ok, hit me with some creative ideas - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 21 Old 01-27-2014, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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Question ok, hit me with some creative ideas

I have had tanks in the past but have been out of the loop for about 10 years.

A friend recently gave me a 10 gal tank. I know it's not an ideal size, but it's what I got. It's got a great filter, but that's about it. I'm heading to town tomorrow to get a hood and light and heater and hopefully some plants. Substrate is currently glass marbles and seashells.

I have always preferred natural decor. My last tank was a 500 gal. bowfront with plants and sand and slate rocks. So this is a completely dif. kettle of fish… I would still love a well planted tank. Keeping in mind we have hard water, what would you recommend for plants and/or fish?

I've had live bearing before and really enjoyed them- I could do that again or try something new. I'm leaning towards gouramies but am open to suggestions.
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post #2 of 21 Old 01-27-2014, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by farleysmom View Post
I have had tanks in the past but have been out of the loop for about 10 years.

A friend recently gave me a 10 gal tank. I know it's not an ideal size, but it's what I got. It's got a great filter, but that's about it. I'm heading to town tomorrow to get a hood and light and heater and hopefully some plants. Substrate is currently glass marbles and seashells.

I have always preferred natural decor. My last tank was a 500 gal. bowfront with plants and sand and slate rocks. So this is a completely dif. kettle of fish… I would still love a well planted tank. Keeping in mind we have hard water, what would you recommend for plants and/or fish?

I've had live bearing before and really enjoyed them- I could do that again or try something new. I'm leaning towards gouramies but am open to suggestions.
Your substrate isn't the best, especially since shells change your pH.
Many live bearers such as Mollies, Platys, and Guppies, are able to stand hard water and actually prefer it.
As for plants, I've heard most do well in hard water.
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post #3 of 21 Old 01-27-2014, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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ok. I'm not against changing the substrate. What would you recommend?
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post #4 of 21 Old 01-27-2014, 07:03 PM
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ok, hit me with some creative ideas

I think sand is best.

What did you keep in the 500 gallon tank and how much does such a tank cost??
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125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
2.5 - betta
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post #5 of 21 Old 01-27-2014, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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I think sand is best.

What did you keep in the 500 gallon tank and how much does such a tank cost??
The tank was given to me by someone moving and couldn't bring it. I have seen similar ones around 4000$ I have seen them used for $1500. He kept sharks and rays. He sold those separately. So I set it up with mainly angels.
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post #6 of 21 Old 01-27-2014, 11:52 PM
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Sand, gravel. Whichever you prefer. As long as it's natural.
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post #7 of 21 Old 01-28-2014, 02:39 AM
I prefer sand with my plants
Ten gallons is pretty darn small. I'd do a group of shrimp, or a single betta and some snails. Or a small sorority....or even a few African dwarf frogs.
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post #8 of 21 Old 01-28-2014, 04:30 AM
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hello and warm welcome.
i like the shrimp and Betta idea…
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post #9 of 21 Old 01-28-2014, 05:45 AM
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Hello and welcome to the forum

One stunning male betta and some interesting looking snails would be great in that tank.
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Animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers.
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post #10 of 21 Old 01-28-2014, 07:06 AM
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It's wonderful that you're getting back into the hobby! I hope it rekindles your love for it :D

A 10 gallon gets a bad rap in my opinion. It's small and options are limited, but PWC are MUCH easier, filters are inexpensive, décor and substrate won't break the bank (so you can GI for nicer stuff), and maintenance costs (cleaning supplies, ferts, conditioner, electricity, PWC water...) are low. I have a 10 and a 25 myself and on days my disability acts up, I can still handle the PWC on my 10 alone :)

If I were you, I would go with sand. It is very easy to keep clean with a simple gravel vac. I've had both and the gravel stayed dirty and was impossible to clean once my plants developed a root system. And the young sprouts were always coming loose. My plants really took off once I put the sand in. Caribsea Supernaturals is a little pricey, but worth it. ;)

Also, I tried playsand and pfs and let me tell ya, they are not worth the time or wasted water. You might as well buy the good stuff instead of that with a small tank. It's not worth it unless it's 50 gal or more and even then, I don't know if I would do it again. -_-

Now to fish. A betta and snails or a betta sorority would be fun. I keep them myself and love them. They have a lot of personality. How hard is the water exactly? Guppies come in an amazing variety of colors and are good from 8 to 30 dGH. A Neolamprologus brevis can be in tanks above 18 dGH and you could put 2 pair or a pair and some snails/upper level fish in there with them. They are one of the few Cichlid that aren't too aggressive or territorial (just don't overcroud the floor). Sparkling Gouramis and White Cloud Mountain Minnows can be in water up to 18 dGH. ADF up to about 12. Those are just a few options to consider and from my research, they are all (save the ADF) easy care and hardy.

As for plants, I couldn't tell you what works best for hard water, but flourish is a great liquid fert and it lasts a loooooong time in a 10 gal. Just measure with an eye dropper as it is very strong. I stay away from root feeders as I don't like using tabs and the liquid is more cost effective.

Also, Omega One is a great brand of food and Prime is my go to conditioner. A turkey baster makes a great spot vac and cheep toothbrushes are good for cleaning décor and tank seems. If you live somewhere cold, make sure you have something to cover the tank with or power the heater if the power goes out. 10 gallons can cool down pretty fast. There are lots of diy ideas online if you look.

I hope that helps. My thumbs are killing me! I miss my laptop. Typing on my phone takes for-freakin-ever! -_-
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