Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Herky 07-15-2009 07:13 PM

10 gallon options
So I have a 10 gallon tank that is currently set up as a freshwater tank, whose inhabitants will soon be moving to a 29 gallon. I've always wanted a saltwater tank and am thinking of a fish only tank. What, if anything would I be able to have in a ten gallon? What, if any are the problems I might face converting the tank? I plan on doing a complete takedown of the tank if I decide to do this...replacing the substrate with marine live stuff, starting the tank with ocean water. Will the current freshwater heater do the job? What about the filter? I have the smallest tetra whisper filter on the tank and it does a good enough job for freshwater but I'm assuming the requirements are totally different. I like striped damsels and the cheaper clownfish (not sure what species) and those are what I would prefer but if it's not possible in a tank this small then I would consider other fish.

Pasfur 07-15-2009 07:19 PM

A 10 gallon saltwater can be very simple, if you are willing to operate within the limits of the aquarium. I would keep only a single fish, perhaps a Yellow Tail Blue Damsel or an Ocellaris Clownfish. No "filtration" is needed, just 8 to 10 pounds of live rock, live sand, and some activated carbon inside your Whisper will do the trick. Change 1 or 2 gallons of water weekly and you have an easy tank to care for.

On the flip side, if you start pushing the limits at all you will be in serious trouble quickly. This method is really only possible because of the small tank size and limited fish selection. Pretty much anything outside of this idea will quickly become difficult for a beginner in the marine hobby.

Herky 07-15-2009 07:43 PM

Ok, that's really what I wanted to know...exactly confirmed what I was thinking. Since the 10 gallons occupant's are only a handful of tiger barbs, which are perfectly content where they are, I may just dedicate the 29 gallon as my first saltwater attempt. I assume that with saltwater tanks it's along the same lines of bigger=easier to maintain as it is with freshwater.

Pasfur 07-15-2009 08:10 PM

True, but you won't have many more options in a 20 gallon. I would suggest that you can keep 2 or 3 very small fish in a 20 gallon. However, filtration enhancements will become more important, and additional live rock and sand costs will be needed. Dollar for dollar, I would honestly suggest that you wait and purchase a larger aquarium sometime down the road. A 38 gallon to 55 gallon tank would allow you more flexibility and be much more stable. It would also be less expensive per gallon.

Herky 07-15-2009 09:37 PM

If I had the room I would go for a bigger tank...I live in a house the size of a shoebox...hahaha

Pasfur 07-15-2009 09:45 PM

If a 20 gallon is the biggest option, i suggest you treat it like a mini reef setup. You will get a lot more enjoyment out of the tank. Kells and Cody would be great resources for you on this topic.

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