5x2x2 SHOAL - Stocking help please!


HI all,

I’ve got a 5 x 2 x 2 tank at home which was originally going to be marine. However, after having an engineer examine the floor joists (I live on a first-floor flat) he decided that although the weight of a 5x2x2 would be fine, sticking the weight of a 4 foot sump underneath it (pretty important for marine filtration) would be pushing the limit. Rather than just leave the tank standing there empty until I move in the future I decided to go for freshwater.

I was originally going to go for an Oscar tank, but after discovering that 2 plecs and 2 oscars would be the limit, I felt it would look too sparse. The tank is located as a bit of a focal point in my living room and so I want it to be something immediately striking, not spending the first 1-2 years looking for the small Oscars flitting around in the back. For this reason, I have decided to change it to a community tank and seek your advice.

Although I have had a community tank before, it was my first tank and very small. I was rather uneducated in the hobby at the time and had a lot of oddball fish that didn’t work well together, such as about 3 male betta splendes in with angelfish, a lone clown loach, and pearl gourami. Obviously I know a lot more about what will work together now .

I would very much appreciate it if you could recommend to me some attractive, shoaling fish that I could have in a tank of this size. There are however some potential limitations :

*The substrate to the tank is gravel (rather small size, about the size of a skittle sweet / smartie).

*There is a large amount of plum slate chippings in the tank to give a sparse, rustic effect which I felt suited the Oscars. I plan to buy a large branch of decent bogwood to go in for this community tank.

*I would prefer not to venture into the realm of a live planted tank again.

*The tank has excellent over-filtration, as it was setup with the intent of Oscars.

If I’m correct about Plecs , my understanding is that the 2 Albino Plec in there will not cause any problems or hassle smaller fish, so I’m hoping to be able to leave them in there, along with my 3 inch Hoplosternum catfish who has brazenly survived and been moved through every single tank I’ve owned since joining the hobby including MalawI and Oscar tanks. I will probably get a couple more small Hoplosternum to caretake the bottom of the tank, but any suggestions of small attractive shoaling fish to make the tank look active and impressive would be greatly appreciated. I am hoping to stock it with something a little more unsual and exotic than cardinal neons, Zebra danio’s or guppies!

Thanks in advance.


Aw man, you could do A LOT with a tank that big!

Rainbows would be GREAT!


Seeing as Hoplosternum arn't usually very well suited to community tanks of small fish I think you should aI'm for a larger shoaling fish. Congo Tetra, Giant Danio, many varieties of Rainbowfish would be suitable. Maybe something like Clipper Barbs would be ok to. They would take care of the top region of the tank. You could have a small colony of Geophagus SteindachnerI or a pair of Sajica for the bottom area.


Congo Tetras are cool, maybe you should try those! They have such awesome coloring!
Top Bottom