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Fish for 5.5 gallon?

3684 Views 22 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  trenac
I'm setting up a small tank for my office- 5.5 planted, with a heater, Fluval 1 internal filter, 18watts PC lighting. I *may* put a betta in it if I can get the permission of the current owner of the fish to take it into the office. What would be other good fish for that tank - with or without the betta in it? I'd like some little fish that would be peaceful and a little active but not need a lot of swimming room, if that exists!
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I would probably go with maybe 5-6 neon tetras, they are very active and colorful. a betta would be great, but they aren't as active as other fish.
A great active, colorful, hardie small fish is the male Endler. The only drawback is that they can be hard to find locally.

I would also suggest for a clean up crew a couple of Dwarf Corys and a couple of Amanos for algae cleanup.
All of the above suggestions are great. I've also heard of people having good luck with White Clouds in a tank that size.
The only snag there is that they like the water a little cooler than the others.
I myself was going to suggest White Clouds but decided against it, because IMO they need more room to swim about in then a 5G tank can offer because they are so very active and unless kept in schools can be aggressive. These fish can be kept in Cooler temps but also do fine in a 76-78 degree tank.

The above statement is from my experience with White Clouds, not to undermine what Jan contributed.
Nod, I have White Clouds in my 30g. Someone else had told me that they like more swimming room also.
I called my LFS that I trust to see if they had endlers, but they don't.
I'm nervous to try neons bc what I've read is that they can be prone to disease and/or fragile. I'm a beginner, so I'd like something pretty hardy.
I looked around more and was thinking about some zebra danios. I checked on ThatPetPlace and it said that they can go in a 5g tank. They would mix with the Betta too, if I get it.
The betta is one I bought for my boss's daughter who wound up getting two for her birthday. Poor thing lives in a bowl and doesn't get any filtration, heat or light.... I was hoping setting up a tank at work would be a good excuse to bring him to a planted tank where he could flop on some leaves! So, I'd like to set it up so it's in good shape whether he comes or not.....
the getting along with the betta depends on the bettas personality.
In my experience, zebra danios have the bad habit of nipping fins. This being the case, they may not really go well with a betta.
In a 5G tank I would not put Danios, unless keep in groups of 5-6 they will lash out at other fish. If you are going with the Betta I would make that my only fish, you can still add some Dwarf Corys fr clean-up. Another fish that you could try is a Dwarf Platy, Male Guppys would also work. I agree to stay away from Neons or any schooling fish for a 5G tank.
Otocinclus, amanos and a few small tetras of some sort.
I love dwarf gouramis for small tanks. Honey dwarfs are really cool, they don't need much space, and are even a labirynth fish that doesn't need great filtration/aeration. I have kept them even in bowls with a floating plant or two and they do great.
I agree about the WC's being too active for a smaller tank, that's why I've never done it myself. Same goes for the Z. Danios - very active fish.

On a last note, if you go with a Dwarf Gourami, it would probably be best to nix the Betta since I've heard they don't play well together. Again, that's just hearsay, but better safe than sorry. :)
I'm glad you all mentioned that about the danios- I was getting ready to settle on them. The betta I have in my 10g does terrify my oto... I had three in there, now I see only one regularly. Not sure if the others are still there, but the one is pale.....probably stressed and may have to be moved.
I love cories!! They would be neat in there...
I saw some cherry barbs today too.... are they nippy also?
Thanks for all the help!
In general, barbs are fin nippers. There are a few that aren't though. If I remember correctly, cherry barbs aren't known to be fin nippers.

As far as the gouramis go, I'd advise against it. Keeping the males of labyrinth fish together does become problematic with regard to aggression, especially in closed quarters.
Otos aren't very hardy and are very succeptable to water swings. Not suitable for anything under 10 gallons and really need 20. Schooling fish would need more swimming room as stated above. You could go with a pair of dwarf gouramis (female) or a betta, or some killies like panchax or golden wonders.
What would you put in a non-planted 5 gallon for eating algae then?


shrimps are perfect for aglae and small tanks.
I believe small gouramis (honey sized or smaller) would be fine. Neons will also be fine, and they'll do just great in cooler room temperatures as long as you don't let it get past about 68.

Heterandria formosa will also work. In fact, I'd recommend these most of all...they need very little room and they make the plants look huge.

maybe some killiefish? I would not suggest putting zebra danios, or barbs in a small tank or mixing them with a betta. I wouldn't mix a betta with Killies either. You might consider just a pair of cherry shrimp.
My all time favorite small fish is Hyphessobrycon amandae (Ember tetra). They dont get bigger than an 1" inch. They school real tight and are quite active. I think you could keep six or seven in there.
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