Five gallon Marineland Contour build question

  • #1
Currently I have a 5 gallon marineland contour tank. It does not have a fish right now because my last betta recently died of natural causes. It is planted with a anubias variety (one of the taller ones that can get up to 12 inches a plant i bought about a month ago from my smaller LFS i use), and currently is being dosed with a Half eyedropper full of seachem flourish once a week.

I currently have the bundle on order as of today from aquarium coop and a mag scraper for my tank based on another plant related thread i saw here. but i currently have some algae on my anubias plant (have decreased the lighting shift from 10am to 7pm it was 10am to 9pm. My heater is a betta heater by top fin, and i have a phosorb pad in the tank stuck in the filtration area where the sponge would have gone on my contour. I also have a mini UV scrubber in the tank as well which runs on the same timing schedule as the lights. substrate is aqueon shrimp and plant beads which i need to get more of to ensure full covering of the WHITE roots for the anubias.

my question is should i wait til the algae is decreased more on the leaves of the anubias (meaning two to three weeks), also with the size of my tank would it be okay to put crypto into the tank or will it take all the nutrients from the anubias if did since crypto grows really fast in the right light. The light i'm using is the marineland led light bar as it was much brighter than the one that came with the contour itself. though with all my cords i can't cover the filtration area with that plastic thing that comes for the tank back so i just leave it off and top off water more. since i just ordered from aquarium coop today it will likely not arrive til the end of this week.

Should i stick with bettas if i get a new fish or are there another fish of that size that can live solo that you could suggest i was thinking of maybe getting a dwarf gourami this time around but i have heard good and bad things about putting one in a five gallon tank. or should i just make this a tank for plants and not fish given the current state of things and some lfs my chain lfs locally is petsmart having trouble keeping things in stock? the current in the contour would be too strong for smaller schooling fish i think so i would probably want to stick with something that grows no bigger than a betta since there is also a airpump on the uv scrubber as well.

I also have no problem making this a plant only tank if that is the concensus.

  • #2

  • Could you post a photo of your tank?
  • Algae is caused by an imbalance so it would be great if you could post tank parameters and also talk about light cycle.
  • You are planting anubias in the substrate? I think the rhizome prefers to not be buried-perhaps I misunderstand you.
  • What species of cryptocoryne? Curious which ones you reference that are considered fast growers.
  • Can't speak to dwarf gourami in a 5 but a betta...sure! Or snails or shrimp...
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
here are the pictures you requested and the crypto i think was wendii the ones they had in the pre packed 'pouches' hanging at petsmart is the ones i've had in the past though i've had melt before. i've also had water wisteria (which is pretty aggressive growing) in the past that did pretty good in my ten gallon tank when i used to have one and all the roots would grow out of the stems. haven't taken params in a while though just did a half tank water change yesterday due to the algae smell as i was cleaning out the tank as it is currently fishless.

hope this helps


  • 20200517_105729.jpg
    106.9 KB · Views: 36
  • 20200517_105745.jpg
    118.9 KB · Views: 35
  • #4
You could put 5 male guppies in it. They are like miniature Betta.
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
the water current on the contour and the uv scrubber both would be too strong for i they could start fighting it out with each other in such a small space. Endlers definitely wouldn't be able to handle the current and i have it almost to the lowest setting on the contour's filtration system

As for my params used API FRESHWATER TEST KIT
Temp: 77 degrees F taken with a infrared temp gun
Ammo: zero to .25 hard to tell even with light but it's not a pure zero color
Nitrite: zero to .25 hard to tell even with light but it's not a pure zero color
Nitrate: zero to 5.0 hard to tell even with light but it's not a pure zero color it's a yellow orange halfway between the two though
PH: 8.0 we have hard tap water in my state and i don't use any ph reducers because i know they can be touchy
Timer for lights: 10 am to 7pm eastern as of today it was 10am to 9pm for a couple weeks but there is some algae growing on my anubias so reducing the time
  • #6
Thanks for posting pics and parameters.

So, it looks like you aren't cycled and unless you want to do a fish-in cycle, best to not add anyone yet.

What test kit are you using?

Is that substrate new? Looks like Fluval Stratum or similar. Will leach ammonia in the beginning.

One single, slow growing anubias is not enough plant material to aid in cycling/reducing nitrates. You certainly don't need to dose Flourish at this time. The anubias looks a bit pale imo-potassium might solve that but is not the issue atm.
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
I have the bundle from aquarium co op on the way which has their all in one, iron, co2 and root tab supplements but it won't be here probably to middle or end of the week. the substrate is about a month old at least i had some ludwigia that didn't make it and melted off too much so what plants could i put around that anubias that won't choke out the weeds like i said i don't have root tabs yet though my local LFS probably carries the seachem ones til they would arrive. World of pets my smaller lfs is where i got this plant from.

they might have some plants in stock and petsmart is open for limited things instore since they said they wouldn't have a betta supply until at least wednesday (the better bettas are from them)
  • #8
Substrate most likely ammonia source. Will reduce over time with water changes.

Best to take the time to research dosing in such a small tank with limited, slow growing plants-you'll have serious algae issues.
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
should i add any other plants to the tank? since the anubias is the centerpiece should i go with shorter plants?

managed to get a Val plant that has some really good runners on it will plant it in my tank after lunch also got some black gravel to mix in with my current substrate

here are the planted vals. it was actually just one plant and i took the smaller bits (runners) and not the main plant that had the tie clamp around it since it had some decay on it due to the metal band being wrapped around it. is the val on the left too close to the heater? added black gravel on top of the original substrate so that the roots would be more covered and secure.



  • 20200517_144127.jpg
    105.9 KB · Views: 30
  • 20200517_144143.jpg
    110.1 KB · Views: 29
  • 20200517_144156.jpg
    118.7 KB · Views: 28

Similar Aquarium Threads

  • Locked
  • Question
  • Locked
  • Question
s hawk


Top Bottom