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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-10-2011, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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Another "New Fish Mommy" Question

Alrighty people. Since my daughter's goldfish died the empty tank on her dresser has been setting her up for questions like "Fishy where are you?" and "Mummy why fishy bye bye?" That being said, I want to get another fish for her - NOT A GOLDFISH, don't worry. Now, my question is this: I have the largest critter keeper I could find (I think it's five gallons). No filter or anything. What kinds of aquatic things would be able to live in there happily? Our house is warm and my bettas are thriving, so I know a betta fish would do, but she REALLY loves our ADF's, and she used to love watching her three goldfish swim around together. I want to get more than one fish IF IT WOULD WORK, maybe a couple of female bettas? Anything else I could consider that would be HAPPY and SURVIVE in that tank? Let me know! Thanks guy!
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-10-2011, 03:42 PM
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Why not just go back to the old plan and set up a "real" aquarium? Very few animals can be housed in a 5-gallon long-term. Even when properly set up and maintained, a 5-gallon is not easy to care for. Small desktop aquariums are just unstable and not recommended for beginners.

The other problem is that you really need some sort of filtration. And even if your house is warm you'll want a heater for anything tropical to make sure the temperature stays consistent.

Honestly, there just isn't much you can do with such a small tank. Desktop tanks are nice for shrimp and other small invertebrates but the only fish you could keep are bettas, pygmy gouramis, or maybe a small school of white cloud minnows, celestial danios, or harlequin rasboras. And even with those you'll want at least some sort of filter and a properly cycled tank.

My advice would be to keep the 5-gallon as a hospital tank and set up an aquarium of at least 20 gallons with the proper equipment and everything. While you're setting the tank up and letting it cycle, research different fish species and pick out some favorites . Once you've narrowed it down a bit, we can figure out what you'd need to keep them.




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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-10-2011, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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That's the thing though - I was only going to get that other aquarium to save her goldfish - I am really not that keen on having an aquarium in general. With my bunnies and rats and two kids and husband and school and everything, I don't think I would have the time to maintain a community tank properly. I just really didn't want her goldfish to die by my hand, so I was going to work in the time to keep up with it somehow.

I don't have filters or heaters for Nova and Lucy (the bettas - LOL), but I do weekly 25% water changes with them, and they are both happy as can be, making HUGE bubble nests, eating all their food, swimming like crazy and flaring at each other when they get their exercise time (and sometimes just flaring up for no reason at all). I guess we'll either get another betta or she can just get used to having no "fishies!!!" in her room.

I've seen filters (at least, I think that's what they were) that were just tubes going down into the rocks. If that was a filter, would something like that work in the critter keeper? It would be very easy for me to drill a hole in the lid to insert the tube.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-10-2011, 04:26 PM
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You can get HOB filters for 5 gal aquariums. Personally I've never really understood the point of undergravel filters... They don't seem to do much, LOL!


Really though, a larger aquarium isn't much to maintain at all. With my 15 gal, I do a water change every other week (takes about 20 min) and other than feeding, that's all I do. With the 25 gal community tank I used to have, I only had to change it once a month since the fish were much cleaner than my frog is. Getting the initial set-up and establishing it can be a pain, but after a couple weeks it's smooth sailing.



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"For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.They are not brethen, they are not underlings; they are other nations caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth."
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-10-2011, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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Really? Just from the comments I Have read I thought it would take a LOT of work to keep a tank clean and keep the fish happy. That's why I've always had fairly small (10 gallon or less) tanks for my bettas. They're the only fish I ever had, up until Emma's goldfish, and we all know what a mess I made of THAT.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-10-2011, 09:22 PM
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To be honest, a larger tank is easier to maintain. In a small tank, one mistake can cause a crash...you have more room for error in a larger aquarium. You can also be more lax about water changes since any wastes are being diluted a bit.

Of course, after a certain point, a larger tank can definitely be more work. But I'm talking more like 75+ gallons, not a little 20-gallon . I find my 50-gallon to be less work than my 10-gallons and 5-gallons, in fact. It's also easier to clean (in small tanks it's so easy to knock stuff over and it's also annoying to fit the gravel vacuum, ugh!).

Maybe go for a 20-gallon or 29-gallon with a small school of hardy, undemanding fish. Look up white cloud minnows, cherry barbs, celestial danios, harlequin rasboras, and zebra danios. Many of the smaller tetras would also work, just stay away from sensitive species like neon tetras. Then maybe a few fish for the bottom--a group of cory cats or kuhli loaches? Or just a single bristlenose pleco . All of the fish I've just mentioned happily eat commercial flakes/pellets, are inexpensive to purchase, not messy (the pleco is the messiest of the bunch, though), and tolerant of less-than-ideal conditions (not that they should be subjected to them but they can survive most "beginner mistakes"). Some of the species don't even need a heater (the danios and minnows, for example).

There are also brightly-colored "Glofish" that might be good for your daughter . Glofish are zebra danios that have been genetically modified to have a gene for florescence. They're just as healthy as regular zebra danios but the bright colors might be fun for a kid's room. They look a little silly to me but hey! They wouldn't need a heater or anything special, just a properly cycled aquarium with a standard filter.




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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-11-2011, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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Glofish hey? I'll have to check them out, I have never heard of them.

For now we decided to upgrade Lucy from the little betta box I had him in, and put him in the Critter Keeper, keeping the little tank for emergencies and what ever might go wrong. We'll think about the aquarium, probably not right now but sometime in the future. When things in life are less stressful LOL. EVENTUALLY (although it will take a few years for sure) Liam and I want to set up a LARGE salt water tank with clownfish and stuff. That will be a long time coming, and I'll definitely want to have a 20 or 30 gallon for a few years first and get in the hang of fish keeping though.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-11-2011, 04:06 PM
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Well, whatever you do, I'll always be around to help with fish questions . Including saltwater, since that's actually my "thing" .




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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-11-2011, 04:26 PM
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I used to have some Glofish, they were pretty neat. Personally I like the natural colors better. Zebra Danios are really hardy fish though- I had mine for a couple years, and they were the last of my fish to die.



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"For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.They are not brethen, they are not underlings; they are other nations caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth."
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-11-2011, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sasami View Post
Well, whatever you do, I'll always be around to help with fish questions . Including saltwater, since that's actually my "thing" .
I'll definitely take you up on that. Like I said, the saltwater tank will not be for a few years, we'll have to save the couple grand to get it all set up (we want like, a wall tank, like 100 gallons or more). But there's no way we can afford it now, and even if we could, I wouldn't want to attempt something so difficult as a first time fish tank lol.

What kind of salt water fish do you have?
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-11-2011, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shayna&Liam View Post
I'll definitely take you up on that. Like I said, the saltwater tank will not be for a few years, we'll have to save the couple grand to get it all set up (we want like, a wall tank, like 100 gallons or more). But there's no way we can afford it now, and even if we could, I wouldn't want to attempt something so difficult as a first time fish tank lol.

What kind of salt water fish do you have?
I'm more into the invertebrates (you'll find that most people start with saltwater fish tanks, move to reef tanks, and never look back!) so I mostly have coral, corallimorphs, clams, feather dusters, coco worms, shrimp, crabs, snails, etc.

I only have four saltwater fish (all in one tank except the firefish). A firefish, an ocellaris clownfish, a Springer's damselfish, and a lawnmower blenny. I had a dwarf lionfish and royal gramma up until recently but they died (unrelated causes). So I'll probably be fish shopping soon, I guess! I might pick up an ORA yellow assessor basslet and a barnacle blenny (for separate tanks).




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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-11-2011, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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Wow you sure sound like you know what you're talking about - I'm going to have to Google every one of those except the clownfish. On a side note, can't you have the fish live together with the coral and crabs, etc?
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-11-2011, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shayna&Liam View Post
Wow you sure sound like you know what you're talking about - I'm going to have to Google every one of those except the clownfish. On a side note, can't you have the fish live together with the coral and crabs, etc?
I can (and do) but reef tanks are generally lightly stocked. Coral are more sensitive to water quality so most reef aquarists don't keep many fish in an effort to keep nitrate and phosphate down . Plus, many fish nip/eat coral so I'm a bit restricted to begin with (I don't keep angelfish anymore, for example, as much as I love them...they're notorious coral nippers).

For me, the focus of the tank is the coral so I just have a few fish to add some activity .




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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-12-2011, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
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That's cool. You should post a picture!
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-13-2011, 12:05 AM
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That's cool. You should post a picture!
I do post photos from time to time, there are probably some in older threads . I haven't taken any pictures recently, though, admittedly! I have a pretty crappy camera .
The fish in my avatar is the Springer's damselfish .




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