Plant Advice - Good Beginner live plants?
I need some advice for my son's 10G tank. We have cycled it for 3 weeks and have all the fish in it we want but now he is wanting to add a live plant or 2. From have I have read it will help with the fish load.
Here are a few specifics.
2 Black skirt Tetra's
2 Glo Tetra's
1 Long skirt Tetra
3 Red Eye Tetra's
1 Panda Cory
3 ghost shrimp
All his plants are plastic
What would be a good starter plant to replace one of the fake plants? Also I need something that we can use with the gravel so we don't have to change the substrate.
Here is a link to see his tank
Preston's - 10 gallon Freshwater fish tank
ANY advice is appreciated.
Some good beginner plants would be wisteria ,java fern , water sprite, and anubias just to name a few. They are also not demanding of a lot of light. Wisteria and water sprite can be floated and are fast growers.
All the fish you have need bigger groups as they are shoaling fish. I would try to stick with maybe 6 -7 of one species and maybe 4-5 cories as that would be max for your 10 gallon
If it's not too late for you ,play sand would be an exellent substrate and cheap . This would be very beneficial for the cories as they like to dig and could damage their barbells from the gravel. If you stick with gravel make sure it has smooth edges.
One more comment. The fish you named need bigger than a 10 gallon. You can check up top in the fish profiles and see exactly what is needed for them.
Will I need to re-cycle the tank if we change to the sand? My concern would be switching to sand and adding the fish immediately.
As far as the fish at my LFS they told me we could do the fish we have in the numbers we have. I know your profiles advise differently but all the tetra's are schooling together presently and seem fine.
Eventually he will probably upgrade to a larger tank but they are small for now.
Now the Cory I asked the LFS the other day when we added him about needing mates for him and he assured me he is fine singly. Even thought I have read otherwise. I will say its hard to reading here then consulting with a live person. So many different opinions...
Since its only been 3 weeks it may go through another cycle, at least a mini cycle.
As for the fish fish stores will often give you bad information just to sell you stuff or fish. It doesn't matter that they are small . Some of the fish you mentioned need at least 36 gallons as they need room to swim. They may seem fine and may seem like they're schooling but that may be because of such a small tank(no where to go) . Yes some tetras will school together but the black skirt tetras I'm not so sure of. It really would be best if you could stick with one particular tetra and have 6 of them, or upgrade to a larger tank. The fish would really appreciate it.
Erinbirdsong, welcome--you and Preston--to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.:wave:
On your first question about suitable live plant species, I will mention a few that are easy plants; the names will shade meaning they are in our profiles with photos and care info. Easiest of all and also the most useful are floating plants. Water Sprite is top choice. Some stem plants grow well floating too, as Wisteria someone mentioned earlier, Brazilian Pennywort [works very well], and Hornwort [not in our profiles but a commonly-available stem plant]. For "planted" plants, chain sword or pygmy chain sword is almost indestructible. Java Fern and Anubias can be attached to wood/rock/decor.
Now to the fish issue. It is true there are differing opinions on many aspects of this hobby. The trick is to sort out those who know from those who don't; the source of the info is important. Advice from fish store staff is often, sadly, less than accurate. I do not believe these people are deliberating misleading, but they simply do not know. Most stores do not have any form of training beyond doing what the other staff are doing. If one has a local fish store run and staffed by hobbyists, that is a real advantage. The data in our profiles is accurate because it is what all who know these fish will advocate. I wrote most of the freshwater profiles, and I used the acknowledged authorities throughout.
All tetra, and many other fish too, are shoaling fish. That means, they live in large groups of hundreds, and being in a group is an essential part of the fish's requirements. Most suggest six as the minimum number for a tetra species, but more is always better. However, tank space has to be considered, and as someone mentioned, a 10g is very limited space. Some of these fish should be in a larger (length) tank (a 15g or 20g) minimum, and all the tetra need a group of more than six.
Now, the reasons. Shoaling fish have a need for numbers as security; the more there are, the safer they will be. And that means less stress, and stress is the main cause of all fish disease. Second, there may be a hierarchy within the group, natural to the fish; interactions between males, a pecking order, etc is a part of the fish's needs. When denied this, fish can react in various ways, but the most common is aggression. The fish is simply frustrated at not being in an environment that nature programmed into it, and it lashes out the only way it can. Other times, the opposite may occur; the fish becomes withdrawn. In both cases, stress again results, leading to health problems. Some of these cannot be seen until it is too late; when fish die earlier than their normal lifespan, it is almost always due to some facet of stress caused by an inappropriate environment.
At the moment, the fish are in a new environment and they are still adjusting. As time goes on, things will change, it is guaranteed. The fish will either become aggressive, or the opposite and weaken. If it is possible, returning some of the fish is the best solution, assuming another larger tank is not feasible. As for what to return, the "skirt" tetra are known fin nippers and the lack of a group and in so small (to them) a space is going to bring this out eventually. The Red Eye is similarly inclined. The Glofish is a form of the Zebra Danio and also shoaling.
And corys are highly social fish, and must have a group. Sand would be better, but I won't get into the changing of substrates now.
I hope this is of some help in understanding the issues.
Well after all the posts we have read this is the solution we came up with...
Get another tank and split up the fish.
We bought a 27 Gal Cube this weekend with stand and I got it set up Sunday night to start the cycle. Preston wants this one to have a natural look so we have been doing a lot of research over the last 5 days. We filled the bottom with 25 lbs of aquarium sand installed the heated, filter and filled with water to begin to cycle all on Sunday, We have been looking at plants and he is going to order the Standard plant pack from Live Aquaria.com that has the following in it
The Standard Plant Pack comes with the following plants: Micro Sword or Dwarf Hairgrass, Anubias Nana or Anubias Barteri Round Leaf, Java Fern, Red Cryptocoryne or Green Cryptocoryne, Water Sprite, Anacharis or Hornwort, and Cabomba.
I think he is going to leave the Red Eye Tetra in the 10 gal and increase the size of the school to 6, and move the other fish over gradually and also increase their schools.
We were unable to return the fish so as ya'll say the tanks are multiplying!
We wan't to do this the correct way to not stress the fish anymore or lose any of them.
Now I will get the plants in as soon as we get them in the mail. But can we go ahead and move the 2 Glo Tetra's this weekend to help kick start the cycle?
As usual any and all advice is appreciated!
I am assuming things are OK in the 10g presently, so there is no immediate need to move out fish, as there would if ammonia or nitrite was above zero. When the plants arrive and are in , and the larger tank is aquascaped and set to go, the first fish can go in.
Bear in mind that any activity stresses out fish. Moving them, netting them, putting them in a different tank which will have different water parameters, all this adds stress, so the least the better. Moving fish over now is going to cause ammonia and nitrite issues, then you are going to be i the tank with plants, etc. All causing stress.
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