Is a 3 gallon tank assisted suicide for fish?
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Is a 3 gallon tank assisted suicide for fish?

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Is a 3 gallon tank assisted suicide for fish?
Old 03-01-2010, 05:24 PM   #1
 
Is a 3 gallon tank assisted suicide for fish?

Hello all, brand new to the discussion forum. I had a few successful fresh water aquariums (and one not so successful) marine aquarium when I was a kid.

My 4 year old daughter has recently fallen in love with fish and loves going to the aquarium any chance she gets. Of course the sucker dad that I am said, "sure we can get you a little fish tank for your room". So off to the fish store I go yesterday in search of a small self contained aquarium. They had a handful of sub 5 gallon deals, and this size really fits the bill since space is at a premium on her dresser. It didn't take me long however to realize that goldfish as well as every tropical fish I saw requires more than a 2.5 or 3 gallon tank.

So what the heck do they make these little aquariums for??? Are there any fish that will thrive in a 3 gallon tank? Can I stock it with 3-5 tetras at least?

I certainly don't want to set up a tank only to have to explain where her fish went a week later....

Thanks for any input! Please keep in mind a bigger tank is not really an option. The room has so much princess junk in it I can barely find the dresser.
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Old 03-01-2010, 06:01 PM   #2
 
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Welcome to the forum!

For the sake of your daughter remaining interested in a tank set up if I was you I'd return that thing to the store and either at the store or online used (eg. craigslist) would look for a 10g that should fit any standard kids dresser too. Then toss a few plants in there and some small fish (depending on how soft/ hard your water is) and keep it interesting for her.
The problem I see with a 2-3g tank not only is it not very good for the fish but even if you tried adding fish to it and then stuff hits the wall they die your daughter get's upset yaddy ya...not cool.
So find a 10g used (here in TN you can get them anywhere from 10-50 bucks used) toss 2-3 live plants in it and some neat fish for her and enjoy
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Old 03-01-2010, 06:02 PM   #3
 
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One more thought (sorry posted too quick) if you're really "stuck" with the 3g do you think she would care to be entertained by shrimp??? That's a option of something you can stock a small tank like that with.
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Old 03-01-2010, 06:10 PM   #4
 
I know some people have bettas in 3 gallons, most in a 5 gallon, so I wouldn't see a problem with that, just don't think they do not need heaters! THEY DO TOO! It would still need a filter too
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Old 03-01-2010, 06:26 PM   #5
 
Hmm... For a 5 gal, how 'bout a Betta and a couple of shrimp? Most Tetras will do best in small schools, 5-6 at least, which may be too much that tank.

Here's another thought...a hex-shaped tank may allow you to go a little larger gallon-wise while not using much more of a footprint than a 5 gal. For example, a 10g hex is 12x14x18" tall. You may be able to get away with the Betta and 4 dwarf or pygmy corys.
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:08 PM   #6
 
Thanks for the input thus far. I have not purchased a tank yet so I'm not stuck with anything, I may be able to squeeze a 5 gallon up there but anything bigger is not going to work. There are some other items up there that must stay. Maybe a little 5 gallon or the hex idea?

What water temp does a Betta require? Is 78degrees the standard for most tropical fish?

Last edited by Jeb21; 03-01-2010 at 07:20 PM..
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:17 PM   #7
 
Bettas need 75-85 degrees or so.

If the room is pretty stable temperature-wise, a couple of Danios (Zebra, or GloFish) will do OK in a 65-75 degree range.

You may want to check out AqAdvisor - Intelligent Freshwater Tropical Fish Aquarium Stocking Calculator and Aquarium Tank/Filter Advisor for suggestions as well.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:33 PM   #8
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LMychajluk View Post
Bettas need 75-85 degrees or so.

If the room is pretty stable temperature-wise, a couple of Danios (Zebra, or GloFish) will do OK in a 65-75 degree range.

You may want to check out AqAdvisor - Intelligent Freshwater Tropical Fish Aquarium Stocking Calculator and Aquarium Tank/Filter Advisor for suggestions as well.
Thats a great link, thanks!

Looks like Im stuck with snails or shrimp

I think I'll go the betta route. She'll be into that, nice and colorful.
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:15 PM   #9
 
Assuming I go with a 5 gallon and 1 Betta what type of cycling do I need to do before I introduce the fish? Is a betta considered a "starter ? Heck, I see them living in tiny fish bowls all the time...

What chemicals would I need when setting up the tank. Thanks again!
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Old 03-01-2010, 11:41 PM   #10
 
Ok, so I'm in the middle of my own cycling problems right now (partly because I used too many chems early on), so I may not be the right person to listen to, but here's what I think...

You should only need some water condtioner to treat water prior to putting it in the tank to remove chlorines and ammonia. SeaChem's Prime is a popular choice. You probably will want a water test kit - most brands sell 'Master' kits which include all the basic tests for $20-30.

Unless you plan on spending a month or two cycling w/o any fish (google 'fishless cycle'), start with the 1 betta and change ~1 gallon of water every 5-7 days (assuming a 5 gallon tank and that you're getting a filter). If you're not going to filter, you probably have to change more like 2 gallons every 2-3 days. Bettas are relatively hardy and, IMO, can handle a cycle. After you're testing positive for Nitrates in a month or so, you may be able to add a couple more small fish.

For a filter, a small bubble filter or sponge filter should be fine (<$10), but either will need a small air pump (unless you're looking at one of the kits with the filter built into the cover?). Pumps can be cheap, too, but in a bedroom, the cheap ones may be loud. Just something to think about.
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