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How many fish per tank

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How do members work out how many fish for their tanks?

In the 1970's according to The Encyclopaedia of Tropical Fish (no internet or home computers them days) 10 square inches of surface area inch of fish was the go but the tanks still looked overcrowded.

Then much later I read that 12 square inches of surface area per inch of fish was the go so I switched to this and it looks better but not perfect.

When I want the size of the fish I look them up in American publications, Americans seem to have bigger fish than anyone else. This system of sizing fish also helps prevent overstocking.

Is there a better system of stocking levels?


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It will depend greatly on what you are talking about.

If you mean american cichlids then what can fit comfortably and healthily with whatever filtration your using will differ greatly to what will actually work. Especially if males and females are mixed together and breeding can occur or is purposely occuring.

I guess african cichlids would be the same aswell.

I think your better off stating what you are planning or what fish you would like to have together and get peoples opinions who have done it all before.

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