First Aquarium: 10g Journal
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First Aquarium: 10g Journal

This is a discussion on First Aquarium: 10g Journal within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Hi all! I've been reading through these forums for the last few weeks and finally decided to jump into this. I've been looking for ...

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First Aquarium: 10g Journal
Old 09-18-2011, 12:41 AM   #1
kospades's Avatar
First Aquarium: 10g Journal

Hi all! I've been reading through these forums for the last few weeks and finally decided to jump into this. I've been looking for a new hobby for some time and I'm pretty excited about this. I do have a history of getting really into something for a short time and then giving up, so I decided to start small to make sure I could stick with it.

Anyways, to the good stuff. I just got done setting up my first tank! I purchased a 10g Marineland Aquarium Kit from PetSmart earlier today. It comes with the following:

1 x Penguin 100 Bio-Wheel Power Filter
1 x 50w Heater
LED Hood-mounted Lighting system (can change from white to blue for day/night time)

I also got a 25lb bag of Premium Aquarium Gravel and a few decorative pieces for inside the tank. And of course I got the all important API Freshwater Master Test Kit.

When I got home I started off by rinsing off the gravel and put down a nice layer. Filled up the tank about half way and put my decorations in and then finished filling it up. Put together the hood, the filter, and the heater and got it all up and running.

I'm a bit worn out at this point so I'm going to wait til tomorrow for my first water test. I live in Las Vegas and we are notorious for hard water, but I've been told by other fish enthusiasts in the area that I should be fine without adding anything special to the water.

So here are some of my questions:

The tank came with a 50w heater... is it necessary for such a small tank? Or does that depend on what fish I want?

Speaking of fish... Here is my initial thoughts on stocking:
6 x Neon Tetra (or other schooling fish)
1x Algae eating fish (Like a Cory Catfish?)
1 or 2 x Some kind of active fish
This tank is my hobby, but will primarily be for the viewing pleasure of my children (Ages 5, 2, 9mos) so fish that are active swimmers and look "cool" are definite pluses.

Lastly, how long should I cycle a 10g tank? If I just turned on the filter tonight, how long before I can add my first fish?

Thanks in advance for any and all advice! Also, pictures will be coming soon!
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Old 09-18-2011, 01:01 AM   #2
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Here's a pic... enjoy!
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Old 09-18-2011, 01:19 AM   #3
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Hello and welcome to TFK

Just a word of warning, this hobby you may find to soon become an obsession, many of us have started with a small tank to soon find ourselves with multiple tanks. Doing your research in this hobby along with patience will go along way. Do you know what the general hardness, carbon hardness and the ph of your water is. Most places have this information available online through your local water people. If you can not find the info online, than you can try calling them.

Are you planning on doing live plants in this tank? Also how are you planning to cycle this tank? For more information on the cycle process and bacteria in the aquarium check out the following article To start the cycling process there needs to be a source of ammonia in the water.

For stocking we will be able to help more when we know your water parameters. If you have not looked at the fish profiles yet I would also suggest that you check them out. The profiles have valuable information about the different requirements of the fish. The link for the profiles can be found at the top of the page second tab from the left. Also you can view the individual profiles by clicking the highlighted name when the common or scientific name is used.
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Old 09-18-2011, 01:43 AM   #4
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Welcome to TFK! Sounds like a good start to me. Remember to take your time and do everything step-by-step. Looks like you have all of the basics set up, so your next step is to cycle the tank. For more info on the cycling, you can search it on these forums or google. I am looking forward to watching your tank grow over the next couple of months. I am setting up a 20 gallon aquarium right now and you can follow along if you want. Here is the link: I believe I got the same kit as you, only the 20 gallon version.
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Old 09-18-2011, 01:47 AM   #5
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Thanks for the warning!

From our water report:
Water is considered "hard" when it contains a high level of dissolved minerals. In the Las Vegas Valley, the two nontoxic minerals that cause our hard water are calcium and magnesium. They're carried into Lake Mead from the mineral-dense Colorado River and do not pose a health risk. The hardness of Las Vegas Valley Water District water is about 298 parts per million (ppm) or 17.4 grains per gallon, categorized as "very hard."
Calcium: 78 ppm
pH: 7.8

As for plants, I'm just going to stick with fake ones for now. Trying not to overwhelm myself.

I just planned on using fish food and sprinkling some in once a day to start the cycling process. Would that work?
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Old 09-18-2011, 11:05 AM   #6
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I put the recommended amount of flake fish food in last night and here are the results.

Day 1 Water Test Results

Ammonia: 0.25ppm
Nitrite: 0.0ppm
Nitrate: 0.0ppm
pH: 8.0

My understanding of "cycling" is that I'm basically waiting for there to be no Ammonia or Nitrite in the tank before adding fish... am I on the right track?
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Old 09-18-2011, 11:16 AM   #7
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Yes when going through the cycling process you will see a spike in your ammonia which will drop followed by a spike in nitrites that will also drop with finally a reading of nitrates.
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Old 09-18-2011, 11:20 AM   #8
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So based on what kind of water I'm dealing with, what kind of fish would thrive in my tank?
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Old 09-18-2011, 01:59 PM   #9
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Once the tank has cycled (and keep following the advice Barb has started you on) you will look at basic medium-hard to hard water fish. Livebearers are such; there are also several species of small Cyprinids that need such water. Then there are several somewhat adaptable fish that should manage.

We have fish profiles, under the second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top. The fish are arranged under families or groups, like Livebearers, Cyprinids, Catfish, etc. In each profile it provides info on water parameters, compatibility, tank size, number of fish in the group for shoaling fish, etc. This will give you opportunity to browse suitable fish while your tank is cycling.

And, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum. Nice to have you with us.

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Old 09-18-2011, 07:32 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by kospades View Post
I just planned on using fish food and sprinkling some in once a day to start the cycling process. Would that work?
That will work but if I were you I'd use a different method. I like the raw shrimp method or better yet the pure ammonia method. The raw shrimp method is just like it sounds...add a raw shrimp to the tank and as is decomposes it lets off ammonia. It can be a little smelly but works great and if you put the shrimp in a small container or netting of some sort (old pantyhose works great) you can remove it all at once so it's pretty mess free. The pure ammonia method is just adding pure ammonia to the water until you reach the desired level which is around 4-5ppm. It is very easy and mess free. Hardest part is finding the pure ammonia. ACE Hardware is the best place to get it. Using fish food will work, only thing is you'll end up with fish food in the tank that later will need cleaned out of the gravel. This is just my thought on the subject.
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