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Readers Respond: Mini Aquariums, Adorable or Deadly?

Responses: 31


From the article: Mini Aquariums
Mini aquariums are very popular with some, but others say they are nothing more than death boxes for the helpless fish. What do you think?

happy beta

My bet lives in a 29 gal tank, plenty of live plants the gravel is full of scuds, the fish swims all over the tank chasing scuds, putting him in a small tanks would depress him, he loves teh big tank. I could nver put him in a small tank, it's like a small jail.
—Guest daffy duck


I would never let any of my fish get near something so cruel. It's like getting locked into a room for the rest of your life. And to fish that means a lot. Face it, their life is in your hands..... and if you do something like this.... its just to evil.
—Guest Stella


I don't think that its that good to keep a fish in a small tank. Because I'm sure that you would not like to live in a attic! But sadly my poor Betta only has a 2 gallon so I am going to save up all of my allowance to get him a ten gallon tank with natural colored gravel and live plants.
—Guest sandra

Its fine!

I have a 10 liter tank with 3 guppies. Every week I do a 60% or sometimes even 70% percent water change. The guppies are living quite happily in there. I think it depends on the fish.
—Guest Amadeus

Perfect with the right Method!

Mini Aquariums are perfect with the RIGHT method of fish-keeping. I have got excellent results with my small aquarium which has this new All-Natural Method deployed in it. Ever since I have moved on to this new All-Natural low-tech and low maintenance method, life has become easy for me and my fishes. There have been no sick fishes and no fishes dead. I have reasons to believe that this is the best natural method of Fish-Keeping, so far.
—Guest FishMate

Small tanks

It really depends on what kind of fish you have. bettas and small fish are fine, but a mini tank is no place for a goldfish or larger fish. They want room too! Have fun with your fish!
—Guest Anna

Classy and happy in a small tank

I have one 5 gallon and one 1/2 gallon tanks. Both are heated, filtered, and both have live plants in them. The 5 gallon is an Southeast Asian biotope tank, with danios, rasboras, kulhi loaches, a bamboo shrimp and somewhere between 30-60 trumpet snails (yes, they are in the tank intentionally). The danios and rasboras swim and play with eachother, the kulhi loaches don't hide under the gravel, and the bamboo shrimp went from its pet-store brown to livin'-the-good-life right red. Clearly, no fish is having a terrible time in this tank. As for the 1/2 tank, it has 3 neon tetras in it, but they'll be moved into a 5.5 gallon Amazon biotope tank in about a month and a half as a Christmas present for my sister's family.
—Guest Mimizu

25L tank with 4 small gold fish

I have 4 young gold fishes in a small rectangle tank with Eheim 2213 (440L/hr) and an internal filter (300L/hr with Seachem matrix carbon), with some elodea. The Goldies are happy, and going to upgrade to a 80L in next few month when they get bigger. Gold fish love the current, and I do water change every 3 to 4 days
—Guest Roger

Mini tanks

Mini tanks are not bad at all...now their are mini tanks in all shapes and sizes that come with under gravel filter systems and light built into the tanks cover. Having an under gravel filter system in these mini's is a plus so you dont have to change out the water just add.I use the instore drinking oe spring water in my minis so no chemicals are required and this has always worked for me. I only keep 1 male or female betta per 1 0e 2 gallon tank and they love it and are always colorful,and healthy and have great appitites. As far as being cruel if you do your research Bettas like smaller enclosures.If you are going to buy a mini tank I recommend 1 gallon or larger with a lighted hood(cover) and under gravel filtration system and these tanks are reaily available in any pet store or walmart.
—Guest Scott

Equipment and supplies.

I have been led to believe that fish will only grow as big as the amount of water in a tank or pond allows them to. In other words, if the fish are in a 50 gallon tank, they will grow bigger than if they are kept in a 20 gallon tank. Is there any truth in this?

So cruel!

I can't think of anything that should be kept in a small aquarium, except maybe shrimp. Bettas (optimal 5 gal per fish - mine is in a 23 gal) and goldfish (optiimal 20 gal for first fish, 10 gal each additional fish) esp seem to be victims. They naturally live in bodies of water, even if shallow, still large. I don't understand why there is even a question of keeping fish in such a small space now that there is the internet and information available about proper fishkeeping. If you are interested in keeping a fish or any living creature, it is your responsibility to provide the best environment that you can. You want your pets to thrive, not just survive. Smaller fish such as tetras, platys etc also seem to be victims. They need to be in schools of at least 6, which isn't possible in a tiny cup or bowl. You'll never see proper, natural, interesting behavior kept in a limited space. What about filtration, heating? Not possible in a small "tank". These "tanks" shouldn't be sold!

Small in size not effort

I started a mini shrimp tank around 6-7 litres heavily planted with hang on filter light & heater at first I put in native Cardinia shrimp caught locally,during start up I did regular partial water changes every 2-3 days with tap water with Cycle used to de-chlorinate it,Algae was a problem at first & needed daily attention,after 2-3 weeks I added a few Cherry red shrimp & found that despite their bright red colour they were almost invisible amongst the plants & java moss,I added a pair of Endler's guppies a couple of weeks later & another 4 Cherry shrimp.the male Endler's showed brilliant colouration as soon as he was in the tank & it was only 3 weeks before I noticed 5-6 fry swimming around & 1 month later another 15-20 fry appeared & in no time I had 30+ fish & 10-12 shrimp.A couple of the Cherry shrimp were also heavily berried up with eggs & all in a 12" x 6" tank. I have found smaller tanks take just as much,if not more effort to manage properly than larger ones do.
—Guest peneye

Whats all the fuss about?

I have a 1 and half gallon filtered tank and so does my 8 yr old son and the water quality stays great. I do have built infiltration system for our drinking water so their water is filtered and I make sure to add conditioners to it. My bettas are so healthy and happy as compared to when I got them. All I have to do is a 25 % water change once or twice a month and vacuum the gravel and voila...simple easy and no dead fish. The key is being interested in the fish and not seeing the maintenence as a chore but a hobbie. Could make all the difference in healthy happy fish!! Remember fish arent just decor theyre real live creatures with feelings and little personalities too!
—Guest Spearit

Mini care

Daily water changes are a must but only around 10%. Since the water volume in the tank is small, large water changes can cause pH drop among other problems. One might also consider an invertebrate only setup as these guys are interesting to watch and clean the tank as a side benefit
—Guest Fishboi

Good for a Bedroom

When we moved into a new house, I got a new 2.1 liter tank. First I had at least 6 fish in it (bad move) and most of them were from the old 21 gallon tank we had to get rid of because it was to big, and they all died except for my angelfish (which is too big for a small tank, but good for a big one, which I learned the hard way, with my angelfish, Sphinx) This fish died later... This is when I learned I needed SMALL fish. I got guppies:) They seemed to LOVE the tank, and I started to get... Forgetful... People, keep on top of it when it comes to a small tank. If you can do that, you will have guaranteed success with your tank. I also have to say, research helps a lot when it comes to keeping maintenance and what fish you should get for your tank. Not researching was a mistake I made, and hope won't happen again.
—Guest Saph

Shirlie Sharpe
About.com Freshwater Aquariums

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