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SubscribeStocking a 5 Gallon
Small Fry
Posts: 1
Kudos: 1
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Registered: 20-May-2011
male canada ca-britishcolumbia
Hi. I'd like to know if the following stocking is too much for a 5 gallon tank.

I would like to get a few platies, likely 4 (1 male and 3 females), a few Red Cherry Shrimp (however many will fit, possibly another 4?), and some Malaysian Trumpet Snails.

I plan on making it a planted tank and I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to go with in terms of the plants, likely some Java Moss, Java Fern, Hydrophila, and Duck Weed.

I'd like to know a few things. The first being: do I have too many fish, and how should I adjust the numbers? Secondly: All of these fish/shrimp/snails reproduce very easily. Will the population balance off or will they overcrowd? Third: How low-maintenance is this setup, and is there any way I can make it easier to maintain? Fourth: What components will I need to buy for the tank?

Any help would be appreciated.
Thank you.
Post InfoPosted 20-May-2011 16:24Profile PM Edit Report 
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Registered: 28-Dec-2002
male usa us-colorado
EditedEdited 21-May-2011 14:31
Hi, and Welcome to Fish Profiles.
The answer to your first question is "Yes" you are planning
on too many fish. The tank would be way over stocked by
any of the commonly held rules of thumb (inches of fish
per gallon, or inches of fish per square inch of tank
surface area) and would be a catastrophe in the making.

Also, when you add gravel and decorations, you are
displacing water and the actual volume of a tank is reduced
(on an average) by 15%. That would mean that your 5 gallon
tank is only holding 4.25 gallons of water. You would
have to plan your stocking on 4 gallons (to be safe).

Even a pair, one male & one female, of platies after
birthing would have that tank over crowded.

You would think that a tank that small would be easy to
maintain, but it is entirely the opposite. In terms of
time it would be easy to scoop out a couple of gallons
and replace it with properly conditioned water. But, in
terms of what can happen in a tank, the results would be
lightning fast compared with a much larger tank.
Outbreaks of a disease would rage through the tank because
the fish are at such close quarters rather than a tank of
say 30 gallons or larger. (would you "catch" a cold from
someone sitting with you in a clothes closet faster than
from someone sitting someplace else in a mall?)

The components for "A" tank would be some gravel,
possibly plants (live) an external power filter,
a heater (5 watts per gallon) a "hood" or light,
a freshwater test kit to monitor ammonia, nitrite,
nitrate, & pH.

As far as maintenance is concerned, much of that would
depend upon what fish you put in the tank and how many.
Livebearers, in general, put out more waste (urea & stool)
than a similarly sized egg layer. The platy forinstance,
vs a cardinal tetra. The waste products cannot be allowed
to accumulate and the tank will become polluted which will
cause the pH to drop from the accumulation of organic acid.
At least weekly water changes of 50% or more would be
necessary to keep the tank livable. To make those changes
you would need a thermometer to be sure the replacement
water is within 1 or 2 (max) degrees of the tank water.
Water conditioner to remove the chlorine and chloramine
in your tap water, and a container.

Either of the Java type plants would be good for that
size tank, and as they grow, they would help remove some
of the nitrate from the water.

Hope this helps...


-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 21-May-2011 14:29Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
Mega Fish
Posts: 1205
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Registered: 23-Apr-2002
male usa
Platies are not a good idea for this size tank like frank was saying. The snails and shrimp would be fine. You could do a fully planted tank with cherry shrimp by them selves, this is a very common set up. And they will breed pretty easy if you have males and females. If you are dead set on fish I would go with a couple male guppies. If you can find them endlers would be better because they stay smaller. But only males so you don't have a problem with the tank getting overpopulated from breeding.
Post InfoPosted 24-May-2011 07:46Profile Homepage AIM MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
DeletedPosted 04-Jun-2011 19:47
This post has been deleted
Small Fry with Ketchup
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Registered: 17-Apr-2003
female australia us-maryland
EditedEdited 07-Jun-2011 04:03
As the others have said your stock is way too much for a 5 gallon tank.

Fives are actually a really difficult tank to stock, you will want to over stock it and that's really a bad thing to do since smaller fishtanks are more likely to crash, even in the hands of an experienced fishkeeper.

Adding plants will help stabilize the tank when it comes to swings in water quality but you will need to make sure it's a low stocked tank.

If you're going with live plants, low light ones are the easiest. Java fern can be tied to wood, rock, ornaments and allowed to grow from there. Duckweed is good at sucking up nitrates and pretty easy to take care of, but depending on the type of filter you have you may need to keep it in a breeding trap to prevent it from just getting sucked into the filter.

A trio of male guppies is a good option, a single female, even if you don't get any males will quickly overpopulate the tank. Make sure if you go with male guppies to go with a lot of plants to let them have hiding places.

Another option is a single male betta.

Malaysian trumpet snails are a great addition to the tank, but keep in mind they don't eat the waste, just help further process it. The more you feed the tank the more there will be, and you'll still have to do gravel vacuums and water changes.


Post InfoPosted 07-Jun-2011 04:03Profile Homepage AIM MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
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