How many 3-4 inch fish can I have in a 55 gallon

BRS

AKL1950

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Mar 12, 2022
Messages
414
Reaction score
395
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
The Villages
The math rule I’ve used is 1” of fish per 5 gallons of water for saltwater tanks. That would give you 11 total inches of fish for that sized tank. Also consider type of fish for swimming room. Some fish are heavy swimmers and need a lot of room for swimming laps And easy turning room. Also, Remember, if you buy 3” fish and they stay healthy, in a year they will be 4” fish and so on. I’ve got 6 Chromis in my DT I bought 5 months ago, all at 1” long. They are all close to 2” now. You need some room for growth.
 
Upvote 0

Waters

"...in perfect isolation, here behind my wall."
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 5, 2013
Messages
6,834
Reaction score
12,906
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Mentor, OH
The old rules that applied to freshwater really don't apply to marine. It is impossible to say unfortuantely. Depends on the individual (and collection of) fish, the tank aquascaping, the filtration, etc. You would be better off posting what stocking list you had in mind :)
 
Upvote 0

LordofCinder

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 14, 2021
Messages
2,294
Reaction score
2,592
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Toronto
agree, the inch per gallon doesnt work with saltwater. The fishes are much more territorial than freshwater fishes. Each fish needs his own territory or little cave. Many fishes are also imcompatible with other fish. Every fish should be researched and considered very carefully before adding to the tank.
 
Upvote 0

Dom

Full Time Reef Keeper
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 29, 2016
Messages
4,293
Reaction score
4,610
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
NY
How many 3-4 inch fish can I have in a 55 gallon tank?

It depends on the fish you choose. A 55 gallon tank isn't very big and I wouldn't put more than two fish of that size in a 55.

But you also have to understand that the kind of fish is also important:

- Is it a fish that requires lots of swimming space?

- Is it a fish that establishes and defends territory?

- If it is a territorial fish, how much territory does it require?

When shopping for fish, you can look at on line retailers that will provide important information such as required tank size, skill level required for their care, diet and general water parameters required.

Also, be sure to quarantine! Don't be excited to throw newly purchased fish into your display. And if the retailer states "pre-quarantined" or some other verbiage to suggest they can go right into your display, don't believe them and do it yourself!
 
Upvote 0
OP
L

leo12345

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 17, 2022
Messages
223
Reaction score
50
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Austin
What fish are you considering?
The fish i was thinking of getting are
2 Clownfish
Biota Green mandarin guppy
Kaudern's Cardinalfish
Coral beauty
Yellow watchmen Goby
Yellow tang or hippo tang until it gets too big then ill swap it out
Harley bass
Royal Grammy
Maybe a Indian Vegabond Butterflyfish if there’s anymore space

All the fish can get along and a lot of the fish dont swim much and are tiny so I thought it wouldn’t be so bad to have so many
 
Upvote 0

vlangel

Seahorse whisperer
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 5, 2014
Messages
4,404
Reaction score
3,168
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
The fish i was thinking of getting are
2 Clownfish
Biota Green mandarin guppy
Kaudern's Cardinalfish
Coral beauty
Yellow watchmen Goby
Yellow tang or hippo tang until it gets too big then ill swap it out
Harley bass
Royal Grammy
Maybe a Indian Vegabond Butterflyfish if there’s anymore space

All the fish can get along and a lot of the fish dont swim much and are tiny so I thought it wouldn’t be so bad to have so many
I have a 56 gallon column tank so different dimensions but similar volume.
1.I have an ocellaris clownfish and could've had two.
2. I have a pajama cardinalfish.
3. I have a Coral beauty angelfish
4. I have a yellow watchman goby
5. I have a tomini tang (which might be a better fit for your tank as well. Tominis are detrivores but pick at nuisance algae and do not get as large as the tangs you mentioned.
6. I have a royal Gramma
7. I have 2 neon cleaner gobies (although only 1 would have been a better choice)
8. I have 2-4 masked gobies, (their secretive nature makes it impossible for me to see them all at once).
My tank has lots of caves, ledges and crevices plus some open water to accommodate my fish. Anyway, other than the 2 neon cleaner gobies, everyone is happy and well adjusted.
IMG_20221123_151658004.jpg
 
Upvote 0
OP
L

leo12345

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 17, 2022
Messages
223
Reaction score
50
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Austin
I have a 56 gallon column tank so different dimensions but similar volume.
1.I have an ocellaris clownfish and could've had two.
2. I have a pajama cardinalfish.
3. I have a Coral beauty angelfish
4. I have a yellow watchman goby
5. I have a tomini tang (which might be a better fit for your tank as well. Tominis are detrivores but pick at nuisance algae and do not get as large as the tangs you mentioned.
6. I have a royal Gramma
7. I have 2 neon cleaner gobies (although only 1 would have been a better choice)
8. I have 2-4 masked gobies, (their secretive nature makes it impossible for me to see them all at once).
My tank has lots of caves, ledges and crevices plus some open water to accommodate my fish. Anyway, other than the 2 neon cleaner gobies, everyone is happy and well adjusted.
IMG_20221123_151658004.jpg
What kind of filtration do you have and how many times a month do you do a water change?
 
Upvote 0

GARRIGA

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Oct 12, 2021
Messages
1,077
Reaction score
766
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
South Florida
Filtration is crucial. Seen 100 adult yellow tangs in a 100 gallon six foot shallow tank at a wholesaler hooked up to the central system. Fish looked happy and swam as a swarm. One of the coolest things I've seen but wouldn't recommend that since those fish won't be there long but just pointing out the fact that filtration can stretch was is reasonable and in nature many fish do school in a very tight group.

In my experience, no such thing as an inch per gallon rule because not all inches are equal. For example, that four inch fix could be 50% heavier by mass than that three inch fish requiring that much more in food which will tax the filtration. Every system is different and therefore carrying capacity beyond what any fish will require as far as swimming space can change. Although most 3 to 4 inch fish will be content in that size tank but some being more territorial than others might cause issues or might benefit from being crowded to spread aggression. Only one way to know is start out with what must be added and then experiment but be ready to take something back to the store or forfeit to a fellow fish keeper. Although this isn't always practical because most aggressive often best left for last and that might be what was really wanted. Such as a purple tang for me.
 
Upvote 0
OP
L

leo12345

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 17, 2022
Messages
223
Reaction score
50
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Austin
Filtration is crucial. Seen 100 adult yellow tangs in a 100 gallon six foot shallow tank at a wholesaler hooked up to the central system. Fish looked happy and swam as a swarm. One of the coolest things I've seen but wouldn't recommend that since those fish won't be there long but just pointing out the fact that filtration can stretch was is reasonable and in nature many fish do school in a very tight group.

In my experience, no such thing as an inch per gallon rule because not all inches are equal. For example, that four inch fix could be 50% heavier by mass than that three inch fish requiring that much more in food which will tax the filtration. Every system is different and therefore carrying capacity beyond what any fish will require as far as swimming space can change. Although most 3 to 4 inch fish will be content in that size tank but some being more territorial than others might cause issues or might benefit from being crowded to spread aggression. Only one way to know is start out with what must be added and then experiment but be ready to take something back to the store or forfeit to a fellow fish keeper. Although this isn't always practical because most aggressive often best left for last and that might be what was really wanted. Such as a purple tang for me.
What kind of filtration would i need for all the fish i want? Right now i only have a protein skimmer and a hob filter
 
Upvote 0

vlangel

Seahorse whisperer
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 5, 2014
Messages
4,404
Reaction score
3,168
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
What kind of filtration do you have and how many times a month do you do a water change?
My tank is primarily filtered by the biological filter consisting of live rock/sand, and macro algae. I do run carbon and filter floss passively in my overflow and I change them out weekly. I faithfully do a 5 gallon water change every week ago. My tank is 6 years old and it's maturity probably makes my water changes smaller.
 
Upvote 0
OP
L

leo12345

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 17, 2022
Messages
223
Reaction score
50
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Austin
My tank is primarily filtered by the biological filter consisting of live rock/sand, and macro algae. I do run carbon and filter floss passively in my overflow and I change them out weekly. I faithfully do a 5 gallon water change every week ago. My tank is 6 years old and it's maturity probably makes my water changes smaller.
Do you have a protein skimmer?
 
Upvote 0

GARRIGA

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Oct 12, 2021
Messages
1,077
Reaction score
766
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
South Florida
What kind of filtration would i need for all the fish i want? Right now i only have a protein skimmer and a hob filter
Skimmer are great at removing that which hadn’t yet broken down yet can’t handle all in one pass. Old school live rock solved that because they were porous. Today one needs to go older school and run large biological filter to replace that porous rock no longer available in the trade because of collection restrictions.

My approach is seeking quarter my volume with media and currently using pumice because it’s lighter than crushed coral which becomes an old school nitrate factory then solved with carbon dosing or refugium/algal turf scrubber. Although the latter being big enough might negate the need for any media but I’d rather have redundancy since I can get a biological filter going quickly with bottled bacteria.
 
Last edited:
Upvote 0
BRS

Have you bred fish in your tanks?

  • I have bred saltwater fish

    Votes: 37 13.6%
  • I have bred freshwater fish

    Votes: 117 43.0%
  • Not yet, but I am interested in breeding fish

    Votes: 63 23.2%
  • I think it is an interesting idea, but not my thing

    Votes: 62 22.8%
  • I am not interested in breeding fish

    Votes: 42 15.4%
Top