Fish to Plants Ratio for Balance….

Posted by Dustin Wunderlich on

What’s up Silver and Goldfish?

So I have been thinking a bunch about balance recently and I wanted to share a rough guideline I am working on with you all. My goal is to make everything EASY.

I am working on a way to explain proper fishloads in a planted aquarium. Obviously, Every Tank is different, but I think getting a grasp around this rough ratio will really help.

Let me back up and say that I am coming into this with a bit of a challenge ahead of me. I want to setup a fully aquascaped GOLDFISH TANK. Yes- I figured it’s time for me to get crazy with some Goldfish in a planted tank and show the world that it can be done, how to do it…and how to NOT DO IT.

So I am working on my ratios for that. (the tank is ugly right now, but this got me thinking….

When you are setting up your tank I think the fish load should be added proportionally to the plant load. In nature you won’t find insane amounts of fish with very little plants around. (I am generalizing here, but the high fish load probably won’t be able to be supported by the lack of plants) You would want your amount of plants to fall on the higher side. (More Plants than fish, and not the other way around)

So I was thinking about my main room 125. My most balanced tank

Stick with me on this…

For Every ONE Large Angelfish. I have ONE Large Amazon Sword.
For Every Neon Tetra (a much smaller, less mass and waste producing fish)
-I would have one nice piece of Anubias.

For every Diamond tetra- I might have TWO nice pieces of Anubias (Diamond tetras are larger)

I am going to spit out a few more fish to plants for comparison…

So for my fat, heavy eating, lots of pooping Goldfish. I would want TWO Large Amazon Swords per fat goldfish.

Conversely My Boesmani Rainbowfish, (skinnier, less mass) I would only need to keep ONE Large Amazon Sword per Boes

This is just a general baseline, and can be adjusted a number of ways….

Let’s say you kept two Angelfish per ONE large Amazon Sword, this might work fine for you if you did more frequent water changes. OR You had a large number of other plants in the tank.

I would consider most of my tanks lightly stocked with fish, and lightly fed. This gives me a higher plants to fish ratio and a more balanced tank.

I don’t want this to be considered an exact science, but just a rough guideline of how to look at you tank should you find you are battling with algae or other problems..

If you have any questions or would just like to share your setup and talk about it, I’d love to hear it.


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