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Male to female ratio in a 10 gal?

This is a discussion on Male to female ratio in a 10 gal? within the Livebearers forums, part of the Freshwater and Tropical Fish category; --> Hello, Jessica! Welcome to the forum - and fishkeeping!!! From my personal experience with guppies in a 10g tank I can tell you this. ...

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Male to female ratio in a 10 gal?
Old 08-22-2012, 08:53 AM   #11
 
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Hello, Jessica! Welcome to the forum - and fishkeeping!!!

From my personal experience with guppies in a 10g tank I can tell you this. . .

First of all, the nitrogen cycle is really important. Having a tank running for a month WITHOUT fish does NOT a cycled tank make. Basically, when fish are introduced into the tank, waste comes with them in the form of ammonia. Ammonia comes from decaying fish food, fish pee and poo, and any type of decay or yuckiness that is in there. Ammonia is toxic to fish, but after a bit of time, a type of bacteria will appear that converts the ammonia into nitrItes. NitrItes are also toxic to fish, but after a bit of time, a type of bacteria will establish itself and will convert NitrItes into NitrAtes. NitrAtes are not toxic to fish if kept within reasonable levels (as they will be if you do a partial weekly water change. It's a good idea to get a water test kit, so that you can see where your tank stands, exactly, as far as cycling is concerned, most people recommend the Master Freshwater Testkit by API - it'll cost around $30, but last you for quite some time, and is far more accurate than the cheaper test strips that you'll see in the shop, too. More detailed explanation of this can be found in this article.

I'm not really sure, but my guess here is that your tank is NOT yet cycled, and so you should hold off for a couple of weeks on adding any fish, and go out of your way to do an extra water change or two every week while the bacterial colonies are establishing. If you add too many fish too quickly, the levels of ammonia/nitrites will rise, and the water will more quickly become inhabitable by your fish, which can result in their death - we don't want that!

As far as stocking is concerned, with guppies, if you choose to do both male and females, the ratio that is most commonly accepted is 2 females for every one male. After waiting a few weeks, IF you choose to mix genders, I'd recommend that you get two females, then wait for another week or two for the bacteria to catch up to the extra waste they'll be adding before adding two more.

A good point has been raised here, in that guppies are live-bearing fish - they don't lay eggs, they deliver living babies, and they do it CONSTANTLY if they're happy. This. . . can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what you want! In many cases, if the fry are left in the tank, they will be eaten by the adults - but this doesn't ALWAYS happen, so there is the risk that you'll end up with too many fish in too small of a tank, which will cause a world of trouble. Your idea of setting up a separate fry tank and donating the babies to friends or fish shops is a good one - but I'd research this first before getting the females. Since guppies are so prolific, some shops will refuse to take them (as they end up with too many to sell or rehome). It won't be long before your friends are ALSO overstocked on guppies. . . so this is something that you should do more investigating into before deciding - and since you should wait a bit before adding any other fish to a new system - you'll have time to do so! Livebearers are so neat to keep, because it's amazing to watch the process of pregnancy and live birth - but to some people, it does get old after a while. So make sure you consider how you might feel a year or so down the line. If you think it'll become a chore to constantly rehome the babies, you might want to choose to stay away from females (the females are almost always pregnant when you BUY them, so keep that in mind, too!)

As far as keeping all males. . .it's kind of a watch-and-see thing! I've had male guppies that lived together in harmony with no issues at all, but I've had others who were fin nippers and got fairly nasty with each-other. It depends on the temperament of the individual fish. A good idea if you choose to stick with all males is to make sure that they have places to hide and get away from each-other, should one try to bully another. It's also a good idea to have another tank, or a new home, lined up should you end up with a bad apple in the group!

I hope this helps somewhat, congratulations again on your new tank, and your new fishy friends!
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:03 AM   #12
 
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I think a better solution than trying to find homes for the fish is to find someone who will take them as feeders - that way they will ALWAYS be happy to take them.
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:06 AM   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaysee View Post
I think a better solution than trying to find homes for the fish is to find someone who will take them as feeders - that way they will ALWAYS be happy to take them.
I totally agree. . . but. . . that *can* be an upsetting option - especially for a beginner, lol! It seems to be the kind of thing that sounds better a few months in
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:32 AM   #14
 
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Yes, that is an option for long term sustainability. I suppose it could be upsetting if one were in denial about the fact that fish eat other fish. I don't see how it's any different than the adult guppies eating them....but I've been called a big meanie so maybe it is :)
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:52 AM   #15
 
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BOTH options can be upsetting until you get used to the idea, lol! With guppies. . . I don't think it takes most people too long to figure these things out.

I had 4 female guppies who had never been put into a tank with males (while in my home) and they had brood after brood of fry - for MONTHS! It isn't uncommon for this to happen, and for the first batch or three, I tried to 'save' all the little babies. . . but you can bet that I got to the point of considering them a food source for their elders pretty quickly! I'm totally down with self-sustaining fish. They get hungry, they create their own food - it's a wonderful arrangement!

And just for the record, *I* think you're a SWEETIE-PIE! But that's not really related to the question at hand ;)
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Old 08-22-2012, 02:01 PM   #16
 
First of all thank you soo much everyone. :D
And I've read everyone suggestions and even though i dont mind the fry beaing eaten i realized I really don't have enough space for another 10 gal. So I'm probably going to stick with males. Also I bought some water testing stuff yesterday and everything came out fine. I might get more plants and decor because I think Mark really likes to chase George around. If it gets to much of a problem i might have to return him and get
another guppy which I really think I'm going to end up doing. Mark is getting really agressive.
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:52 PM   #17
 
Also how do you return a fish? I mean what do you put it in for the drive?
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:49 PM   #18
 
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I've always just used a plastic sandwich baggie! You can get special 'breathable' bags, but it shouldn't be necessary for a quick trip to the shop :)
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Old 08-23-2012, 06:05 AM   #19
 
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Quote:
And just for the record, *I* think you're a SWEETIE-PIE! But that's not really related to the question at hand ;)
Hahaha, that's because you don't know me that well - I'm really a ruthless tyrant.
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Old 08-23-2012, 06:42 AM   #20
 
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Originally Posted by jaysee View Post
I think a better solution than trying to find homes for the fish is to find someone who will take them as feeders - that way they will ALWAYS be happy to take them.
Bad idea, all the way around in my view.
Firstly,, it send's the wrong message to those who I would hope would think longterm with regard's to the fish they have chosen and make preparation's for fry if this is what they wish.
Secondly,, Off loading fry as feeder fish is risky for the person receiving them who can only rely on your word that the fish are healthy.
Let's say they are indeed healthy, and are harboring no parasites or bacterial pathogen's which could be passed on to otherwise healthy fish.
If the transport and acclimation to possibly different water chemistry goes south,,then the feeder's become sickly, and these feeder's may result in the fish eating them,,becoming sick.
And lastly,,many fish refuse more nutritional prepared food's once feeder fish make the menu.
Just my two cent's.
Best to prepare ,,and not find yourself with too many fishes,too few tank's.
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