Hi, I'm new to this site but since I'm going to be starting a 10 gallon (freshwater) tank soon, I thought it'd be a good idea to get some advice before making any purchases.
I'm going to get a totally new tank and hood, the biggest reasons I'm going 10 gallon are the price and amount of space I have. I have a penguin biowheel mini filter that's been sitting around but will be used for the first time, and I want to use some smaller gravel. I'm going to get a heater, a chemical testing kit (we already have an ammonia testing kit, so a pH kit really), and a thermometer that sticks on the side of the tank.
As for plants, I'd like something pretty easy (maybe a java fern?) and maybe only partial coverage, like plants on the sides of the tank mainly and not the middle. I'd maybe like a larger, rounded rock or two?
I'd get the tank through a nitrogen cycle, and then purchase my fish.
I'd like to keep one honey gourami (colisa chuna) and some platies, if that works.
So my questions are:
Does this set-up sound reasonable? If not, what's wrong with it?
How many platies could I keep with one honey gourami in a ten-gallon tank, and what are good foods for these fish?
What plants should I get/what's easiest to keep?
What wattage should I use for a tank light?
Any good tips on fishless cycling (links to good instructions would be nice)?
What else could I add to make the tank better, how much would it cost?
Any other general tips?
This won't be my first time keeping fish, but I only ever kept bettas in small tanks (1/2 gallon, mostly, but I did frequent water changes and two of the three I ever had lived about two years, one closer to three, and seemed happy, making bubble nests and stuff) and three goldfish that didn't live very long in a way too small tank that I didn't know was way too small (2.5 gallons with a crappy filter that didn't do a very good job) when I was a bit younger. I also had a 5 gallon tank of a very
many ghost (feeder) guppies that lived for a long time until we tried to clean their tank and they all died because the water was too clean, or maybe stress or both. One of those guppies is still alive (he's really old, I don't even know why he's still living- I swear it's been at least five years and that seems long for a feeder guppy), but my mom does most of the work with him. He has a small corner filter.
So, this will be the most serious tank I've ever kept.