Just starting out, 6 gallon freshwater?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Set, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. SetNew MemberMember

    I'm just starting out with fish, well, I had a three gallon fishbowl with four unknown tiny survivor fish (one of them lived to be six years old), but this is my first time trying to run a tank. I have a couple ideas, but I'm not sure if I'm on the right track.

    I'm thinking about purchasing a 6 gallon aquarium from marineland. What I've heard is that this is a good brand, but that the filter can sometimes be too powerful. Tell me if this is true or not.

    I've heard the rule "one gallon per inch of fish" and I'm trying to stick to that and allow for breathing room as well. I'm looking into getting either four to five male endlers or three to four male guppies, live plants, artificial decorations and possibly some smallish snails. Does this sound like a decent set up?

    Additionally, I was wondering which are better, endlers or guppies? I've always liked guppies, and I don't know how available endlers are in my area, but I prefer smaller fish. Also, I noticed that on this website they recommend a 10 gallon tank or larger for both of these fish. Is that only for people who wish to breed them or is there actually a danger of keeping small numbers these fish in a 6 gallon aquarium?

  2. platy ben

    platy benWell Known MemberMember

    Well I think you would be fine with 4 endlers of 4 guppies :)
    It sounds like you are going to have a very nice set-up :)

    Do you know about the nitrogen cycle?
  3. iloveengl

    iloveenglWell Known MemberMember

    Hello Set. :sign0016: to FishLore.

    I'd have to respectfully disagree with ben, just from my experience with my gups. They like to swim. A lot. :) Imo, 4 gups would become aggressive from size constraints. The one inch per gallon idea is more of a (flawed) suggestion, rather than a rule; it's really not very suitable for most fish and it doesn't take into account needs like swim space, bioload, compatibility, etc. The suggestion of at least 10g for endlers or gups is to account for horizontal swim room and waste production.

    6g is really too small for most fish. Though, it would be an excellent tank for a single betta and (if the betta doesn't pick on it) a single otocinclus. You could also add shrimp to just about any size tank.

    Walmart has a very nice 10-15g kit for that same price and I think their kits are just as nice. (A kit is a kit is a kit, imo.) You'll have much more freedom if you upgrade the size a bit. :animal0028:


    Here's a fun link: https://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/...gress-freshwater-community-stocking-list.html

    Last edited: Dec 12, 2009
  4. OP

    SetNew MemberMember

    I have heard of the nitrogen cycle, but I don't fully understand what it is, would it be possible for you to explain it?

  5. TFA101

    TFA101Well Known MemberMember

    Welcome to Fishlore :;fb :;fr

    one inch per gallon is great for fish under six inches long, and a six gallon tank is perfect for 3-4 endlers. it's better to keep them in larger tanks to reduce the risk of stunting their growth (which is worse than it sounds), and it allows more room for swimming. 6 gallons is good for just 3-4 endlers, and i believe the filter flow can be reduced using a DIY method if its too strong.

    Endlers are hardier than the fancy guppies, so I've heard, and they make great additions to the smaller aquariums, just be sure to have all males, because these fish are less inclined to eat their fry than the other livebearers, so you'd have a lot of babies if you incorporate females into your setup. The only problem would be availability, as these guys are less common in pet stores.

    Any questions? feel free to ask. Have fun! :;th
  6. OP

    SetNew MemberMember

    I'll take your suggestion, my dad (who raised fish when I was a child) also suggested that I go for 10 gallons, for many of the same reasons. I'm slightly concerned that the built-in bookshelf I was planning to put this aquarium on won't be able to support the 100+ pounds that one article said to plan for a 10 gallon, so I'll look for a more suitable location.
  7. iloveengl

    iloveenglWell Known MemberMember

    The nitrogen cycle is basically...

    >>>Fish poo and uneaten fish food deteriorate and create ammonia (very deadly).
    >>>Ammonia builds until a new bacteria forms that turns the ammonia into nitrIte (which is also deadly).
    >>>NitrIte rises until the final bacteria comes and turns the nitrite into nitrAte.

    Now your tank is cycled! :party0011:

    Even a tiny bit of ammonia and nitrite can hurt fish; the only way to reduce these in an uncycled tank is with daily water changes :-\.

    Once the tank is cycled, your water will have no ammonia, no nitrIte, and between 5-20 ppm nitrAte. Unlike the other two, some nitrAtes, up to 20ppm, will not hurt your fish. To keep the nitrAtes manageable, all you need is a partial water change once a week or so and you'll have happy fishies. :)

    It's definitely best to cycle a tank without fish because it's much quicker and you don't have to feel bad about stressing/killing fish.

    Someone will probably be by soon with a link for fishless cycling. I can't find it atm. :)
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2009
  8. Meenu

    MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    Hi welcome to fl!

    Here's the nitrogen cycle in a nutshell:
    Fish produce waste. That waste is ammonia. A tank's surface, gravel, decorations, and filter house beneficial bacteria that convert the ammonia to nitrites, then the nitrites to nitrates. Ammonia and nitrites can kill a fish, even a small amount. Nitrates can be okay in a tank. A good liquid test kit (API master test kit is recommended) can let you know what your levels are. If you have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and 5-20 nitrates, you have a tank that has completed the nitrogen cycle. That means that you have enought beneficial bacteria growing in your tank to provide a healthy home for your fish.

    I hope this explanation helps you.

    I agree with the recommendation to get a bigger tank. One of the biggest reasons is that the more steady your water is, the healthier your tank is. Smaller tanks are harder to keep steady. Even small spikes in any parameter will affect a small tank more than a larger one.

    A word of warning on 4 male guppies - one of the members here has mentioned often that more than 2-3 will get aggressive. This is probably even more likely in a small tank. Maybe you could do 3 male guppies and some cherry shrimp?

    edit: ninja'ed by iloveengl. To find out about fishless cycling, click where it says nitrogen cycle in post#2 by platy ben
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2009
  9. OP

    SetNew MemberMember

    Thanks everyone :D Nitrite and nitrate sound so similar, it took me so long to figure out that they were different!
    I've been officially converted to 10 gallons. So, if I go with 3 male guppies/endlers, and miscellaneous snails, what other types of fish would be good additions? I've always liked plecostomus type fish, but I don't know how big they get or if they would have a suitable temperament. I have no intention of going bigger than 10 gallons, so a slow growing fish that would require an upgrade eventually would not be wanted. Are there other varieties of swimming fish that get along nicely with guppies?
  10. Meenu

    MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    no plecos are appropriate for a 10g sorry.

    iloveengl, I just noticed the cheerleader smiley - love it!

    in the 10, you could do 3 guppies and 2-3 platies - really colorful...
  11. OP

    SetNew MemberMember

    I was afraid of that xD

    Platies, wow! I had never heard of them but they look beautiful, they seem to have a very unique outline as well.

    Finalish plans:
    10 gallons - What brand?
    3 guppies, 2-3 platies (all male?)
    Large snail and/or small snails

    Thanks so much! I've never found a website where I got so many positive responses in such a short amount of time!
  12. iloveengl

    iloveenglWell Known MemberMember

    :;group You're welcome! That's what we're here for! We all just love being here for each other to offer advice, support, a shoulder, and plenty of good times.

    I've had kits from Walmart, from Petsmart, and used mis-matched sets from craigslist. Honestly, they're pretty much the same to me. Someone else may have a better insight there.

    I love your stocking list!!

    For platies and gups, I would recommend all males (so long as you only have 2-3 of each type) so you don't have to worry about the 20-40 fry every month that females can produce. :shock:

    I love mystery snails! :happy0064: They have a beautiful color variety at Petsmart (and lots of other places).

    Female mystery snails lay eggs above the water, so it's easy to control the population. If you don't want baby snails, just keep the water line high. Or if you see eggs, just scrape them of and toss in the trash.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2009
  13. Meenu

    MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    yes, all male. the platy is a livebearer just like the guppy. I think your tank sounds lovely. As far as what brand, the kit at Walmart is good. You can also check out craigslist for your area. I personally didn't buy a kit because I wanted to get particular things. One thing I'd recommend is an extra-large filter for your tank size, though.

    edit: dear ms. Iloveengl, Have you considered a username change? Perhaps to Ninjalovesengl? :anim_63:
  14. rae64

    rae64Well Known MemberMember

    for the snails, you may want to go with just one large one to reduce the breeding problem. with multiple, if you have males and females you will become overrun by snails. very, very fast.
  15. OP

    SetNew MemberMember

    Thanks everyone :) In my fishbowl we had 5-10 little brown snails at all times (and more, they were defiantly breeding), but it never seemed to be a problem. I can see how with larger breeds that could be a problem though. I'm probably going to go with one large super pretty mystery snail, and hope that no others come creeping in on the plants.

    I'm going to be purchasing the plants and snail at petco/smart, and the fish most likely from our local fish shop (which has an awesome record with fish, but a terrible record of snails on their plants, that's how I wound up with the breeding population before). Is there anything I should know about chain stores or local fish places before I go? I'll defiantly check out wallmart for the tank, as well as our chain stores. The local store seems to mark everything up around 30%.
  16. Meenu

    MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    look around online and in the stores for the best bargain. when i decided on a fluval canister filter, i started calling aound. petco, petsmart, and 2 lfs's quoted around 170, give or take 10 dollars. 1 lfs didn't sell that brand. I called the last fish store, and the guy had ordered too many fluvals and just wanted to make a sale. i ended up with it for 130, tax included. The 30% discount was a nice bonus.

    Petsmart had MUCH better prices than petco for me. In fact, I bought everything at petco first, then went to petsmart. Ended up returning everything but 1 item at petco.
  17. OP

    SetNew MemberMember

    Thanks! We have a local petsmart that's quite convenient. I'll check there for sure. The aquarium I'm currently looking at is the Aqueon 10 Gallon. It seems to get good reviews, it's the right shape and size, and I can afford it, but I want to double check to make sure there's nothing notoriously bad about it or the brand. Is there any benefit to purchasing either the basic or deluxe kit? Thanks!
  18. Meenu

    MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    what's different in them? i couldn't find them on petsmart's website... do you have the links?

    edit: i think i just found it - the different is a digital thermometer and a fish net? you need those things... just price it out and decide.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2009
  19. David CWell Known MemberMember

    The brand is a decent quality, most kits contain the same brand tank and only differ in the brand of the filter and the heater. If memory serves, the only difference between the deluxe and standard kits is the deluxe contains a heater (definately a must) and a couple of minor things like a net. Really though, the kit is a great way to start until you get to know your way around a tank, then you can get AWESOME deals on craigslist.
  20. redlessi

    redlessiWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to the forum:;balloons

    You might want to check out craigslist in your area. You can find some really great deals on fish tanks complete with everything you need much cheaper than the store.

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