10 gallon tank with shrimp, snails....and what else?
First time posting! I'm a high school art teacher about to bring aquatic life to my classroom. I have owned fish before, I know what a cycled tank means and I'm not afraid to do hours upon hours of research before acting on the smallest decision for my watery creatures.
One of my students graciously gave me a brand new 10 gallon tank (the Top Fin kit which includes waterfall filter, hood, LED light and heater). I'm ordering a sponge attachment for the intake on the filter. I'll also be adding some live bushy plants and fake plants and plenty of resin or rock hidey holes. I planned on using sand substrate but I'm open to suggestions. The room I keep them in is completely windowless and a bit chilly (tile floors and concrete walls, feels like a cave sometimes!) although I'm not sure of the exact temp yet. Being that this will be a classroom tank, I'll be away for weekends but could take it home for holidays longer than three or four days. The PH for the city water here is around 8.8. All my aquarium water goes through my reverse osmosis filter.
I love bottom feeders or any creatures with interesting traits (like long skinny bodies, spindly legs or plump bodies). I'll definitely be moving in two apple snails (as their new tank mate is harassing them horribly). I'd also like to have a few cherry shrimp. I absolutely adore kuhli loaches, but know they thrive with 4 or more. I guess my question is, what would be a good balance where I could have shrimp, two snails and then something of interest. If I must, I will stick with a few guppies (as I feel they're the most visually appealing of the "light load" fish) but I wanted to see if anyone had any interesting creature that I hadn't heard of yet. Or if having only bottom feeders (my true loves!) is a bad idea.
Welcome to the forum! :-D
Cherry shrimps (unless you get all males) will soon provide a ton of movement for the bottom as they reproduce quite rapidly. You could easily give your students some at the end of the year.
Personally I feel that if you want a low maintenance tank, you should just stick with the cherries and snails. There aren't too many fish that would do well in a tank that size and most of the will try to make a snack out of the baby cherries. Most fish that would easily work in that tank are rather sensitive fish such as dwarf cories or mosquito rasbora and would require a little more maintenance. Oto catfish would be a possibility, tho.
Do you remineralize your water when you put it back in the tanks? Pure water like what comes from RO filters isn't good for fish. This is going to be especially true with snails and shrimps as they need minerals for their shells and exoskeletons.
Keeping the snails and shrimp is kind of what I thought would be the answer, but thought I'd see if there were some mystery fish I hadn't heard about yet!
On the other hand, having breeding shrimp is a great thing as I also have a future Axolotl tank thats cycling atm and having some live food to leave for the little guys over the weekend was my backup plan!
Hmm, I wasn't aware of the mineral problem with reverse osmosis. At my local aquarium store (pretty good reputation around here and privately owned and operated by an aquarium enthusiasts) they sell "aquarium water" thats been treated somehow and when I mentioned my RO filter the girl said "it's basically the same as the water we sell" and left it at that.
Would you recommend using normal tap and a dechlorinator? That would be easier as I've got three sinks in my room already, I'd have to lug the RO water from home. The only problem I see is that our local water is pretty notorious for being awful (hence owning a filter in the first place). Just try google-ing "Norman, Oklahoma water" to see the horror stories of articles about arsenic, chromium-6 and others in our water system. I don't drink the water and I'm not too keen on letting creatures live in it unless theres a surefire way to remove everything harmful without removing minerals. But if theres ways to add minerals back to RO water, maybe that would be best?
I would recommend h. formosas (least killis) as a hard micro fish species which wont bother the shrimps. :) they are a fascinating livebearer sp!
if you are intent on keeping shrimp, i would recommend neos. ie. red cherry shrimps, yellows, rilis etc. try not to mix these as when thwy interbreed, tend to produce offspring with wild coloration. amano shrimps are also a personal favorite of mine.
with snails I recommend nerites (especially the horned variety)
do invest in some calcium clay. add a pinch to every water change to help shrimp with moults and snails with their shells :)
If your local water is that bad, then I would not use tap water. Shrimps are more sensitive to things like this than fish are. I use Seachem Equilibrium to re-mineralize my water as it not only helps the fish but the plants, too. It would be perfect for a planted tank. You only need a few grams to raise the mineral content in a tank like a 10 gal.
I would recomned a Zig Zag Eel They are really cool I have one in my tank and he is verry personable. I also have a Raphiel Catfish I love but he only comes out at night. Glo fish are neet fish also...... I like to go to a non chain store to look for my fish you get a much broader selection at them.... Good luck though I wish the best for you!
Yes that is true the are also called the tire track eel. I have both, had both in a 10 gallon tank for about 6 months and neither one attacked other fish, I ddi swithc to a 55 gallon tank but that was due to inexperiance and overpopulation.... I had no Idea both got so big! How long does it take?
If you kept either fish in a small 10 gallon for any length of time it's possible you already deformed them due to stunting. Take this as a hard lesson to research before you buy and not listen to the often mindless advice of people looking to just make a buck.
As for the topic, I think the best bet is to use RO water but to do as was suggested and re-mineralize it. Cherries and snails are both good critters to keep with this size and can do well enough when you have to leave the tank be for a bit. If the temp of the tank is a concern, buy a high quality heater.
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