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Old 03-28-2013, 05:48 PM   #1 
Esahc
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Impulse buy, Questions about live plants, tank mates and nitrogen cycles

So it seems like betta-related impulse buys is getting to be a thing for me; I bought Altair on impulse when I went into petsmart to tentatively price tanks and supplies, and now I've gone in with the intention of just buying some air tube and come out with a new 5-gallon tank. So now I have 60 days to research what I need to know and buy, and decide what I'm going to do with it.
In my defense, it was on sale, and I was already planning on buying a bigger tank, just...not for a few months.

What I bought was the Marineland 5 gallon Crescent, comes with LED light and filter.

What I need to know is, what plants are good for this size tank? (the dimensions are 15.5x10.5x14.5, and the area of the floor is 162.75 sq. in) I was told that plants need a different spectrum of light than what LEDs provide, is that light okay, or do I need to find a different light for the plants? If so, is there anyone who can recommend a light that will work with the tank? At least, a light that will work on its on and still semi-resembles the sleek/modern look of the tank?
I've read the step-by-step nitrogen cycle sticky, but I'm still curious about how a nitrogen cycle will work in a planted tank, and I'm still not completely clear on what maintenance a planted 5 gallon tank needs.

I'm also curious as to if a 5 gallon tank has enough room for a second fish, and if so, what kind? I was considering tetras, but while I was at the store melting holes in my card, I noticed the mollies and the cory catfish and vaguely remembered them both being on a list of fish that are okay to add to a betta tank?
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:58 PM   #2 
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The led sold on low budget tanks are for looks so you can see the fish and grow some low light plants. And most people will say no to a second fish. Tetras I believe schooling fish
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:20 PM   #3 
ollief9
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5 gallons is a little small for any extra fish. You could add some shrimps, however.
You could possibly get away with Ember Tetras but I wouldn't recommend it.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:47 PM   #4 
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5 gallons is too small even for embers. These schooling fish may be small, but they are still active fish and I think deserve at least a 45cm - 60cm tank to give them the space to swim around.

If you have a lot of fast growing plants, these will use up ammonia and so your tank can go through what is called a 'silent cycle' where you don't see any spikes in your parameters because the plants are using a majority of the ammonia up.

However, LEDs are usually do not provide enough light or the right kind of light to support fast growth. I am not a big light person so will let someone else recommend more suitable lighting.

A silent cycle will not happen if you have very slow growing plants or not enough plants. You really need lots of stems and floaters as these are very good at absorbing ammonia.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:41 PM   #5 
Esahc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ollief9 View Post
5 gallons is a little small for any extra fish. You could add some shrimps, however.
You could possibly get away with Ember Tetras but I wouldn't recommend it.
Shrimp look like they'd be pretty interesting. From what I can see ghost shrimp are the most popular? Would something like Amano shrimp work out as well?

Another site says that a small school of Rasbora Brigittae can be kept in a 5 gallon with a betta, is that incorrect or just risky?

It's a pity that I don't have room for a larger tank than a 5-gallon. On the other hand, that's probably a good thing...
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:54 PM   #6 
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Rasbora brigittae are quite tiny. While they may do fine as a small school in a 5 gallon tank, with a betta I would be concerned he may be inclined to harass or attack them.

Also many of these 'nano friendly' options are very sensitive fish so I would not be putting them in anything less than a fully cycled and established tank.
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:04 PM   #7 
Esahc
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So, just as a rule of thumb, tiny fish for tiny tanks = fragile fish for someone with a bit more experience?

At this point I'm starting to wonder what happened to my old tank from when I was a kid, and where I would have room to set it up. Because I totally have time for the maintenance...
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:03 PM   #8 
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They are definitely a lot more fragile and sensitive than something like a betta or guppies.

How big was your old tank? If it's in the 10-20 gallon range you definitely have a lot more wriggle room in regards to tank mates.
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:31 PM   #9 
Esahc
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I want to say it was a ten gallon, but it could've been a 20 gallon or larger? We had neon tetras and gold fish mostly I think. Unfortunately it's gone the way of most of our stuff in that we may have permanently misplaced it in a recent series of moves. I remember thinking it was this huge old thing, I'd gotten it as a gift when I was little, none of us really knew anything about fish and this was back before I knew what a computer was. Looking back those poor fish lived in pretty abysmal conditions, and we stopped keeping anything in it about five years ago. I think it sat empty on our balcony for years before we either gave it away or tossed it, which is a real pity because I think it would be somewhat expensive to replace.
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