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Getting Started

795 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  swylie
Hi. I have a 5 gallon tank and I just wanted to get some fish for my son and I to watch. I started looking on line and realized that I HAVE to have plants. They make the tank look awesome!

I have the tank and today I bought a Marineland Penguin 100 BIO-Wheel power fliter. The tank has a light on top but I have a feeling that I am going to need a lot more than that.

Please tell me what do I need to get started? I dont want to spend a fortune and I dont need top of the line stuff, I just want a nice successfull planted tank with some fish.

Thanks for any input and all advice is welcome
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You HAVE to have the plants as in a must in personal desire? I bet it is! :D

How many watts is your tank light? Your Marineland 100 BIO Wheel filter should run WITHOUT a bio-wheel for planted tanks, because the BIO wheel gasses off CO2. For the type of fish you are going to keep, DO NOT KEEP goldfish or koi. I stress this alot because many people squeeze goldfish into a small tank and let them live short lives where as they can really live at least 10 years, 30 years even. (Don't know exact life span). Also, no piranhas, oscars, cichlids, etc.
If you plan to keep warm water fish like the majority of all the members here, you will need a heater. 25 watts is sufficient. I recommend the Visi-Therm Deluxe or the Visi-Therm Stealth. Both are made by Aquarium Systems, which is a Marineland company.
If you get low light plants and a decent amount of lighting wattage, you can get away with no CO2. Fertilizers may still be needed.
Thanks. Yes it is a personal desire to have the plants:icon_smil So since you are saying notto use the bio wheel should I just get a different filter? I can return it. Can I just pop the wheel off?

You can pop the wheel off. If you have not used the filter, and it is possible to return it with a full refund, then I suggest the Hagen AquaClear 20.
Are you planning on keeping the 5 gallon? You're not going to have much room so you'll want to consider plants that are smaller. I'm not sure you could fit your garden variety Amazon sword in there (maybe micro swords if you up the lighting?). You'll want to make sure your fish have room to swim. I'd definitely go for smaller plants that are typically used as foreground in larger tanks. Or perhaps Anubias nana and small peice of driftwood.

If you consider the fish - those larger fish species that TropicalFish notes are definitely out - if i had a 5 gallon id prolly do a Beta with a couple of shrimp. You could do a small school of tetras but they are fast movers and 5 gallons isnt a lot of room. Bettas are slow swimmers so one would fit in nicely in your 5gallon.

Good Luck!
I would read through the posts in the nano forum to learn what to do. Can you fit a screw in fluorescent bulb in to your hood?
I think that I can exchange that fliter for the Hagen. I looked up the Amazon sword, It was really nice. I guess I can put a couple in the back and then I saw in a picture of someones tank some yellow plants that were not really tall.

I also like Zebras but I thought they were cold water fish. Can I put them in a heated tank?

Do the plants need heat?

I was just told that I have a fluorescent bulb in there and it is actually a 10 gallon so that is good news.
I also like Zebras but I thought they were cold water fish. Can I put them in a heated tank?
Zebra danios are small fish, but they like to swim fast, so they need some room. I think I read somewhere that they need a space at least 30" wide in which to swim, preferably more.
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