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Freshwater Aquarium/help! I have a new 5 gal tank & too many fish, I think


My daughter won 2 goldfish at the fair 3 days ago. we bought her a 5 gal aquarium with a filter and bubbler. one died last night. we went to the local fish store and told the owner our situation. we came home with a beta, an algae eater, and 4 very tiny fish not even an inch long (2 different kinds) in addition to the remaining goldfish. looking online it seems this may be too many. Also noone told us anything about cycling or testing. I'm just very concerned that we are going to have a bunch of sick dead fish on it hands. unfortunately, it's to late to go back and research staying an aquarium. any suggestions at allwould be most helpful. Also, when we brought the new fish home today we emptied about 1/3 of the water from the tank and added the new fish with the water from the store. could that help with the ammonia problem I've been seeing mentioned?  Also we keep the LED light on 24/7, is that ok? Thank you so much for your time.


Goldfish need to be kept in ponds or aquariums that are 45 gallons or more. Goldfish also need to only be housed with other goldfish. Plecos as well as goldfish can grow up to a foot in length (if their growth isn't stunted or they don't die first) and produce ridiculous amounts of waste. In short, if you do not upgrade, it is extremely likely that they will die. Unfortunately, people never tell customers these things. I would try to find them another home. The ammonia build up with that many fish in that small of a tank will be too much, even if you do regular water changes. Also, make sure you are treating new water before adding it to the tank, or it will burn their gills.

A five gallon tank is only suitable for one Betta fish and either shrimp or a snail. I suggest trying to re-home the other fish you have and just let her keep the Betta. With just a Betta, you will need to make sure the aquarium is heated properly, filtered, and has a day and night cycle. You would need one water change a week, or two small ones. It is not good for them to have the light on constantly.  

Freshwater Aquarium

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Elizabeth Turbyfill


I am available to answer any questions regarding Betta fish and goldfish. I will be able to answer questions ranging from basic husbandry to health issues and more. I have a fair amount of knowledge regarding keeping freshwater fish in general as well, excluding cichlids. If you have any questions about species compatibility, maintenance, health issues, et cetera I can help. If there is a question that I do not know the answer to, I will look to reliable resources to find the answer.


I have kept numerous Betta fish and freshwater aquariums for several years, and have spent countless time researching them.

I am a member of a fish forum named Tropical Fish Keeping that I highly recommend to people who keep aquariums or just have complex questions that cannot be answered here.

I am currently attending East Tennessee State University for a bachelor's degree in Computer and Information Science.

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