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Results 1 to 10 of 15
  1. Default Dorm room aquarium set up, What would you do?

    0 Not allowed!
    I'll be headed for my first year at a major university this fall and I might be more excited about setting up a mini aquarium than actually taking classes. I have 55 gallon aquarium at home but for obvious reasons I can't take that with me(It is my first real aquarium set up). I am majoring in wildlife and fisheries, and my dormitory is set up for only students majoring in the same areas, so my aquarium has to be pretty impressive. I know I want to plant it, but besides greenery I can't decide on some interesting fish to keep. If you set up a small aquarium around five gallons, maybe less, how would you do it?

    I will also probably end up putting my fish into my large aquarium after school is out. So far I only have a handful of platys and some phantom tetras. I didn't want too many fish that my family has to take care of for me.

    Bettas are the obvious choice for college students, I was hoping to stay away from them. But they are super cool and I don't think anyone will actually have a betta in a halfway decent aquarium.

  2. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    I would recommend a 10g set-up like mine

    Red cherry shrimp and chili rasboras. Fully planted, its a nice tank where all inhabitants are happy

    5g is really too small to house 99% of fish

  3. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    I was aiming for 10 gallons. But I've only been able to see my room from pictures and I'm not sure a ten gallon aquarium will fit. I'll wait until I'm settled into school before adding more projects. That way I'll get a good Idea of how much space I have for an aquarium.

  4. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    yea, I just graduated 2 years ago. Space is always tight in the dorms. One thing to remember is that most schools make you go home for the holidays etc. So anything larger than 10g would be very tough.

    At least with 10g you could put all shrimp / fish into a 5g bucket and take them home and re-set up the tank.

    Bit of a pain

  5. #5

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    Aug 2010
    Jacksonville, FL

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    0 Not allowed!
    You should be able to do a 10gal in most any major dorm room, and specifically focussing on your studies, its almost a mandate!

    If I was to do it I would do an aquascaped tank focussed on plants and then add in a focal shrimp like the Blue Jelly's or Yellows, then add in a small microrasbora school and throw in some high end endlers for even more color splash. You could even get away with a single GBR once the tank is settled and depending on its mood, it may do well with your shrimp (mine have).

    Realistics of keeping the fish you have already will not really work. Phantoms dont work in anything small and platys get a bit big on a 5 gal... 10 gal they will fit but limit other options.

  6. #6


    0 Not allowed!
    Check first with the college and see if they are allowed and what size they will allow if they do. Some will allow only 10 gallons and others 20 gallons.

  7. #7


    0 Not allowed!
    you do know how to cycle right?
    you can't really put anything in a 5 besides a Betta or a guppy or 2.
    i hear some people say, "i kept a goldfish in a bowl and it lived for a year."
    they don't know how lucky they were and all goldfish live at least 15 years in proper conditions.
    that is equal to saying my human lived in his closet for 5 years!

  8. #8


    0 Not allowed!
    Actually there are a lot of good options for a standard 5G...lots of "microfish" have came into the hobby in recent years which would allow you to have a tiny community of sorts. You could easily support 12 Chili rasbora, and even 8 rosy loaches. Both species grow less than 1" and are slim bodied...very low bioload producers as well.

    Of course go with the largest tank you will have room for and can afford, there are also many cube shaped tanks available now which offer space saving options. I particularly like the Aqueon Evolve tanks...they come with a built in filtration system and have a low light plant capable LED. The Evolve 8 would be a nice dorm tank IMO.
    3x75 gallons|2x55 gallons|2x50 gallons|3x40 gallons|1x29 gallon|1x10 gallon

  9. #9


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by MCHRKiller View Post
    Actually there are a lot of good options for a standard 5G...lots of "microfish" have came into the hobby in recent years which would allow you to have a tiny community of sorts. You could easily support 12 Chili rasbora, and even 8 rosy loaches. Both species grow less than 1" and are slim bodied...very low bioload producers as well.
    Chilies do like some room to hunt. That could work in a long 5g like one of those bookshelf tanks but wouldn't work well at all in a cube.

    For a dorm room setup... i'd go for inverts, red cardinals maybe. Low bioload and they could cope well with 2 weeks of no attention during the shorter breaks. Even a marine nano might be an option. Just get some live rock and one or two shrimps and see what appears spontaneously on the live rock.

  10. #10


    0 Not allowed!
    A standard 5G kit sold in many box petshops would be sufficient...but yes those long narrow bookself 6Gs would be even better. Totally forgot about the bookself tanks. Mr.Aqua also makes a 12G tank in a similar shape which may also be a good space saver.

    These are actually really easy to scape...toss in a few long thin manzanita branches, some small river pebbles and plant the snot out of it. Even a single tube T8 would provide good lighting because of its small height.
    3x75 gallons|2x55 gallons|2x50 gallons|3x40 gallons|1x29 gallon|1x10 gallon

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