New to the Whole Fish World

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by AmandaB_0983, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. AmandaB_0983New MemberMember

    We have recently gotten my son a 3.5 gallon tank. We have 1 male half moon Beta, 1 red wag Platy, 1 albino cory cat, and 1 "mixed fruit" tetra. When I received these fish I knew nothing about aquariums. Since then I have done some research and have found that I literally knew NOTHING. I did not treat, condition, test anything. I used room temp. bottled water to start the tank and let it cycle for 24 hours per tank instructions. Now I have gotten the test strips and found that the tank is a little on the alkaline side. I have also found that the mixed fruit tetra was probably given the green color by injection or dipping and that it along with the red wag and cory cat are schooling fish. My questions are is this tank too small for these four fish? What do I need to do to ensure the proper environment and their health? They all seem to be getting along and living just fine, but I want to make sure as they grow that they continue to live stress-free, peaceful, happy lives. I did not realize how great and rewarding having a fish tank in my home could be. Thank you in advance for any and all information, knowledge, or help towards my newly acquired hobby.
  2. STLBluesFanValued MemberMember

    yes, that is too many fish, some bettas prefer to be by them selves, and others sometimes dont mind the company of a cory cat though. by the way, welcome to fishlore, you will learn many things
  3. Wendy Lubianetsky

    Wendy LubianetskyWell Known MemberMember

    I think that the tank is too small for those 4 fish. I also think that the tetra might nip at the fins of the Betta, so be careful. Depending on the Platy they can be a little territorial too, although I have never had a problem with my platy's.
    Make sure you read up on cycling an aquarium.

    Welcome to the Forum.
  4. Reefdweller

    ReefdwellerValued MemberMember

    Yes this is for sure too small of a tank. You have a couple of options. If you want to keep all 4 of the fish then a slightly bigger tank would not be that expensive, even a 10 gallon setup is reasonably priced depending on where you get it of course. I know you mentioned you had gotten the tank for your kid. The hobby is a lot of fun but its also very educational. I kept fish for many years when I lived at home with my parents and even after I moved out. I started with a 10 gallon, then 30, then 75 and when I got out of the hobby about 6 years ago I had a 125 salt water setup. The reason I am telling you this is because about 2 years ago I purchased my daughter a 3 gallon setup for her room.. well.... since then I upgraded her to a 5 gallon with all the bells and whistles (sponge bob decor and all) but what happened in the process is put me back in the mode of wanting a tank myself. I purchased a 75 gallon a few months ago and its been great bonding time with my 6 year old daughter. We watch the fish, test the water, feed them together. She loves when I test the water because she gets to clean out the test tubes :;banaman What I have found is she is learning a lot about the balance of the water, the habits of the fish, they way they interact with each other as well as us. She has learned about thier diets and what fish does what such as bottom feeders, algae eaters etc.

    The moral of the story is that if you do decide to get a bigger tank to enjoy. There are many benefits that come along with the whole hobby. I hope my story helps!

  5. bowcrazyWell Known MemberMember

    First off let me welcome you to FishLore AmandaB! You have found a great site for getting help and learning about a wonderful hobby of fish-keeping. Most of us here strive to only give good information based on our experiences and not necessarily what the books say.

    I know others have already posted a few comments about your stocking list but I wanted to expand a bit on it. The only real fish you have in your tank that is suited for it is the Betta. All the other fish really need to be kept in a larger tank for several reasons.

    Bettas don’t normally play well with other fish because they are very territorial and it only gets worse as the fish get older. Most pet stores sell fish that are not fully grown (juveniles) so they might get along at first but as they mature Bettas can become very aggressive towards any other fish in the tank that they deem a threat or prettier.

    Platies are quite easily stressed and they will not tolerate being picked on at all. They are not a schooling fish but they do like more of their own kind in the tank and this alone will be a bit stressful but if the Betta gets to bothering it the out come will not be good. You are right about the Mixed Fruit Tetra. They are simply a White Skirt Tetra that has been died, normally by injection. This is not a practice that most of us don’t agree with and they are normally purchased by beginners because they like the colors. The Cory Cat also is a fish that likes more of its own kind and should be kept in groups of 5 or 6.

    A 3.5 gallon tank is way to small for the number of fish you have so living stress free is going to be out of the question. Sorry to be the bearer of the bad news but I would personally take all the fish except the Betta back and see if you can trade them for some supplies.

    Take the time to get familiar with the Nitrogen Cycle and the profiles of the fish you are keeping. The Nitrogen Cycle is a must to understand because it is what help you keep your tank safe for the fish you keep.
  6. blu3dragon619Valued MemberMember

    if i'm correct it should be 1 fish per square inch if i'm not wrong... could be more for got... but 4 fish in a 3.5 gal is to small i say go to petco or a lfs and see if they have any tanks on sale... petco might have a 1$ per gal deal... for 4 -5 fish i say a 10 gal tank should do the trick as long as the fish are small like guppies or tetras then you should be fine, better yet drop the fish and just go with freash water shrimps they are cool, easy, and fun to look at. much much easyer then fish,
  7. bowcrazyWell Known MemberMember

    One inch of fish per one gallon of water is more like the rule but it is only a guide line and is not commonly used anymore because it simply don't work with most fish. One fish per square inch would allow you to have 100 fish in a 10 inch cube tank which isn't going to work at all, not even for fry.
  8. OP

    AmandaB_0983New MemberMember

    Thank you all for your comments, suggestions, info., and stories. I guess I am glad I have found this site full of knowledgeable people who can help me in my new venture/hobby. I am headed to the pet store now to buy a bigger tank. I would really like to keep all of them I have already formed a bond especially with the beta and the tetra because of what the poor little guy already went through to get his color. Reefdweller I agree about the educational benefits, he loves feeding, watching, and learning about the fish. I look forward to getting them into a bigger tank, except the beta of course, and getting them a few buddies :;hug2 so they can be happy and stress free. I figured being a beginner I should start with fake plants and everything I have read says to give them a lot of hiding places, but I don't want to over crowd them with plants either. Is there a rule of thumb or is there such a thing as too many?

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