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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I pick up a 5 and 10 gallon tanks, with heater, lids, lights, filters, heaters, and all of that tomorrow for $25 dollars.
The lady was just tired of having fish tanks so I got an awesome deal!
Any ideas for my 10?! Or 5?​
 

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use the 5 as a sump for the 10

hahahah jk theres tons to do but thats just what i would do hahha
 

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why dont you get some guppies and swords and some cories as well for the 10 gallon

and the 5 gallon why dont u try to put up a betta sorority
 

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Do you want to do freshwater or saltwater? For saltwater, pistol shrimp/goby pairs are just great to watch, especially if they are the featured critters in a small tank. If freshwater, definitely do something with corys; they're too much fun.
 

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I would recommend holding off on making either of them a SW tank until you have your 20 up and running and got a little experience under your belt. Nanos are really a tank intended more for the experienced reefer than the novice taking a first stab at it. This is not to imply that it cant be done by someone new to the hobby, its just a lot more challenging.

In these small tanks there isnt a lot of room for error when it comes to water parameters. Loosing as little as a quart of water from evaporation while your at work all day can have a profound effect on the Specific Gravity of the tank. Additionally should your water parameters take a dive, in a tank this small you will have very little precious time to catch it and stop the train wreck in progress from happening and avert a "tank crash".

"Hold short of the active" for a while and pl;ay around with your 20 for a while and save the 10 and the 5 for later projects of special interest to you. There are some pretty amazing things that you can do with both of these tanks, especially coral wise! In fact it was a 2.5 gallon Pico Reef that got me to ditch most of my much larger lanks in favor of these little jewels of a reef tank. As ladyonyx mentioned these tanks would be perfect for a Pistol Shrimp/Goby pair and would make for a stunning display!!!

I have several small tanks like this going at the moment, one of which is a 10 gallon currently going thru and Upgrade to a SPS coral reef, that I used as a feature tank in a article I wrote at another forum. Its a really good although lengthy read thats well worth your time. Its in a tank diary format and was intended to show how cheap and how easy it was to "A" not only do a reef tank, but "B" do it cheaply using "old school" basic husbandry skills and didnt use any trick of the week equipment. It started as a soft coral only tank, was up graded a bit and housed some LPS corals and is currently being upgraded to take on the challange of SPS corals over the next couple of months. PM me and I will provide you a link as I dont want to post the link here out of respect for the forum rules here, nor do I want to post the thread here due to copy write issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm thinking that I'm going to make one for my Betta, I'm going to use the 5 gal for him. Then the 10 I'm thinking about just a freshwater, I'm not sure, I think I might hold off on it, I don't know I'll keep it in mind, I wouldn't mind having shrimp in it, it would be fun and I like to watch them for some reason? Though I will keep your thoughts in mind!
 

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Oh Dach is the big expert there! I'll ask him to come on and tell you all about them ( unless someone wants to jump in here?? :D )

They live in shells ( obviously haha ) and they are great parents. They protect their fry very well. I have seen them defend against "invading" fish and kind of push their kids back into the shell sometimes.

The one Dach has are light with stripes.. the great thing is that you can keep a nice sized community of them in the 10 gallon. ( at least Dach's for sure I know you can. )

They also dig and clean out the shells they like and then bury the ones they don't so if you get beautiful shells and they cover them up you should probably feel insulted lol *r2

I don't know about anyone else out there but I myself am very content to watch them digging and swimming and taking care of fry all day long!

Dach told me he would give me an established pair for my 5 Gallon later, so I am waiting patiently on that!! For now I'm just content to watch my own fish.. :dont_tap_the_glass:
 

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If your into SW oddities...A Peacock Mantis Shrimp is a pretty common thing for 5 or 10 gallon set ups. Teh 5 gallon tank is a bit small for them though. A 30 gallon tank is recommended by many sources as a minimum tank size but I have found this to not be quiet true as I have seen a number of them kept in much smaller tanks long term without negative results. These shrimp get to be about about 6 inches in length and can pretty interesting critters to keep. They are very vividly colored too. Feeding them with a feeding stick is pretty cool too.
 

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First 5 gallons is not big enough for a betta sorority. I do not know why people insist on sorority tanks for them and then make them so small that they will kill each other right off. Betta females are every bit as territorial if not more so than the males are but if they are in a LARGE tank like a 50 gallon or so they might just make it. (with plants and caves and lots of hiding places all over) But they need room to move and get away from each other as they fight to determine their pecking order and if you have them cramped they will fight until all but one is dead.

BUT that said, 5 gallons for a male is great with a couple of otos for tank mates. It is not big enough for anything else. Cories do not belong in a 10 gallon either. You need at least 3 and unless you are going to put 3 Cories in and have that be all you need a lot bigger tank than that.

The biggest mistake people make with smaller tanks is overstocking and then the maintenance becomes impossible and all the overfiltration in the world will not make your fish stay healthy. They simply need a certain amount of water to move in to stay that way. If they are rectangular tanks the general rule of thumb that I usually recommend is one inch of ADULT fish size for each gallon of tank size. Don't go by their size when you buy them check out how big they are going to get and do not listen to anyone you do not personally know can tell you the truth. (most pet store personnel are not good references)

Rose
 

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About mantis shrimp. They really are incredible creatures. Peacocks really do need the space after a while though. Something smaller than a 30g is fine while they're still growing, and I know it sounds silly that a "shrimp" needs 30g of water to be happy, but they really do move around a lot and like to hunt for their prey. One of the main reasons they need so much space is because of the bioload. They are messy eaters and often leave pieces of food in their burrows that really foul up your water. It's much easier to make sure your WQ stays nice when there is a larger volume of water; very important when you're dealing with crustaceans that are very sensitive to nitrate.

There are plenty of smaller mantis shrimp (stomatopod) species out there that are great for aquariums. There are two main kinds: spearers and smashers. Spearers have "slashing" arms that they use to hunt fish and other soft-bodied prey. Smashers have club-like claws that they use to break up the shells of snails, crabs, etc. They have AMAZING vision, quite possibly the best in the animal kingdom. They can have up to 16 different light sensing pigments in their eyes and have 12 different color receptors (as opposed to 3 in humans) and can see polarized, UV and far red light. The stike of the smashers is incredibly strong generating forces mant times their body weight. I wrote an article about them on Relocate titled The Science Behind Stomatopods if you's like to learn more about them. Really cool animals.

There are lots of mantis shrimp species that stay small and can live in little (10g or less) tanks. Check out this site by Dr. Roy Caldwell. He's one of the most well known stomatopod experts in the world. Roy's List of Stomatopods for the Aquarium
 

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The biggest mistake people make with smaller tanks is overstocking and then the maintenance becomes impossible and all the overfiltration in the world will not make your fish stay healthy.
Thanks for saying this, as its not said often enough. It is far more of a truth in SW tanks.

Peacocks really do need the space after a while though. Something smaller than a 30g is fine while they're still growing, and I know it sounds silly that a "shrimp" needs 30g of water to be happy, but they really do move around a lot and like to hunt for their prey.
Thanks for some clarification on this. I didnt realize they really do need that much room as I have seen them pretty commonly in 10 gallons when smaller and in 20 gallon longs when larger and they seemed to be doing well enough. Just becuase its been done doesnt necessarily make it right. But I can certianly imagine that something bigger with a bit of a "hunting territory" would be a much welcomed and more comfortable habitat.
 

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20g longs are definitely better than regular 20g tanks, but I personally feel that a 6" peacock needs a 30g. They tend to get overly aggressive when their tanks are too small. They also like to burrow and definitely benefit from a 4-5" sandbed, something that is much easier to do in a bigger tank. Another common issue with peacocks in shallow tanks is that they are too close to bright light; these stomatopods are prone to shell rot that is often brought about by heavy exposure to light. Peacocks live in deeper water in the wild, and therefore are not evolutionarily adapted to high levels of irradiance.
They really are amazing animals to keep though. I have a Pseudosquilla ciliata in a 20g tank. She's a lime green smasher that eats saltwater acclimated mollys and shrimp. Endlessly fun to watch.
 

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P. ciliata is a spearer not smasher. I guess I couldn't stop thinking about peacocks!
 

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The rule of thumb in saltwater is to have about half the number of fish inches that you have in a freshwater too so yes, that statement is truer in Saltwater. In a 5 gallon tank you really could only safely have about 2.5 adult inches of fish and maintain it correctly and without a lot of trouble.

The problem with small tanks is the parameters of the water change so fast and a major problem can happen within a matter of hours where a larger tank will take days to reach the same levels. Evaporation and changes in osmotic conditions for the fish are so much more delicate the smaller you go.

Even in freshwater I have seen things go to a full disaster in a matter of no time and I cannot imagine the problems with a more complex water situation like saltwater or even sometimes brackish in the small tanks.

Rose
 
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