5.5 gal stocking question

Discussion in 'Aquarium Stocking Questions' started by Katibre, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. Katibre

    KatibreNew MemberMember

    My setup: 5.5 gal with 1 snail, 3 guppies, and 1 rainbow fish.
    With 10 gal filter, 3-10 gal preset heater -+78 F, and plants: grass type shoots growing. Ph is 7.4 amm 0
    I do a 1/3 partial water change weekly sometimes biweekly.

    The tank has been setup for 3 months I cycled the tank with tetras (died).
    Added 1 betta and snail added 3 guppies. I was able to keep the betta, 1 guppy and snail alive for 2.5 months.
    I found out I had an issue with my heater, I'm thinking that is the reason they died, as well as the Betta had fin rot it was too late to treat.
    I purchased a new heater. The snail (3 months) and guppy (1 week) have survived. It has been 3 days now with the new tank mates I purchased on Friday.

    1. stocking capacity: With the right amount of maintenance will I have a water quality issue?
    2. To insure I don't have a problem how frequent should my water changes be?
    3. I have been battling with my tank's alage my tank's water is a hint of green, any thoughts? As of now I have covered the back and cover part of the top of the tank to avoid it from getting direct sunlight I do not have a hood just a glass cover.

    Thank you for your time
  2. fighter55Valued MemberMember

    Otocinclus Catfish get rid of algae quick. I'm sure they'd love to eat it all. Not sure if they can fit into a 5.5 though.
  3. catsma_97504Fishlore LegendMember

    Welcome to Fishlore!

    The only way to know if a tank has cycled is to test the water. Do you have a test kit? What are your current parameters? If not, please take a water sample to your LFS and ask them to test it. Write down the exact results of each test. While there, pick up a liquid test kit. I recommend API Freshwater Masterkit. It is more expensive than the paper test strips; however, it will last over a year and is more accurate. And don't let the LFS talk you into purchasing anything other than the liquid test kit.

    In regards to stocking, I recommend returning the rainbow fish. They do not belong in a 5.5G tank. And, until you know for a fact that the tank has properly cycled and is stabilized, I would not add anything. For now I recommend daily water changes. But once cycled, weekly.

    The form of algae in your tank is fairly common in an uncycled tank, especially one that is also getting direct sunlight. Can you move your tank away from the window? I would not turn on the tank lights until the algae has been better controlled.

    :;fIf you wouldn't mind, please provide complete Aquarium Profile Information. This information will help the members to gain an understanding of your tank. Just click the My Settings button at the top of this page, and select Edit Aquarium Info. Complete the information on your aquarium, including tank size, filtration, stocking, lighting, water parameters, etc. And save your changes. Then you won't be inundated with answering questions about your tank.

    Good luck.

  4. Wendy Lubianetsky

    Wendy LubianetskyWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to Fishlore. :;hi2

    As Dena said, I would not add anymore fish until I was sure my tank was cycled. The only way you can know if your tank is cycled is if you test the water and it tests with 0 ammomia, 0 nitrites, and a possitive for nitrates. If you are unfamiliar with this, please let us know so we can help you.

    As for water quality and proper maintenance, it really depends on what kind of fish you have (this is AFTER your tank is cycled). If you have very messy fish like I do, you will be doing far more substrate vaccuumings and water changes than if you had 1 snail in the tank. Your best bet is to purchase a freshwater test kit at your local fish supply store. After your tank has cycled add 1 fish every 2 weeks until you reach your stocking goal. Test the water every day for a week or two and you will get an idea how often you will need to do a water change. You will need to change water whenever your NITRATES rise over 20 ppm. I am not an expert on what you should stock, I will leave that to someone else. Every time I make a suggestion I realize I need more experience in order to answer those types of questions. :;fim

    But, your first goal should be to buy a water test kit and determine whether your tank has cycled or not.:;2cents:;2cents:;2cents:;2cents (inflation you know).:;laughing

  5. OP

    KatibreNew MemberMember

    I have described my tank in depth in the beginning of thread. But posted everything in my profile as well.
    "I do not have a hood for my tank just indirect light from the window.
    As of now I have an ammonia and ph test kits. Amm reads 0 and ph 7.4
    I still need to figure out a better place to have the tank because the tank is still getting too much light. Will the algae go away in time or should I treat the tank?
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
  6. fighter55Valued MemberMember

    Another good choice for a 5.5 gallon is an Algae-eating shrimp. You could get plenty of them and they wouldn't bother Guppies or a snail.
  7. catsma_97504Fishlore LegendMember

    Thank you for updating your aquarium profile. Your profile indicates your tank is planted. What plants are in your tank?

    With the type of algae you have (free floating green water), the best thing is to ensure your tank is fully cycled (need nitrite and nitrate levels to know); do small water changes 2 or 3 times a week; minimize the light as much as you can; and ride it out. Don't purchase any algaecides as they don't work and often kill inhabitants. There are no critters that will eat this form of algae, other than live daphnia, which your fish will eat.
  8. fighter55Valued MemberMember

    Oops. I though this was algae that grew on decor or walls, not free floating. My bad.
  9. OP

    KatibreNew MemberMember

    2 out of the 3 guppies died they were feeder guppies. I tested the nitrite and nitrate both read 0 any reason why they would die?
  10. OP

    KatibreNew MemberMember

    This morning I tested my amm it read 0.25 ppm should I do a partial water change or will it disrupt the cycle?
  11. iRun

    iRunValued MemberMember

    If you want to keep the fish that you have alive, do 30-50% water changes daily. That isn't the ideal way to cycle the tank but it will give what you have a fighting chance and the tank will eventually cycle. If you have access to an established tank's filter media or substrate, get some.
  12. e_watson09

    e_watson09Well Known MemberMember

    Alright I kind of skimmed through the posts on here but I got the just of it.

    Basically to my understanding your tank is not cycled.

    The most recent posts you made about the cycle say this....
    Ammonia 0.25ppm
    Nitrate 0ppm
    Nitrite 0ppm

    Your tank still needs to finish its cycle. This can be done with the fish in the tank you currently have but the likelyhood of them living through it is slim. Ideally you want your reading to test like this....
    Ammonia 0ppm
    Nitrate 10-20ppm
    Nitrite 0ppm

    I would do some water changes of 25-50% daily. Just taking water out and replacing it. Don't clean your gravel or filter unless you HAVE to. That is where your bacteria will be growing. You only want to clean the gravel if its starting to look dirty.

    As for your algae issue. Your tank is probably getting too much light, adding a hood will cut down on the light as well as maybe adding a background to block some of the light out. I know many people that have tanks near windows and they have to keep the blinds closed. Adding chemicals to fix the problem generally only creates more problems in the long run.
  13. OP

    KatibreNew MemberMember

    Thank you for the help

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