Coldwater Questions

  • #1
i'm going to school next fall, and in my room i'm allowed to have a 5 gallon tank. I like to plan ahead, so i've been thinking about a coldwater one. it's only five gallons, and I know that coldwater fish need a lot of air, so could I make that happen? i'd probably get a goldfish, and some aquatic plants. but do you have any specific tips about coldwater? I know the basic stuff like cycling and everything. just not anything unique to coldwater tanks(example, do I need to do anything to make it cold? drop in ice cubes or something?). help please. and I'll be sure to reserch more on coldwater tanks too.
  • Thread Starter
  • #2
i'm sorry it's 10 gallon tank or less. not 5gallon. and did I post this in the right spot?
  • #3
Goldfish do NOT need to be kept in anything smaller than a 20 gallon (I wouldn't keep them in anything smaller than a 55 gallon personally, but they can 'survive' in a 20g.) 5 gallon isn't enough water for a goldfish.
  • #4
Sadly, a 5 gallon is too small for a goldfish. Goldfish produce somewhere around seven times the waste of another fish their length, so the guideline of 1" of adult fish per gallon of water changes to 1" of adult fish per seven gallons of water. Given that the smallest goldfish is about 3" long as an adult, that's 21g.
Goldfish and bettas are two of the most misunderstood fish in the hobby. Because they can survive terrible conditions for a period of time, many people mistakenly think they thrive in them, and the pet stores go out of their way to encourage this, as it sells more fish.
Further, goldfish are a bit smarter than most other fish, and seem to be very aware of, and are stressed out by, being in a small tank.
However, there is still an option (or a few). One is the White Cloud Mountain Minnow, which can survive nearly any temperature as long as its water remains liquid and under ninety degrees or so. Other options would be non-fish in nature. A shrimp tank is neat to some people (I will likely be setting one up at some point). Amano shrimp can survive at around room temperature, and come in a few different colors in this country (more in Japan and mainland Asia). Lastly, I think the dwarf frogs that they sell at a lot of pet stores would do well in a 5g.
Especially combined with plants (which I love anyway), any of these setups would be appealing to me, but that's not the real issue. The real issue is what would be appealing to you. Unfortunately, a 5 gallon is not much to work with as far as what can live in it (not your fault, I blame the residence hall board for placing the limit )
  • #5
kee a school of zebra dainos or white clould minows, cheap hardy and can tolerate cooler water temps. I think the white clouds can tollerate them better the danios extualy but those are good fish sinse there soo hardy and cheap
  • #6
Cody is correct in saying the white clouds are temperate waterfish and enjoy the cold whereas danio are tropical and prefer a bit higher than room temp.
  • #7
I'm not saying that this information is correct, but I have seen several sites, including liveaquaria, that say that the zebra danio lives in a range between 64 and 78 degrees.

I'm also seeing a several that say 70 or 72 to 78.

They are naturally from India, in streams, rivers, rice-paddies, and pretty much any other body of water in the area. This includes streams fed by the Himalayas, which would suggest that they can naturally live in colder water.

However, I wouldn't suggest keeping zebra danios in a temperate tank unless you have a chance to talk with an ichthyologist who can verify the temperature range they live in naturally, or do extensive research on their natural living conditions.
Then, of course, share your findings with us.
  • #8
The term coldwater tank just indicates that it's not heated (no need to add icecubes )
As was stated above a small school of white clouds would make a stunning tank with lots of plants. I found that most f my plants grew just fine in my unheated tank just a little slower.
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
ok, goldfish are out. and i'm sorry I got the info wronge the first time, I can keep a 10 gallon tank or smaller. and I wasn't really totally set on a coldwater, i've just never had a one before so I thought I would try something new. a shrimp tank would be AWESOME!!! I looooooooove shrimp!!! that's a wonderful idea!! why didn't I think of that? your ideas were great for what I can keep in my tank, sirdarksol. all of them sound FANTASTIC!!! I'll definitely look into all of them. you guys RULE!!! but one more thing, all of these fish/amphibians/shrimp, could you get them at you're average petsmart/petco? because that's really the only thing around my place. i'm not sure about the school though.
  • #10
If you're looking for shrimp, you can find them at petsmart, but there might not be a need.
A couple of members here have a fishhouse where they breed a bunch of stuff, including both Amano shrimp (a species that doesn't require saltwater to breed, which is a bonus) and a type of red Amano shrimp. These two seem to get along, and I've got a bunch of them in a tank of mine.
Once we get out of the cold season, Dino and CWC will likely be selling the shrimp at an immensely reasonable price (plus, they usually ship a little bit of java moss to help keep the shrimp alive). I ordered from them last year and was very, very happy with the service. They also sell plants, again at reasonable prices.
  • #11
Thank you, Sir.

We will start shipping sometime in March, depending on the weather.

Cherries will be 3$ for adult females, 1$ for adult males and juvies are 50 cents each.

A colony of 3 females and 4 males will get you going with babies within a month.
  • #13
White clouds are great choice. Have do you feel about a Betta? If you need a cleaner type fish a ghost shrimp or an oto catfish stay nice and small. Danios would do fine. No tetras are too picky on water quality and space. Live bearers would be ok if you get a cheap heater. But they will outgrow the tank quickly.
  • #14
Unfortunately, betta, otos, and probably danios are all off the list, as all are tropical fish (with the possible exception of wild danios, which live in mountain streams, but again, I don't suggest doing this without talking to an ichthyologist or doing some college-level study on how the little guys normally live)
  • #15
Are you set on 5G or are you going to get the maximum allowed, 10G? Also were you going to def do coldwater. A 10G in tropical doesn't give you much more to work with but you might like some fancy guppies in a 10G. Also you could get dwarf gourami. And also you might like kuhlI loaches. Platys would also do alright in a 10G. And swordtails....or you could always go with the everpopular betta. There are some very gorgeous ones out there and with a ten gallon he/she will love it. They are very personable fish. In my ten gallon I have one red butterfly halfmoon betta and three peppered corys. Just remember everything I just listed is for a TEN GALLON and is TROPICAL.

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