Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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MikeyG 09-17-2009 12:32 PM

New 10 gallon stocking questions
Hi all!

New to fish and the forum...

I have a new 10 gallon with an inch or so of pool filter sand, a Marineland 100 filter, and 4 small live plants (and I have a hiding place decoration)thingie on order. The pH and ammonia levels seem fine, aside from the plants I have had a betta and a shrimp living in it for awhile, and I want to add fish.

I ordered a few pygmy cories from Corys R Us, and I want to buy 2 more plants, and 2 cherry shrimp, but other than that, I could use some suggestions as to what else if anything to put in. I was thinking of one lone smallish fish, or 3 or 4 darters. Also, I got this to watch, so personality is more important to me than pretty, glow in the dark, etc...

Also, a quickie question about water changes...I have read a lot and am still confused...would changing 2 galons every other week be adequate? I don't want to screw up.


MikeyG 09-17-2009 12:33 PM

Oh, and here is a link to the stock list of the fish store I'm going to saturday, if that helps any:

Updated New Fish and Any Other News


eileen 09-17-2009 12:52 PM

I like dwarf rasboras for a small tank. Any small grorup of tetras are nice. Just remember that tetras require a good cycled tank not a new set up. They stay small and you can have a small school since they stay small. Also endlers are nice also. Just stick to the male endlers as females added will over populate your small tank. Get 1 Bushy Nosed Pleco as I have 1 in every one of my tanks. They do not get big and they do a great job on cleaning the floor of your tank and algae from the tank walls like little vacuume cleaners. That betta in your tank might kill your dwarf corys as Bettas are sort of aggressive.
As for water changes I just take out 1/4 of the water from the top and replace that with treated water and I use a product called Cycle when I do water changes added to the tanks once a week. You can get Easy Balance also it's about the same. Test your water also once a week with a dropper test kit as they are more accuarate then the test strips. I have had no problems with doing this once a week. Remember understocking your tank is better then overstocking your tank more fish require more water changes maybe twice a week. Do not over feed your fish also. That will make the algae bloom more. once a day or twice a day and skip a day is a good rule to go by. Also those shrimps will be eaten by your betta sometimes while in the tank together. I would seperate the betta and have that in it's own small tank 1-2 you can get some nice community fish that all get along. How long has your tank been up? It takes awhile to cycle a tank. Cycle and other products speeds the process up but adding to many fish to a new tank is a bad idea. Also setup a small hospital tank to put new fish you get in as a safety measure. It's better to treat new fish if they get sick for a week or two in a hospital tank them have all your fish in you new tank all die of something the new fish brought in. I use Stress coat on new fish also.

MikeyG 09-17-2009 01:05 PM

I moved the betta to my desk in a 5 gallon Eclipse, so no need to worry about Whitey (the betta) harrassing the cories...I hear the pygmies are tiny enough to be snack food for most fish. The shrimps getting 'et wont break my heart too much.

eileen 09-17-2009 01:11 PM

I added more to my post above. I use this chart I found that I have saved for finding out what fish get along with what.
Tropical Fish and Aquariums Compatibility

MikeyG 09-17-2009 01:17 PM

Wow, neat looking link! I put in Cory and the compatible results were tetra tetra tetra tetra tetra guppy tetra ;-p

eileen 09-17-2009 01:43 PM

The chart does not list all the fish but gives you a good idea. They do not have dwarf corys on the list of fish but have cory catfish. dwarf fish mostly get along with the peaceful fish like glo-light and other tetras. Do not get Black skirt tetras as they tend to be mean.Some good community fish do cause problems sometimes. I had to return 2 black swordtails as they were being mean to my Angelfish. Petco and Petsmart has a return policy if you have the reciept so you can see if they get along or not and if not return them within the time frame.

Byron 09-17-2009 04:26 PM

My concern with the above information is the amount of chemicals going into the aquarium. The weekly partial water change [pwc] (and I agree it should be weekly) of 25-30% in a 10g should have nothing other than a good water conditioner to detoxify the chlorine/chloramines/heavy metals in the new water being added. Some like Prime will also detoxify ammonia which is fine but unnecessary in a planted tank or unless you have ammonia in your tap water.

Cycle is a product intended to ease fish stress in new aquariums, but it is chemical not bacteria, so while it seems to work in new tanks there is certainly no use for it in an established aquarium nor during a pwc. The bacteria are established on surfaces in the aquarium, including the gravel/sand substrate, plant leaves, tank walls, wood and rocks, and in the filter media. There is absolutely no need for adding Cycle, even if it did contain bacteria, to replacement water. Wasting your money.

As for the Easy Balance I do not recommend ever putting that in an aquarium with live fish. It contains amongst other "dangerous ingredients" [according to the fact sheet] formaldehyde. The product claims to somehow solve water problems and avoid water changes. Garbage. The long-term effects of these chemicals on the fish is unknown. Nothing should ever go into an aquarium except what you know and then only for very good reason. A water conditioner--but a good one--we use because we know that with the chlorine/chloramine the fish would be dead in minutes if we didn't. There is absolutely no reason anywhere for using Easy Balance or anything remotely like it.

And having maintained corydoras species, including C. pygmaeus for 15+ years, I can assure you they are very sensitive to any chemical and medication. While they may appear to withstand such onslaughts, over time it is quite possible that internal damage is occurring.


eileen 09-17-2009 04:44 PM

You have a very interesting insight. I just use Cycle each week as a matenence once a week like the label says. So in other words I should stop using the Cycle after my tank is established because it is a waste of money. You do have a point. I have a bio filter that has good bacteria in it and the sand in my tank has good bacteria. So if I do a pwc once a week that would be ok? Thanks for the information because I was almost out of my Cycle and was going to order some stuff that Drsfostersmith came out with that is the same as Cycle . It is a little pricey as I have a 55 gal, two 5 gals, one 6 gal., one 3 gal, and one 10 gal. in the garage right now that might be set up at a future time. This will save me a ton of money in the long run over the year.

MikeyG 09-17-2009 05:12 PM

Byron...I wish I had been able to read your reply sooner. I just added the Seachem Neutral Regulator and now my water is all milky. There are no fish in the tank, but I have some pygmy cories arriving tomorrow! I guess I have no choice but to test the water in the morning and hope for the best :(

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