Starting A New 10 Gallon - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 12-28-2011, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
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Starting A New 10 Gallon

Hello everyone, couple month long reader first time poster here.

I'm looking to start a 10 gallon tank but I'm not quite sure what to put in it. I'm not brand new to the hobby but I'm still nervous about just jumping into a new tank without any input from some more experienced keepers.

I've been looking after my girlfriends beta for a few months now, he's gone from living in the usual beta bowl pet stores sell you with them to a planted Fluval Chi with a small school of tetras to keep him company. That has been going pretty good and now I'm hooked so I want a tank of my own.

Unfortunately my apartment only allows up to 10 gallon tanks which is a bit of a bummer (I know maintaining smaller tanks can be both more difficult and more limiting then larger ones). I got a 10 gallon Marina for Christmas so that ts what I have to work with.

I've noticed that in my city in the three pet stores I've visited I always come back to and seek out the various species of pygmy cories, love their behavior and think they are just brilliant to watch. So I'm looking for a set up that includes them, popular consensus seems to be that they like schools of at least 6 so I'd like to start from there.

Just to sum up my situation

-It is a 10 gallon tank
- I intend to use a sand substrate (everything I read says cories live very fine sand)
- My tank will be planted (suggestions for rooted or floating plants would be appreciated)
-I'm open to either rocks or wood for hiding places and habitats (whatever the fish prefer)
-My PH is pretty neutral about a 6.4
- The water is also not exceptionally hard or soft
-My water is chlorinated but I treat it before I add it to any aquarium
- I do know how to cycle I'll be using some filter media from an established tank as well as live plants to help
- My current thoughts are a school of 6-8 pygmy cories and 6-8 black phantom tetras. I was also thinking of adding some shrimp or a snail later on once the tank has matured more.

Those are my current thoughts anyway. I know numbers are always an issue with both cories and tetras since they are schooling fish and that numbers are always an issue for different reasons with a tank as small as mine. My main concern is that the tank I start eventually be populated with happy fish, I don't want to kill anyone because of my lack of experience with stocking aquariums. So let me know what you guys think, is there anything glaringly wrong? Especially with the numbers or species I'd like to keep? I'm certainly open to options if that is the case. A lot of stuff really seems forum specific to me especially regarding tank size and stocking options. Popular consensus for pygmy cories for example seems to be 6 to 8 but I've seen as few as two suggested (seems like a bad idea to me considering how social they are) and as many as ten or 12 suggested which seems kind of high to me.... But if there is anything I've learnt in the few months I've been reading various fish forums if I learnt anything it was that peoples "facts" differ widely from site to site. That is why I settled here, you guys seem like the most reasonable and helpful community out there.

Thanks for the help everyone!
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post #2 of 6 Old 12-28-2011, 11:49 PM
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Sounds like you are on the right track. Any of the three mini corys will be a good choice. If you haven't already looked, there are very good species profiles on the site, accessible by the link 'Tropical Fish Profiles' at the top in the blue band.

Couple of thoughts though:

1. The most important thing for live plants is to get the right light. What do you have now?
2. There might be better choices than the phantoms, I've personally never kept them, but the sources I trust recommend a tank with at least a 24"x12" footprint.
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post #3 of 6 Old 12-29-2011, 01:15 AM
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Hope your guys can enjoy your life, know more about LED aquarium lights.

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post #4 of 6 Old 12-29-2011, 05:48 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Quantum View Post
Sounds like you are on the right track. Any of the three mini corys will be a good choice. If you haven't already looked, there are very good species profiles on the site, accessible by the link 'Tropical Fish Profiles' at the top in the blue band.

Couple of thoughts though:

1. The most important thing for live plants is to get the right light. What do you have now?
2. There might be better choices than the phantoms, I've personally never kept them, but the sources I trust recommend a tank with at least a 24"x12" footprint.

Thanks a lot Quantum, nice to know I'm not way off in left field somewhere.

The lighting in the tank is 2 x 15 watt and just normal incandescent bulbs. It can handle up to two 25 watt lights though.

So the Phantoms don't sound like a good idea then glad I found out now instead of a month from now, is there any fish you'd suggest yourself? I'm open to pretty much anything but I would prefer schooling fish or a relatively flashy solitary fish.

Thanks again!
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post #5 of 6 Old 12-29-2011, 08:51 AM
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The incandescent lights will not be enough, but an easy solution is to replace them with the screw in, spriral type compact fluorescent replacements. Look for those with a Kelvin rating of around 6500K (should be on the package), if it says 'full spectrum' even better. Ten to 13 watts apiece should be plenty. This is the watts used, there may also be a 'watt equivalent' number on the package, which for these should be around 40.

This and basic fertilizer (I and many others use Seachem Fourish comprehensive supplement) will allow you lots of choices of easy to keep plants. The main thing with the smaller tank is to avoid those that will get too big. Most sword plants fall into this category, but two small ones that will work are Echinodorus parviflorus and the 'Compacta' variety of Echinodorus bleherae. The compacta is the larger of the two and would make a nice centerpiece plant for a small tank. Other plants that would work are Cryptocoryne wendtii, java fern attached to wood, Sagittaria subulata or Helanthium tenellum for a grassy look (both will spread), most anubias (will have to be trimmed in time, I have barteri that is quite big in my 20 gal, but the leaves are relatively small so it doesn't overwhelm the space). These are some that I have kept, there are others and hopefully other members can make some recommendations.

Ember tetras or the Boraras rasbora species are usually recommended for smaller tanks. Brevibora dorsiocellata may be an option as well. You could keep some of the Neocaridina or Caridina shrimp with these.

The phantoms may work, my statement was based on research not firsthand experience. They are fairly small, but not sure how active they are. From a previous thread that I started about them, I know that Byron has kept them, so hopefully he will give his opinion.

Last edited by Quantum; 12-29-2011 at 08:58 AM. Reason: added info
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post #6 of 6 Old 12-29-2011, 09:12 AM
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Should mention that you should probably get an exact number for water hardness just to be sure, most species listed so far will need softer water.
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getting started , new tank , ten gallon

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