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5 years ago #1
leopard puffer lover
Gold Member
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How many neon tetras can i keep in a 5 gallon tank?

Posted on Tropical Fish
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5 years ago #2
achintya
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a school of 7-8 neon tetra...

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5 years ago #3
Randy Carey
Guest

Neon tetras expect to have more horizontal swimming room than a five gallon provides. You really should expand the tank to at least a 10, and best results with a 20-long or better.

That said... If you have only a 5-gallon and you must have neons in it, the key to success is aquascaping. The tank should have something rising into the mid-levels at two or more places -- this will provide a sense of security and interest to the fish. Plants are the best, but drift wood will work, too.

I would never have less than 5 neons in a display tank -- they crave being in a school and their beauty is in their schooling. (...also a reason for putting them into a tank with more horizontal room).

My new book, "Tetras and Barbs," discusses the common question of how many fish to put into a tank.

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5 years ago #4
johnarthur
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I would not try to keep neons in a five gallon tank. A slower moving fish would be more appropriate. In addition, small aquariums are more difficult to maintain than larger ones.

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5 years ago #5
Phil Saint
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i agree with john. although neons are small they like more space to school IME they do better in a tank that is longer than it is tall.

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5 years ago #6
wooex
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Like others i would recommend a bigger tank and longer than taller would be perfect!

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5 years ago #7
achintya
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ya,10 gallon tank tank is a minimum requirement for keeping neon tetra...

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3 years ago #8
FishLuverForever
Guest

I have to differ in the opinion that you can't keep Neon Tetra in anything less than a 10 gal. I had 3 in a 1.5 gallon for 6 months, and then upgraded to a 3 gallon with a snail, 2 more tetra and albino sucker-fish.

They are happy, their water is healthy, and they even lay eggs sometimes (though I remove them to more or less "crowd control&quot.

I also keep 2 decor items for them to hide in/feel safe in, and a moss ball which helps regulate the water. I use a simple whisper filter and LED light.

So I have a successful thriving tank with 3 gallons, 5 tetra, a sucker-fish (small), and snail. Everyone says oh that breaks the 1"-1gal rule, but each fish is different and that rule doesn't always apply. I have now had my fish "Living and happy" for over 8 months in this 3 gallon.

*Note: I take EXCEPTIONALLY good care of my tank though. Even I will recommend making sure if you break the 1" per 1 Gal rule, you need to make sure you are taking very good care of the waters sanity/chemical levels and fish debris.

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3 years ago #9
johnarthur
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You have a very good point; over crowded aquariums require careful maintenance. Without exceptional care, over crowded aquariums can produce enough ammonia to overwhelm the nitrogen cycle and thus destroy the biological balance.

Inexperienced aquarists are usually well advised to keep a wide safety margin between the maximum, theoretical capacity of an aquarium and its actual biological load.

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3 years ago #10
jfrancis
Silver Member
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johnarthur wrote:
I would not try to keep neons in a five gallon tank. A slower moving fish would be more appropriate. In addition, small aquariums are more difficult to maintain than larger ones.


Hi John... My aquarium is 30x12x15 (lxbxh) and it converts to 23 gallon, is the calculation correct? What fish would you recommend for a 20 gallon tank... neons?
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2 years ago #11
7fish2snails
Fresh Member
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I've managed to keep 2 x-ray tetras and 3 rosie tetras in a 26 letre tank perfectly fine.

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2 years ago #12
MB44
Guest

I have a 5 Gallon tank with 12 Tetras, and 4 guppies....plus plants...v good water care...but they all seem to be happy 7 months and counting. I will get a bigger tank when can afford, but it seems to be working. What should I be looking for?

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2 years ago #13
gloman
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I would recommend no less than a 30 gallon for that many. Larger is almost always preferable. Try this website. It's a great resource for stocking and compatibility.

www.aqadvisor.com

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2 years ago #14
fish 5463
Guest

i have 3 neons 2 guppys 7 ghost shrimp is good for 5 gal 1 gal per inch

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2 years ago #15
fish 5463
Guest

sucker fish get huge 24 inch

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2 years ago #16
gloman
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Neon tetras are a schooling fish and do best in groups of 6 or more. Having too few of a schooling fish can stress them from feeling exposed and not having enough protection.

Guppies should be kept in male:female ratios of 1:2. They are prolific breeders, so two guppies will not remain at two for very long.

Having appropriate sized schools and proper sexing ratios helps to ensure that your pets thrive. By having these two elements, a 5 gallon tank is not large enough to support them healthily.

A 5 gallon tank is really best for a single, loner fish such as a betta, or possibly for some shrimp or a snail.

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2 years ago #17
Rapogi
Guest

I have 25 neons and 5 gold carp in my 5 gallon fish tank. Am I in trouble?

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2 years ago #18
thea
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YES.

How long has this been going on?

Your tank is unimagineably overstocked. Your carp's water needs are so large it does not belong in an indoor fish tank, s/he belong outside in a pond. In addition they are really messy fish, huge ammonia producers and have the potential, if given sufficient water, to grow several feet long and live for decades. (Even if your carp is a goldfish, which is slightly smaller, they can grow 12-18" long and need 20 gallons for the first goldfish and 10 more for each additional)

For more information about goldfish (which are a member of the carp family and I believe what your golden carp is)
http://www.myaquariumclub.com/goldfish-101- 11174823.html

To put this into perspective, your 5 goldfish realistically, when young, if in a tank, would need a minimum of 60 gallons of water!

Even if you removed your carp, your tetras have not place to swim they are so cramped.

Overstocking promotes aggression, disease and immensely high ammonia. Any amount of ammonia is toxic to fish, such a small volume of water cannot harbor sufficient bacteria to keep the ammonia at bay. Ammonia burns fishes' gills and then they can't breathe -- this is what is going to happen to your tetras.

You need to rectify your stocking ASAP or you will undoubtedly start suffering illnesses and deaths in your tank.

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2 years ago #19
arnabbar
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fish 5463 wrote:
sucker fish get huge 24 inch:)
no....sucker riches almost 12-18 inches
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2 years ago #20
Rapogi
Guest

Thanks for the info, I really have no background with having fish as a pet. Just this as a birthday present 2 weeks ago. By the way, I have 5 golden rosy barbs not gold cards. Sorry for the confusion.

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2 years ago #21
thea
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No problem about the confusion. It is an easy mistake to make ...they look very similar.

Unfortunately you are still very overstocked. The barbs would be fine by themselves in the tank or 10 of your tetras.

Really you either need a much bigger tank or 3 10 gallons or you need to return some oF your fish.

A 10 gallon tank is best as a single species tank.

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2 years ago #22
Rapogi
Guest

Much appreciated. Will probably leave the carps in the 5 gal tank then off to the aqua store tomorrow to look for a longer fish tank for the neons

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2 years ago #23
thea
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Are they carps or barbs? Please be sure. Google pictures and make sure. What were they sold to you as?

As barbs they are fine. As carps they are not....

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2 years ago #24
Rapogi
Guest

Definitely barbs, sorry again for the typo. Thanks anyways for the help!

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2 years ago #25
Mogsy the fish man
Guest

You can keep 6 to 10 neon tetras and maybe 3 or 4 shrimp.

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2 years ago #26
johnarthur
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Possible is not optimum. Every fish in the aquarium adds to the biological load, and when the load is near maximum, any safety margin goes away. In this circumstance, a small mistake can become a large disaster. This is especially true with a small aquarium.

Conversely, an aquarium with a less than its maximum biological load will have a reasonable margin for error. Thus, it can absorb small mistakes.

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2 years ago #27
Bob
Guest

I have got a 3 gallon tank with 5 neons in + a couple of small shrimp and they are all happy and healthy .

Is this ok ?

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2 years ago #28
gloman
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Hi!

A 3 gallon tank is really best suited to a single fish, such as a betta. A tank smaller than that is likely to not cycle properly. Having too large of a bioload in too small of a tank will allow for the rapid buildup of toxins. Also, fish need ample swimming area without being too closely packed. Too many fish will stress them just as most people become stressed in small rooms with "no elbow room."

When housing several fish in a small tank, it is important to closely monitor the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels, as well as keeping to a strict maintenance schedule.

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2 years ago #29
Sir Stealth
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I'm no sure but i know you need at least a 10 gallon for swimming room

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2 years ago #30
athena
Platinum Member
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@Sir Stealth

You do realize this question is 3 years old and whatever problems the poster has have likely been resolved. Look at the top right corner of a post to see its age. Thank you for being helpful but its not worthwhile answering a thread that is more than a week or two old.

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