IMO 20 gallons should be the LEAST you plan to have when your Ps are adult sized. When they are smaller, you can have a few more. Overstocking IMO is not that great of an idea in the long run. Decreased growth potential and water quality are two things that should deter fish owners from this route. Alot of people do it, but I personally think if you want more P's, the only responsible thing to do (as a fish keeper) is get a bigger tank. Its like sticking a family of 6 in a studio apartment. Sure you can do it, but it must suck a$$.
Its all about how YOU want it. When it comes to overcrowding, there is no rule. In fact there is NO REAL rule about how many gallon per fish. It is just a safe guess to keep your fish from killing each other. IMO, if you want to overstock depending on what fish, 10g per fish sounds nice.
Overstocking red bellies has a cool look. I have found overstocking reds seems to get rid of the aggression thy have among each other. No one fish sets up any territory so the fighting seems to go away. Other piranhas it is a gamble but to let you know I had 30 piranhas in a 200g. From 5 inches to 10 inches. There were reds, caribes, and ternetzis. I never had a problem with them.
I guess it all comes down to there is no right answer. The amount of p's you can stick in a tank is the highest # before they start killing each other. As it was stated before, with overstocking, you have to experiment. Add fish untill you are happy with the result, while still maintaining a "working" aquarium.
Good luck with overstocking, and keep us posted on what you decide.
In my opinion, overstocking is a great site to witness. Unless you really want to keep your Ps happy with space and for life through their adult age, then 20 per gallon is the rule. You take a great deal of risk when overstocking in a small tank, but have greater success in a tank 80-100+ gal.
Alot of members have defied the odds when overstocking. It has its pros, cons, and consequences. One pro, is that territorial disputes decrease to a minimum because of less space to try and occupy. Cons are having to get bigger and better filteration, feeding evenly, lack of space, less chance of finding a pairing match, and injuries. Just keep proper feeding routines and good water conditions and you'd be fine
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