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First Time, Looking for Help and Suggestions

This is a discussion on First Time, Looking for Help and Suggestions within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by Angel079 A few thoughts/ ideas from my end: Bare in mind that the smaller the tank is the less forgiving it ...

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First Time, Looking for Help and Suggestions
Old 02-23-2010, 01:53 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel079 View Post
A few thoughts/ ideas from my end:
Bare in mind that the smaller the tank is the less forgiving it is on anything that can happen in a tank; in other words a small tank is much harder to keep stable then a large tank. Consider buying used to safe yourself the $ for a larger tank!?

For fish I'd strongly recommend to test your tap water with a liquid test kit (which you'll need later on when cycling the tank anyway) and see what your pH & KH is and buy yourself some fish that will thrive within that water.

If you rather would have shrimp instead of fish; I had added a general guide for shrimp set ups here http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...keeping-37012/

Plants will be a great add on no matter if you house fish or shrimp and will be real beneficial to your fish. Check out my planted tanks under my name Angel here to the left under the tap called 'Aquarium' that'll give you a few plant ideas as well.
On the subject of the small tank: I've been reading about this, and it seems the small tank will be a little more work. I'm fine with it however, as it's really not feasible to fit in a large tank.

Thank you for the suggestion on testing my water, i'll be sure to do this and decide on fish from there!
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Old 02-24-2010, 05:37 AM   #12
 
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Update: I've come into an already established 10 gallon tank with fish for a very nice price. It's got a hang-on-back filter and a heater, as well as a hood with light.

Fish Include: 2 Black Mollies, 2 Black Skirt Tetra, and a little catfish who I can't seem to identify. He doesn't move much.

So, working towards getting this to be a planted tank. Will it mess up something if I change the blue (Urgh!) gravel to sand? Also, what lights should I be getting to grow plants? As well, how many more fish can be added to this tank?

Thanks for the assistance!
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Old 02-24-2010, 05:45 AM   #13
 
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Can you post a picture of the catfish for an ID? It could be harmless but it could easily turn out to be a tank-busting monster.

The mollies and tetras aren't really a good mix. The mollies prefer harder water with a higher pH and get too large for a 10g tank. The tetras prefer softer, acidic water.

The tetras are a schooling fish so I would suggest skipping out on the mollies and getting four more black skirt tetras. You might still have room in there for another centerpiece fish or maybe a small group of cories or something like that.

Switching from gravel to sand is definitely possible, but since a lot of beneficial bacteria live in the substrate it's best to do this gradually so the tank doesn't go through a mini-cycle.

Of course, if you wanted to stock with entirely different fish, you could just rehome all of them and switch substrates all at once, letting the tank settle back down before adding new fish.

As for lights, you want to look for bulbs in the 6700K temperature range for plants. How much lighting you put over the tank is sort of a matter of what plants you want to keep, but there are plenty of plants you could keep with just a single tube fluorescent light (which is usually what comes with these sorts of tanks anyway) with the appropriate bulb.
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:55 PM   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamntbatman View Post
Can you post a picture of the catfish for an ID? It could be harmless but it could easily turn out to be a tank-busting monster.

The mollies and tetras aren't really a good mix. The mollies prefer harder water with a higher pH and get too large for a 10g tank. The tetras prefer softer, acidic water.

The tetras are a schooling fish so I would suggest skipping out on the mollies and getting four more black skirt tetras. You might still have room in there for another centerpiece fish or maybe a small group of cories or something like that.

Switching from gravel to sand is definitely possible, but since a lot of beneficial bacteria live in the substrate it's best to do this gradually so the tank doesn't go through a mini-cycle.

Of course, if you wanted to stock with entirely different fish, you could just rehome all of them and switch substrates all at once, letting the tank settle back down before adding new fish.

As for lights, you want to look for bulbs in the 6700K temperature range for plants. How much lighting you put over the tank is sort of a matter of what plants you want to keep, but there are plenty of plants you could keep with just a single tube fluorescent light (which is usually what comes with these sorts of tanks anyway) with the appropriate bulb.
Hmm..I see. So they aren't a good mix...uhm...what do you mean skip out on the mollies? They're already here, what else would I do with them? Is it at all possible for them to live together?

I'll try to get up a picture of the catfish.
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:12 PM   #15
 
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Got some pictures of the fish up now, sorry for the back-to-back posts. Reccomendations? Oh, and I found out the filter is a Top Fin 10. Hopefully this will be enough?
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Old 02-26-2010, 03:22 AM   #16
 
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I guess "skip out" wasn't the right phrase to use as you've already got them. Do you have another tank they could go in, or a friend with a tank that would be more appropriate for them? The main issues are their size and the different water parameters they prefer from the corydoras (that's a panda cory you've got there) and tetras. The cory and tetras will be fine together but both should really be in larger groups (six of the tetras and I would say at least four of the cories) and that doesn't leave you much (or any, really) room for other fish, especially ones that will eventually outgrow the tank as it is.

Now that I know you've got a cory, changing from gravel to sand is an especially good idea as that rough gravel will wear on the little guy's barbels and damage them. By the way, that's a really tiny little cory! Cute little guy.

The filter is fine. Just swish the cartridge around in some old tank water if it gets clogged up and only replace it once it starts to fall apart.

Is the heater one of those old style ones that sticks up above the waterline and hangs on the edge of the tank?
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Old 02-26-2010, 02:06 PM   #17
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamntbatman View Post
I guess "skip out" wasn't the right phrase to use as you've already got them. Do you have another tank they could go in, or a friend with a tank that would be more appropriate for them? The main issues are their size and the different water parameters they prefer from the corydoras (that's a panda cory you've got there) and tetras. The cory and tetras will be fine together but both should really be in larger groups (six of the tetras and I would say at least four of the cories) and that doesn't leave you much (or any, really) room for other fish, especially ones that will eventually outgrow the tank as it is.

Now that I know you've got a cory, changing from gravel to sand is an especially good idea as that rough gravel will wear on the little guy's barbels and damage them. By the way, that's a really tiny little cory! Cute little guy.

The filter is fine. Just swish the cartridge around in some old tank water if it gets clogged up and only replace it once it starts to fall apart.

Is the heater one of those old style ones that sticks up above the waterline and hangs on the edge of the tank?

I don't have any friends who could take the fish, nor any tanks they could live in. Hmm. Any reccomendations on the correct process to use to change from gravel to sand? Apparently it's supposed to be done gradually, but i'm not sure how to accomplish this.

The filter sits on the edge and a glass-ish tube hangs down into the tank, yes.
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Old 02-26-2010, 02:39 PM   #18
 
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Well, here's my 2 cents:

You can always give the mollies, tetras, and/or cory to a local fish store if you think they keep their tanks clean.

I was asking about gravel for a fish tank before and some cheap stuff. I'm going to check the stores today to see what they got. I'd go look around for some black rock that is somewhat fine and is labeled "inert" at a local Lowes or something. This is what I'm going to try when I buy a new 29/37 gallon tank. I'd take out maybe half the tank worth of gravel, and separate it and add half the black gravel in. So it is half and half. I'd leave that for about a week and then do the other half.

Then you're ready for live plants! :D

Though, the HOB filter is going to be an issue maybe. Surface disturbance I've learned is a no-no with live plants. It allows gas exchange between the surface and rids your water of CO2 which your plants need to survive.

I think there's many plants that could thrive in a 10g tank. Looking at the plants I recently purchased I think dwarf saggitaria, ludwigia, rotala indica, hornwort, water wisteria, and maybe a smaller type of sword plant. You could also put in java moss and such. There's tons of options! :) Just check out all the different varieties. It won't hurt you to try them. You'll learn what does good and what doesn't. A lot of more experienced members here can recommend better plants for you maybe, though.

For lighting, depending on the hood, you should look for a daylight light, or an aquarium light that says "full-spectrum. You want around 6500 K to keep live plants.

Not sure if you need it for a smaller tank but you might want to look into some liquid fertilizer as well.

Now, onto the fish... if you decide to bring the fish back to the fish store, there's lots of options. You can get a little group of tetras and corys. I've never really had tetras and never had cories so I can't say much about those. But, you could also go with male guppies they are beautiful and you could get 3-4 in a 10g tank. You could also go with a trio of platies. 1m 2f or 3m or 3f. I really like guppies and platies. Guppies are fun to breed because it's fun to see what the babies grow up to look like (but if you like bright colors and pretty fish I don't recommend you breed because the females are usually pretty ugly...). Platies are beautiful fish that are bright and can do good in a small tank. I think BALLOON Mollies would be perfectly fine in a 10g tank as well. They don't get quite as big (length-wise) as regular mollies and are cute and colorful as well.

You could also get some ghost shrimp for that tank if you want. :)

Though other people disagree I think the mollies would do fine with those other types of fish... but the problem is having only 2 tetras and 1 cory... since they are schooling fish. If you absolutely do not want to/cannot for some reason rehome any of those fish, you might be able to get away with 2-3 more tetras and 1 more panda cory and be done.
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Old 02-26-2010, 04:34 PM   #19
 
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Sadly, the Panda Cory has passed on. I do hope it's not my fault, but he never seemed right since I bought him with the tank. I'm not sure how the owner took care of the fish, he never did seem to be very happy or active. RIP, little Cory.

As for the substrate - How fine of gravel do you think? I really was liking sand..it's just the asthetics I guess. The change thing seems easy enough now that I think about it, I could place a plastic divider of some sort in the middle while i'm changing.

With the filter - what sort filters well and doesn't disturb the surface? I'm pretty lost on that, can't seem to find much information on filters.

I'll have to look around for the lighting, thanks for the specifications.

I'm thinking of adding 3 more black skirt tetras. I really do like how the mollies look, so hopefully I can keep them with the tank. I'm not sure if any other fish could be added with 5 black skirt tetras and 2 mollies? Feel free to chime in if anyone has an answer.

Oh, does anyone know what I should look for in a water-testing kit? Planning on visiting the fish store later this weekend.

Last edited by Corona; 02-26-2010 at 04:36 PM..
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Old 02-26-2010, 07:03 PM   #20
 
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I wouldn't really get any more fish for that sized tank probably. 5 Black skirt tetras and 2 black mollies is probably enough. You could get some ghost shrimp or something, a snail, or some type of little critter.

Erm, for filters there's sponge filters and internal power filters. HOB filters create lots of surface tension. If you can't afford a new filter you MIGHT be able to keep some plants alive still. idk.

As for the sand... you could probably make it work. Btw for plants you want 2-3 inches of gravel.

I bought a liquid test kit from Tetra that is pretty good that Angel recommended me. It tests most things. The only complaint I have is it does not test Nitrates... Though those are not a bit deal if u change the water.

Sorry to hear about the cory. :( He was cute.
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