zero. However, with the light bioload you currently have, you could add 3 more 2.5 inch Discus easily and likely get away with only changing 70% of your water, every other day, or even every third day and your nitrates would be around 5 -10 when you do your next change. However, as your fish grow, and eat more and more, your nitrates will get higher and higher for that second change, until you will have to change at least 90% of the water every day to keep the nitrates low.

    Good luck

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    Silver Member Willie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do I have too many fish in my 50gallon?

    2 - 4 inches, LOL!

    IMG_0127.jpg
    Whenever you feel stupid, remember that there are people out there looking for Pokemon.

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    Registered Member zhuls1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do I have too many fish in my 50gallon?

    Willie, maybe he means .2 - .4 inches

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    Default Re: Do I have too many fish in my 50gallon?

    But he did not dry out the tank! (LOL).

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    Default Re: Do I have too many fish in my 50gallon?

    At least I no longer dry off the discus, LOL.
    Whenever you feel stupid, remember that there are people out there looking for Pokemon.

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