I often see people asking questions about setting up a fish tank or a gallon. Fish require a hell lot of care and attention; accurate room temperature, the right amount of sunlight, right place, proper light, feeding, cleaning, oxygen flow, what fish to keep and what not to are the things to keep in mind before setting a fish tank.
Keeping a fish is not easy; it takes a lot of efforts. They are extremely sensitive to everything. A little change in their temperature or environment can be the reason of their death. In fact, over-eating can also kill them. Like us, every fish has a different nature and different behavior. Some fish are quiet and harmless, while some are dangerous and can eat others, some are shy and some are not. The aqua life bears many different kinds of fish.
A 5-gallon tank is the smallest size aquarium, but it has enough space to accommodate small fish. Small tanks are easily manageable as compared to the larger ones. It is easier to clean and stock.
There are few things one should note before stocking up a 5-gallon tank.
1. Some fish live in hard water while some live in soft water, it is essential to know which is which and who is who.
2. Hard water and soft water fish cannot live together.
3. Stay easy with the decoration; you wouldn’t want your aquarium to look clustered. Live plants are a good option unless they harm your fish. Small decoratives make your aquarium look bigger (remember 5-gallon is not a big size). Decorations are really important; it helps your fish to hide from bullies in water.
4. Fish produce a lot of waste. Your aquarium should have enough water to rule that out.
5. Research and choose your fish carefully. Don’t trust the fish store guy completely. A little knowledge beforehand is always a savior.
6. Set the water temperature of the tank accordingly. You wouldn’t want to kill your fish in relatively high or low temperature.
7. Do not over feed. A tiny fish needs one or two balls of fish food in a day.
8. Regularly check for diseases. Look for signs. Clean your aquarium regularly. Do not use soap to clean it.
9. Add a filter if required. Hard water fish do not require filters.
10. Do not get attached. Yes, this is a personal experience. A fish can die out of shock. Sometimes it is hard to figure out the reason of their death. Hence, it is advisable not to get attached.
Choosing Your Fish
It is not hard to choose the right fish for your aquarium once you understand the behavior of different fish. Like I said, understand which is which, who is who.
Mollies are one of my most favorites. They are the tropical fish and prefer a little salt in the water. They can survive without a filter, but they do much better in an over-filtered tank. A five-gallon tank can hold four to five mollies. The only problem with them is that they breed a lot, and can eat their babies.
Bettas are beautifully colored small fish that can house in a 5-gallon tank. Bettas tend to kill another male in the tank, but females do fine together. They don’t survive with bigger fish and might eat any fish small than its mouth. They require intensive care with proper heater and filter.
3. Neon Tetra
Neon tetras are one hell of adorable fish with bright neon stripes. They live in fresh water and are suitable or a 5-gallon tank. Tetras don’t like to be alone they can survive with other fish.
Guppies have a very fancy colorful tail. They are beautiful to watch and can live with other tank mates. Their behavior is similar to mollies and can eat their babies after birth. It might seem cruel, but it is good to separate the fry after birth.
Platys are best for freshwater fish beginners. They are easy to look after and accept most fish food.
Barbs are often aggressive in numbers less than five. Small barbs are the best schooling fish. They live in freshwater and are tolerant of any water conditions.
7. Dwarf Puffer
Dwarf puffers are small fish known to puff themselves like a ball when taken out of the water. Unlike other puffers, dwarf puffers are very small and can grow only an inch long. They cannot survive with other fish and can eat any fish small than its mouth.
Gouramis are very delightful fish and are easy to look after. They are friendly and can dwell with any non-aggressive tank mates.
Danios are another schooling fish which are also freshwater fish. They are hardy fish as they are tolerant to a wide range of water conditions.