Filters? GPH?

  1. Tropical Initiate Member

    Hey everyone,

    I am trying to start my first 5.5 gallon aquarium with neon tetras/fancy guppies. I saw a rule that said to look for a gph that is 3-5 times the number of gallons, 16.5-27.5 gph. I'm not sure what this really means or what filters would work. I saw alot of good reviews for the tetra whisper 3i and 10i in tank filters. Would I be okay with the whisper 3i (20gph) or would the fish I want need a higher current flow?

    I'm not sure how much of a flow would be best for these small tropical fish and I dont want one too weak or too strong. If you know of other filters please do tell. Thank you!!!!
  2. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    Unfortunately a 5.5 gal is too small for neons, and arguably too small to keep any guppies. There are a few fish that would work, and many inverts that would love a tank that size.

    For my small tanks, I really like the sponge filters. Super easy, cheap, and it doesn't create too much flow.
  3. Tropical Initiate Member

    Do you have any suggestions for any sponge filters(i'm not really sure what it is)? Would it be better to just buy the one with the smaller flow rate (tetra whisper 3i) so the fish do not get stuck. I find it difficult finding a filter for a 5.5 gallon tank since the ones that are up to 10 gallons might be too strong. I really want to make sure it can still filter the water. Do tropical fish like a good flow rate or prefer still waters?
    sorry for all the questions,

    ps: I've also been told It would be okay to keep 4-5 of those fish in this sized tank.
  4. Flare4123 Initiate Member

    a sponge filter simply connects to an air pump, so just get an appropriately sized sponge filter and airpump. also get an airline valve adjuster so you adjust the filter strength.
    each species of fish is different, some prefer high flow rates and some like still water. just research the species of fish that your getting and where and how their natural habitat would look like.

    I would assume that was told to you by the pet store. Most pet stores will tell incorrect/false information since they are mainly told to just sell, sell, sell. Not really the employees fault but still its much better to do the research yourself, or even ask here on the forums.

    A single betta would be good in a 5.5 or some of inverts like Texasdomer said.
  5. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    For a 5.5 gal tank, you can get an air pump for a 10 gal tank. You might not need a valve adjuster. Definitely get a check valve though - this will prevent the air tube from siphoning the water out if the pump goes out.

    Sponge filter setups are very cheap. The air pump can be purchased for around $10, sponge filter for $4-5, and tubing for less than $5. You can get a bunch of check valves and adjusters from Amazon for $5.
  6. Tropical Initiate Member

    Hi everyone! So I bought a top fin multi-stage internal filter 10 for my 5.5 gallon tank. It is a sponge filter with a adjustable flow rate spray, 97 gph. Do you think this is a good filter for five neon tetras (or fish of about the same size). Or should I have gone for the Top fin power filter 90gph which is HOB, no adjusting and four step filtration which ends with aeration.

    I tried to make a judgement and the sponge filters were suggested I'm just worried it wont filter out the wastes that well as a power filter would. I chose it because I was worried the power filter would be too strong of a current. Please let me know. I am thoroughly lost.
  7. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    That should be fine! But again, neons are too active for a 5.5 gal. Not many fish can go in a 5.5 gal. You could do a betta, inverts, or maybe a pair of Scarlet badis?
  8. Tropical Initiate Member

    Is it bad if the spong for the filter has carbon in it? How often would I have to change the spong?
  9. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    Nope, not bad it has carbon. You don't want to change the media unless it's falling apart (and in that case, you want to seed a new sponge before throwing away the old one).
  10. Tropical Initiate Member

    This is to maintain the bacteria colonies right?
  11. Charles556 Member Member

    Correct. Otherwise you'd basically have to start from scratch.
  12. Tropical Initiate Member

    I actually had to return the sponge filter because of some complications. I think I am just going to spend a little more and get the aquaclear 20. I hink this is a dumb fear but I am scared the space for the filter on the hood of my aquarium (length: 16 cm, 6.25 in and width: 4 cm/1.5 inch) will be too small since the width is only about 4 cm. Am I just worrying for nothing?