I'm new to this forum, and to caring for native fish.
Since I've learned of their existence about 5 years ago, I have always wanted darters, but, due to space reasons, I can only keep a 5-gallon tank. So my question is, would a pair of banded darters (or any other smaller, but still colorful darter) do well in a 5 gallon tank? If not, would swamp or brown darters do well? I would prefer a species with colorful breeding males, but the very small ones (slough and Iowa that I know of) seem not to be for sale online. Wild collection is impossible, since I live in NYC.
The tank is a standard 5.6 gallon, with dirt under a sand cap, sloped from 3.5" inches substrate in the rear to <1" in the front. The hardscape items are river rocks, on which I'm attempting to start moss and algae. The Tank is pretty densely planted, Sagittaria subulata dominates the front, and Juncus repens the rear. I expect the plants in the rear of the tank to grow taller, but I plan on keeping the foreground short (S subulata tends to stay short in my tanks, either because of my water parameters of lighting).
My water parameters are:
pH: Varies between ~6.7-~7.0 due to a day-night cycle caused by plants
Temp: Unheated, but in a room where there are always people, so the temperature is pretty close to 75F at all times. Water temps seem to be 74-76 degrees, but I haven't checked in the dead of night. I have a temperature regulator, so i could set up a fan to cool the water, if needed.
TDS: 80 ppm, but I am currently mid-cycle (tapwater 30-60 ppm)
The tank is only one week into cycling, so parameters may change.
I currently have a small HOB filter, but could up the water flow rate if needed with a secondary pump.
If no darters would do well, would sticklebacks? I also find them interesting, and I think I saw them sold a few years ago, so someone may sell them again. I know many keep Elassoma in that size tank, so they would be my "falback" species. Ultimately, I would prefer to keep a fish that would be comfortable in a small tank than one that would fit but be unhappy. I'm fine adding more plants for a species that needs a more densely planted tank. Thank you for reading this long post, and any help!
Edited by Fmajalis, 12 December 2018 - 06:42 PM.