Small Fish Tank

6 posts / 0 new
Last post
Casey Shanaberger
Casey Shanaberger's picture
Small Fish Tank

Hey all. I recently came into possession of a 15 gallon standard tank and want to fill it with a few native micros. It isn't my first tank, I currently have a 40 gallon with some common shiners living pretty happily in it. I have all the necessary equipment (filter, substrate, cover, etc.) and I need a few suggestions for some little micros to put in it once it's done cycling.

So far the ideas I have for fish are:

-stickleback (only have seen one in my home waters)
-young shiners or chubs


I won't put all of these in the same tank but I'm not sure which fish to go after.

Anyobdy got any suggestions?



Outdoors4life's picture
Corey & Andy

Corey and Andy both have kept native fish for years and have great input for keeping them. 


Also there is Monster Fishkeepers for good info too.

It is all perspective!

Acer Home Inspections

andy's picture

Depending on the species, dace really like current.  Unless you have a powerhead I wouldn't keep them.  With a powerhead, keeping longnose and blackside dace is really cool.  Not familiar with keeping other daces, other than Finescale which actually work quite well in a calm tank..


Sticklebacks are dicks, and will peck at any other fish unless they can be eaten by them.  Cool fish the pricks are, but they don't get along with others.


Madtoms are awesome - I've kept tadpole madtoms as well as stonecats.  However, they are almost exclusively nocturnal.  They will hide in a cave all day and then at night they will kill whatever tankmates fit in their mouth.


Killifish are cool, but in my experience they have a short life span (2 yrs).  They hang at the surface so can be added to a calm tank with more bottom-oriented fish.


Speaking of bottom-oriented fish, have you thought about darters?  They are a very charismatic aquarium fish, and you can find both current-loving and still water species.  


Mudminnows!  If you just want to keep and observe a cool fish for a while, get some mudminnows.  They wil eatsmaller fish, though.


You could also keep a bunch of cool shiner species, they are fun and foolproof.



If you have specific questions, feel free to ask.  I'd also reccomend cultivating some live plants in any aquarium.

Casey Shanaberger
Casey Shanaberger's picture

Thanks for the ideas Andy, I forgot to put darters down on the list. I like mudminnows but they’re just to far away for me to want to get. According to the Iowa Fish Survey, the closest ones to me are 2 hours away and they were sampled in pretty slim numbers. I was thinking about running a couple darters with a couple emerald shiners in it with plenty of swimming room.


What kind plants should I try to get in the tank? They’ll be tough to get my hands on currently as everything is still frozen and/or dead as dormant. 

How do you think logperch would fare in an aquarium?

"I swear if you catch another drum"

andy's picture
Java Fern

Buy, beg, borrow or steal some java fern, and use thread to tie it to some driftwood.  Put it under good lighting and wait a couple years.  It grows slowly but is the best and hardiest aquarium plant by far in my opinion.  Long-term growth and sustainability.  You can bury a clump in gravel too, and it will temporarily root for years.  The leaves will grow and it will shoot off sprouts trying to find a root.  This plant grabs tight and will hold up to the strongest current as well.


RoughFish's picture
I would say the logperch

I would say the logperch would need a decent flow similar to the dace. I really like java moss in my aquarium as it is abuse proof and doesn’t need great lighting. Mine has exploded over the course of only one year and my shrimp love it.