Newbie Questions: Endlers, Shrimp, 5gal, Plants! Oh My! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 07-24-2014, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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Question Newbie Questions: Endlers, Shrimp, 5gal, Plants! Oh My!

Hi there. I have a 5gallon tank for about a month now. I didn't condition the water, I bought gallons of bottled water right off the start instead.. Then I added plants from my LPS, along with some gravel from their aquarium. I got Java Fern (x2), Marimo Moss Ball, and a medium stalk of Anubias Nana, with tall stems and large leaves.

I have a heater, 25w, and a 15w bulb. I keep it at 78F. and about 8h of light a day. Everything is great with the plants. I added some kind of dwarf grass that looks great, uh the guy at the LPS didn't know what kind it was, but I bought it anyway cuz he said it was easy to take care of. And I bought some more anubias nana, but this is a small stalk, which is short stems, lots of leaves, but small leaves, and I planted it somewhat under the gravel, while the medium stalk of anubias is just sitting on the gravel.

Eight days ago I bought 3 Male Enders and they're doing great. 1 hasn't really come into his colors, though, should I be considered? He's smaller than the other two. He's not as brightly colorful as the other two. I doubt he's a she, though. I feed them brine shrimp x3 times a day, starved them yesterday but fed them today. I read you should starve them once a week? They weren't eating all the "Aqueon Tropical Flakes" but should I try to feed that every once in a while to get them to eat veggies?

Four days ago I bought 2 shrimp. They are pretty small. They're doing excellent.

Then yesterday I bought 4 more shrimp from the same place and three of them are dead. They were pretty big when I bought them, two were really pregnant. I think I didn't let them adjust to the water long enough before I put them in and they had water shock (is that what it's called?).

I'm not going to buy anymore shrimp, anyway, because I'm unsure what caused them to die. I read shrimp don't have a bioload and are okay in small tanks.

I'm going to buy a 10 gallon tank soon and cycle that by using the water and gravel from my current tank. Then move my endlers into the 10 gallon after I plant the 10 gallon and it's cycled, add corydoras (they need to be in groups, so how many can I add? should I get more endlers when I get the 10 gallon set up?). And get a betta for my 5 gallon. Once the endlers are out I can put the betta in right away, right? Cuz it's already cycled, planted, heated. Right? I mean, sit the cup in there first, slowly add water into the cup, and let him adjust first, but yah, just put him in there?

I'm doing about 10% water changes every other day. The temp stable. The plants are green and growing a little. The grass is really growing. I have like 4 snails that came with the plants lol. I'm hoping they're nitrite snails but I'm thinking they're mystery snails because there's a lot of them :(

How often should I change my filter? It's the Aqueon Small filter. I changed it once after rinsing it off with a bottle of water first, because it was a little gunky. Can I use the filter to cycle my next tank? Like just throw it in the 10 gallon and let it float around?
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post #2 of 4 Old 07-25-2014, 10:18 AM
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Lemme see if I can answer everything. lol

First...five gallon isn't too bad for endlers, they're little fish. Once settled you'll want at least 1 more.

The one you say hasn't gotten colors yet and is smaller: Endlers males tend to not get larger than 1/2-1/3 an inch in length, females tend to be larger and hit around an inch, sometimes a tad more. Females don't get colors. If this little one stays colorless for much longer, may well be female.

You need a water test kit to test your water(don't get strips, they're pretty terrible, you'll want a nice liquid test kit, worth their weight in gold usually, though they can be costly they are usually correct and wont mislead you), buying bottled water may help, but it wont cycle your tank, it'll just be safe UNTIL their poop and pee makes ammonia, and without beneficial bacteria(this is what keeps your tank cycled and safe, they colonize your filter more than the gravel), you'll have dangerous spikes in your parameters as it goes into a cycle.

The snails in there will cause an over-load and you don't want that. I'd remove them and stick to small ghost or cherry shrimp, peaceful with a lower bioload. I'd recommend cherries. Mystery snails...mystery snails don't lay eggs under water, so if you have new babies you likely have pond snails. Mystery snails get about the size of a golfball, they have a high bioload, and you wont want them in a five gallon with other critters.

Starving them once a week...they call it fasting, usually left to bettas since they sometimes have trouble digesting and getting it all out. The fasting day allows them to clean out their systems.

A ten gallon is perfect for a small colony of endlers(five to eight) and some shrimp. =)

With your shrimp dying, I'm gonna guess ghosts? They're pretty poorly bred and often drop soon after purchase, but it is possible you did things too fast and shocked them, either by not acclimating them properly, or by adding too many things at once. Not as likely with shrimp, but a possibility since you added fish just days before, and more shrimp soon after. This can cause a rise in acidity and shock and kill fish, shrimp and other aquatics, so be careful. You should only be adding about three things per week.

Your doing too many changes, unless you're doing a fish-in cycle, which you may well be since you don't have beneficial bacteria yet, you should be checking water parameters with a test kit daily, and following changes by the readings. Ammonia = big daily changes until gone, same with nitrites, nitrAtes are when you can settle a bit because you're getting your beneficial bacteria colonies in. Once cycled, you will only want to do a 20-25% water change once a week.

Filter...don't change it often, always put a new cartridge with the old one for a few days to a week before you remove the old one. This lets your beneficial bacteria colonies stick to it and keep your tank cycled. You over-clean that filter and you'll be cycled again. Proper cycling can take 4-6 weeks, typically 6. You will want to rinse the cartridge during your changes. VERY gently swish it around in tank water you removed from the tank during cleaning. If you do it in tap or filtered water, you'll likely just kill the colonies.

You don't want cories in a ten gallon tank, not even pygmies. If you want cories, you want a 20+ gallon, long shaped tank and NO gravel. They'll need sand or VERY smooth, rounded rocks(like marbles). Otherwise you'll eventually kill them, and being in a small space like that will be stressful. They're small, some, they're cute and active, they like shoals of five or more, and they looove to swim. So they need space and 20 gallons is a minimum.

When you move to a larger tank, provided you have fully cycled the current one, yes, use that filter for the new one to help it cycle faster. Use the water and plants too. =) Even with the larger tank, you still want to do 20-25% weekly changes, don't over do it and skip a week rinsing the filter...honestly I only rinse mine every couple weeks, but i always make sure there's nothing yucky on it each week just in case. You don't want rotting plant matter or food in there.

Get yourself some proper water conditioner. You can buy that bottle stuff, but it's pretty useless when you can just get some prime or conditioner(I recommend Prime big time, gooood stuff).

Your lighting is good. As for the wattage...if the heater is made for a tank larger, bad. Same if it's made for a tank smaller, especially when you have tropical fish. I assume it's fine since it's a stable 78 degrees, that's about perfect. Always make sure the filter is the right size for the tank, if you have a really big one, especially if you have fish with a high bioload - which you do not, you can use two. I use a 40 gallon filter, and a 30 gallon filter for my 55 gallon, I have lot's of livebearers, mollies mostly and they have a high bioload. Plus, long tank, needed the boost on both ends. With smaller tanks like 5-30 gallon tanks, it's not a huge need, not a huge need in the larger either unless you have some extra dirty fish like mollies, plecos or goldfish. lol

Feeding...if they're still young, three times a day is fine. Otherwise when older, best not to over-feed. I give mine what they want in the morning, and in the evening I give them a bit more. This way they aren't starving each day at meal time and stay nice and healthy. Over-feeding will kill your water quality. Sure, cleaner fish will help, or critters in your case, but they poop too, you don't want things over done.

Turning on the Aquarium lamp in the morning is MY cup of coffee.

Last edited by Sylverclaws; 07-25-2014 at 10:27 AM.
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post #3 of 4 Old 07-25-2014, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so very much. You answered all of my questions in such a great manner. :)

I'll get the liquid test kit! The strips I have now just tell me I'm in the "green" which means I'm okay.... it's kinda a low quality item.

I'm looking forward to a nice colony of shrimp and male endlers in my 10 gallon now! :)
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post #4 of 4 Old 07-25-2014, 03:52 PM
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Good luck to you! If you ever do get a tank 20+ gallons, cories are truly wonderful fish. :3 Active, sweet, and quite cute I might add. I had some in my twenty gallon, but unfortunately I did not get them sand, I had gravel. >< Two ended up losing barbels. Thankfully I caught that in time and temporarily put them in a smaller tank with sand. Once healed, I had to find them a new home. Was a close one, they're delicate about that stuff. =) I really miss them, I'm hoping to have some in my 73 gal pool once I get my butt around to washing the sand I got for it. Ah...when you first add it, cleaning the sand and stuff is a royal pain, it's pretty easy to care for after that, also awesome for aquarium plants.

Turning on the Aquarium lamp in the morning is MY cup of coffee.
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anubias nana , cherry shrimp , dwarf grass , endlers liverbearers , five gallon

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