Bought A 5g Today!

JenK21

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Hi there!

So glad to find this forum

I'm just getting back into fishville after a several year break (initiated when I found my 33g goldie tank had "untanked" on my living room floor after a two day vacation). Goldie's re-homed, angry landlords, tears etc.... Anywhoo.... as I am a nursing student on a strict budget with money and time, I've decided NOT to go big or go home. I have purchased a 5g Marineland Contour tank with a built-in filter. I'm hoping with the LED light and very bright living room (not direct sun however,) that I can keep some java fern alive in there with a piece of "driftwood" i bought from the pet store (which is currently boiling away to try and lose some of the tannins). Obviously, this is a teeny-tiny tank and I need to be extremely careful about stocking, water quality etc. I'm using Prime as my water conditioner.

I've read through some of the very helpful posts and articles here but was hoping to ask a few questions if I may, and I appreciate any and all feedback (good or bad!)

1.) What would the experienced forum members recommend as an appropriate fish(es) for this little tank. My thoughts were a betta or some neon tetras? (although, I think the neons need to school and a 5g may not be enough) Guppies perhaps?

2.) If I went the betta route, would it be recommended to get a heater? My ambient room temp is usually always around 72-74 but I'm not sure if that is too cool for a betta or not. You see the sad bettas in the pet store in their tiny 2g tanks with no heater but obviously I don't want to provide a home like that!

3.) Would it be recommended to cycle this 5g tank? I can't remember what the recommended size is for cycling vs 100% water changes. I would imagine that I have a little bit more leeway with the filter but it is still a small tank. I need a refresher on the cycling dos and don'ts and I see there is a great article on here for me to read.

Thank you so much in advance!
Jen
 

endlercollector

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How about 5-10 male Endlers? You could cycle the tank with them in it as they're very tough and forgiving They would also be fine in the 72-74 F range.
 

kayla20johnson

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JenK21 said:
Hi there!

So glad to find this forum

I'm just getting back into fishville after a several year break (initiated when I found my 33g goldie tank had "untanked" on my living room floor after a two day vacation). Goldie's re-homed, angry landlords, tears etc.... Anywhoo.... as I am a nursing student on a strict budget with money and time, I've decided NOT to go big or go home. I have purchased a 5g Marineland Contour tank with a built-in filter. I'm hoping with the LED light and very bright living room (not direct sun however,) that I can keep some java fern alive in there with a piece of "driftwood" i bought from the pet store (which is currently boiling away to try and lose some of the tannins). Obviously, this is a teeny-tiny tank and I need to be extremely careful about stocking, water quality etc. I'm using Prime as my water conditioner.

I've read through some of the very helpful posts and articles here but was hoping to ask a few questions if I may, and I appreciate any and all feedback (good or bad!)

1.) What would the experienced forum members recommend as an appropriate fish(es) for this little tank. My thoughts were a betta or some neon tetras? (although, I think the neons need to school and a 5g may not be enough) Guppies perhaps?

2.) If I went the betta route, would it be recommended to get a heater? My ambient room temp is usually always around 72-74 but I'm not sure if that is too cool for a betta or not. You see the sad bettas in the pet store in their tiny 2g tanks with no heater but obviously I don't want to provide a home like that!

3.) Would it be recommended to cycle this 5g tank? I can't remember what the recommended size is for cycling vs 100% water changes. I would imagine that I have a little bit more leeway with the filter but it is still a small tank. I need a refresher on the cycling dos and don'ts and I see there is a great article on here for me to read.

Thank you so much in advance!
Jen
I have a 5g and I have a betta and a baby Pleco in there. I will be moving he Pleco to my 55g when he is bigger. If you go the Betta route, yay! Yes, get a heater. I have a standard 8W heater and it works just fine. Bettas should be in water 78-82 degrees Fahrenheit . Just be sure you keep up with water changes and such. Since it’s a smaller tank be sure to do them more often. And be sure to have a filter so he gets oxygen! And it’s never a bad idea to put a plant in there; I have a sword plant. Good luck!!!
 

Alexolotl

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Welcome to the forums! I’d say that a betta is a great start, as they’re easy and the amount of options you have are insane. I recommend this heater right here: You can’t set the temperature but it’s sturdy, cheap and keeps my betta’s tank (5 gallons) at a steady 79 degrees, which is a good temperature for a betta.

I’d also recommend Indian almond leaves. Stick them in your tank or tear them up, they’re good for tannins (which you really want for a betta, to be quite honest)
I would say that you shouldn’t keep boiling your driftwood, the tannins will only benefit your betta. The coloration is annoying sometimes but they’re very helpful in keeping your betta healthy.

Feed your betta about one to two pellets a day, soaked in tank water. Pellets swell so if you make sure they do that before your betta eats them it helps prevent gastrointestinal issues later on.

And yes, definitely do cycle your tank. I recommend tetra safestart plus (an entire bottle) combined with a few pellets dropped in the filter to provide a small ammonia source (bottled ammonia is more reliable however, you should definitely look into it) Alternatively, ask someone at your LFS (local fish store) if you can borrow a piece of their filter media. Plop this in your filter (keep it wet) and your tank is cycled in 1-2 days.
You should definitely read the article on the nitrogen cycle, either way. Oh, and pick up an API freshwater master test kit. It’s very important to test your water regularly, and this kit is great for that.

Glad you’ve taken an interest in plants! Java ferns are a good beginner plant, and I am also fond of java moss. Tie it to your driftwood and it will eventually attach to it and grow like an absolute weed (which is a good thing) It provides color and potential hiding spaces. Marimo moss balls are also easy, just plop em in, and turn them over every few weeks. They look pretty good too.

And a few safety warnings: Bettas fins tear easily. (If you get a plakat betta you don’t really need to worry) Try to avoid sharp objects, and cover the intake of your filter with pantyhose (held on with a rubber band) so your betta’s fins aren’t sucked up the filter and torn to bits.
Keep the filter flow low, so your betta will be able to swim easily. Make sure the surface of the water is slightly rippled, but you don’t want a torrent. You may have to baffle your filter flow, and there are many ways to do this, so if you have problems with filter flow feel free to ask for help.
If your betta’s fins DO tear, don’t fret- daily water changes for about a week combined with the aforementioned Indian almond leaves will help enormously.
Avoid salt baths if your betta is sick, they’re really only harmful to the betta in a concentration where the salt can do anything. Same with the medications melafix and pimafix.

NOTE: I am not a betta expert, do not rely on my advice alone. This is some of what I have learned in my experience keeping betta’s, but it isn’t precise knowledge gained over many many years, so don’t treat it as absolute fact, just guidelines.

And don’t be afraid to ask questions, that’s why we’re all here! We’ve got plenty of experienced betta keepers who would be happy to give you advice and answer your questions should you need it.
Happy fishkeeping!
 

KimAnnKitz

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JenK21 said:
Hi there!

So glad to find this forum

I'm just getting back into fishville after a several year break (initiated when I found my 33g goldie tank had "untanked" on my living room floor after a two day vacation). Goldie's re-homed, angry landlords, tears etc.... Anywhoo.... as I am a nursing student on a strict budget with money and time, I've decided NOT to go big or go home. I have purchased a 5g Marineland Contour tank with a built-in filter. I'm hoping with the LED light and very bright living room (not direct sun however,) that I can keep some java fern alive in there with a piece of "driftwood" i bought from the pet store (which is currently boiling away to try and lose some of the tannins). Obviously, this is a teeny-tiny tank and I need to be extremely careful about stocking, water quality etc. I'm using Prime as my water conditioner.

I've read through some of the very helpful posts and articles here but was hoping to ask a few questions if I may, and I appreciate any and all feedback (good or bad!)

1.) What would the experienced forum members recommend as an appropriate fish(es) for this little tank. My thoughts were a betta or some neon tetras? (although, I think the neons need to school and a 5g may not be enough) Guppies perhaps?

2.) If I went the betta route, would it be recommended to get a heater? My ambient room temp is usually always around 72-74 but I'm not sure if that is too cool for a betta or not. You see the sad bettas in the pet store in their tiny 2g tanks with no heater but obviously I don't want to provide a home like that!

3.) Would it be recommended to cycle this 5g tank? I can't remember what the recommended size is for cycling vs 100% water changes. I would imagine that I have a little bit more leeway with the filter but it is still a small tank. I need a refresher on the cycling dos and don'ts and I see there is a great article on here for me to read.

Thank you so much in advance!
Jen

Hi Jen...

I have been keeping 5 gallon tanks for 4 or 5 years now. I treat them as I do a larger 16 gallon tank. Heater, good filtration, weekly water changes with prime and I cycled with fish and bottled bacteria. I also plant them pretty heavily for their size. I can not keep Betta alive for some reason but that was my goal when I started these tanks. Right now one has a small species of variatus platy called red tailed blue. I have 5 of them in a 5 gallon and they are doing great. The other five gallon ended up with fish that had no other place to live when I had a tank failure: 2 skirt tetras and 2 dwarf cories and some mystery snails. This tank can handle a little overstocking because it is a Fluval Spec 5 and is hugely over filtered. These fish have been in this tank for at least 3 years. I just haven't bothered to add any new fish though I think it could handle one or two more. Ideally I'd like it to house a school of nano fish but I have to wait for the current inhabitants to "go to their reward" or find another good solution for them. I had 4, 5 gallon tanks and 2 fluval spec 2's and a 16 gallon running at one time. I had to cut back! Good luck with yours!
 
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JenK21

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Hey, thank you all so much for your replies! Oh dear.... Now I'm really excited and unsure about which way to go. The store had some absolutely stunning guppies today so I may consider those (3-4 perhaps in this size tank?) and also some beautiful bettas. I'll have to look into if the LFS has endlers or not? I would probably not go above 5 I suppose

Thanks again so much! Still open to suggestions.
 

Discus-Tang

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JenK21 said:
Hey, thank you all so much for your replies! Oh dear.... Now I'm really excited and unsure about which way to go. The store had some absolutely stunning guppies today so I may consider those (3-4 perhaps in this size tank?) and also some beautiful bettas. I'll have to look into if the LFS has endlers or not? I would probably not go above 5 I suppose

Thanks again so much! Still open to suggestions.
Guppies are too active for a 5 gallon.
 

Discus-Tang

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JenK21 said:
Ah, okay! Good to know about the guppies. We won't go there
If you want something different I would go for a pea puffer

If not a betta would be perfectly fine.
 
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JenK21

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Discus-Tang said:
If you want something different I would go for a pea puffer

If not a betta would be perfectly fine.
Yes, thank you!

I love the idea of a few small, active fish swimming around but I realize that is probably not realistic in a 5g. If I can find Endlers like one of the above posters mentioned, I would see if I could have a few in the 5g. Bettas are stunning too so that certainly isn't "settling" for anything. I just don't want to overstock and kill the fish!
 

Lunnietic

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In my opinion pea puffers are not good beginner fish. They need really good water conditions and can be very picky eaters. (They really only eat meat. Snails, shrimp pellets, worms, etc). However, they can be very rewarding. They can recognize their owner, and have been coined the dog fish. (At least the reading I have done on them).

Betas are actually a lot cooler then you think depending on their personality. I will always have a betta tank, because of this reason. They have personalities and are easy to fall in love with. Most people are able to cycle with their betas. (Some members find this to be cruel and you do risky loosing your fish).

I hope this helps. I wouldn't recommend adding another fish in a 5 gallon with their of these.

You could go the ender route however. Most are very colorful, and are similar to guppies like you are wanting. You would have to make sure they are all males.
 

WanhiBetta

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IMO pea puffers are super cute and really not so hard to keep. Some will eat whatever you give them! They're not all so difficult.

Betta's are also incredibly fun. Full of personality!
 

kayla20johnson

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Lunnietic said:
In my opinion pea puffers are not good beginner fish. They need really good water conditions and can be very picky eaters. (They really only eat meat. Snails, shrimp pellets, worms, etc). However, they can be very rewarding. They can recognize their owner, and have been coined the dog fish. (At least the reading I have done on them).

Betas are actually a lot cooler then you think depending on their personality. I will always have a betta tank, because of this reason. They have personalities and are easy to fall in love with. Most people are able to cycle with their betas. (Some members find this to be cruel and you do risky loosing your fish).

I hope this helps. I wouldn't recommend adding another fish in a 5 gallon with their of these.

You could go the ender route however. Most are very colorful, and are similar to guppies like you are wanting. You would have to make sure they are all males.
You’re right about the Betas! Venus (my betta) is pretty awesome. He has changed his color quite a bit since I’ve had him, and he greets me EVERY time I go to his tank. He loves attention!
 
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JenK21

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Hey everyone!

Just an update for you and to say thank you for all the help and advice in setting up my 5g desk tank!

I went to my local fish store and decided to take home a stunning little betta who I have (very originally, haha) named "Blue!" I hated seeing him in the little holding tank they have at the stores (though they were much bigger than most pet stores using little cups or glasses). They gave me a double-sided betta care sheet and helped me pick out my test kits etc. They also have a sign up in the store indicating that if a person is not willing to provide a home with the proper parameters for their fish, they reserve the right to refuse to sell them. I have never seen that before in an LFS and I was thrilled to see it! Anyway... I digress.

This is the happiest fish and I absolutely love having this little guy on my desk. It is easy to take a break from studying and watch him build his bubble nest and swim around happily. My tank is at 74 degrees which I think is a bit low for a betta? I'm worried about turning up the heat in such a small tank in case I make a mistake and stress him. I have an API ammonia test kit and an API nitrite test kit. I'm holding off on the nitrate test kit for now until I am able to work another shift. The LFS guy said that nitrate is very rarely a problem and it is most important to get the ammonia and nitrite kits now. Hopefully, that is the case! I'm using Prime conditioner but they also sold me a little bottle of Fluval Biological Enhancer but I haven't used it yet as I'm sceptical...

He has been in the tank since Thursday but I have yet to see a rise in ammonia or nitrite on my test kits! Maybe perhaps a little increase in ammonia from 0ppm to 0.25ppm but that is a stretch; the test water really still seems to be the yellow 0ppm range. Should I be concerned about this? I'm going to be testing every day for ammonia and nitrite for the foreseeable future and will do a 25% water change on Thursday unless the parameters go wonky.

Thanks again! I've attached a blurry pic of Blue and his tank
 

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JenK21

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Discus-Tang said:
He is beautiful! Looks a little stressed tho
Hi there! Can you clarify what you mean by looking stressed? Should I do something for him? He is swimming around happily today building a bubble nest. That picture was taken on Thursday just after I brought him home and I had to enhance it on my iPhone because he swims so fast...
Thanks so much!
 
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