Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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binaryjripper 04-19-2007 03:17 PM

Decisions Decisions
So last night I ordered my filter, heater, cycle chemical, net, lid, and extra filter and extra carbonate for the filter.

So now while I wait for my equipment I got to decide what fish I want. And it's so hard because there so many freshwater fish out there. I guess all in all I want fish that do something and that don't hide or mope around.

I was curious though about bottom feeders. Are there freshwater snails and are those helpful to have in a tank?

Do i need to get a pair of bottom feeders or will one be happy be a loner?

What are some great bottom feeders?

Are those fish that suck the glass great to have?

What are the coolest freshwater plants to get?

As you can see I'm really into this now. It started as a thought and now I'm going full throttle with it. I know I only have a ten gallon tank for now but who knows I might upgrade soon.

leifthebunny 04-19-2007 03:32 PM

Snails are ok, but can get out of control unless you plan in advance how to deal with them. Some of them are quite harmful if you decide to do planted tanks (such as pond snails), but with carbon in your filter, I wouldn't recommend doing a planted tank, the carbon removes the nutrients the plants need.

Cory catfish are bottom feeders and are quite fun, specially in larger schools. In a 10 gallon tank, they will be fine as a pair.

As for sucker fish, there are a couple of types. Oto cats are smaller (2") and they do pretty good. Plecos are another kind, but tend to be much larger (5"+). Depending on the other fish, can cause problems with them. Some plecos, for example, like to accost slower moving fish while they sleep and suck the slime off them leaving open sores. Also, you'll need to do algae wafers until you get enough algae in the tank.

daisycutter 04-19-2007 04:01 PM

some snails can be helpful red-ramshorns make good additions as there are mostly scavenger/algae eaters they will breed like mad and will have to be kept in check

which bottom feeders you decide on depends on tank size and it other ocupants small coreis are good for smaller tanks with other peaceful fish all bottom feeders must have rounded gravel to prevent damage cpries need more than one if you ever want to see them

common plecos can get very big so its best to go with the smaller species bristlenoses and pitbull plecos are small and peaceful and sutible for the beginner

cool plants??not exatly sure what that means

Lupin 04-19-2007 10:02 PM


Originally Posted by daisycutter
cool plants??not exatly sure what that means

I was under the impression he was talking about plants that look great in appearance. All plants are quite cool.8) The only plants not cool are duckweeds.:roll: :lol: There are hygrophilas, elodea densa, hornworts, ambulia, cabomba and nymphaea species to choose from. Slow growing plants include anubias and Javan fern.:)

tophat665 04-20-2007 02:23 PM

This really depends on the size of your tank and the type of lights you have.

If this is the 10 gallon you were talking about in your earlier post, you'll be really limited, particularly if you have the standard 15 watt bulb.

For plants, java moss is awesome. Lay it on the substrate and sprinkle gravel over it lightly to hold it down, or lay it in a single layer on a rock and hold it there with a hair net, like the lunchlady wears, or stitch it to driftwood or pvc pipe or flowerpots or needlework grid with 2 lb test fishing line. Over time it will grow to cover what it's on.

Anubias are expensive, but look awesome. They also can be tied to rocks and driftwood. They grow exceedingly slowly, but they don't mind low light (which is what you have) and are hard to kill. Just make sure you don't bury the rhizome.

Java fern is yet another one that gets the same sort of treatment, and it's less expensive.

Other plants that can work in a small tank in low light - cryptocoryne wendetii (look for green, red, bronze, tropica, and mi oya crypts.), Amazon Compacta Sword. Brazillian pennywort, Hygrophila corymbosa Siamensis (Grows just fine, not sure how much I like how it looks, though). Wisteria (Hygrophila difformis) - though this can take a 10 gallon over if you don't trim it. Fortunately it grows slowly under low light.

I've had fair succsess with Rotala indica in a 10 gallon tank under a 15 watt bulb. Not great success, but it seems to be surviving.

I've also done alright with Cabomba carolinia, but I know of other folks who haven't.

I'd stay away from nymphea spp. (too big), and Eleoda - unless you are a real scissor enthusiast - grows like mad and can get up to 5' long. Way too big for 10 gallons.

For Fish, Ottos and Pitbull Plecos are really your only algae eating options, vertebrate wise. Other algae eaters include amanao, red cherry, and crystal red shrimp. If you have plants, you will have snails unless you are really careful to kill the snails and eggs before you put the plants in the tank. Frankly, I wouldn't add any snail other than maybe Malaysian Trupet Snails to a tank on purpose, and then only if I had a sand bottom.

Bottom feeders: Small Cories only - C. hasbrosus, hastatus, pygmaeus, guapore, and panda are all good. There are also some less well known catfish that will work in a 10 gallon tank, but you're not likely to see them. Moth Catfish are one of them. Oil Cats (Tatia perugiae (sp?)) might work in a 10 gallon, but it would have to be a species tank with mo more than 4.

Schooling fish: up to 10 of any of the small tetras or rasboras or the very smallest danios - even more of some (up to 15 neons, for instance, or 20 spotted pygmy rasboras) - Neons, Ember tetras, Glo Lights, Black Neons, Flame Tetras (VoRios), Green Neons, Dawn Tetras, Silvertips, Harlequin Rasboras, Rummynose (careful with these - hard to keep stable water conditions in a 10 gallon), Danio choprae, Phoenix rasboras, exlamation point rasboras. Threadfin rainbows also work, as would scarlet badis (dario dario).

There are no barbs, loaches, or goldfish that will survive long in a 10 gallon tank. Not that you're likley to see.

Livebearers - Males or Females - not both unless you want to be overrun with fry. Guppies and Endlers are the ones you'll see. Some of the Gooedids will work, but those you'll have to get through their associations if you want them.

Anabantids-Bettas are the classic: one male or 6 females (no more, no less) in a 10 gallon tank.
Honey Dwarf Gouramis would work - up to 3, the same for sparkling gourmais. Also licorice gouramis - but these are a real chore to keep - more sensitive than rummynoses, and only take live food.

Bumblebee gobies - these are brackish, and there really aren't any other brackish fish that are happy in a 10 gallon, so this would be a species tank.

The only other fish I can think of off the top of my head that would be at home in a 10 gallon would be the Dwarf Puffer. You might be able to get as many as 3 in there (one male, 2 females). I was successfully dissuaded from doing just this by finding a beautiful white delta tailed male betta, but if you go with puffers, they'll solve any snail problem you might have (and give you the problem of raising enough snails to keep their beaks ground down.)

I recommend googling aquacaping and viewing the tanks on the AGA aquascaping contest, in the small category to get ideas for livestock.

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