a predicament

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Jbulls54

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May 20, 2024
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Melbourne
Hello there people of this forum i have come here in need of guidance.
A good starting point would be explaining my current situation, I have 2 fish tanks a ~15 gallon and a ~5 gallon. with 2 phantom tetras, 1 Columbian tetra and a Bristol noise catfish in the large tank a red tail shark in the small one. the red tail shark has been given the small tank because i sorted it out about 7pm one night because it was heavily bullying the other fish in the tank, i would like to get a larger tank where maybe i can combine the two tanks back together but im unsure as of yet. I have been fish keeping for about 5 years and have kept Chinese sucking catfish, white cloud minnows, and the others mentioned. Both tanks are unplanted and the large one has a heater.

the predicament is that the solo Columbian tetra is a very big bully, this is most likely because of being kept solo but it is the one who has widdled down the population from about 5 to only itself. Im currently worried about what it would do if i introduced any further tank mates, considering the last time i purchase more Columbian tetras it was already about a one and a bit years older then them.

what do i do? i have really drawn a interest to zebra danios but i lack a quarantine tank and my parents are against any larger tank but fine with maybe another ~5 gallon.

thank you for reading this any feedback would be much appreciated, im sorry if i have stuffed up anything im supposed to do when posting here this is really my first interaction with the site. :)
 

Pinkey

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Nov 16, 2004
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Since you're looking to get another tank anyway, I'll assume that is the best solution. There are a few things a bigger tank can do to help with aggression. More hiding places where fish can easily escape each other helps. Larger tanks allow for fish to have their territories so they all have more space and can sometimes leave each other alone. A larger tank with more fish allows the bully fish many targets. If it attacks one fish in a small tank all the time, the other fish will die. If the bully fish has dozens of fish to chase, it will be a lot less harmful to any one fish. Finally, if none of this helps, the aggressive one can always go back to the pet store for a trade.

As far as what size tank, I always say that larger tanks are better than smaller ones. A 30 gallon tank will be able to absorb fish waste a lot more easily than a 5g. The smaller a tank is, the more susceptible to chemistry swings it is. It's kind of a gross example but it works. Think about being in a car when one of your friends passes gas. It's pretty stinky. If you're in a big room, there is a chance you'll notice, or you might not, it before it dissipates into the air. Small tanks are a lot more work, believe it or not. Pollutants in tanks don't go away on their own but the capacity for the water to keep the intensity low is greater with more water. A few drops of lemon juice could change the pH in a small tank but would have very little effect in a large tank.

I hope that helps.
 
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Jbulls54

AC Members
May 20, 2024
13
5
3
Melbourne
Since you're looking to get another tank anyway, I'll assume that is the best solution. There are a few things a bigger tank can do to help with aggression. More hiding places where fish can easily escape each other helps. Larger tanks allow for fish to have their territories so they all have more space and can sometimes leave each other alone. A larger tank with more fish allows the bully fish many targets. If it attacks one fish in a small tank all the time, the other fish will die. If the bully fish has dozens of fish to chase, it will be a lot less harmful to any one fish. Finally, if none of this helps, the aggressive one can always go back to the pet store for a trade.

As far as what size tank, I always say that larger tanks are better than smaller ones. A 30 gallon tank will be able to absorb fish waste a lot more easily than a 5g. The smaller a tank is, the more susceptible to chemistry swings it is. It's kind of a gross example but it works. Think about being in a car when one of your friends passes gas. It's pretty stinky. If you're in a big room, there is a chance you'll notice, or you might not, it before it dissipates into the air. Small tanks are a lot more work, believe it or not. Pollutants in tanks don't go away on their own but the capacity for the water to keep the intensity low is greater with more water. A few drops of lemon juice could change the pH in a small tank but would have very little effect in a large tank.

I hope that helps.
thank you this helps a lot I'm going to talk to my parents about it, if they refuse the larger tank maybe its time to start looking places to trade the fish.

thank you for your advice
 

jake72

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Jan 28, 2019
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You should get rid of the red tail shark or at least be aware that it will need a much larger aquarium. Long term with your aquariums you want to stick with tranquile smaller fishes like ember tetra, green neon tetra (not to be confused with larger neon tetra), .... avoid fishes like cory, pleco, ... as they will all want a larger aquarium.
 
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Jbulls54

AC Members
May 20, 2024
13
5
3
Melbourne
You should get rid of the red tail shark or at least be aware that it will need a much larger aquarium. Long term with your aquariums you want to stick with tranquile smaller fishes like ember tetra, green neon tetra (not to be confused with larger neon tetra), .... avoid fishes like cory, pleco, ... as they will all want a larger aquarium.
i have been talking to my parents and a bigger fish tank is a definite, i have know for a while that the red tail shark needs a larger tank but i have been unable to give it what it needs. the best option for it is probably to trade it into a pet shop. i dont think i will ever have the facilities for it. im definitely going to look into the ember tetras i think they will probably be at my local aquarium specialist.
 
Apr 2, 2002
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it is important to reseach any given fish you are considering keeping to make sure you can provide what it requires to klive a good life. Towards that end this site is pne of the best friends you can have:
https://seriouslyfish.com/

A fast way to find any given species of fish on the above is to use Google. Type in the neame of the fish (if you have it, use it's latin name) and after the name type a space then a + then another space and the word seriously.Tthis should give you a direct linkk to that fish's species page.
 
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jake72

AC Members
Jan 28, 2019
579
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54
it is important to reseach any given fish you are considering keeping to make sure you can provide what it requires to klive a good life. Towards that end this site is pne of the best friends you can have:
https://seriouslyfish.com/

A fast way to find any given species of fish on the above is to use Google. Type in the neame of the fish (if you have it, use it's latin name) and after the name type a space then a + then another space and the word seriously.Tthis should give you a direct linkk to that fish's species page.
Just be aware that while most of the information on seriouslyfish is very good there are some errors.
 
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Pinkey

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Nov 16, 2004
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. . .I'm going to talk to my parents about it. . .
In the name of science! All you have to do is convince your parents the tank is a science experiment. (I have no idea how old you are other than that you live with parents so I'm not making any guesses about your experience. You could be an engineer in grad school and still living at home. I mean no insult and I make no assumptions.)

The Nitrogen Cycle is hugely important to understand as a foundation for tons of biology related topics. It's also essential learning for both middle and high school.
Breeding Guppies can teach you a lot about genetics and animal husbandry.
There are health benefits to keeping an aquarium. Your parents certainly want you to be calm and learn coping techniques while young to maintain blood pressure and good mental health, no doubt.

There are plenty more reasons. I'm completely biased, though. I got my first 29 gallon tank as a hand-me-down from my father when I was 15 and have been keeping tanks for nearly 40 years since. Good luck. Please let us know how it all goes.
 
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Jbulls54

AC Members
May 20, 2024
13
5
3
Melbourne
In the name of science! All you have to do is convince your parents the tank is a science experiment. (I have no idea how old you are other than that you live with parents so I'm not making any guesses about your experience. You could be an engineer in grad school and still living at home. I mean no insult and I make no assumptions.)

The Nitrogen Cycle is hugely important to understand as a foundation for tons of biology related topics. It's also essential learning for both middle and high school.
Breeding Guppies can teach you a lot about genetics and animal husbandry.
There are health benefits to keeping an aquarium. Your parents certainly want you to be calm and learn coping techniques while young to maintain blood pressure and good mental health, no doubt.

There are plenty more reasons. I'm completely biased, though. I got my first 29 gallon tank as a hand-me-down from my father when I was 15 and have been keeping tanks for nearly 40 years since. Good luck. Please let us know how it all goes.
well i have good news about a larger tank... they are all up for it but i cant have two large ish tanks. i think if i can go very big i will but 30 gallons is hopefully big enough, ill keep you informed on the health of the tank and stuff. i have been fish keeping for 5 ish years since 2019 where i got a 5 gallon for my 13th birthday. but im not really great at it so i will probably be back here often or reading the books i have from the 1990's.

thank you for your support it has helped alot!
 

Pinkey

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Nov 16, 2004
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. . .but im not really great at it. . .
I think you're about to find out that you're better at it than you thought. It's tough to keep fish stable in tiny tanks. 30 gallons will give you a lot more buffer. If you had 5 fish in a 5 gallon tank, and those same 5 fish in a 30 gallon tank, the chemistry is 6x more forgiving. My first advice is to stock slowly and test your water regularly. Stocking slowly, shopping every month instead of filling the tank tomorrow, gives the bacteria colony time to adjust to your new friends. Beyond that, there is so much great advice from people here and so much to learn that it is a lifelong journey and tons of fun. Good luck!
 
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