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Setting up a new ten gallon tank
The last of my fish (a gourami) died recently in my ten gallon tank. He lasted approximately 5 years :-(. Now I know much more about fish keeping and want to start up a successful community tank.
I was considering doing something like this (taken off another fish keeping forum that I don't belong too)
1 dwarf gourami
3 platies- all male or all female unless fry are wanted
4 pygmy corydoras- stay very small, getting to around ¾ of an inch to an inch long. great for small tanks, but needs yo be kept in groups of 4 or more.
1 honey gourami- similar to the dwarf gourami, but stays 1/2 inch-1 inch smaller.
6 harlequin rasboras- small, good looking, and great schoolers. Another great community fish.
6 ghost shrimp
But I'm leaning more towards the first one because I really like the pygmy corydoras.
Does this seem like an appropriate amount of fish for a ten gallon tank? Also I would like to make it planted so any plant suggestions for someone starting their first planted tank? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Do check out the fish profiles, they're written and maintained by experienced members here and have very reliable information. There is a link at the top of the page that leads you to the main index of profiles, or you can also click fish names in posts like this one when they get automatically shaded with a grey background.
Platy (Xiphophorus maculatus) Profile
The minimum tank size given here is a 20 gallon - these are not very small fish, and you're trying to set up a very small aquarium. Same goes for the gouramis.
The pygmies stay small as you said, and would work fine on the substrate, but they do better in groups of 6 or more because they are a shoaling fish. I can only speak about Corydoras paleatus, but upon increasing their numbers from 5 to 7 in my tank they have become much more active and social (and therefore also more fun to watch).
But with 6 pygmy cories we're already looking pretty limited in terms of additional space for more fish. To be frank I probably wouldn't really try to make a "community" type setup in such a small tank. If you're looking to make a beautiful planted tank, a nice setup might be to plant it very densely and have a group of shoaling fish as the lone inhabitants.
IMO a 20-gallon or bigger tank would give you much more room to work with, and the bigger the tank, the easier it is to maintain because small water volumes mean higher chances of volatility in water quality.
I agree with Eug. A 10 gallon tank isn't much of a community. You can have two species of fish in there tops, and one invert. A 20 gallon offers more room, and a 29 gallon is even better.
If you are dead-set on using the 10 gal, you could do one honey gourami (they don't come with health issues like the dwarf gourami - read profile for more info) and a school of pygmy cory. Since the pygmy cories are known to be rather skittish and sensitive, I wouldn't keep them in groups less than 6.
Thanks for the help guys. A 20 is a little too big for where I want the tank to go. But today I purchased a 14 gallon kit that was $30 off. I'm hoping this may give me some more options, but I want to worry about the plants before stocking it. What plants would you guys suggest to someone new to planted aquariums. I'll use material from the old tank to cycle my new one faster.
I love plants: the way they look and their effects on the aquarium. Glad you're deciding to give them a try. You're probably going to need to find a new bulb. Look for one with a kelvin rating between 5000 and 7000. I use the Zoo Med Ultra Sun Super Daylight bulbs and have not been disappointed.
Anubias is a great starter plant. Tough as nails, and they love low light. Java fern is another great one. Both of them look really good when tied to driftwood. Dwarf chain sword is another good one. Water sprite is a great floating plant and will make your gourami feel right at home.
Thank you koi maiden. Your posts are greatly appreciated.
Even though I said I'd worry about the stocking later, I'm getting a little anxious lol. Do you think the 14 gallon tank gives me a little more lee way? Could I do something like
1 Male sparkling gourami, 2 Female sparkling gouramis and 6 pygmy corydoras.
If not I'll probably just take eug's shoaling tank idea. I looked at all of these profiles and it seems like they're all appropriate for smaller tanks but maybe not together.
I'm really hoping I can find some dwarf corys. If not I'll probably have to take the online route.
I think you could do the sparkling gourami group in a 15 gal tank. If you're having trouble finding some of the dwarf cory species, online is a great place to look. Depending on your location, you might be able to call around and find some other pet stores that carry them. I only have large chain stores in my hometown, but if I drive 45 minutes south, there is a great pet store. It's worth the drive for good fish.
Thank you again koi maiden. My tank is in the first day of a fishless (with a couple plants) cycle. I have some gravel, filter media and fake plants from my old tank to kickstart the colonies and I have a Java Fern and Anubias planted in the substrate. I'll definitely pick up some water sprite when I can find it.
You are very welcome! Keep us updates with how it goes. Since you have gravel and decorations from the old tank, your cycle shouldn't take too long. Can't wait to see some pictures of the finished product!
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