New owner, questions & suggestions - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 9 Old 07-10-2007, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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New owner, questions & suggestions

Hey all,

I found a 10 gallon tank in my garage last week (old roomates) with basically everything I needed to start a fish tank.

I cleaned it well (no soap), filled it up and ran the filter with the rocks and gravel for about a week, then added my girlfriend's betta (that regish blur... rescued it from it's quart sized tank), and just today the two plants and 3 tetra neons (smaller blurs in the middle of the tank).

I've used API water conditioner for my tap water, and have an API testing kit to monitor pH, Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate levels. I've added some stuff called "Cycle," which should help with the cycling process. From what I've seen so far in testing, my Nitrate levels are about to start rising (prediction), so I guess I'm somewhere in the middle.

I've read a ton off of this forum in regard to fish compatibility, the cycle, and tons of other stuff online, so I think I'm alright. Although I read the betta should be good with the neons, it sometimes chases them around... I don't want any of the fish to freak in the tank, so is this natural or not?

Just wondering if anyone has any suggestions about what fish to get, this product over that product, etc. Basically anything you guys and gals wished you would have known before you started.

Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 9 Old 07-10-2007, 08:18 PM
hello and welcome Vasmir! :)
your tank is looking very nice! its nice that you rescued that betta.anyway,neons are good fish to put in there,but are more confident in bigger groups. This may stop the betta from chasing them around.Iv only got 4,and they are pretty confident.another kind of fish that you could get that is cool and good for beginners is a cory catfish.i think a good way to go is to get 2 emerald cories.they will dwell on the bottom and help cean up.what kind of filter are you running in there?
everything is looking good so far,keep up the good work!! :P

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post #3 of 9 Old 07-10-2007, 08:39 PM
leifthebunny's Avatar
Re: New owner, questions & suggestions

Originally Posted by vasmir
Although I read the betta should be good with the neons, it sometimes chases them around... I don't want any of the fish to freak in the tank, so is this natural or not?
They should be fine. It may take a bit, but the neons should be fine and the betta will eventually stop this. Bettas are fairly slow swimmers. serpaekeeper45 is right though, you should get more neons as they are schoolers. You should have a school of at least 6, but with a 10g, you could probably go up to 10 and still have room for a small sucker fish in the tank for algae unless you decide on snails. If you decide on snails, nerites don't breed in fresh water, though they do lay eggs which don't hatch. They are brackish water. Shrimp aren't a good idea with bettas.
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post #4 of 9 Old 07-10-2007, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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the filter is a cheap, AquaTech 5-15, I believe. I found it in the tank... no replacement filters though so I'm going to buy some soon. Is there a better filter for my 10 gallon tank, or will this suffice? One thing I was concerned about with the flow of water inside the tank... it seamed a bit much for the little fish...

Yeah, I'll get more neons tomorrow I think. The betta isn't mine, so as soon as my girlfriend moves, it goes with her.

I'm hoping to have a decent diversity of fish in my tank after a month or two.

Is there any suggested fish limits for my tank size? Like, how many fish per gallon? I know there is somewhere, but I can't find it anywhere...

Also, what's the limit on Ammonia level considered dangerous for the fish? I know anything above 0 ppm is bad and deserves a water change, but what should I consider a "really bad level"?
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post #5 of 9 Old 07-10-2007, 09:45 PM
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Depending on the condition of the filter, replacing it may be a necessity anyways. Moving parts may have gotten damaged, leaks may have occured, .... You may want to check with your LFS to see what they have that could fit your tank to see what's available to you. It looks like your tank is an all in one like Eclipse so your choices may be limited.

As for fish, it's more of a function of filtration. The general rule is 1 inch per gallon, but neons are low waste producers, so two neons per gallon should be ok. Plecos on the other hand are heavy waste producers.

As for Ammonia toxicity, 1ppm is lethal, but remember, ammonia builds up in a fish and if the fish has been exposed to enough ammonia, even a mini cycle could potentally kill the fish. Nitrites are lethal at 4ppm. These numbers vary with the type of fish, but are the standard numbers used.
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post #6 of 9 Old 07-10-2007, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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Awesome, thanks for the help so far.

Another question... Is there a specific lighting scheme I should have? Like a type of light, or how long I should have the lights on per day, etc? I've got a few live plants in there, so should I have fluorescent?
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post #7 of 9 Old 07-10-2007, 10:48 PM
leifthebunny's Avatar
Well, lighting is dependant more upon the plants. I'm not sure what type of plants you have but low light plants only require 1-2 W/g. Moderate are 3W/g and high light plants are 3.5W/g+.

As for duration, that is more tank dependant. I leave my lights on for more than 12hrs a day, primarily for plant and algae growth to feed the critters. For some, 8hrs is more than plenty.
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post #8 of 9 Old 07-12-2007, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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Alright, now that the aquarium is getting close to done cycling and the betta is going to leave the tank, it's time to start thinking about stocking the tank

Basically all I have to work with is petsmart, but they have a pretty decent selection it seams. A couple of questions -

When buying from petsmart, is there anything in particular to look for in the fish? I've heard that petsmarts have all of their tanks hooked up to one water system, so illness spreads quickly...

For selection, I'm pretty much in the dark. The tank is 10 gallon, but I still would like some interesting looking fish. Any suggestions on stocking?
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post #9 of 9 Old 07-12-2007, 07:12 PM
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A few things to look at while picking fish out...

Take your time while looking at the different fish, no rush. Make sure they are swimming properly, with no difficulty. Take notice to the phyical features of the fish (fins, eyes, gills, scales.) Make sure both eyes are nice and clear, not cloudy. Check out the fins and make sure they are in tact with no frays. The scales, depending on the fish, should be smooth and free of discolored areas, lesions, and white spots. Also, don't be afraid to ask for specific details, like what they feed the fish, and what the temperature and pH of the water are.

Few suggestions would be adding 3-5 more neons to make a nice school, or school of zebra danios, or white cloud minnows, with a couple Corydoras. Or a few rasboras or barbs would be okay. Just make sure the fish you choose are small when they are an adult and don't exceed 2-3 inches. Even some ghost shrimp would be cool.
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