Tetras Suited to Small Tank (10G or less) - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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post #1 of 13 Old 09-12-2012, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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Tetras Suited to Small Tank (10G or less)

Hi guys, wrote a nice post and my computer ate it!

Just wondering what would be suitable tetras (or other fish) to keep in my small tank. Am currently in process of fishless cycling it.

I heard neon tetras would be good, but then reading here I see that in this tank size I might not be able to have a big enough school for them to feel safe?

So which other fish would you recommend?

In my tank I have: black medium gravel, river rocks, pebbles, 4 artificial plants, a stone bridge, a hollow log. Using Aqua One 300 hang on filter and an air stone.

How many fish could I keep in here if I did two water changes a week? (More when at home and as required)

I was hoping to keep a small school of something and maybe cory catfish. But I see they can be too big for this tank, maybe something like pygmy cory cats, would only two be enough or would they be scared? Since there are hiding spots in the tank I am thinking they would be ok...?

thanks for any help, I keep reading conflicting advice :)
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post #2 of 13 Old 09-12-2012, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by FlyingFish47 View Post
Hi guys, wrote a nice post and my computer ate it!

Just wondering what would be suitable tetras (or other fish) to keep in my small tank. Am currently in process of fishless cycling it.

I heard neon tetras would be good, but then reading here I see that in this tank size I might not be able to have a big enough school for them to feel safe?

So which other fish would you recommend?

In my tank I have: black medium gravel, river rocks, pebbles, 4 artificial plants, a stone bridge, a hollow log. Using Aqua One 300 hang on filter and an air stone.

How many fish could I keep in here if I did two water changes a week? (More when at home and as required)

I was hoping to keep a small school of something and maybe cory catfish. But I see they can be too big for this tank, maybe something like pygmy cory cats, would only two be enough or would they be scared? Since there are hiding spots in the tank I am thinking they would be ok...?

thanks for any help, I keep reading conflicting advice :)
I think for ten gal, you could go with six or eight small tetra's such as glowlight,blood fin,silver tipped,or same number of white cloud minnow's .
Some amano shrimp would work as scavenger's but I don't feel you have enough room for more fish other than the tetra's or white cloud's.
Would stay away from neon's unless you can have shop hold them for you for a week at least.
Neon's are becoming increasingly troublesome,sickly, in recent year's, and by letting the fish stay in dealer tank's for a week or two,,the sickly ones will hopefully have perished, and those remaining will hopefully be healthy.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #3 of 13 Old 09-12-2012, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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Okay, thank you. White clouds were actually the first fish I considered, since I heard they are very forgiving for beginners. So I could have a small school of the above plus shrimp, did I read that right? Yeah, obviously they're no substiute for water change but as I travel often for a few days at a time, it would be good to have some 'in between' cleaning :D

Since there's not really 'lfs' here (just dealers, really, as in, hardware store has a fish dept run by an aquarium company) would it be okay to just keep them in one of those small carry containers for a couple of days to observe? I also have a very small glass tank that would probably suit keeping a sick fish in isolation while its treated (the kind of tiny tank people put hermit crabs in)
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post #4 of 13 Old 09-12-2012, 07:19 PM
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FlyingFish47, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

As you are new you may not know that we have fish profiles, second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page. You can find minimum tank sizes, minimum numbers for groups, water parameter requirements, and other info on each species.

For a 10g i wold stay with the "dwarf" species. There are several, depending upon your water params. Ember Tetra is the only "dwarf" tetra I am familiar with. [You will note the name shaded so you can clck it for that profile.] There are several species in the cyprinids, such as the rasbora in the Boraras genus, also suitable. Several are in the profiles.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #5 of 13 Old 09-13-2012, 04:55 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Byron, I looked through a few. I was just getting confused because lots of people say they keep mroe than the profile minimum says. Those ember tetras look cool, but I haven't seen them in the fish shops here. Any other recommendations? I'll have a look through some of the others and see what else might work :)
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post #6 of 13 Old 09-13-2012, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by FlyingFish47 View Post
Thanks Byron, I looked through a few. I was just getting confused because lots of people say they keep mroe than the profile minimum says. Those ember tetras look cool, but I haven't seen them in the fish shops here. Any other recommendations? I'll have a look through some of the others and see what else might work :)
One must keep in mind that the suggested tank sizes and numbers in the profiles are the "safe" levels. Various factors affect fish in an aquarium, which after all is a closed system that in many ways is very "un-natural" to the fish. What "works" and what is "best" for the fish may not always be the same. And the aquarist's experience also comes into this, and we are all different. My goal is always to provide an environment that is the closest I can achieve to the natural habitat of the fish in the tank. This is a major step toward reducing stress and that means healthier fish.

This sentence, I was just getting confused because lots of people say they keep more than the profile minimum says, confuses me a bit, so perhaps I can clarify in my mind what you actually mean. Is it the minimum tank size for a species? Or the minimum number of fish of a species? The latter is just that, the fewest one should have, and more is always better for the fish if space permits. As for the minimum tank size for each species, this is where the above plays into it. Tanks smaller than those recommended may "work" under certain circumstances, but also may not.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #7 of 13 Old 09-13-2012, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, that's what I meant. Some people are saying they keep more fish than recommended or in smaller tanks then recommended. I'm just trying to figure out how much leeway I would have. I don't want to overstock my tank, but just working out how much of a safety margin, say, doing things like very reg water changes (3x a week or more) and having a filter that does 300G/hour on a 10G tank I guess is better than a lower capacity filter?

Almost all of the fish profiles I'm interested in say at min 6 of each kind of fish but "8 or more is better". So obviously I want to have 8-10 of whatever fish I decide on, to keep them happy, but am really not sure if it is feasible to do so with that size of a tank, even with very reg water changes etc...

Hope that makes sense!!
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post #8 of 13 Old 09-13-2012, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by FlyingFish47 View Post
Yes, that's what I meant. Some people are saying they keep more fish than recommended or in smaller tanks then recommended. I'm just trying to figure out how much leeway I would have. I don't want to overstock my tank, but just working out how much of a safety margin, say, doing things like very reg water changes (3x a week or more) and having a filter that does 300G/hour on a 10G tank I guess is better than a lower capacity filter?

Almost all of the fish profiles I'm interested in say at min 6 of each kind of fish but "8 or more is better". So obviously I want to have 8-10 of whatever fish I decide on, to keep them happy, but am really not sure if it is feasible to do so with that size of a tank, even with very reg water changes etc...

Hope that makes sense!!
This is something one learns with experience. If I were to stock my 10g for example, there are some tetra I would consider, and others never, yet they are all much the same. But knowing their temperaments, behaviours, activity level, etc. is how I judge. Even taking fish that are the same mature size, you could have more of a quiet species in a given tank than you could of an active swimming species.

The numbers in the group is very important. Fish have evolved into their present state and they have specific needs according to the species. Denying them what nature intends means they will be under stress, and that can affect them in different ways; increased aggression, or just the opposite, weaker immune system so more prone to disease, and always a shorter than normal lifespan because the fish is using valuable energy fighting the stress rather than maintaining its internal physiological equilibrium.

The tank size plays into this too.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #9 of 13 Old 09-13-2012, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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I'm beginning to see what they mean when they say smaller isn't easier!!! :/ (Fish or tank!)

I've been swinging from neon tetra (original choice, until someone mentioned they tend to be sickly from being captive bred) then white clouds to perhaps dwarf rasboras but they seem to be fast/active... so, I'm kinda stumped now.

Maybe I should just stick with one (very pampered!) Betta? :P Althought what appealed to me about tetras & similar was being able to watch them school together and do what they 'do'...

Fingers crossed I can get that ammonia tomorrow. It's really hampering my ability to check if this tank is actually Doing anything.
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post #10 of 13 Old 09-13-2012, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by FlyingFish47 View Post
I'm beginning to see what they mean when they say smaller isn't easier!!! :/ (Fish or tank!)

I've been swinging from neon tetra (original choice, until someone mentioned they tend to be sickly from being captive bred) then white clouds to perhaps dwarf rasboras but they seem to be fast/active... so, I'm kinda stumped now.
The dwarf rasbora would be fine, they are not active, I have had a group for a few years now, they shoal with the Hengels Rasbora and swim very little. And that's another option, one of the Trigonostigma species of rasbora. Or one of the Boraras species.

I haven't had neons since my first aquarium. I now have cardinals and the false or green neon tetra. The latter would be ideal in a 10g.

White clouds perhaps; a fairly active fish though, I would prefer to give it more length.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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