Tank Buddies Turned Bad? Question

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by PinkButton, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. PinkButtonNew MemberMember

    Hello, I have a few questions.

    My tank is a 5 gallon tank which was upgraded from a whopping 1 1/2 tank that was meant for a betta that died tragically. Anyway. My temp. is good, everything is fine, I've checked everything and it is all where it is suppose to be. Until today, I had 3 fish and 2 nails. A Gourami, a red-tail shark and another shark that we were told WAS a red tail, but found out it was an Albino Rainbow shark ( white with orangish colored fins, so I am assuming it was an albino ). I'm now for certain what species the snails are.

    I've had this tank for approx. one month and everything has been fine. No over feeding, tending to the tank as needed. It has pebbles/gravels, a little hidey alcove and a plant.

    The gourami started pecking at the Albino the other day and has been chasing the black tailed shark. The abino was just not too long ago found dead, it looked as if the tail was shredded and I thought it might have gotten the ich, but when I went to go get it out of the tank the Gourami continuously pecked at it, very hard. The Gourami has also been chasing the red-tail shark. The Albino shark was very docile and shy and stayed hidden. The red-tail and the gourami got along fine until about a week ago. It started chasing both sharks. I am wondering if the gourami might have been the one responsible or perhaps the red-tail while we weren't looking? I thought these went well together, until I read up on the albino, which it still doesn't make sense. It was very docile and shy and stayed in her hiding place. I'd appreciate it if I could get someone to explain this to me because it's very upsetting and I'm gonna have one upset 4 year old when she comes back from visiting Nana.

  2. NutterFishlore VIPMember

    Gouramis can be very territorial & rather aggressive fish. Especially in such a small tank. I suspect the Gourami has settled in now & is claiming the tank as it's territory.

    Unless it is a Dwarf Gourami, the tank is too small for it & even a Dwarf Gourami should be in at least a 10gal IMO. The Red Tail Shark is also going to get too big for that tank. They are an active & aften aggressive fish & really need at least 29gal. To avoid further deaths you are going to have to remove the RTS at the very least.

    I know this might not be appealing & it will probably upset your daughter but you should really consider taking the RTS to your LFS & see if they will give you store credit for it. Or perhaps you know someone with a larger tank & compatible fish that will take it off your hands.

    A 5gal tank is really only suitable for 1 x male Siamese Fighter. There isn't much else that can fit into a tank of that size comfortably. Sorry I don't have better news for you.
  3. Morgan111Well Known MemberMember

    very true
  4. Prince PowderWell Known MemberMember

    Hello Kris and welcome to Fishlore! I'm sorry you lost your fish. I'm afraid Nutter is correct, unfortunately there are very few fish that are suitable for a 5 gallon tank and generally speaking that size tank will only support a single fish. It's understandable that they may have gotten along in the beginning, but you were more likely dealing with babies. Many times a fish will develop their aggression as they mature which it sounds like your fish might be doing. Their natural aggression will only get worse when they are feeling crowded. Not to mention that as they grow it will become nearly impossible to maintain a steady cycle as they will produce more ammonia than such a small tank can handle. In order to support the fish you have you will have to upgrade your tank size yet again, otherwise I would recommend trying to rehome them or returning them to a local fish store. I know this would upset your daughter, but it will be easier than having to explain more fish deaths, particularly if she is the one to discover them. That would allow you to stock your 5 gallon with a more suitable fish. Some examples that come to mind are bettas, one male or one female, or one dwarf puffer (make sure your tank is cycled, they are sensitive to water parameters) or you could do something other than an actual fish. Two dwarf African frogs, or a tank just for red cherry shrimp. Hope this helps!
  5. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Hello PinkButton and Welcome to Fish Lore,

    So sorry to hear about your fish loss. I know it isn't easy. I agree with the above posters that 5g is just too small for the fish and the amount of fish that you have. I see that 29g is suggested above for Red Tail or Rainbow Sharks but as aggressive as they can be I suggest 55g or more and only 1 per tank.

    Some good stocking suggestions are given by Prince Powder.

    I would suspect one shark killed the other and the Gourami was feeding from the carcus.

    Best wishes and please keep us posted.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2010
  6. NutterFishlore VIPMember

    I only suggested a 29gal as a bare minimum tank size. I agree 55gal would be far more suitable. I also agree that there should only be one specimen of one shark species in any tank, regardless of the tanks size.
  7. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Thanks Nutter! :)
  8. LyndaBFishlore LegendMember

    My golden gourami has been fine with my rainbow shark up until now but recently, she's taken to attacking him. This weekend, she gets transferred to another tank.

    And yes, I have to concur that your tank is much too small for the species you have living in it. Sorry.

    Perhaps you can get a larger tank, and the lovely people here can help you figure out which fish are compatible and suited for whatever size tank it is. :;hug2
  9. PinkButtonNew MemberMember

    Thanks for your comments and I think I forgot to mention the gourami I got was a dwarf gourami. More than likely I'll probably be returning one or the other. I never personally saw the two sharks fighting each other, but the lady at the pet store said they wouldn't fight each other. Also, is it true that the fresh water clown fish or loaches will eat the snails? We were going to get one or two of those to put in the tank with the snails, cause my little girl was crazy about the snails? Thanks for your advice. :)
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2010
  10. bassbonedivaFishlore VIPMember

    Clown loaches will eat certain kinds of snails (pond snails and Malaysian Trumpet snails, for sure), but I'm not sure if they'll eat mystery or apple snails. Clown loaches wouldn't fit in your 5 gallon, though. :-/
  11. Prince PowderWell Known MemberMember

    I'm not sure about eating snails, but clown loaches get pretty huge as you can see by their profile here. They need much larger tanks and are generally not recommended for beginners. Your dwarf gourami will not get very large by gourami standards, but he should still have a bigger tank (10 gallon minimum) as they really need the swim space. If you were to upgrade to at least a 10 gallon your gourami would be much happier and probably less aggressive since he won't feel so cramped. The red tailed shark should be either rehomed or returned unless you have plans for a massive tank upgrade otherwise he could become a serious threat to other fish as he matures. If you do a search of the forums you will find literally hundreds of instances where the people at the pet store gave bad advice. Either they don't know what they're talking about or they don't care so long as they make the sale. It is not uncommon for pet store workers to suggest mixing fish that should never be mixed or getting fish that will wind up far too large for your tank size. If the fish die, you go buy more and they make more money. If the fish get too big, you go buy a bigger tank along with all the bigger accessories and they make more money. And never forget the young kids who get hired at pet stores who may love animals, but don't know the first thing about properly keeping them. Take it from someone who has worked at a chain pet store, if you don't know about the animals already, they're not going to teach you, but they will hire you.

    If you can, return the RTS and get a 10 gallon tank for the gourami then you can set the 10 gallon as a small community tank and go with one of the options I listed in my previous post for the 5 gallon. If you can get that 10 gallon then make sure you research the fish you are interested to make sure they don't get too big for your tank and to find out whether or not they are compatible with the fish you have and other fish you want.
  12. PinkButtonNew MemberMember

    Alright, again thank you for your advice. I will be returning one or the other in the morning, just keeping one of them. We really can't decide, but I've seperated them for now. I know the tanks aren't expensive, but my money has been siphoned for my little girls birthday which is this weekend, but we do plan on getting at least two more tanks in the future a 10 or a 20 gallon and a 50gallon. I will keep y'all updated on everything. I'm not much on knowing about fish, but I've learned alot in the past several months just by reading and lurking in your forums and thanks again. :)
  13. bassbonedivaFishlore VIPMember

    Check on Craigslist for used tanks. You can usually get them on there for really cheap (I just sold a 10gal with hood, light, gravel and fake plants for $15). :)
  14. LyndaBFishlore LegendMember

    I got my 30 gallon tank through freecycle.com. As the name implies, it was completely free. Not a thing wrong with it. Not even scratched. Minor cleaning and it was ready to go. My local freecycle has tanks all the time.

    Craig's List, too, as someone mentioned.

    It's very sad, but you just can't trust most of the pet store employees. Again, if the store specializes in fish and fish supplies only, then you're good. But any of the chain stores? Forget it.

    You're doing the right thing by asking advice here. It's much better to go into the store already having the knowledge. :;hug2

    P.S. I forgot to mention that a "real" fish store usually has gently used tanks for sale, too. That's how I just got my 46 gallon w/stand. :;th
  15. FishVixenValued MemberMember

    You say your going to return one or the other just remember the shark will not be able to stay in a 5 gal tank. They grow quickly and keeping him in there my stunt his growth, Which means his outside stays smaller but his internal organs grow normally. IMHO this is a beginners battle of stocking.By returning the shark it can be a teaching experience for your little girl to learn about keeping pets. Kids catch on quickly.