Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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ScottAndChris 08-05-2009 11:04 PM

Help with 10 gallon saltwater tank
Alright my turn!:-D Well I'm really new at this whole saltwater aquarium thing and I need some questions answered, this is the first forum I've ever been on by the way, although my brother (scott) has been on a few. Any the who I have a 10 gallon tank and its my first aquarium, I've read a bit about them and theres alot more than I thought about it. I have six fish that I made shure were small and rather hardy but its starting to get crowded and I'm getting a 20 gallon tank soon, we're on a very low budget if you havn't noticed. I've made some goofy mistakes already and I'd prefer not to make any more so any tips would be a big help, luckily the worst thats happened is I had to take back a domino damsel because he was being a meany. I learned recently that I am supposed to turn the light off, I didn't before because my yellowtail damsel turned pale and sickly and I got nervous, I also had a spike in the amonia level and I'm working on keeping that down, I used some Ammo-Lock and reduced feeding I'm guessing thats because of the high number of fish so early (it's only about a month old tank.) I was looking at getting live rock and sand for my new tank but I don't know much about it or how to take care of it and how my fish will react to it. My current fish look pretty good but i hear they can go without many simptoms. I was also wondering why you need a blue light (I've heard you do) in your aquarium, I have one but it makes half my tank look dark and boring. I was also looking at a shrimp to get later on and im not shure what they need. Will 20 gallons be enough? I'm not shure how big we can go without my mom freaking:-?. Any information will really help so Thanks!:-D

Solarfall 08-06-2009 08:06 AM

That's far too many fish for a 10 or even 20. Whoever sold you 6 fish for a ten gallon tank, let alone a brand new one shouldn't be working with fish. If I were you I'd return all those fish before they die, get a much larger tank, and start over. Small saltwater tanks are not for beginners. They are difficult to keep the water quality stable and you have much more time to react to common problems with a large tank. I strongly suggest you find out a lot more about keeping fish before you jump right into it.

ScottAndChris 08-06-2009 08:19 AM

Ok, I heard that small saltwater tanks were harder after I started it. I'll take back as many fish as I can, I heard you are suppose to have a maximum of 1 inch of fish per gallon and right now my fish are pretty small so I thought I was ok. Would a 30 gallon tank be good enough for a FOWLR for a beginner? I think thats as big as I can go without my dad chucking it.

Solarfall 08-06-2009 08:54 AM

The one inch of fish per gallon rule is applied to freshwater, but I honestly wouldn't even put ten freshwater fish in a 10 gallon tank. The rule for saltwater is one fish per 10 gallons. I also see you have a puffer. Puffers can only be housed alone, with other aggressive fish, or with large docile fish. So you need to make sure you can bring him back most importantly.
30 gallon is a decent start, although a 55 or so is usually reccomended. You'll only be able to put 3 fish in there, but you'll also need inverts like shrimp, snails, and crabs so don't dispair over only being able to keep 3 fish. The inverts are the coolest part anyway I think.
For extra water volume you could put a 10g sump on the bottom of your stand too. The extra volume will be good for the water quality and you can keep your unsightly equipment down there like the heater and protein skimmer.
You can find everything you need to know about setting up a new tank all over the internet if not just here.
Good luck

gus1911 08-06-2009 09:46 AM

I've been keeping small saltwater fish only tanks for about 20 years. In my 20 gal tanks I only had 3 fish MAX!! And they were small fish. All were no bigger than small clown size or damsel size. I would try for the 30 gal or 29 gal and go with 5 fish at most. Small fish and definitely in the EASY category.

Saltwater is a different game than freshwater, however, if you think conservatively, and buy only small, easy fish it can really be easier than freshwater. That's been my experience. In my 20 years experience with saltwater, I've never had a case of ich. In my freshwater tanks it seemed that I had outbreaks of ich every few months.

ScottAndChris 08-06-2009 10:20 AM

Alright, I'll try to get a 30 gallon tank as soon as I can. I can only take back the spotted puffer and banggai cardinal because I just got those for my birthday the other day and they only give you 6 days to return it so I'll try to get the 30 gallon tank put together soon for the other 4, and I'll make the 10 gallon into a freshwater tank hopefully. I'll have to do more research on the equipment, I still dont even know what a sump and protein skimmer are for. Thanks for the info guys it really helps!

ScottAndChris 08-06-2009 02:26 PM

And, just out of curiousity, how come the spotted puffer can only be housed alone, with other aggressive fish, or with large docile fish? My puffer isn't aggressive and he gets his fair share of food so...

Pasfur 08-06-2009 07:43 PM

I want to add some comments about the number of fish. There really is not a good general rule of thumb for how many fish you can keep in a saltwater aquarium of a given size. Typically in a marine environment, factors other than space determine the numbers of fish, such as species selection and diet.

jwalker314 08-06-2009 07:55 PM

welcome to the forum, best advice i can give is start at the top catergory in the saltwater section and work your way down, there is a ton of info on here and a lot of experience to back up the advice given.

Solarfall 08-06-2009 08:06 PM


Originally Posted by ScottAndChris (Post 223671)
And, just out of curiousity, how come the spotted puffer can only be housed alone, with other aggressive fish, or with large docile fish? My puffer isn't aggressive and he gets his fair share of food so...

Puffers are carnivorous and will become aggressive when they're big enough to actually eat other fish. Not to mention that any inverts would be decimated immediately by a puffer because they use shellfish to keep their teeth in check.

I'm assuming by "spotted puffer" you mean a green spotted puffer? A 25-30 gallon tank is the absolute bare minimum for a GSP at adult size too.

Pasfur's right, but I think the one fish/10g rule is a pretty safe general rule to follow for normal sized beginner fish like clowns and stuff. You just have to make sure you're not buying a fish that'll get a foot long or something

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