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How Many Fish Can You Put in a 55-Gallon Tank?

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how many fish can you put in a 55 gallon tankTwo basic methods are typically used to calculate how many fish to put into a tank. One involves measuring your tank and taking its length verses width into consideration. The other, simpler method, determines how many fish to put into an aquarium by adult fish size. With this, the general rule of thumb is that for every gallon you can keep one to two inches of fish healthy. This examines the gallon to inch method in a 55-gallon tank to demonstrate how this works and what is the best answer to the question.

55 Inches of Fish

Using a less conservative estimate, a 55-gallon tank can hold about 55 inches worth of fish. The length of the fish as an adult is used to make this calculation. This may include 10 1-inch tetras, two 10-inch large cichlids and four or five medium-sized fish such as barbs or corys.

27 Inches of Fish

More conservative fish tank stocking would be to have one inch of fish for every 2 gallons of water. This keeps the water cleaner longer and oxygen levels higher. Using the example above, you would have five small fish, one large fish and two or three medium fish.

The Better Answer

In The Complete Fish Keeper, author Joseph S. Levine recommends under stocking your tank. The answer to how many fish can you put in a 55-gallon tank then would be about 20 to 27 inches of fish. Levine states, “the more fish you cram into a tank, the more often you have to clean your filter and change water.” The fewer fish, the healthier their aquatic environment will be and the less work it takes to keep those pet fish healthy.

Click here for tips on choosing a fish tank for your fish.

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