Done with small tanks for fish

  • #1
I’ve had two 2.5g hospital/quarantine tanks set up for a while now and though the Bettas in them are doing well, and the bettas who were in them before did fine, I just can’t stand the tanks.

There’s almost no way to keep a balanced tank without every other day wc in there. A fish and a couple small snails don’t do it.
One of the tanks has this bizarre mold looking fungus I noticed today. That betta will be moved ASAP.
The other one has had an ongoing brown algae bloom that is only managed by daily or every other day scrub down and wc. Let it go 3-4 days? Yuck.
I don’t have the other 15 gallon set up for her yet though so my only other options are the shrimp tank (yeah, 15 tasty snacks just for her! No way) or the 45g which she’s already been on twice - the 1st time she tore fins in there and the 2nd time she just seemed stressed out and more aggressive than before! Not cool.

So I’ll have to get the 15 gallon going over the weekend.

But after mass wc day earlier this week and checking the tanks out this morning, I realize my fish keeper dissatisfaction has deep roots to those 2 small tanks.
I don’t even think I’ll keep them for hospital or quarantine. I’m going to figure a 5 gallon or something out.

  • #2
I had one like that I just threw it away! lol

  • #3
Aw, sorry. My 2.5 is pretty balanced, I have a pothos for nitrate intake.
  • #4
Were they filtered?

I'm just curious because I keep a female in a 2.5g with a DIY minI filter and my male is in a 3.5g with a filter...

No problems with them myself. And I just do weekly changes for them.
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
They're both filtered, heated, with fluval lights, and planted, with substrate. Parameters are always decent, although I had a weird issue with spiking ph in one and a bit of ammonia in the other when it was fishless. Those were very brief troubles though.

It's more the ongoing algae in one (the one with snails somehow) and the strange looking growth/mold? in the other. Not to mention the size for a larger Betta is a little questionable. I don't think its terrible and they're happy fish but they do perimeter checks and it doesn't take long.

I've just found that my 'happy' spot is in a well balanced tank and that includes everything about it. Well balanced for me has come from larger tanks, not BIG, but at least 5g. Which even now strikes me as too small, but my Betta there is fairly active, happy, and the shrimp and plants seem extra happy in there, good color, growth, etc.
The 45g is definitely the tank I'm the most satisfied with at this point, the 10 & 15 gallon aren't bad either.
  • #6
It’s certainly true that the larger you go it tends to be more stable. I think a 5 gallon is the smallest I’ll ever go. How long is your light on for with the tank that had algae issues?


  • #7
I have never had luck with anything smaller than 15 gallons. My opinion is that the smaller the tank the more filtration you need and water changes to keep it decent unless you have a very low stock. I have a 16 gallon and I have 2 Aquaclear 20s stuffed with Polyfil and an Eheim 2213 canister, and it is pretty stable considering it's well stocked. I will never go smaller either, more work than fun and personally for anything other than a male betta and inverts, anything smaller is too small
  • #8
Your light is probably overpowered for your tiny tanks. If they're not over-stocked and adequately filtered, a betta shouldn't produce enough waste to make a 2.5 gal tank gross within days. Fungus could be from excess food?
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
It’s certainly true that the larger you go it tends to be more stable. I think a 5 gallon is the smallest I’ll ever go. How long is your light on for with the tank that had algae issues?

I’ve cut back the light output in recent weeks, it’s on about 8 hours at 70% max lighting during midday. Cut out the blue and red lights in last few days.
Honestly the algae has gotten worse since I reduced output of the light and duration.

I have tanks with lights on 10-14 hours that comparatively have no algae problems.

The ability to have other creatures in a bigger tank that help with algae is something I miss in the smaller tanks. Snails are limited, she can’t be with shrimp, and of course I’d never subject a pleco to 2.5g or a sae or any other algae eating fish.

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