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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi guys, first question here. I just setup a Fluval Spev V planted tank, and it's time to put some fish in. I am totally new to this hobby, so my questions might sound stupid, please forgive me.

My idea is two oto cats, plus some very small but colorful fish (like 10 or so). Is my tank too small for this? Would it be possible to also put two shrimp in?

Thanks
 

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hi guys, first question here. I just setup a Fluval Spev V planted tank, and it's time to put some fish in. I am totally new to this hobby, so my questions might sound stupid, please forgive me.

My idea is two oto cats, plus some very small but colorful fish (like 10 or so). Is my tank too small for this? Would it be possible to also put two shrimp in?

Thanks
12 fish and 2 shrimp in a 5 gallon tank isn't exactly a good idea, how would you feel living in such a small area.... maybe 4-5 small fish would be better, or just make it a shrimp only tank. You don't really have many options with a 5 gallon tank.... guppies, platys, mollies,or maybe a few tetras are options, anything small but not 12 of them. As mentioned, I'd just make it a shrimp tank, you'll get a lot more pleasure out of it
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. Is there anything special about shrimp? I mean, the substrate I used is not for shrimp but do notice some substrate that's for shrimp. Will that make a difference?
 

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Thanks. Is there anything special about shrimp? I mean, the substrate I used is not for shrimp but do notice some substrate that's for shrimp. Will that make a difference?
check out www.shrimpfever.com and see how expensive some shrimp can be...I'm personally not a shrimp fan lol but thats more so because I couldn't be bothered to check the GH/KH for them & all other requirements. I'm pretty sure shrimp fever is run by guys here on the forum but I could be wrong.

anyway, if shrimp aren't your thing then look into small species of fish that stay small. unless you have plans for future upgrading ;)
 

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Cherry shrimps would do well in a 5 gallon tank.

You can also try chili rasboras. I would not recommend otos, as they're sensitive fish and require much bigger tanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I always thought that oto cats are algea eaters, am I right? If that's not the case, what kind of algea eater should I buy then?
 

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I always that oto cats are algea eaters, am I right? If that's not the case, what kind of algea eater should I buy then?
Otos are algae eaters, but they're also sensitive fish that should not be housed in small tanks.

Cherry shrimps will munch on algae, but the key to keeping algae down is by creating a balanced environment for your plants. Since you are looking to start a planted tank, I would recommend you do some research on that topic. If your plants are doing well, then you won't have algae problems.
 

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Otos are algae eaters, but they're also sensitive fish that should not be housed in small tanks.

Cherry shrimps will munch on algae, but the key to keeping algae down is by creating a balanced environment for your plants. Since you are looking to start a planted tank, I would recommend you do some research on that topic. If your plants are doing well, then you won't have algae problems.
As Solarz mentioned...The key to keeping down algae is having a balanced environment, thats everything from water quality, lights, nutrients, co2, etc. I would assume since you're just starting that this will be a low tech tank meaning no co2 and no high light and no dosing or just occasional dosing. Just get yourself some low tech plants & a few small fish & you'll be okay. You have to decide whether you have plans to get a larger tank in the future to house the fish in or if you want to keep the same tank forever with small fish.

It's all about balance in a planted tank, balance = minimal/no algae

If you want shrimp that will eat algae then look at Amano shrimp, although they are quite large and not exactly pretty in comparison to a CRS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes, it's a Fluval Spec V, 5.6 gallon, with stocking LED light, no CO2 but does have a air pump. I already got plants in the tank, though. I don't know the name of the plants, but one of them should be green cobomba. I was looking at CO2 booster and plant supplements, but basically, I am not sure if or when I need them or how much.

I might get a bigger tank next year, if I can do well with this one.

From what all of you wrote, I guess I will go with either chili rasbora or amano/cherry shrimps (can I put them together in my tank?). It also depends on what they have in stock in petsmart.

Thanks again, you guys are wonderful!
 

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If there is space, you could have Amano and cherry shrimps in the same tank if you choose to. Amanos generally are peaceful, but being larger, they will eat smaller shrimp, particularly baby shrimp, if they find any. I can attest to that personally. Amanos also can't have baby shrimp in your tank, as they have larvae that require brackish water for a month to morph their larvae.

If you do decide to mix them, it helps to provide many small hiding places. Plants are great for that, but so are rocks and wood pieces, you can use smaller ones for a small tank.

You might like to get another colour of small shrimp instead. Most shrimp eat some algae, though not all of them are algae specialists. For example, with Cherry shrimp, you could also have Babaulti shrimp, as they can't cross breed with Neos. They come in green and several other colours. Or perhaps Orange Bee shrimp, which are not a true Bee shrimp but Caridina propinqua, aka Sunkist shrimp. They also can't cross breed, and also have larvae instead of baby lookalikes, needing brackish water for their larvae to be able to survive and morph to the shrimp form.

But they can provide a charming colour contrast, with cherries or any of the other Neocaridina shrimp colour forms.. including yellows, blues and even chocolates. Yellow shrimp can often be had for not a whole lot more than cherries. There is also a dwarf type of fan shrimp.. Atyopsis spinipes, comes in a few colour shadings, wild form and one called Golden Fan, that resembles a tiny Bamboo or Flower shrimp. They prefer some current to feed in, as they filter food with the fans on their front legs, but unlike the larger filter shrimp, they seem fairly content feeding from the bottom as well. But best to have at least some current and fun to watch them wave their fans and then wipe them across their mouth to get the food bits off the fan bristles.

You should know Cherry shrimp come in several colour grades. The wild form is nearly colourless, brownish mainly. The higher the grade.. ie: the redder the shrimp, the more it will cost. Fire red, Painted Fire Red and Bloody Mary are names for colour grades in cherry shrimps. Tommy at Shrimpfever can tell you everything you ever wanted to know about shrimp, and is a really nice guy too.

The issue with Otos, other than tank size, is that they are obligate algae eaters. The Germans call their diet 'Aufwuchs', meaning the layers of soft algae growing on underwater surfaces plus the tiny animals that live in this algae layer. In tanks it's very hard to provide this diet, and the fish end up living mainly off biofilm. A new tank won't have enough biofilm, it can take up to six months to have enough of it.

And Otos are a lot like cows, in that they use gut bacteria to digest the cellulose in that algae. They're wild caught, and while being held and shipped, they are not fed. This causes the gut bacterial populations to die off, not unlike what happens to humans if we have to take antibiotics. But the fish end up in a store tank where there is no food they recognize, and even if they are willing to eat algae tabs, which many are not, they won't have the bacteria to digest it for weeks or months.

If you get a larger tank and want Otos, best to buy them only after they have been in the store for a minimum of one week, and 2 or 3 is better. By then, the weakest have died off, leaving the strongest ones. If they survive about two months in your tank, chances are they'll live for many, many years. But many do not live two months, some not even two weeks. Four to six weeks seems to be the most critical time for them once you get them home.

I've been growing algae on marble chips for the Otos I have. It takes a LOT of chips to keep them happy, they can clean one off in a few hours. I keep the chips in a jar of tank water in my sunniest window, and outside in summer. Snails also appreciate this algae and there will be competition for it if you have snails as well as Otos.

Having something in a tank that will eat algae is not always a necessity. First find out if you have an algae problem, before you assume you must have an algae eater. Many algae issues are either self limiting or related to lighting or feeding of the tank and can be corrected. And snails of several kinds can actually be better at keeping tank walls clean than many shrimp or fish are.

If you really want some fish moving around, especially in the upper part of the water column, there are some pretty nano size fish that will be content with five or so fish to swim with. Chili rasboras, though they can be very shy; Celestial Pearl Danios; Daisy rice fish also are very pretty, though their colours are a bit more subtle and easier to appreciate closer up. Of the three, I think the chilis are the most likely to stay in the upper waters. CPDS seem to like mid water levels best, and I haven't have Rice fish long enough to really tell if they have a preference for one level over another, but in the store tanks they are usually in the upper half to two thirds of the tank.

With CPDs, you're best off with groups with roughly 3 females to one male. Both have colour, but males are darker blue, females paler blue. Sometimes people want all males because of the colour, but it's hard on the boys if you do that. Males will spar with one another if there's more than one of them, so dense plantings or decor help break up sight lines to reduce stress between competing males.

With any fish that school or shoal, I try to have groups with approximately one male to 2 or 3 females unless it's known some other ratio works better, such as pairs only. I think the fish are better off for it, and you will see more of their natural behaviours. In tanks with more space, where you can have more than one group, you also get to see the interactions between males and females, especially with fish that are a bit more territorial.
 

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Definitely check out Shrimp Fever. It's a store in Markham that specializes in pet shrimp!

I would recommend amano and cherry shrimp. I have had great success with both in the past and I haven't done anything special.

Is your Fluval Spec cycled? Did you either seed the biological media from another cycled aquarium, or run the Fluval Spec for about a month with liquid ammonia to get it cycled? If you haven't yet, you have to do this before adding fish/shrimp, etc. The easiest thing to do if you haven't cycled your tank is make a post in the forum asking for a decent amount of well established biological media. Somebody will help you. I did the same thing a while back and somebody helped me out.

Have fun!
 

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Planted nanos are the best! I've had some for years and they actually require the least maintenance :p two cups water out, two cups water in :p
No bucket carrying, no python tubing everywhere :D, however the balance is important, I usually slacked off with ferts, but you will need them depending on plant choices and when a nano goes to s*** - it goes fast.
You can consider livestock depending on style, a group or solo/pair.
I've kept Otos, Pygmy Corys, CPDs, chilis, and almost every type of shrimp.
What I see from all the other posters - I find Otos to be perfect for nanos, had them in almost very nano at one point, and they seem to be fine and happy in every one - of course the death toll on initial Otos aren't due to size of aquarium or even stability - some just die.
What I'm gonna do for my next nano will be dwarf cichlids or peacock gudgeons, keep em in a pair or trio and keep it like that, they'd be more interesting too.
What I'd personally suggest:
-2 dwarf oddballs or 5-6 tiny rasboras(CPDs) or tetras(ember)
-2-3 Otos
-2-3 amanos or 5-6 cherries
 

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baishui;409017. said:
From what all of you wrote, I guess I will go with either chili rasbora or amano/cherry shrimps (can I put them together in my tank?). It also depends on what they have in stock in petsmart.

Thanks again, you guys are wonderful!
I suggest going to Kim's nature at 48 and major Mac instead of petsmart. It's just down the street and has a larger selection of fish, plants and shrimp to choose from and Kim is a super nice lady. I always prefer supporting small family run business opposed to big chain stores
 

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Also, you can find some very cheap shrimp if you keep an eye on the forums, and cherry shrimp are very likely to do well with little work on your part. For my part I LOVE having shrimp in my tanks. And shrimp stratum is only for very sensitive shrimp, like higher grade CRS. it's main function is to increase acidity in the water.

For fishies in such a small tank you probably won't want more than 4 or 5 small fish, max. Not if you want them to survive! Neons maybe, small rasboras, celestial pearl danios, micro-rasboras, enders livebearers, guppies. Research is the key to great ideas.

EDIT: ok so once again I missed the whole second page of replies : p
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Thank you all, guys! I picked up 1 black fancy guppy and 4 neon tetra on Friday night from Petsmart. They don't have any of the ones you guys recommended, like chili rasboras, red cherry shrimp :( So I just picked myself.

The black guppy looks so beautiful in their tanks (together with other red guppies), but I think I should bought a red one instead, might looks better in a picture. One of the neon tetra was hiding behind a plant/under the fake wood almost all weekend. Is he just shy or is it something I should worry about?

The guy at petsmart told me my stock light is not enough for the plants, would it help if I turn in on longer if that's the case?

Another question is about those dead leaf in tank. I moved the plant once when I setup the tank and I believe I hurt the root of some plants. As a result, I can see some deal/melted leaf in the tank. Does it matter if I move them out or not? I mean, other than looking better.

I need to have more patient and wait for guys' comment before I go to petsmart. The good news is, a friend will give me another tank probably this week. Then, I can check out some local pet stores and do a better job.

And finally, my tank! Any comment is welcome, and appreciated (I will put the photo in next reply).
 
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