02-13-2012, 11:45 AM
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As others have mentioned, your main issue is space. Fish need space for two reasons: first, physical space so they can be themselves, and second, the water quality depends upon the space being balanced with fish load.
Even a 10g is not much space, and too many people put too many of the wrong sort of fish in a 10g, and problems result. But there are options for a 5g.
The single male Betta with shrimp, snails and lots of plants. But if you want more than one fish, there are several species of dwarf fish around that will manage very well. Most of the commonly-seen tetra like neons do not fit this definition, and they are too large for a 5g. One or two fish yes, but tetra are shoaling fish that live in groups of hundreds and they have social interactions. Most sources recommend no less than 6 of any tetra species, but more is always better for the fish. This is an important part of being themselves, as nature made them.
The only "dwarf" tetra I know of is the Ember Tetra, and it is a beauty. A group of 7-8 in a planted 5g would be nice. Among the Cyprinids there are several dwarf species. The Scarlet Badis, Mosquito Rasbora, dwarf Rasbora, Emerald Dwarf Rasbora to name a few. You could have some substrate fish, like the Pygmy Cory, or shrimp. You will note these names are shaded; that means they are in the profiles, and you can click on the name to see that profile. The profile contains information on the fish's requirements respecting water parameters, tank size, and numbers.