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Cheapskate 5.5 gallon Journal

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I am getting ready to set up my first (real) planted tank, right now I just have a 2.5 gallon bowl with some java moss.

So far I have no fertilizer, substrate is fine black sand, which is clogging my filter, but is easy to unclog.

Tank- standard 5.5 gallon
Filter- 10 gallon whisper in tank filter with a bio-bag
CO2- none
Lights- none yet, plan to do clip on light with a 10-
12w compact fluorescent... any suggestions here (think cheap).
Plants- I want some moss (taiwan moss or anything attractive, not java)
Might even end up doing a moss wall for the background.
Also i want some hair grass and some Marsilea Minuta (common
Heater- none planned. I am going to do cooler water fish, but i might end
up getting one just to keep the temp constant at about 72-
Air pump- 10 gal air pump

Fish planned- 2 cories and 2 fathead minnows
and a handful of shrimp
and 2 mystery snails or some galaxy rasboras

Not going to add any fish until all plants and decor are arranged and the tank is properly cycled.

Questions- With my planned lighting setup how many hours should I run the lights? I realize without C02 I should keep it to a minimum and find plants that will do well in medium light.

Do the plants I have chosen do well in lower light conditions?

Am i overstocking here if I use the fish I am planning?

If I do cories and rasboras do i need a heater? If so what is the best (cheap) heater I can get for a 5.5 gal?

After my tank cycles should I start by adding the cories? that was my plan.

Thanks for any help anyone wants to give.

I will put pix up tomorrow.
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40 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I took some java moss out of my 2.5gallon bowl and attached it to some driftwood in the new tank. I also am picking up some anubias today.

Will post pix soon.

5 Posts
I'd suggest dwarf cories such as habrosus, and go with 4 for your tank. They max out at 1" perfect for smaller tanks. There's also pygmaeus or hastatus corydoras, but they tend to be more midwater. I <3 my habrosus, active guys! Temp-wise, I think they like it around 76-78, not 100% sure. I'd rec a heater just to keep things stable.

As long as your tank finishes cycling, you should be fine with the cories. They're sensitive to ammonia, so maybe do some tests the first week just to be safe.

Good luck!

5 Posts
I've heard good things about the Hydor heaters.

2 mystery snails sound like a bit much for a 5.5, especially with shrimp & cories. Perhaps a nerite instead?

what kind of rasbora ate you looking at? Most (harlequin/espei/porkchop) are super active, and would probably be happier in a bigger tank. Phoenix or chili rasbora would be great!
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