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What's a good SMALL bottom feeder fish...

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Laughncat

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Hey, all.

I have a five gallon hex aquaruim and I was thinking about adding a bottom feeder fish to it. I know corys are out (darn that whole shoaling fish thing! and they're so cute too!) and as we all know (or has at least has been posted over and over in this forum) plecos are apparently one step away from devil spawn. :X Most loaches that I've read about (or at least the most popular ones) are all too big. In fact, is seems most bottom feeders are to large for a five gallon. Does anyone know of any bottom feeders that will fit in my tank? And AREN'T schooling fish? OR hungry for the flesh of their tankmates (Although I have noticed that guppies are real pigs at meal time...wonder if they taste like pork...?).
 

Lithril

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Its only the common pleco that grows huge, bristlenose plecos (ancistrus) only grow up to a max of about 6". Your other option is to get a nice apple snail in there these are quite big and won't multiply like their smaller brethren.
 
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Laughncat

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Your other option is to get a nice apple snail in there these are quite big and won't multiply like their smaller brethren
Thanks, but I'd prefer to avoid a snail if possible. The big one's are cute, but I was hoping for something that thinks that moving around the tank is going faster then an inch an hour :p Besides, I've already got a bunch of his smaller brethern occupying the five gallon. the fact that the guppies seem to like snail eggs is probably the only thing keeping the wee snails in check.
 

yhbae

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Why can't you consider cories? Perhaps you can get 3 panda cories which stays very small (1.5 inches or less). I don't think that adds much bioload - MUCH less than a single bristlenose or even any loaches. (May be with an exception of kuhuli loaches).
 

Alien Anna

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Lithril said:
As far as I'm aware of chain loaches don't grow very big at all. Personally I'd still go for an ancistrus
Chain loaches are small but they are schooling fish and need perfect water quality conditions (unlikely in such a small tank) and good oxygenation.

Personally, I don't think anything more than a single betta or a pair of small puffers would be suitable for a 5 gal hex. It hasn't even the surface area of a standard 5 gallon and I only use my 5 gallon as a hospital tank.
 

Nik

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I'd go with YBae's suggestion of a couple of Kuhli Loaches.

They're great fun to look out for and seem to do a good scavenger role in some of my tanks.

They don't get too big and are definitely not equipped to do any damage to other residents.
 

ryan

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Nik said:
I'd go with YBae's suggestion of a couple of Kuhli Loaches.

They're great fun to look out for and seem to do a good scavenger role in some of my tanks.

They don't get too big and are definitely not equipped to do any damage to other residents.
sounds perfect for your tank. they are great little characters
 

Moe

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How about ghost shrimp. They will eat anything that falls to the bottom of the tank. They are really interesting and don't count in the inch per gallon.
 

Morrgan

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I agree with Alien Anna. 5 gal is just too small, there's no point trying to squeeze too many fish in it.
 

MAM

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depends on what else you wanted to go in there, but three panda cories (3 is a nice number for cories) would work. as said, they dont get much bigger than an inch, they are active and dart around the tank a lot and are fun to watch. you could still fit one or two other smaller fish in there then...... :D
 

Lithril

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AA do you chain loaches keep the snail population under control? Toying with the idea of getting some for my 10 gal tank once I've moved some of the current inhabitants?
 

Alien Anna

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Lithril said:
AA do you chain loaches keep the snail population under control? Toying with the idea of getting some for my 10 gal tank once I've moved some of the current inhabitants?
Yes, my chain loaches (pygmy botias) are fantastic for snail clearance. It was the major reason I got them, actually. But they don't touch my large golden apple snails.

The main downside with them is that they are quite rare and therefore expensive and difficult to get hold of. They are also rather delicate and don't transport well, although I discovered that whamming them straight in the tank, without floating them in the bag, turned out to be more successful than a slow introduction.

The other thing that Monty from Trimar warned me is that a lot of dealers are selling fish they call Botia sidthimunki (chain loaches), but that are actually juveniles of other species. Unfortunately, this is also true of many websites that show photographs or give details of the wrong species, so you could unintentionally buy something that grows much larger and is much more pugnacious than chain loaches.
 
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