5 Gallon Tank

Discussion in 'Saltwater Beginners' started by Ayden Jude Rose, Feb 9, 2018.

  1. Ayden Jude Rose

    Ayden Jude RoseNew MemberMember

    I have a 5 gallon tank I was thinking about putting a beta in but I was wondering what type on saltwater fish would thrive in a small tank instead?
  2. david1978

    david1978Fishlore VIPMember

    A clown fish.
  3. Bruxes and BubblesWell Known MemberMember

    Not many permanently. Most that can usually need live food. You could do an invertebrate tank though.

    10 gallon you have more options, but I wouldn't do it unless you have a lot of experience in FW before you move to saltwater nanos. Saltwater is a whole other world, let alone a nano.

    (This is coming from someone who had a nano and ended up taking it down because of all the work + $$ that had to go into it.)

  4. johnbettaWell Known MemberMember

    clown fish are your best bet or a blue damsal

  5. SecretiveFish

    SecretiveFishWell Known MemberMember

    No saltwater fish are suitable for a 5g tank. Stocking saltwater is a completely different ballgame than freshwater. Saltwater fish require a lot more room than similarly sized freshwater fish to maintain water quality as well as mental health of the fish.

    To be honest, you may enjoy a betta tank more... Nano tanks are a ton of work as well as expense! All my small tanks are male betta tanks, no thank you on a nano salt water! My husband has one of those... just no thank you! The more stable tanks are the 40g, 57g and the 65g.

    If you decide to try a nano, you could have a hermit crab, a snail or two, and a trio of sexy shrimp along with some coral assuming you have a light suitable for corals.
  6. Jesterrace

    JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

    In a 5 gallon? Absolutely not. A single really small goby could work but maintaining the water perimeters would be a pain. A hermit crab or small shrimp could also work, but that's an awful lot of hassle and expense for them.
  7. david1978

    david1978Fishlore VIPMember

    I should of had a question mark after that.
  8. Lorekeeper

    LorekeeperWell Known MemberMember

    While SecretiveFish takes it a bit (way) too far on the stocking restrictions, not much.

    I have a <1" damsel in my 5.5 gallon right now, and he'll eventually be moved to a 10. The problem you run into with fish in pico tanks in saltwater is that they tend to take up a bit more real-estate than freshwater fish do. A damsel will use the entire tank as a territory if he can get by with it. Clownfish get too big and will eventually need more room. Clown Gobies, neon gobies, and maybe some of the smaller blennies would be fine in a 5 gallon, but you run into issues with their sensitivity and water parameters.

    If you want to get into saltwater, I'd recommend doing corals and inverts only until you're comfortable with it.
  9. JR. Reefer

    JR. ReeferNew MemberMember

    anemone and anemone crab is cool
  10. SecretiveFish

    SecretiveFishWell Known MemberMember

    A more experienced hobbyist may be able to get away with heavier stocking and be successful, but it is unlikely someone just starting out will have the same success because they just don't have the experience. I tend to suggest new hobbyists have light stocking in hopes their tank will do well long term.

    FWIW, I still don't think any marine fish are suitable to live their entire life in a 5g aquarium.
  11. Jesterrace

    JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

    I would agree with that, I only even mentioned the small goby or blenny as a "I'm going to put a fish in this thing one way or the other" sort of circumstance. I just think that anything under a 20 long is too restrictive for saltwater fish and leaves you with really limited options.
  12. Lorekeeper

    LorekeeperWell Known MemberMember

    I can see what you're saying, and I wanna apologize if that sounded snappy. I was tired!

    That being said, there are fish that are more than capable of being happy in 5 gallons. Smaller, more inactive gobys are more likely to find a spot in the tank and mainly patrol that area. Blennies seem to be a bit of a different story, but I've seen more than one kept in a 5 until they reach maturity, and then they're moved into something larger.

    Light stocking for new people is a good recommendation, and not something that I had really considered last night. That being said, it's also not impossible for someone to exceed with "difficult" stocking. My first serious salt tank was a 10 gallon reef with an oversized CUC, a pair of false percula clowns, and a neon goby. I'd call that pretty overstocked, and considering I was literally 12 at the time, it wasn't looking good. But, I found a good forum, did my research, and kept up with water changes and was careful. Not the best idea, but it can be done.

    As far as the recommendation for the 20L goes, that's a bit much. There are plenty of fish that can happily live out their life in 10 gallons, and speaking from experience, a 10 gallon is pretty stable. You're not gonna be keeping any angels in there, but some gobies, blennies, firefish, damsel (at least for a while), or maybe a single clown would be fine.

    All that being said, I said in another thread that stocking is all about opinions, and I'm gonna stick to that. OP, while I find it suitable to keep my damsel in my 5 gallon for a while, others are going to disagree. The same could be said in Freshwater. Do all the research you can, form your own opinions, and listen to people who've been in your shoes before. nano-reef is a good site to check out for smaller tanks, and it's a good source of info in general.
  13. Jesterrace

    JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

    2-3 Small gobies and blennies and firefish will do fine in a 10 gallon for the long run, but a clownfish long term in a 10 gallon is not a good idea, especially if it is captive bred since they are more active swimmers than a wild caught that simply stakes out it's territory. I am also not in favor of the idea of removing a fish once the current environment gets too cramped as it is never as simple as it sounds. Having trapped, removed and re-homed several fish I can tell you it's not as simple as it sounds. As for the recommendation for the 20 long? It's simply from a stability, stocking and options standpoint. A 20 long generally allows you to upgrade your stock options to the 30 gallon minimum variety and thus increases your options, you also aren't going to see the widely fluctuating salinity and water perimeter issues that a 10 gallon or less will. Obviously if space is a concern then a 10 gallon is what you can do, but even from a cost standpoint a 20 long isn't that much more expensive than a 10 gallon.
  14. Reeferxbetta

    ReeferxbettaWell Known MemberMember

    I wouldn't keep any fish in a 5 gallon if you're planning to keep it as their permanent home, maybe if you want a small fish, but plan to upgrade to a 10 or 20 soon (in which case, I wouldn't even bother with setting up the 5 gallon) I'm sure you could get away with a small goby or something, but I prefer 10 as a minimum for keeping fish. Definitely wouldn't put a clownfish in a 5 gallon, people have success with them in 10 gallon tanks, but I personally wouldn't even do that either. I don't know if this is a question you're asking because you're planning to start a saltwater tank or if it's just more because you're curious about what *could* be kept in the tank, but if you're wanting to start a salt tank, I'd get at least a 20, especially if you have little to no saltwater experience. Larger tanks are far more stable, and I see no reason to put yourself through the hassle of a pico tank for your first tank, if you're successful with a larger tank and decide you want to give a nano a try after gaining some experience, I think that would be a better plan.
  15. Jesterrace

    JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

    Agreed. It's not that we want to discourage someone from getting into the hobby, it's about doing it right. Tanks under 10 gallons really aren't suitable for a whole lot of freshwater or saltwater applications and with saltwater the fish are designed for an environment that covers the majority of our planet. So sticking any of them in a 5 gallon tank is akin to locking a person in a postage stamp sized bathroom and telling them to live out their days and be happy.

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