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Ideas for a Small Tank?
I have a 3 gallon Eclipse 3 tank and am considering putting some new fish in there. It's completely set up with substrate, three plants, and some drift wood, and just needs fish. I used to keep a betta in there along with a couple of otos. The betta did well, and after 1.5 years, he passed away last October. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to do as well with the otos, and after about six months, the second one died a couple of weeks ago. I do weekly 25% water changes and everything is in parameters, they just didn't seem to take. On top of that, they didn't take care of the algae as well as I had hoped.
Anyway, I'm looking to get some new fish, but may switch it up from the betta. The guy at the pet store suggested a few guppies, barbs, tetras, platys, or mollys. Any other ideas? If so, how many? And, how would I care for these fish? Again, I've only had bettas and otos, so my experience is a little limited.
i wouldnt put any of those fish into a 3 gallon, except maybe 1 guppy. Best bet is to stick with a betta for that size tank, because by the time you have added filter, heater & decor you will be left with around 2 gallons.
There are several suitable fish, but not ones you are likely to readily find at the local store, unless you have a particularly good one. The common tetra, livebearers, etc are, as stevenjohn21 rightly said, not suitable for such a small space. Tetra need groups, and a lone fish or two will be highly stressed.
Otos can be very sensitive, though once settled (after several months) should live well. As for algae, they will only eat common green and diatoms (brown). Most tanks end up with algae that they (and most other so-called algae eating fish) will not touch, like brush algae, hair algae, etc. In such a small space, it is better to prevent algae issues rather than fixing them. and light is the key.
But to suitable fish. Among the Cyprinids there are many "dwarf" species admirably suited to small tanks. They are colourful, need a group, and provide interest much the same as the medium/larger species in larger tanks. In our fish profiles you will find several; check out Boraras brigittae [this is a dwarf rasbora, there are several species in this genus, this one is one of the more commonly-seen], Celestial Pearl Danio, Emerald Dwarf Rasbora. [Click the shaded name to see that profile.] While these would be best in a 5g or 10g, they still can be healthy in a 3g with a group of maybe 4-5. There is among characins the Ember Tetra. And among livebearers, instead of the common guppy, the closely-related Endlers Livebearer; a trio of males would be nice.
Your water parameters are important, some of the above must have basic medium hard water, some must have soft slightly acidic. But this should give you some ideas.
With any of these, some freshwater shrimp can be included as the "scavenger" critter. These eat algae to some extent, and help keep the substrate tidy. And a Malaysian Livebearing snail will also work wonders for tank health.
Well, you're right. Those things are hard to find! I went to three LPS today. Only one had the Endlers and carried any rasboras, and none had the others. Every single one told me I can put just about any guppies, tetras, barbs, etc. into that tank, and said about 4-6 would do. This was a bit shocking, especially since one of these stores was a highly repudated one in my area.
With that said, where would I get these fish? I'm very interested in the danios and the emerald rasboras. The mosquito rasboras are cool, too, but with the current produced by the filter, it doesn't seem like that would be a good idea.
If you mention where you live, others in that area might know of good sources of fish. Online is another option, if you live in the USA this is easier as there are reputable places.
Thank you Byron, you've been extremely helpful. It's unfortunate most places are looking for a quick buck, if that is the case. I'd think quality advice/customer service would go a long ways in getting good repeat business.
With that said, I live in Kansas City, MO. If anyone knows the area, what are some good local stores around here with a large selection? I've been to Miles of Exotics, Fins & Foliage, and I can't recall the name of the other.
I'll leave it for members familiar with that vicinity to comment on stores. I got a stock list today from a place in the USA called Anubias Design, they carry a lot of the more rare fish. They only ship within the continental US so I can't use them, but I have read good things about them so you might want to check them out. The list that came today by email had some of the fish we have been discussing. I can't seem to access their webpage at the moment, but here is a link to the Yahoo group:
anubiasdesign : Anubias Design
Probably going to do some asking around tomorrow at a couple more local stores. I really like the idea of the celestial pearl danios and the emerald dwarf rasboras, though the later seems a bit more difficult. Also, what about scarlet badis (dario dario)? They are absolutely beautiful, the perfect size, and their water requirements are smack dab in the middle of my water conditions, without having to add anything (though I may need to up the KH a little). The profile says they can get agressive, especially in a smaller tank, but says you can keep 1-2 males and 2-3 males in a 5 or 10 gal. tank. How would they get along in a 3 gal?
I also have a 20g with just the Emerald dwarf rasbora. They do need basic water, not acidic. I personally would go with the Dario dario over these. My Emeralds stay in the back, whereas the Dario are always out front; they come to the front whenever I approach the tank.
Endlers are quite easy to find online if you want to order them.
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