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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-14-2008, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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Trying to decide on fish

I canít make up my mind on fish for my 5.5g Iím just looking for 1 or 2 easy to keep, nice looking fish. Preferably cold water if at all possible, but I know thatís asking a bit much lol
Iíve been reading a lot of threads on stocking small tanks, and the information is very conflicting, some people say that certain fish are ok and others completely disagree, Iím not sure who to listen too. I've also read through the nano fish list, but I'm not sure which fish are schooling and which arenít. Sometimes even looking that up 2 different websites will have very different answers.
I would prefer no betas as Iíve kept many in the past and am looking for something different.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-15-2008, 12:27 AM
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I think a great option for cold water is the White Cloud Mountain Minnow, and I am sure you will hear this from other responders too.

The WCMM is beautiful and extremely hardy. They can take temp swings and aren't picky eaters, and are long-lived. I had one that I had for two years (he was full-grown when I got him so add ~1 yr) and he was fantastic, adaptable and responsive to when I came over or fed him. The long-finned variety are also amazing, particularly in a group.

The other fish that I love that I have found only recently are Scarlet Badis, beautiful, small and intelligent little fish. Definitely like to hide though so if you want to see your fish all the time this might be an issue.

If you want a more exciting option you could get a Dwarf Puffer (Malabar Puffer, Pea puffer, w/e). These are really cute, very intelligent fish BUT they require a lot more effort. They only take live foods, and eat snails with relish. Some people have had success with frozen worms but that may be hit or miss. I'd also only get one if you have just a 5g, they're extremely territorial and will rip apart any other fish you have in there (except maybe one Otocinclus cat). So if you wanted a small community (very small community then this may not be the best option.

Good luck with your decision!
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-15-2008, 01:08 AM Thread Starter
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I was thinking about White Cloud Mountain Minnow but was told that they prefer to be in groups? I don't want to overcrowd my tank.

Scarlet Badis are pretty little things, I will definitely be looking into them, but how many could I put in the tank 2 or 3 maybe?

I don't really think I'm ready for a Dwarf Puffer yet, the live food thing throws me off a little.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-15-2008, 01:20 AM
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I have two Scarlet Badis in a 2.5 gallon, BUT that's crazy overfiltered and overplanted. If you have a ton of plants maybe 3-4? They're not super demanding save that need for a lot of plants, but they tend to always come in as males since the females are drab so territorialism may be a little issue (they won't rip each other apart but you want to give them some space).

If you can get your hands on a female:
A) Send me a PM as soon as you get some baby females
B) Look forward to some eggs! and give them some space (i.e. not 5 males, 1 female)

WCMM are good in groups but lots of folks keep them alone or in small groups. I had one alone, and while he seemed happy I can't speak to whether he might have been happier in a school or shoal
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-15-2008, 01:24 AM
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i wouldnt do WCMMS or badis in a tank that small. maybe some CPD's (celestial pearl danios) or a boraras sp.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-15-2008, 01:46 AM Thread Starter
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How can I find out if a fish should be kept in groups or not? Does anyone know a reliable website?
Also would 2 or 3 male guppies be an option?
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-15-2008, 01:49 AM
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yeah you could do guppies

if you have a fish in mind, ask if it'll work out here
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-15-2008, 01:58 AM
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Done both zebra and leopard danios in small unheated tanks. Both have done very well.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-15-2008, 02:46 AM Thread Starter
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I like the idea of guppies, they are nice and bright and seem to stay fairly small. Would 3 be too many for my tank?
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-16-2008, 01:39 AM
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You didn't define cold. Room temperature in Canada in the winter might be different than Florida. For color, Guppies or Endlers live bearer males will be just fine. I have a 25 watt heater on my son's 5.5 gallon tank. The light is a spiral daylight CFL. The temp is set at 68 degrees so the heater doesn't come on too often. We have seven young (one inch) guppies in there along with plants, snails, algae, and possibly some shrimp. All, except maybe the shrimp - I haven't seen them lately, are doing fine. The filter is a Whisper 10i with just a filter pad for biological filtration.
post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-02-2009, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
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So I went out today to get a few guppies for my tank.. and ended up coming home with a a pretty little female betta I figured she would be better suited for my small tank.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-03-2009, 12:33 AM
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In regards to the betta, I've never understood why people keep them in such tiny containers. Sure, they can survive, but they don't really get to live. They are labyrinth fish yes, and they can breathe from the surface, but that is an adaptation for their life in the wild when the rice paddies start to dry up. Bettas are beautiful when kept in a bigger tank with other fish (just be careful of the other fish nipping at the betta's fins).

In regards to a 5.5gl stocking, you have to remember that 5.5gl is the empty volume, not the total volume available after substrate and hardscape.
A trio of guppies might be okay as they are not overly active. I have never kept them, so don't go thinking that I said that they are.
In a 5.5 planted, I'd say scarlet badis or one similar.
Celestial Pearl Danios are very timid and shy. I have kept them, and still do. They need a small shoal and the more space, the better.
As for Boraras species, same with them, 6 or more for them and some of them are fairly active.
Are you specifically wanting fish, or any type of fauna? You could do some shrimps if you were concerned with over stocking.
If you were to go for a fish though, I would go with a Scarlet badis or a pair.


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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-03-2009, 12:39 AM
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You could use livebearer fry as I am, I have 1 tiny platy fry and 2 sixray cories.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-03-2009, 01:54 AM
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I actually agree with what iGabe says. I have seen this many times done, and it does look nice. Livebearer fry, when kept is small groups can give a nice impression in a smaller tank.


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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-03-2009, 04:58 AM Thread Starter
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I think I'm going to stick with just the betta.
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