Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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mommyandkids 06-10-2012 01:46 PM

New to the hobby
Hi there! New to the fish keeping hobby. It all started with one of those 3 gal tanks from a "big box store". We soon found out, that for what we wanted, these are more trouble than they are worth. I was gifted a 10 gal tank, while it is a step up from a 3 gal, I know it is not ideal. However, I am a single Mom, on a tight budget, and free was in the price range. I want to move to a 30 gal tank, but will need to save some money for that.

What we have right now is a Gold barb and yes the common pleco. (I know that the tank will not fit him forever, but for right now he is ok) I also have a Broad Leaf Amazon Sword plant. I would like to stock our 10 gal with a few fish, while waiting for the savings for the 30 gal grow.

I would like to have a bottom, middle, and top swimmers. I realize space is limited, but in 6 months I will have the 30 gal tank. So I would like advice on what we could do in a 10 gal tank to get our three levels of fish, that include the barb. Just trying to make due with what we have.

When the pleco grows out of his tank, he will be moving to my sister in law's 55 gal.

Any suggestions would be welcomed.

Varkolak 06-10-2012 08:37 PM

Grab a cory cat for the bottom, their very active scavengers and pretty hardy - you can usually find a few different color variations and your LFS from albino to panda to who knows what else, your barb is a pretty solid middle swimmer so that just leaves the top, My personal favorite are zebra danios and gold danios, you can get them in a normal or long fin variation but I might avoid the long fin with your barb in there. Barbs have a reputation for nipping fins

Danios and corys are both great budget fish, hardy and low maintenance as well as usually having a low price tag

LyzzaRyzz 06-10-2012 09:26 PM

Cory cats are group fish, needing five or six fish to a group, or they get stressed, inactive, and ultimately more susceptible to illnesses.
Danios or tetras of any kind need to be kept in groups of seven or eight. Its called a shoal. If they are kept in smaller numbers, they tend to be scared, timid, and hide all the time.

Barbs are the same way, living and thriving in groups of five or more.

Barbs have been kept with mollies, which are also group comfortable fish, but if not all female, there needs to be a 1 male to 2 female ratio.

So, most of the fish that could be housed with your barb wont be just one or two fish. They will need more than your ten gallons.

My suggestion for your ten gallon, would be to get four or five more gold barbs, and a mystery snail. Mystery snails are actually alot of fun to watch, and have really pretty markings!

You may be able to pull off two more barbs and three mollies, if your parameters are good, and you do regular water changes. Youll also need your tank to have alot of plants, for hiding places, and having this will also really help with the low number of your group.

Mollies do breed and produce live young ALOT, but your tiger barbs should be able to take care of them for you. If you wanted to raise the young, you would have to have a seperate breeder and tank, as the barbs will eat their young.

Varkolak 06-10-2012 11:35 PM

Now that i reread your post i actually have a solo gold barb in my 90 gallon, hes the only survivor of a trip to columbus to visit aquarium adventure and stock up on harder to find fish, i think i started with 3 but hes the only one left and seems to be doing great in my community tank, hes probably going on nearly 2 years now as a single gold barb and he has a much more mellow personalty then my rosy red barbs in my 150 so I take back my fin nipping comment earlier

mommyandkids 06-11-2012 10:50 AM

I don't have tiger barbs at the moment. Just a gold one. Is your suggestion to get another gold and then a few tiger's?

Frequent water changes I got use to when I had the 3 gal running. The plan for that one is to either make it a minnow tank, or a betta tank. Not quite sure yet.

What if I did 2 neons, another gold barb, and 2 danio's? This is what I was thinking, at least until they could move to the 30 gal. I know the fish like it better with more in a group, but would two be ok?

By Dec the 30g should be up and running...

LyzzaRyzz 06-11-2012 04:32 PM

Honestly, two wouldent help. Youd just have two fish youd never see.
Go for a small group, like four or five.
You can go crazy when you get your 30 gal, but your going to have so many more problems and issues for your ten gallon if you only get two of each.
Six fish in your ten gallon is actually a bio overload.
My opinion is to get three more barbs and some snails.
More frequent water changes may grant you an extra two fish, but honestly, your not going to get the look you want with those fish. The danios and the tetras will not school together. Their going to hide. They might even refuse to eat.

For your 3 gallon, its a perfect betta tank, and minnow? you mean rosy red minnow? Your going to have a real hard time keeping any of those, as most of them are diseased and sick, because pet stores just view them as feeders. i bought 45 of them, and two survived.

mommyandkids 06-11-2012 09:02 PM

I was thinking the Rosy Red Minnow, then read up on them, and agreed it would be hard to keep them around. A betta will look very nice in the 3 gal half moon shaped one. I know I want to put some live plants in the 3 gal, but it will have low light conditions. Probably just an airstone/LED light, and some basic sunlight that it will get from the picture window across the room. I like the live plants so much better than the plastic... Just going to have to do some research on what will work best...

Thank you for the advice on the 10g. Ok., so I go the Barb route, do they all have to be gold ones? Or can we go for a few other types?

mommyandkids 06-11-2012 09:03 PM

I ask because I have been reading conflicting view points. Some articles will say you can put more that one type of barb together, and they will be happy. Other articles say stay with same type...

Olympia 06-11-2012 09:34 PM

For best results, I would stick to the same species, especially in a 10 gallon. Fish will always prefer their own species to others so this results in happier fish.
I'm not totally sure of barb dynamics, you may be able to add in a second species in your 30 gallon, but I'd leave that to someone who's kept more barbs.
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Pufffreely 06-11-2012 09:49 PM

in smaller tanks your stocking level is limited. my best advice would be find the one fish you gotta have,find the live plants you both like, combine and grow. you can fill all 3 stratas with plants that will make you aquatic friends happy and grow with their home. got? happy to help
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