Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Baserunner 04-01-2010 01:38 AM

New 10 gallon tank. Any ideas?
It's my first time posting here and I am very excited to see a good community of aquarists, so hi to everybody!

I am soon off to college to study marine biology, and I want to have an aquarium at college in addition to the one I have at home (It only makes sense). Unfortunately, most schools limit the size of a fish tank to 10 gallons. The good news is that I have a 10 gallon sitting in my garage. I have no filter, heating, or lighting for it, so any suggestions on that would be helpful.

Also, what do you guys reccommend I do with it? I'm really open to any suggestions, keeping in mind this is on a college student's budget. ;) It was used for goldfish when I was younger, and now it's time I set it up for something a little more interesting!

outpost 04-01-2010 02:25 AM

I'm going to set a a low tech planted 10 gal soon. You might like that. Or you could do a reef tank. I have a 30 gal reef and love it. ipsfdotcom on YouTube has a inexpensive 10 gallon reef setup guide. It is really informative. You should check it out if you want to do a reef tank.

iamntbatman 04-01-2010 05:07 AM

Welcome to the forum!

Here are some ideas that might be a little more interesting than your standard 10g full of guppies or neons (of course things like the pH and hardness of your water supply should be taken into account before making a choice):

-Plant the heck out of it and get three dwarf puffers
-Plant some vals along the back, aragonite sand out front with a small colony of dwarf shelldwellers (multies, L. ocellatus, etc.)
-A pair of Badis badis
-Go brackish and get some bumblebee gobies
-A school of 8-10 pygmy corydoras and 10 or so microrasboras

1077 04-01-2010 05:17 AM

I might fancy a small shoal or school of Celestial pearl Danios, White cloud minnows, or Sparkling gourami. Or maybe a planted shrimp tank.

karjean 04-01-2010 05:25 AM

Welcome to the forum, It is good to have future marine biologist in the forum. I would recommend a shrimp farm. they are cool looking little critters.

moot88 04-01-2010 01:18 PM

[quote=iamntbatman;354921]Welcome to the forum!

-Plant the heck out of it and get three dwarf puffers

That would be awesome! but how would you grow the plants well in a ten gallon? like what would be your set up? filter? light? would you have CO2? etc...I'm interested, I'm also Baserunner's neighbor in real life hehe8)

philipboucharddavies 04-01-2010 01:51 PM

Get 4 or 5 platys super interesting fish!!!!

Phil :)

kelly528 04-01-2010 02:58 PM

Here is a massive list of 10g approved fish I that I wrote for outpost:


would do a fishless cycle since you have not yet made the mistake of filling it with fish before attempting to cycle.

In a 10g tank you could easily keep a small community, a species tank, livebearers, dwarf shrimp or dwarf puffers... there's lots of possibilities. The biggest thing is to research the final size of the fish as many fish are sold when they are only a fraction of their adult length.

Some options for you off the top of my head are

-Endlers livebearers
-Corydoras Catfish
-Dwarf Shrimp
-Dwarf Puffers (species only)
-Bumblebee gobies (species only)
-African dwarf frogs
-A betta
-Tangynykian shell dwellers
-Kribensis cichlids
-Apisto cichlids

OR you could put some microrasboras in.... you have to see them they are absolutely ridiculous. The larger ones top an inch while the smallest species is only about 0.5" long from head to tail tip. They are some of the world's smallest fish. If you're interested just google these:

-Celestial Pearl Danio
-Chili Rasbora
-Boraras brigittae
-Boraras merah
-Microrasbora nana

There are probably about 20 species in addition ot the ones I mentioned above.

Two other really cool fish are dario dario and badis badis.
Some fish like bumblebee gobies, any sort of killie, dwarf puffers, badis badis and dario dario (both killies) require a diet of live or frozen food which may be inconvenient in university housing but I do know people who do it.

And WHATEVER YOU DO don't fall into the baby-fish trap. The baby-fish trap (I made that up right now lol) is the blunder of buying a fish that 'looks small enough', when in fact it is commonly sold at a very early age in pet stores and will eventually grow up to 1, 2 or 3 feet! The worst part is that pet stores often mistakenly tell you that they'll get smaller than they do. Some common offenders are:

-Bala Sharks (2-3 feet)
-Iridescent Sharks (3 feet)
-Goldfish (1-2 feet)
-Common Plecos (1 foot)
-Oscars (1 foot)
-Red tailed catfish (3 feet)
-Red Bellied pacus (1 foot)

...and there are many more! The moral of the story is to always look up the size of the fish BEFORE, not after buying it!

Byron 04-01-2010 03:09 PM

Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping. And good luck with college.

Lots of good suggestions and ideas from previous responses. Something I haven't seen (unless I missed it, getting ancient here;-)) are water parameters. If the water out of the tap going into the aquarium is soft, or hard, acidic or basic, it will help to know. Some fish can adapt to some extent (this in my experience is limited), some cannot at all. For an obvious example, no point in planning on a 10g with a pair of Mikrogeophagus ramirezi (blue rams) if the water is hard and pH of 8. They would be dead within days.

A comment on the plants, you can have beautiful planted tanks without CO2. Just look at the photos of my Aquariums under my name on the left. Or Angel079's, or Wisfish... and others (sorry, can't remember you all:-)). We are all low-tech, natural-style aquarists. The light is important, but nowadays on a 10g an incandescent hood (they are cheaper) with two CF bulbs in a daylight or full spectrum type works wonders.


Baserunner 04-01-2010 06:04 PM

Wow! All of these options sound excellent! Byron, your tanks are amazing! Thank you everybody for the awesome suggestions. I will have the pH of the tap water later today...

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