Need help on 5gallon tank

  1. Guavasorbet Initiate Member

    I brought a tetra home with its 5 gallon tank from a friends. The water and the tank were really dirty so I changed 80% of the water, cleaned the tank and changed out the gravel. Because the tetra looks fine after all that I decided to get 2 guppies today. After i put them in the tank, they have been swimming at surface of the water for the most part. One of them is more active than the other one. Is it normal for them to be swimming at the top? Thanks!

    PS I have filter so the water is getting cleaner slowly.
     
  2. bellachan Well Known Member Member

    There could be some high ammonia/nitrate issues going on, or not enough air circulation maybe? Have you tested the water? If so can you tell us what the readings are :) did you just add the filter or was there always one running? Guppies and tetras like to be in bigger groups, and that can be difficult in a 5gallon tank. Do you know what kind of tetra it is? The fish could be stressing out about one of those issues, maybe even territory. Some tetras can nip fins like the beautiful tail of guppies do you see any of that going on?

    Let us know what you can further observe and we'll try to help :)
     

  3. ppate1977 Well Known Member Member

    A new filter is not going to do anything in the way of decreasing ammonia. Do you have access to used (already seeded) filter media?
     
  4. Dolfan Fishlore VIP Member

    A 5 gallon is too small for tetras of any kind really. Guppies may be able to do ok. Really about the only fish that a 5 gallon is decent for is a Betta. I would recommend taking the tetra back to your friend, as you will need 5 or more to create a school and 5 gallons is way to small for any tetras. The 2 guppies may do ok in there. Are you using something to treat the new water during your water changes, like Prime or some other dechlorinator? You will need to closely monitor things and possibly do daily water changes of 50% or so for a few days to get things in check. Do you have a water test kit to monitor the parameters of the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate?

    Welcome to fishlore it's good that you found us as there is a lot of info here. Are you familiar with the nitrogen cycle in fish tanks? Please read this article fully...

    https://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm

    It's a 2 part article so be sure to click the link at the bottom of the first page to go to the 2nd part. On the home page there is a good articles section in the first box on the left side of screen called "Aquarium Articles" Please check that out and do some reading there is a lot to understand and know when getting started with fish.
     

  5. hopeful fish Well Known Member Member

    Welcome to Fishlore!!

    Definitely check out the Nitrogen Cycle if you haven't.

    A 5 gallon is definitely too small for those fish. You may want to consider upgrading to a 15 or 20 gallon so that you can fill out the school of tetras and get a few more guppies. Otherwise, I'd rehome the fish to someone who can give them enough space and friends.

    In the mean time, what are your water parameters? Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate? If you don't have a kit, I'd recommend the API master test kit. It seems a bit expensive at first, but it's worth it in the end. Do a few water changes and see if it helps--be sure to use conditioner with the changes.
     
  6. Guavasorbet Initiate Member

    Thanks for the helpful information. I will go get a API test kit to check the water today and keep you all posted.


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