New & need advice


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Mar 24, 2023
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Hiya. I’m Esther and new to the forums. I have a fish tank - but the inbuilt light in it doesn’t work. When I’m looking into the fish tank from anywhere in the room all I can see is my own, and furniture around me’s reflections - more than the fish. I’ve tried covering the back but it’s not made any difference. I’ve got a submersible light on the way. Will that help once it’s in - or is there something else - like anti reflective film on the front or something?
Hi. As you can see in both - you can’t really see the fish - just reflections of the room (excuse the mess) it’s so bad it took the cat 3 days to notice that the fish had moved in.


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I would recommend looking up the type of fish you have and then figuring out from there the minimum tank size. You should be fine with a 10-20 gallon with a lot of fish. Based on the image it looks like a platy, molly or guppy and those only need around a 10-20 gallon for around 5-6+ (a school), but if it is a goldfish you truly have a problem. It varies by species of goldfish, but most, I think the bare minimum for one is around 30-50 gallons. If it is a guppy, you can keep a pair of two guppies in a smaller tank (5 gal. minimum, but even that is pushing it). For anything smaller than 10 gallons, with the questionable exception of two guppies, the only thing you can keep in your tank is either a betta or snails. Some might even argue shrimp, but I am not sure I agree with that for there are many reasons why most fish need bigger tanks. Among those reasons are that many fish produce too much waste for a filter to even be able to take all the bad stuff out (a filter can only do so much), so if stress didn't kill the fish first, the water quality would. Imagine being trapped in your house and never allowed to step foot outside or order outside supplies to be brought in. It's not manageable nor is it enjoyable. They need room to move around and swim their hearts out. Note though, erratic swimming is generally a sign of stress and the longer a fish is stressed, the more likely it is to catching something and dying. Or simply living a life of hell.

Also, if that doesn't have a built-in filter that we can't see, YOU NEED ONE. There is no species of anything that can be reasonably kept in a tank without one regardless of it's size. Even betta tanks. Those without filters need to do water changes daily, and that isn't fun for either party.

What is that tank size? 3 gallon?

As for the question you originally asked, I think that once you get a proper light, it should eliminate most of the glare from outside the tank, but I would recommend putting more décor in there as it will help 'keep the light in' (if you will) & counteract some degree of glare. Especially live plants. Live plants will make a massive difference in keeping a smaller tank healthy, longer. Also, imagine not having anywhere private to relax and de-stress. If fish don't feel safe, they won't sleep well (or at all) & will they live short, miserable lives.
Welcome to TFF to start with... :hi:
Also the location of your tank is of importance wether it's possible to have a decent look into the tank. But just a question... is the current light broken or in what way doesn't it work according to you? For that's not clear to me.
Hi everyone. Thanks for your advice. The tank is a nano tank - and is approx 3.5 gallons. I only use it as a “quarantine” tank for newer fish for my neighbour (she has a proper aquarium but her fish include some ridiculously expensive ones and she doesn’t put ones from a shop straight in) - but would like to see my visitors. It has a built in filter - but because it doesn’t have a built in heater I have to leave the lid slightly ajar for the wire - which means the built in light doesn’t work. My current visitors are 2 komuho guppies and 5 neon tetras - which is the most that would ever go in there tbh.

I haven’t put in any additional ornamentation because I always assumed the fish would rather have more of an unobstructed swim - but do you guys think that they’d prefer some more bits in the bottom of the tank? Happy to get more.

And the cat - while not the size of a lion is quite large - and lazy.

And just to scare you guys silly ….. the fish tank I have is also available in the lovey size of ….. 6 litre. Have added some pictures for your pleasure 😮


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I did what you guys said. I put more ornaments etc in for them and the guppies got a bit grouchy and biting each other. So after another rearrangement they’ve stopped chasing each other and all seem happy. They have places to hide and potter around in now - and still room to swim freely. Happy to announce that there’s no sickness - and looks like they’ll all pull through to go into the “posh” tank in a few weeks. I’ll miss the little so & sos.

Am thinking about having some in there full time as I’ve enjoyed them so much. Do you guys think just 5 neon tetras will be happy enough in there? That won’t be too crowded - but enough company for each other?
I'm afraid not. The minimum recommended size for neons is 60 cm long. And they need a group of at least 10. I can't think of any fish suitable for 3.5 gallons, especially that shape.

However, with more decor - ie plants, real or fake - it would be OK for shrimps. Cherry shrimps come in various colours - red, yellow, orange, blue and even black, but only one colour per tank or they risk all being drab brown after a few generations - and they are actually quite interesting creatures.

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