Looking for ideas for a bottom level fish for 5 gallon...

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Aquarium Advice Apprentice
Apr 17, 2023
I know this can be quite the controversial topic for a lot of people, but....

I have a HEAVILY planted 5 gallon. Sponge/heater. Will get regular water changes and water tested multiple times a week. That said any interesting ideas on bottom dwelling fish?

I know corys could work in theory but they seem to enjoy at least 6 or so of their own kind so that wont work. Yes i could do shrimp theyre not off the table but eh...same with snails. Was thinking mexican dwarf crayfish? They appreciate cooloer water though and as its summer with AC running, temps can fluxuate a bit so not sure if that would be ok. But great if it is. Any other suggestions? Tankmates would be 4-6 chili rasboras.
The only fish i would recommend for a 5g would be a single betta. You might be able to keep a small number of other non social fish, for instance 2 or 3 guppies, but it would be a poor quality of life.

Any fish that is best kept in groups wont be suitable for a 5g tank and this includes pygmy corys and chilli rasboras. A 5g tank doesnt provide the space needed for a group of either of these fish, certainly not a group of each. 5g doesnt provide enough space or water volume. Get a 10g tank if you want to keep a single species tank of either of these fish. Go bigger still if you want to keep both.
I’d have to strongly agree with the above. A 5g just isn’t large enough for multiple fish especially if it is heavily planted. It’d be like throwing you in the broom closet and adding a fan to ventilate it and saying it’s got lots of fresh air so you’ll be fine lol

This is definitely the biggest issue with this hobby. Overstocked and undersized tanks! I get that not everyone has the space or budget for big tanks, you have to work within those constraints, but you also need have realistic expectations about stocking the tank.

Personally my 5g is just for shrimp, I won’t even throw a fish in there unless I need it for a hospital tank.
I think you'd be best doing the shrimp over the crayfish. The cray should be in a tank with more of a floor plan.
The points made above are all on target, unfortunately for you. ;) We tend to want to keep fish in too small of an area which in the end, only causes bigger problems. A 5 gallon tank has a purpose but it's not for every fish. It makes little sense to try to shoehorn a fish into too small a tank. :whistle:
IMO, it would make more sense to go to a 10 gal tank which would most likely fit in more or less the same place.

FWIW.. in my heavily planted 10 gal tank I have......
* 12 Neon Tetras
* 5 Harlequin Rasboras
* 5 Panda Cory Cats.
* Several Cherry Shrimp

I have had this tank set up for a few years with absolutely no problems/issues
The only regular maintenance I do is two gallons a week water changes.:)
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