First Time 10 gallon tank! Tips? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 9 Old 09-01-2012, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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First Time 10 gallon tank! Tips?

I'm kind of in a bad situation. Long story short, I have two zebra danios in a 1 gallon tank because of a bad fish store owner. I live in a dorm, and dont have the money (or space really) to afford a good tank for them (20 gallons). But basically for 2 separate months of the year, these fish will be getting zero care. I'll be getting an auto feeder for them, and I'll clean/replace filters at the beginning/end of each of those months, but I really cant do anything about this. People say the latter option is better than the former though.

Heres what I'm getting for my tank:
Hood with Light
Aquaclear 20 gallon filter (I figure that I should get a bigger one to make up for that month)
- 3 more zebra danios so they can be a school (5 total)
Fish net to catch the little buggers (they're so fast!)

Will be obtained in the far future (probably this summer when I start working again):
- Undergravel filter
-blue light bulb
- deco for the tank (I have a live plant right now, but I really want actual decorations. Its the last priority though :( )

In total it comes about to ~60 dollars, and itll be about 85 with the "far future" stuff. Is this reasonable? Tips? Suggestions?

I've only really ever had a 1 gallon tank, and I'm excited to upgrade!!!

EDIT: OH, also could/should I get a cleaner fish for my tank? And how would a frog respond to the danios? I might catch a local frog and just keep him in there for a little while (with weekly water changes of course; I wouldn't keep the frog in there for a month without anything!)

Last edited by curse354; 09-01-2012 at 11:09 PM.
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post #2 of 9 Old 09-01-2012, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
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I'm thinking actually of this for the fish in the tank:

5 zebra danios
5 red cherry shrimp (scavengers to clean tank)
2 Guppies.

The guppies will come in after a couple months though (after I get paid :P). Would 5 red cherry shrimp be enough to keep the tank clean?
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post #3 of 9 Old 09-02-2012, 12:12 AM
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Dont get the frog. The water they are used to will be diff from what you have and they can introduce parasites to the tank.
I would only get 4 danios (6 is the min) and nothing else, you dont want the bio-load to be high when your not there.

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post #4 of 9 Old 09-02-2012, 01:10 AM
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It's a tough call with having to leave the tank without maintenance for two months out of the year. I wouldn't do the automatic feeder. I've had bad experiences with them as they tend to grossly over feed. I came back to a tank floor littered with food and that was just a week. I would do live plants instead. They can harbor microfauna on which to your danio can feed. They will also go a long way to reducing the waste in the aquarium.

I would leave the undergravel filter off your "far future" list. They are an outdated piece of technology and bad to have with live plants. Save yourself the money and don't get it. The Aquaclear (which is a great choice for a filter) will be able to take care of your tank.

Another thing you are missing on your list is a water test kit. The API freshwater master is best. If you can order it online you'll save a lot of money.

As for the cleaner fish, I'd leave it out. Plecos are notoriously dirty fish. The best algae control is a scrubber.

And finally welcome to the forum! Fish are fun and make great dorm pets!


Sitting by the koi pond

writings on fish and fishkeeping

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post #5 of 9 Old 09-02-2012, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice everyone! I think I will try to leave the tank with someone, but it would defs be too much to ask them to clean it. I know its not hard, but itll already be them grudgingly taking it haha.

And what do you mean when you say plecos are notoriously dirty fish? They're different than red cherry shrimp i thought? Are there other scavengers that do a better job clearing excess food from the floor of the tank without a high bioload?

EDIT: and also, could I clean the frog to get rid of parasites? This is if I find one I guess. I just want a frog for a week or two, assuming I get lucky enough to find one.

Last edited by curse354; 09-02-2012 at 12:35 PM.
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post #6 of 9 Old 09-02-2012, 12:56 PM
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Yes. Pleco are different from shrimp in bioload. Shrimp have a much smaller bioload. There is no such thing as a fish that will clean the aquarium for you. Substrate fish may catch some of the flakes or pellets that trickle down, but this isn't enough food for them. Even algae-eating fish like pleco need supplemental foods. And any fish or shrimp that you do add to the tank will add to the bioload. The higher the bioload, the great damage can be caused by a lack of water changes. Once you get six danio, I wouldn't add anything but live plants.


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post #7 of 9 Old 09-02-2012, 01:07 PM
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You cant really clean the frog, you would have to mediccate it and QT for atleast 2 weeks, and you only want it for two weeks. And stressing the frog by doing that isn't nessecary. Do you know what type of frog it is? Will it eat the fish? Too risky.

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post #8 of 9 Old 09-02-2012, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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Oh no, I wouldnt get a pleco, just because that adds too much to the bioload. But I think I might add a couple shrimp, because they say 100 shrimp/gallon, and I dont think 10 would have a MAJOR effect on the bioload, aside from eating the scraps the fish dont get to.


And I thought the rule was 1" of fish per gallon? I'm actually getting glofish, genetically modified zebra danios. Technically, dont I have room for 10?

EDIT: what about a mystery snail?

Last edited by curse354; 09-02-2012 at 01:32 PM.
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post #9 of 9 Old 09-02-2012, 04:35 PM
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The 1" of fish per gallon rule is very wrong. Using that logic one could keep an oscar in a ten gallon tank. Zebra danios are very active fish and need room to swim, so even a 10 gallon is a bit small for them. Snails excrete a large amount of poop so a mystery snail would add more to the bioload than shrimp would.

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