Downsizing help - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
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Downsizing help

Hi all,

I'm probably still a beginner, though maybe verging on intermediate. I started about a year ago with my first tank. I'm moving in a couple months and trying to plan ahead. Can I ask for advice on what to keep when downsizing into just a 5gal?

Always wanted a small small tank, but started with a 29gal because that was what I saw recommended for a beginner. Already downsized to a 12gal without having to get rid of anything, but now I want to keep just the 5gal. I'll keep it high tech and pretty heavily planted.

The 12gal is doing really well even though it's overstocked. Ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 0-5 range even with adding liquid fertilizer every other day (I could never keep them that low in my 30gal even; I think the light is better suited to the smaller tank). Currently have: 10 ember tetras, ~10 japan blue hybrids, 4 nerite snails, ~5 blue velvet shrimp, 1 betta fish (really peaceful guy, doing great in community setting), some pest snails, and 1 pea puffer (on her own in a 5gal). I'd like to keep the shrimp and at least 1-2 nerite snails. Planning to rehome the pea puffer and not transfer any of the pest snails to the 5 gal. The japan blues are beautiful but super super active and I don't think they'd be happy in a 5gal, not to mention the population getting out of hand quickly.

Thoughts on what I can realistically keep in the 5gal? In addition to the shrimp and nerite snails, can I also keep some of the ember tetras? Or the betta?

Thanks.

P.S. Please be kind -- I've always been mad when I heard about people getting a dog or cat and getting rid of it a couple years later because it isn't convenient anymore. I guess fish feel different than a mammal, but I might be equally guilty. It's ended up being a more stressful hobby than I anticipated and I'm short on time and space.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 10:43 PM
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I'd keep just the betta, the shrimp, and 1 nerite - 5g is too small to keep 10 ember tetras in long term. Even though they're small, 5g wouldn't be enough for them. You could possibly keep 5-7 embers, 1 nerite, and the shrimp, but I doubt you'd see any interesting behaviour from the tetras.

Alternatively, I'm currently keeping 5 (sem-juvenile) endlers in a 5g and they're fine, assuming Japan Blue is referring to the breed of endler. Yours may be larger though as hybrids.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! Yeah, I figured 10 of the ember tetras would too many. 5-7 sounds reasonable but I agree re: interesting behavior. I started with 6 and it wasn't until I had 10 that they finally started swimming together even.

And yeah the Japan Blues are endlers. Mine seem bigger than the regular endlers I've seen in stores, though.

How's your 5 gallon re: maintenance? The only thing that scares me about the 5 gallon is that I've read it can be more difficult for beginners to keep the parameters within the healthy range. But I figure if I keep it heavily planted, make sure I'm not overstocked, and test the water every couple of days I should be able to manage it.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-22-2019, 10:07 PM
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I started with nanos the first day I started a planted tank and have had them ever since. I really don't think they're harder than larger tanks, especially when heavily planted. You sound conscientious enough that it won't be a problem for you. I have a 6 gallon with a Betta and a hoard of nerites (whom I have to feed until I can get them to a bigger tank...)
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-24-2019, 08:28 PM
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@cappuccino as long as you keep up with maintenance, they should be fine. Mine is a new tank (<3 months old) and hits about 10ppm nitrates in between weekly water changes and they seem perfectly fine with it. I seeded it with cycled sand and media though, and threw in some Seachem Stability for the first couple of weeks. Bioload-wise, they're almost certainly smaller than yours though and I don't have any nerites, although several malaysian trumpet snails have found their way in. I'd probably avoid nerites and put the shrimp in instead - much more cleaning and much less waste.

Testing every day for the first few weeks is definitely a good idea, and keep an eye out for any decaying plant matter if it's going to be heavily planted. I'd probably fertilise less and use less CO2 in the first few weeks so as not to overdose anything, but I'm not at all experienced with regards to either.

Definitely stick to just 4-5 males in the tank if you do keep the endlers, and make sure all males are of a similar size. Mine picked on a smaller one for a while so he had to be moved back into the main tank. With regards to behaviour, they're active and interact with each other, although my colony in the 25g is possibly more active in searching for food etc. although that tank is more heavily planted.

Over all, I'd say go for it if you fancy keeping something a bit different to a betta. As said above, you definitely sound conscientious enough to pull it off, and I'd be surprised if you came across any major difficulties.

Pic of my tank for reference - it's really just a holding tank while I wait to sell on my "ugly babies"


And the ugly babies themselves

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-24-2019, 10:10 PM
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I would go for just the betta or not fish at all. 5g is small on swimming space and tetras are much faster/move about more than most betta. Are you set on a 5g?
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