Setting up a 5 gal fish tank! Lots of questions!
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Setting up a 5 gal fish tank! Lots of questions!

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Setting up a 5 gal fish tank! Lots of questions!
Old 01-21-2010, 05:11 PM   #1
 
Question Setting up a 5 gal fish tank! Lots of questions!

Hello everyone! I am new to the site and found you guys through the horse forum!

For a little background, a few years back I got a 5 gallon "Eclipse Corner 5 Aquarium Kit" for christmas. We set it up all decked out with guppies and sucker fish and a few other kind too! Honestly though, we really didn't know what we were doing (I was really only about 11 at the time and I'm 16 now). After killing a couple batches of fish we decided that'd it probably be best to give the fish tank a break. So now, hear we are. I would really now like to give the fish tank another go, and being older I believe I'll be able to take better care of it. Also I have a little sister who was two at the time that we had the other fish and she didn't help them out much.

So now, hear are some of the questions I have for you regardinig my new aquatic paradise! I want to make sure I do everything right this time!

1.) How many fish can you put in a 5 gallon tank? Depending on the size isn't it something like 1 gal per 1 fish?
2.) Can you use water conditioner and remover at the same time? Example: Using NovAqua+ (water conditioner) and AmQuel+ (removes Nitrate, Nitrite, Ammonia, Choloramines, and Chlorines)

I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions on the type of fish I should purchase? I'm looking for a hardy breed that's colorful. I was thinking maybe goldfish? I'd like them more hardy because sometimes in the winter our power goes out and I'd be worried about it getting too cold for them. Our house stays around 65-70F degrees in the winter. I'd like to put something else in the take besides just goldfish, but if they aren't going to survive that goldfish are fine! I do have a little heater for the water, but I'm not sure if it still works.

3.) Do I really need a heater? And if so how much does a little one generally cost?
4.) When it comes to decorations I read that it is recommended there be 1 1/2-2lbs of gravel per every 1 gallon? Is that true? Just curious!
5.) I also have a small little 1 1/2 gallon tank that is triangular that sits in corners. It's just like a little beta (I believe) fish tank no heater or anything. Too keep my sister from trying to mess with my big 5 gallon tank, I was wondering if I could buy her just one fish to care for and put it in that? Maybe like a beta or gold fish or angel fish. I think it would be too small for a gold/angel fish however? Is it? Do angel fish get big?
6.) I was also thinking about putting an angel fish in my 5 gallon tank, but I've heard that they can be aggressive towards other fish so I'm kinda worried about it trying to fight with my other ones.
7.) Also, how much do test strips usually run for a fish tank? I'm just curious!

As you can see I'm fairly new to this so any and all advice would be appreciated!!! Oh, I do know about filters and such however!! Thanks!
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Old 01-21-2010, 10:34 PM   #2
 
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Welcome to the Forum.

For starters I highly recommend you read this http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...ium-cycle-252/ that's your first and most important step!

Then you chose ONE good quality water conditioner such as prime and that's it.
Then you worry about set up eg gravel or sand and live plants.
And yes you will need a heater unless your home is at a steady 75-80F temp day & night; you can find all needed fish supply's and heaters here which is about the cheapest online supplier you'll find Cascade Heaters, Heaters | Pet Solutions
No that'd be a lil too much gravel, for a 5g tank I'd get like 7-8lbs gravel, make sure its fine gravel or sand (can also use play sand from the home store) so your plants will thrive well.
Angel fish are with an adult size of 10" far too large for a 5g tank! They need to be also kept at least in pairs and for a proper set up for 1 pair you'll need like a 55g tank.
Test strips are plain & simple crap - You will need to invest into a liquid test kit that tests Ammonia, Nitrate, Nitrite, pH and hardness, you WILL def need this so do not safe $ on that end but once you have one they last forever (ideally I'd get API).

Once you've squared away all this properly, then you can worry about fish. 1" per gallon is a myth and fatal if you were to go that way. You'll need to look what the fish needs are some need soft others hard water (there again you'll need a test kit for that). Then you need fish that are small cause you have a very small tank there; or you go with something like 1 Betta fish and 10 ghost shrimp for a set up. Last but not least you'll need to watch WHAT fish you're getting to make sure they're not aggressive.
And pleaseee do me a favor and let's just discuss fish options for you here once you're ready for them and do not listen to the sales guy at some pet store, they'll sell you anything and then there you'd be sitting at home with a bunch of trouble and I doubt that's what you want
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Old 01-21-2010, 10:47 PM   #3
 
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+1 for what angel said......my 5 gallon is now my hospital tank but before the upgrade i kept a single male betta with 2 african dwarf frogs. Male bettas come in a variety of colors and "styles". the african dwarf frogs (not to be confused with the african clawed frog) are very cute little guys but do your research before purchasing one (or a pair). And just to add to angels post....a 5 gallon isnt only too small for an angel but for a goldfish as well. contrary to popular belief MOST goldfish will grow VERY large and even the ones that dont get too big are still too big for a 5 gallon. IMO, you would find good enjoyment out of the betta/african dwarf frog tank. But again....research, research, and ask here before jumping into any purchases. i promise....we wont steer you wrong!!

p.s. welcome to the forum!!
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Old 01-22-2010, 03:39 AM   #4
 
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Wouldn't fit a 10" oranda in a 5g. I keep mostly orandas and already bred some. The adults range from 5-10". Anything smaller are still juveniles, not full grown adults.
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Old 01-22-2010, 09:30 AM   #5
 
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You have several options for your 5 gallon tank. Like mollefan, in my 5g I 4 live plants with 1 male betta, 2 mystery snails, and I'll be getting 6-10 ghost shrimp as well. I've heard African Dwarf Frogs are good tank mates for bettas too, and molliefan has obviously had good success with them. Your little sister might get a kick out of the frogs as well.

However, like Angel said, read over the Nitrogen Cycle. Pck the gravel/sand/plants you like and get it all set up first. Then, everyone can help you bounce ideas around for your stocking. I perosnally use Prime water conditioner and like it very much. AmQuel+ also comes highly recommended on this forum.
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:12 PM   #6
 
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Find out the pH of your local water, it will help you narrow down your choices for fish, and make the fish you eventually purchase happier.

Once you get everything figured out, check out this stocking calculator, it will give you a pretty good idea of what fish you can have: http://www.aqadvisor.com/

Welcome to the forum! I'm still pretty new myself. This forum is a great resource with really great people. Need help? Just ask, and you'll get it.
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Old 01-22-2010, 07:16 PM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by La Reina View Post
Find out the pH of your local water, it will help you narrow down your choices for fish, and make the fish you eventually purchase happier.

Once you get everything figured out, check out this stocking calculator, it will give you a pretty good idea of what fish you can have: http://www.aqadvisor.com/

Welcome to the forum! I'm still pretty new myself. This forum is a great resource with really great people. Need help? Just ask, and you'll get it.
+1 on aqadvisor.com The guy obviously puts alot of thought/work into that site.
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Old 01-23-2010, 12:51 AM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shananigan View Post
1.) How many fish can you put in a 5 gallon tank? Depending on the size isn't it something like 1 gal per 1 fish?
There's really no "rule" when it comes to stocking. Honestly, a 5g tank is pretty small so it does place some big limits on what types of fish you can keep in it. There are still quite a few options though, so don't be discouraged!

Quote:
2.) Can you use water conditioner and remover at the same time? Example: Using NovAqua+ (water conditioner) and AmQuel+ (removes Nitrate, Nitrite, Ammonia, Choloramines, and Chlorines)
"Water Conditioner" refers to a chemical concoction that's designed to make tap water safe for fish. The better ones on the market will remove the chemicals you listed as well as heavy metals, which "conditions" the water for the fish. You can just buy one product that does all of this and not worry about multiple chemicals. I'd check the exact specs on the NovAqua and AmQuel just to be sure but you can probably use one or the other and not both.

Quote:
3.) Do I really need a heater? And if so how much does a little one generally cost?
If you're keeping tropical fish, yes you do. Pretty much all tropical fish will do well within a relatively small range of temperatures (77 to 80 degrees is pretty middle of the road and suitable for many community fish). Being cold blooded creatures from the tropics, low temperatures and temperature swings can be deadly for fish, so heaters are a must. Unfortunately heaters are a bit expensive; you'll want about a 25 watt heater which will run you around $20-25.

Quote:
4.) When it comes to decorations I read that it is recommended there be 1 1/2-2lbs of gravel per every 1 gallon? Is that true? Just curious!
That kind of depends on the shape of the tank and whether or not you plan on planting it with rooted plants, but generally I think about a pound per gallon should suffice.

Quote:
5.) I also have a small little 1 1/2 gallon tank that is triangular that sits in corners. It's just like a little beta (I believe) fish tank no heater or anything. Too keep my sister from trying to mess with my big 5 gallon tank, I was wondering if I could buy her just one fish to care for and put it in that? Maybe like a beta or gold fish or angel fish. I think it would be too small for a gold/angel fish however? Is it? Do angel fish get big?
Goldfish and angels definitely get too large. Even the smallest of fancy goldfish grow to about the size of a baseball plus the tail while less expensive varieties grow even larger. Angelfish grow to be about six inches long and 10-12" tall. This tank is a bit on the small side for a betta but could be doable, but you'd want a mini heater and a filter of some kind. What about shrimp? Cherry shrimp have a very small bioload and work well in tanks this size. They also do well at lower temperatures (down to about 65 or so). A couple of cherry shrimp make for a pretty entertaining small fishtank.

Quote:
6.) I was also thinking about putting an angel fish in my 5 gallon tank, but I've heard that they can be aggressive towards other fish so I'm kinda worried about it trying to fight with my other ones.
As I said, they get much too large for small tanks like these. The smallest tank I'd put one in is a 29g and I'd much prefer something like a 37g or 55g.

Quote:
7.) Also, how much do test strips usually run for a fish tank? I'm just curious!
Test strips aren't very good. They aren't accurate plus they end up being pretty expensive compared to more accurate liquid test kits. The most well-rounded liquid test kit, in my opinion, is the API Freshwater Master Test Kit. It'll run you about $30-35 in stores but you can get it for much cheaper online ($24 on drsfosterandsmith.com for example).

As for fish options (not all at once!):
-1 betta (male or female)
-1 or 2 dwarf puffers
-A school of small schooling fish, like neon tetras or galaxy rasboras
-Three or four male guppies
-A couple of sparkling gouramis
-Some of the smaller killifish varieties
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