Bioload and tank inhabitants?


Reefing newb
Hi all,
New to the hobby (or cult?) and have been doing lots of reading about fish to tank size, number of fish, and the need for cycling the tank and establishing the system. My question is how do invertebrates and corals add to the bio load? Is there a calculator that balances, fish, invertebrates, and corals? Also, what about the rate of adding invertebrates?

We (son and I) started our 55 Gal about 6 weeks ago. Tank cycled and at week 5 added one small purple fire fish (goby), 1 small yellow tang, 1 peppermint cleaner shrimp, one small conch. Three days later added two more conch.

All are doing well and we just went through our first water change without hiccup.

We plan to space adding new fish about 4 - 6 weeks apart. How many can we add at that point? I have read some articles that say only one fish at a time, others disagree. What about the rate and timing of invertebrates and corals?

Any insight would be appreciated.
Hi and welcome to Living Reefs!

Generally, only fish are calculated towards the bioload. The amount of fish you can successfully keep is a little tricky and depends on a lot of variables. Things like: reef keeping experience, filtration (biological and mechanical), water quality, etc... I would recommend staying around 5-6 fish in a 55g tank. You can add more than one fish at a time especially if you are introducing two clownfish. Also, if you were planning on adding two fish that may be aggressive towards each other if introduced individually. Adding corals does not count against your bioload so you can introduce them as you want. Just remember slow is good in this hobby. Sounds like you are off to great start so keep it up.