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Need help choosing fish for 7-gallon tank

Posted by organic_tmmycat (My Page) on
Sun, May 27, 07 at 18:22

I have a 7-gallon bowfront tank with some live plants. I tested my water; it's very soft with pH of about 7 - 7.5. Can someone help me choose fish that would be happy in this tank, and help me choose how many fish to put in it?

I know this has been asked before but I just want to make sure I'm not killing fish with my beginner mistakes ... I have googled this for hours but I'm still a little overwhelmed.

I just started cycling my tank today with fish food ... I haven't added any fish yet.

Looking at other threads I've made a list of "maybies"...
- 1 male betta by itself
- Or 6 neon tetras
- Or 2-3 guppies (but how many males and how many females? and what to do if they breed?)
- Or danios or white clouds (not sure how many though)

Would any of these work? If not, what do you recommend?

thanks so much :)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Need help choosing fish for 7-gallon tank

Do you have a heater? If not or you do not intend to use one white clouds would be good. If you have live plants and they have been alive for 2 weeks without alot of die off and they still look healthy, no need to cycle with fish food. Every fish you suggested sounds good with the only exception possibly the neons. They are good fish, but not good first fish. They are pretty sensitive. Guppys I would go with Male only (of female only, but the males have the brighter colors and bigger fins) unless you plan on expanding tank size or quantity. They breed like rabbits. Other then that 1 male to 3 females or at least 1 male to 2 females. But like I said, those 3 or 4 fish will turn into 20 in a years time even if you don't seperate the fry. Good luck, test water often until your aquarium is established.


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RE: Need help choosing fish for 7-gallon tank-Forgot

Danios like alot of surface area, your tank may not be large enough for them as adults. White clouds, about 6-10. You also could get about 6-10 neons if you go that route. If you go with anything then the white clouds a 25-50 watt heater will be needed.


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RE: Need help choosing fish for 7-gallon tank

Thanks for the answers!
I do have a heater.
I didn't know that about not needing to cycle if I have live plants. I just got the plants yesterday ... do you think I should keep adding fish food every day or just let it sit and keep testing it for two weeks?
I would like to try 2-3 male fancy guppies ... I like the bright colors. do you think I should add anything to my water to make it more guppy-friendly (or is it already guppy-friendly)?


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RE: Need help choosing fish for 7-gallon tank

Just a water conditioner if you have public water supply. I like Prime by Seachem. It is more concentrated then other brands so you use less to treat more. It is also one of the better quality ones that you can use up to 5 times the regular doseage in case you have an emergency like high ammonia, nitrite or nitrates or other toxins. The reason you don't need to do the fishless cycle with a planted tank is aquatic plants prefer ammonia as thier source of nitrate as food. They actually process the ammonia just as the bacteria colonies do and turn it to nitrate. But since the plants utilize nitrate it goes a step further. The tank does indeed "cycle" but it is less noticeable (or not noticeable)because ammonia and nitrites aren't usually detectable. This is also known as the "silent cycle". I did use fish food to do a fishless cycle once in a non-planted tank. I didn't like it because of the horrible odor of the decomposing food and even worse the difficulty of being able to control the ammount of ammonia concentration. If I do a fishless cycle in a non-planted aquarium I use a free and clear type ammonia with no soap additives or scents. It is way easier to maintain consistent levels that way. Using this type of ammonia is not suitable for live plants though. IMO and IME using fishfood while trying to cycle a tank will most likely only cause a huge snail population explosion. The excess "food" will make the snails reproduce rapidly. I would use a good aquatic plant food with as little phosphate as possible. Again, Seachem is a good brand. Start with one guppy and test the water for about 3 weeks. If you have no ammonia spikes then add a second. If no ammonia spikes add the 3rd.
I attached a link on some good info. Just what you wanted more reading eh... Anyway they helped me to understand the chemistry of this hobby quite a bit. Before using them about 5 years ago I kind of went by trial and error. When you "get" the chemistry it becomes so much easier to know what to do.

Here is a link that might be useful: good articles


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RE: Need help choosing fish for 7-gallon tank

Thanks! the articles were definitely helpful.


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RE: Need help choosing fish for 7-gallon tank

Try joining the group. The guy who wrote the articles is the moderator. He answers all questions and concerns daily. One of the best freshwater sites out there.


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RE: Need help choosing fish for 7-gallon tank

I have a small school of black neon tetras (and I have higher ph and hard water, in with one FEMALE betta) doing great. It is a round bowl (very large I think holds 10 plus minus gallons, have driftwood with anubias on it. No heater as room too hot.

Neons can be difficult for a beginner, as they can get diseases and just seem more delicate. All need clean water (well what fish doesn't) but esp the tetra family. Priscellas are esp hardy though.

Also, I agree with white cloud mountain minnow, hardy fish and pretty to boot.

Also, priscella tetras, small and make a nice school. I have all of these and ph is high as mentioned now for over a year. For seven gallon you could do a school of six and be ok. (maybe add a few more later, see how it goes) Very pleasant little loosely schooling fish. (until feeding time that is) I have mine a school of 18 in with a red dward gourami who gets confused by the big fish (school) and won't chase them as he does all single fish.

(Caution with transferring little fish as I learned the hard way. I was transferrig them slowly as I always do with fish, dribble the new water in to their holding tank slowly over a day at least... I usually get extra water from the store and do this in a quaranteen tank, but had used their bag this time (was sucessful with first bad which was double).. the second was a single bag, and it collasped a bit, and two pricsellas got caught in a fold, still wet, but died shortly after...

I did some reseach as I had found my moonlight gourami which was out for at least 20 minutes, and with treatment he survived. I know they can breath due to different system, but couldn't figure out why pris who was wet still had died. Their gills are so small (and layers are delicate) that they collasped with weight of being out of water even though the gills were wet - hence they suffocated due to that. So will never use bags to transfer as above again.)

A few pairs of guppies but they breed faster then rabbits and poo a lot.

I have gotten around the cycle by using media from an established filter (not too old and dirty). I have long 20 gallons with two filters each so as to change one while other still in it. Also a bit of sand from already established tank. If this is your fist you can also make sure you do daily water take outs and additions to make until cycle is over. In addition to Woeisme's information.

I wonder why when younger I never knew about all this cycling stuff and no one died. I was however following the information from my Dr. Innes books and others at the libriary (where I lived in the fish book department, lol) and let the tank sit for one month and slowly added fish. Same thing I guess. Regular bulbs, rain water set for a day, so on. My neighbor a woman who got me started, had a long little guppy tank (when they were pretty plain).. Planted with short Sagitarris (sp) so it looked like a little jungle. No filter heater or anything! Thrived. Sun (filter by window curtain) kept plants healthy and she had it until she passed decades later.


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RE: Need help choosing fish for 7-gallon tank

I'm a guppy fan, so a pair of guppies would be my choice and yes, they would breed like crazy. But then you could share them with friends. I used to have a 10 gallon tank of livebearers, in general, and I just let them have at it. I also used to have a 5.5 gallon tank for propogation of a plant called Water Sprite. That would also be helpful toward hiding places for the newborns.


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RE: Need help choosing fish for 7-gallon tank

All of what you listed would work. A school of small fish, a Betta, two fish (about the size of feeder goldfish), and my all time favorite two African Dwarf frogs. Also Barbs are pretty fish, and about three or four would work nicely, just keep in mind they must be alone. We got 5 Tiger Barbs to put in with our apple snail and algae eater, and no one told us they were evil and they harassed our apple snail to death! Poor little guy. I have a ten gallon with one algae eater, an apple snail and two African dwarf frogs. African dwarf frogs are fun because there like fish, in such a way that they live in water, but like frogs in such away of appearance.

Also with a tank that size you could have any of the fish you listed and an algae eater (except in the case of the Betta because it will eat hes fins) Algae eaters are upbeat, often stylish fish that eat algae. They are a lot better than snails because they eat more algae, produce less waste, dont multiply like crazy, and are very fish like.

Also remember to provide silk, plastic or live plants and gravel. And if you do go for the Betta or for the frogs provide hiding spots.

Also an interesting thing to do is instead of going just white clouds or just neons (by the way neons or very difficult to care for and almost always die) try mixing them.

I wish you good luck on your new pets! Also I recommend doing a fish cycle for at least a month. (Better be patient than disappointed)

Also some tetras etc. like lower Ph, ask the pet store what Ph the fish like.


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RE: Need help choosing fish for 7-gallon tank

I also have a 7gal tank with driftwood planted with an anubis, as well as one other aquarium plant the name escapes me right now. I went with 7 white clouds originally but 3 died (I have kids. my 3 yr old got to them.) , the other 4 thrived for a few weeks before I decided they looked 'lonely' and decided to get a few guppies as well (3f 1m). the tank is not heated and sits at 22 degrees in winter but thus far the guppies are loving it and are a very welcome splash of color.


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