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Old 02-11-2013, 07:37 AM   #1
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i have 5 fish in a 1 gallon, too much?

Hey guys I have

2 platys, 2 ghost shrimp and a sucker/cleaner fish in a walmart "starter" gallon tank that I had established the other day

as a impulse buy

I also threw a real plant in there for some reason

the guy at walmart said that I have a lot of fish for the gallon....

question 1:
Is that true? I know walmart isn't the greatest place to get aquariaum advice

question 2:
Upgrading to a 5 gallon fluval chi from petsmart a good idea?

question 3:
if I upgrade to the fluval chi can I stick a moss ball in it? (they look awesome)

I know pretty much nothing about fish
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:49 AM   #2
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Welcome!! Yea, that is waaaay too much for a 1g. Your sucker fish can get to be up to 2 feet (depending on type of pleco) when full grown, most people recommend 125g for a full grown plec, I believe. A lot of people use the rule of an inch of fish per gallon of water, and with the platys that you have you are going to need a heater and a filter at least....
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:52 AM   #3
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oh boy. The Walmart worker is correct, that is horribly over stocked. 5 gallons isn't enough either. Do you know what type of "sucker" it is? There are tons of different types and they all grow to different sizes and have different needs.

Hard to tell in the picture but it looks like a pleco, if it's a common pleco you should probably return him. They grow huge, over a foot long and need very large tanks(like 75 gallons or more) and create a lot of waste.

For the 2 platy and the shrimp I would get at least a 10 gallon. If you can manage a 15 that would be even better. You need a tank with an actual filter and heater and you need to cycle your tank and get a test kit for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and PH.

1 gallon is really not appropriate for much of anything, especially when not filtered. You need to get something else ASAP and until then you should do daily water changes with a good water conditioner to help control the waste in that bowl.

In the meantime I would suggest you start reading through the articles section of these site, tons of great info in there and research on the fish you have and what they need. Before you make any other impulse purchases you should be sure to research, it's a very important tool and will save yourself a lot of head aches if you really want to keep fish.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:53 AM   #4
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I am new to hobby as well so I am sure others will chime in who have fantastic experience but I have been devouring books and researching a ton. What I can tell you is a bowl has no filtration and 0 swimming area for these guys. Platys need space to swim and are big poopers so in my new humble opinion they won't last long in a bowl. I believe I read that platys require a min of a 20 gallon with a heater and filter because water temp should be between 70 and 80. They are live bearers as well so you might have fry trying to survive in there eventually.

Bottom line is I was told a goldfish will only live a few months in a bowl as well and they are a cold water fish.

Hope it helps.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:55 AM   #5
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The inch per gallon rule isn't very accurate either. It's sort of old and dated. It has some big flaws though, like not taking in important info like the mature size of the fish, activity level, temperament and other such info. It's an ok tool for some fish but overall it's not very reliable.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:02 AM   #6
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I don't think I have room to run a 10 or 20 gallon, I was told that the shrimp help clean waste off of gravel and do not increase the min. water req

I was also told the that the pleco would consume algae off of the side of my tank and only required .5 gal

and by told I mean "read off of the walmart price tag"

will the pleco be stunted growth wise I just want him there to prolong needing to change the water out every week with messy fish

is there anything I can do with a fluval chi? that's honestly about as big as I want to get with an aquarium

I live in California do I still need a heater?
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:02 AM   #7
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Red face Awe, shucks, dated again!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tamtam View Post
The inch per gallon rule isn't very accurate either. It's sort of old and dated. It has some big flaws though, like not taking in important info like the mature size of the fish, activity level, temperament and other such info. It's an ok tool for some fish but overall it's not very reliable.
It was just an example to kind of plant an image of only being able to keep an inch of fish
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 951socal View Post
I don't think I have room to run a 10 or 20 gallon, I was told that the shrimp help clean waste off of gravel and do not increase the min. water req

I was also told the that the pleco would consume algae off of the side of my tank and only required .5 gal

and by told I mean "read off of the walmart price tag"

will the pleco be stunted growth wise I just want him there to prolong needing to change the water out every week with messy fish

is there anything I can do with a fluval chi? that's honestly about as big as I want to get with an aquarium

I live in California do I still need a heater?
shrimp will clean up some waste but they won't eat poop, they will mostly just clean up left over food.

Plecos do eat algae but not enough to really off set the waste the waste they produce and they need more than just the algae a tank will produce, they need waffers or other options to feed them A snail is a better bet if you are looking for algae control and low bioload. Though really wiping it off the side of the tank is just as good. It's harmless and my fish actually like to eat it themselves.

Honestly, I don't say this to be rude, there isn't a nice way to say it though, stunting isn't really a worry.. your fish won't survive long in that bowl. They need a filter and they need a heater and a lot more room. Weekly changes are the requirement for a properly stocked tank of a proper size. Your bowl is really going to need you to change water every day, maybe more, if you want them to survive.

You could work with the 5 gallon. It may not be as exciting as you hope it to be as it really doesn't give a ton of room. You could happily do a betta(male or female) and try some shrimp in there. He may try to eat the shrimp but it's worth a shot, a snail or two is an option as well.

The important thing is that you have a filter and a heater and do your research first. Pick your tank size and then research what is suitable for it and get a test kit! You can get a master kit for about 30 bucks usually and it is very important to help kepe you aware of what is happening in your tank as far as toxins go. Those tags and pet store advice are rarely correct and following them will often get you into a lot of trouble. As mention plecos average a foot or more in length but can reach 2 feet if given the space. Keeping it in something .5 gallons juts isn't even an option. It would die within days.

I never did mention about the plants though. You can keep them in any size tank, the important thing is to be sure you have enough light to support them. Most lights that come with kits aren't strong enough and the plant will often die. Keep an eye out for that with your current plant because it will add to you toxin levels.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktomminello View Post
It was just an example to kind of plant an image of only being able to keep an inch of fish
I get that but a bowl isn't suitable for anything really. Even if he stick a single neon in there isn't not appropriate. though by the 1 inch rule it should work. It's got no filter, no heater, doesn't give the swimming space and it doesn't allow for the school that it needs. I think the inch per gallon rule often confuses people more than it helps them in reality.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:12 AM   #10
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I have both a 10 gallon tank and a fluval chi and the space taken up by the 2 of them is not very different. The 10 gallon is a few inches wider and would handle the platys and shrimp much easier than the chi. The chi is a lot more maintenance due to the rapid evaporation rate. You will also spend less on a 10 gallon tank kit than you will on the chi. The difference can be spent on gravel (or sand), a heater, more plants, etc. I second the opinion on returning the pleco or finding somebody with a big tank to take him.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:29 AM   #11
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tam tam- you're gonna hate me- I have half gallon glass decorative bowls, several gallon plant vases etc for decor with a feature betta..... I'm a betta collector....
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:33 AM   #12
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Hi and welcome! Unfortunately you were given bad advice at the store (it happens to most of us). I'd upgrade to a 10 gal at least, that would let you keep the platys and the shrimp but you'll have to return the catfish. Until then, do 50% water changes daily with dechlorinator. Here's a link that explains cycling and general aquarium care: Guide to Starting a Freshwater Aquarium - Aquarium Advice
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:56 AM   #13
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Hello peeps,

I agree with a lot of what has been said. The most important thing to do at this very moment is to return the fish. Walmart will take back anything so do not hesitate to return live animals.

By the way, I was under the impression that Walmart was slowly phasing out of the sale of ornamental fish? All the Walmarts in my area stopped selling fish about 5 years ago.

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Old 02-11-2013, 02:25 PM   #14
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I'm a newbie as well, and the three thing that have helped me the most:
1. Take everything you're told with a grain of salt. Chain stores do not train their floor employees in the information needed for a tank. I was told by petco's "fish expert" that a tank only needs to cycle for 3 days (!!!!!). Even on here or in small mom n pop lfs, ALWAYS do
2. RESEARCH. Then research again. And then a little more. Compare what you find in your head, or on paper. Does it corroborate with each other? The more RELIABLE websites have info in common, the more likely it's true.
3. While it exaggerates min tank size a bit, aqua advisor is very good for comparing fish for compatibility in a community tank, and will give you a percent of how stocked your tank is (more suggestion than anything, but a good tool to estimate). Then when you find what you like, you can go back to #2 and do more research on them.
I'm in the middle of cycling my first tank, and the things I have been told on this forum is 100% more helpful than what petco told me, and is a good place to start your search and get inspiration.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:40 PM   #15
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No matter what size tank you get, you will have to do regular maintenance ie: water changes. There is no getting around that. If you are not up for that, you should reconsider fish as a pet. Good luck to you.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:58 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Hholly View Post
No matter what size tank you get, you will have to do regular maintenance ie: water changes. There is no getting around that. If you are not up for that, you should reconsider fish as a pet. Good luck to you.
Thank you!! My decorative mini aquascapes are made daily and water is changed 2X a day with those set ups- oh, and I do use a heater I'm willing to empty and refill a small bowl with a baby betta underneath a peace lily or similar bulb type plants 2-3 times a day, easier than changing my bigger tanks!!
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:04 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by ktomminello View Post

Thank you!! My decorative mini aquascapes are made daily and water is changed 2X a day with those set ups- oh, and I do use a heater I'm willing to empty and refill a small bowl with a baby betta underneath a peace lily or similar bulb type plants 2-3 times a day, easier than changing my bigger tanks!!
That's good. I was referring to the OP stating that the pleco was to prolong time between water changes.
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Old 06-08-2013, 07:00 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 951socal View Post
Hey guys I have

2 platys, 2 ghost shrimp and a sucker/cleaner fish in a walmart "starter" gallon tank that I had established the other day

as a impulse buy

I also threw a real plant in there for some reason

the guy at walmart said that I have a lot of fish for the gallon....

question 1:
Is that true? I know walmart isn't the greatest place to get aquariaum advice

question 2:
Upgrading to a 5 gallon fluval chi from petsmart a good idea?

question 3:
if I upgrade to the fluval chi can I stick a moss ball in it? (they look awesome)

I know pretty much nothing about fish
Do reasearch like how to cycle an aquarium and all the important things and don't get a 5 gallon get a 10-30 gallon , and what type of "sucker/cleaner" fish is it ? If its a pleco than you should get a 30-100 gallon depending on what type it is.
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Old 06-08-2013, 07:06 AM   #19
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Get atleast a 20gallon for that amout of fish , 1 gallon is waaay to small :/
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Old 06-08-2013, 04:09 PM   #20
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if you can't provide the proper space for your pleco (which you can't because you don't even want a 10g tank) you'll have to adopt him out to somebody with the appropriate living conditions for him/her! craigslist and aquarium clubs are good places to adopt fish out... you could probably even sell him to somebody on this website!

you really need a 10g... just think would you rather live in a closet or a whole house? you should also think about how the space you put your fish in is their ENTIRE world, they can't leave the confines of the tank!! I think you can spare a few inches of your space to give the fish a bigger world... and if you aren't willing to do that, then you need to do the responsible thing and rehome all of your fish to people who are willing go meet there requirements!
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