stocking for 20 litre (5 gallon) tanks

dhjaksu

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ok so I have 5 20litre (5 gallon) tanks that I plan on setting up and starting to cycle in the next couple weeks (will set all up entirely with stuff from my 210 litre tank). I plan on all having sponge filters and being heavily planted.

anyway, I have no idea what fish are small enough for a tank that small. and I have 5 to stock...

I'm thinking 2 for cherry shrimp (one red tank, one blue tank, already have a 40 litre tank with yellows).
then the other 3 I had absolutely no idea. any suggestions are welcome. don't want more shrimp and I already have 2 bettas in my 40litre and 210 litre tanks but I guess I would be happy to have more of them, I don't particularly like having a tank for only 1 fish though and 20 litres wouldn't be big enough for tank mates.
 

Red15

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Hi! I'm still young in fish keeping comparing to most of the people in the forum but in my opinion I personally am not really a hard believer in the thumb rule of one gallon per one inch.
I mean of course too much overstocking looks ugly and is very unhealthy, but I think as long as your tank is clean and perfectly cycled and filtered, a little bit more fish ain't gonna hurt.
If I had a 5 gallon tank, I most probably would go for a betta-shrimp set up.
Or maybe, I'd keep a few guppies in there with snails, or SAE as cleaning crew. Guppies will give birth soon, so if you're not prepared you could keep males only. They'll look beautiful.
You could keep a few danios-they're vibrantly colored fish, and would look beautiful against the green contrast of plants if it's a planted tank.
 

Lynnzer

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I have 10 Emerald Rasbora in a similar size tank along with Black Carbon Rili shrimp There were 4 of them bit I guess I'm running up to around 15 now.
The Emeralds are so small but also so gorgeously marked. They are quite happy in the tank as I have a good mix of plants and wooden bits and pieces, as well as birch leaves on the floor.
They mostly stay put under or behind the sponge filter and aren't very inquisitive.
I also don't believe the inch per gallon rule as the detritus from the inhabitants of this tank can't be any more than a single betta.
 
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dhjaksu

dhjaksu

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Hi! I'm still young in fish keeping comparing to most of the people in the forum but in my opinion I personally am not really a hard believer in the thumb rule of one gallon per one inch.
I mean of course too much overstocking looks ugly and is very unhealthy, but I think as long as your tank is clean and perfectly cycled and filtered, a little bit more fish ain't gonna hurt.
If I had a 5 gallon tank, I most probably would go for a betta-shrimp set up.
Or maybe, I'd keep a few guppies in there with snails, or SAE as cleaning crew. Guppies will give birth soon, so if you're not prepared you could keep males only. They'll look beautiful.
You could keep a few danios-they're vibrantly colored fish, and would look beautiful against the green contrast of plants if it's a planted tank.
Would definitely be planted tanks.
I do have some guppies in my main tank. I have 5 males and 12 females.
I guess I could use one of the tanks for heavily pregnant females to go in to give birth and then use it to raise up the babies. Or when I don’t want any more babies use it to house the 5 males.

And my local aquarium shop only has larger danios (ones that get up to 6cm or over 2inches) so they probably wouldn’t be too happy in a 20 litre tank that’s only 37cm long.

I have 10 Emerald Rasbora in a similar size tank along with Black Carbon Rili shrimp There were 4 of them bit I guess I'm running up to around 15 now.
The Emeralds are so small but also so gorgeously marked. They are quite happy in the tank as I have a good mix of plants and wooden bits and pieces, as well as birch leaves on the floor.
They mostly stay put under or behind the sponge filter and aren't very inquisitive.
I also don't believe the inch per gallon rule as the detritus from the inhabitants of this tank can't be any more than a single betta.
My local aquarium shop doesn’t have emerald radboras (if they don’t have them I doubt anywhere nearby does). They do have hengeli and espei rasboras which grow to the same size as emerald rasboras.
 

Essjay

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I wouldn't keep hengeli or espei in 5 gallons. I have some espei (the last of a shoal I bought 6 years ago) and they are too big for 5 gallons. They really need a tank at least 60 cm long.
Seriously Fish includes minimum tank size in it's profiles, together with the hardness, pH and temperature needed by each species. With 5 gallons, there's no room for a mixture of fish so the temperature can be adjusted to suit the fish, but GH and pH are not easily adjusted so I'd look at those species which are suited to your water. For example, chili rasboras (Boraras brigitte) would be suitable for soft water while emerald rasboras (Celestichthys erythromicron) are hard water fish.


There is no danio suitable for 5 gallons. Even zebra danios, while small fish, need a long tank because of their swimming behaviour.
 
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dhjaksu

dhjaksu

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I wouldn't keep hengeli or espei in 5 gallons. I have some espei (the last of a shoal I bought 6 years ago) and they are too big for 5 gallons. They really need a tank at least 60 cm long.
Seriously Fish includes minimum tank size in it's profiles, together with the hardness, pH and temperature needed by each species. With 5 gallons, there's no room for a mixture of fish so the temperature can be adjusted to suit the fish, but GH and pH are not easily adjusted so I'd look at those species which are suited to your water. For example, chili rasboras (Boraras brigitte) would be suitable for soft water while emerald rasboras (Celestichthys erythromicron) are hard water fish.


There is no danio suitable for 5 gallons. Even zebra danios, while small fish, need a long tank because of their swimming behaviour.
Ok thanks.
 

I Like Rare Fish

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I would look at.
Clown Killifish
Chocolate Gourami
Croaking Gourami
Chili Rasbora
etc. etc.
+1 for the clown killis and chili rasboras. Keep a tight lid if you get the killis!

There are no beginner fish that should be kept in a 5g tank. The smaller the tank, the smaller the change, the larger the catastrophe. In a larger tank, parameters are much more easy to maintain. One 💩 from a betta in a 5g tank produces a lot of ammonia, even if it is well filtered. I suggest a couple cherry shrimp. You can have fun with colors and also have fun scaping.
@Red15, I see your new, but just googling small aquarium fish doesn’t work. Danios, though small, need a large tank for swimming. Guppies are a bad choice for any tank under 20g (unless it’s only females, or you can control the amount of fry), because they burst babies 24/7. And when I hear SAE’s I hear Siamese Algae Eater. I’m not sure what you meant, but Siamese Algae Eaters are not suitable for 5g tanks.

The dimensions are 16" x 8" x 10", imo not suitable for any species of fish unless your an advanced hobbyist.
 

itiwhetu

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+1 for the clown killis and chili rasboras. Keep a tight lid if you get the killis!

There are no beginner fish that should be kept in a 5g tank. The smaller the tank, the smaller the change, the larger the catastrophe. In a larger tank, parameters are much more easy to maintain. One 💩 from a betta in a 5g tank produces a lot of ammonia, even if it is well filtered. I suggest a couple cherry shrimp. You can have fun with colors and also have fun scaping.
@Red15, I see your new, but just googling small aquarium fish doesn’t work. Danios, though small, need a large tank for swimming. Guppies are a bad choice for any tank under 20g (unless it’s only females, or you can control the amount of fry), because they burst babies 24/7. And when I hear SAE’s I hear Siamese Algae Eater. I’m not sure what you meant, but Siamese Algae Eaters are not suitable for 5g tanks.

The dimensions are 16" x 8" x 10", imo not suitable for any species of fish unless your an advanced hobbyist.
This at best is advanced aquarium work and then may be difficult to maintain long term. I used this size of tank as spawning aquariums for Tetras and Killis and small Barbs.
 

itiwhetu

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Imo minimum dimensions for spawning aquariums. It works, but not ideal. Lots of work!
Yep, I used to have 18x9x9 tanks that I would spawn small barbs or Tetras in, and when the fry were free swimming, I would pour the contents of those tanks into a 36x15x12 (LxWxD) to grow out.
 

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