10 gallon almost cycled, need stocking help
I am slowly getting through the fishless cycling process of my tank (nitrites and nitrates are both high, cutting ammonia input) so I can now begin to think about stocking my tank........... the problem is I have no idea what I want to stock it with. Well ok I have a vague idea, but need some extra input. It's a 10 gallon tank with HOB filter (not sure on model, its a kit from Petsmart), gravel substrate, a few fake plants of varying sizes, one small cave and one larger cave and is heated. I want something that is pretty hardy, but provides a good amount of color and activitiy........... I had been thinking a group of either glow light or black neon tetra's (how many??) and either some otto or cory cats for the bottom (again how many??). Any other suggestions?
Endler's Livebearers are pretty small and would do well with black neons and glowlights. http://www.geocities.com/shtinkythefish/endler.htm
Whatever you do pick, make sure to follow the rule of thumb. 1 inch of fish per gallon. So for example, you have a 10 gallon, you have 10 inches of fish to work with. Cory cats, depending on the sp., can get up to 3" or 4", so right there if you wanted two of them, you're already using up 6" - 8" of space, leaving you with little room left. When you follow this rule, make sure you consider the full-grown adult sizes of whichever fish you purchase.
It may suck, but unfortunately 10 gallons isn't that much room to work with. I understand money and space can be an issue, but try to pick up a 20 gallon. I went to a 20 from a 10 and it was the best move I ever made. :D :D
Possibly a couple Cory catfish and maybe a very colorful Betta???
Great advice so far and I'd like to add that any fish you decide on..Before You Buy...Research what each needs for water parameters. Then you can adjust your tank to suit them, they'll last longer, and stay healthy and vibrant for their lifespan.
There are some small tetras you might like: Neons, cardinals, lemon, flame, ember, beacon and glowlights. They can be a little delicate with the exception of lemons and beacons but are worth it.:) Your 10 gallons should be able to handle 12-16 tetras. They contribute little bioload and do not grow bigger than 5 cm at most.
I would consider having some type of slightly larger fish than the schoolers. This will actually help them to school better, otherwise they get very comfortable and spread out.
There are some small gouramis, dwarf gouramis or even smaller types you can search for on website profiles. (I want to say the one I'm thinking of is called a Sparkling Gourami? I could be wrong.) The advantage to this fish is they do fine as solitary fish.
1 2-3" fish
6-8 small schoolers
2-3 bottom feeders
As for the inch per gallon rule, it's a place to start, but most people think that's about it. It's more important to factor in adult size, with the size of the tank, the type of fish schooler/harem/solitary, the amount of waste it produces, the type of diet it consumes, and the area of water it's likely to inhabit. (For instance a antabantid fish will spend a very good portion of it's time at the top of the tank; the tetras/schoolers are mid-bottom fish, and the bottom feeders are usually on the bottom or stuck to the side. This way no one's really competing for space too much.)
Some fish like neons, present such a tiny bioload, and are much happier in more numbers that you might want more of them per gallon because the end result is that they will feel more secure.
Unfortunately there's no perfect stocking rule, since everyone's tank and water differ, as do fish, and their personalities, etc. You might want to start with a small school, like 5, and monitor the situation, and if the nitrates are holding steady and the maintenance is good, you can consider adding 2-3 more later.
Trust me though, I think you will want what I call a "Fat Bodied" fish. My tank was so empty after my first one died. :/ Even though I had lovely little neons, I missed the big one's personality etc.
I also like the idea of a single gourami as it's nice to have a variety of fish in the tank, so 1 of these, plus the tetras, plus the otto/cory should be good.
THere are at least two species of cories that only reach about 1 inch. If you are going to go with cories in a ten, then I would suggest you go with those.
Sparkling gouramis reach about 1.5-2 inches. I am assuming you are ruling out live-bearers because you don't want babies, right?
i am re-stocking my 10 gallon right now, (moved all my fish to bigger tank)-i've got some rasboras, they are great! very pretty colors, and most of them stay small and are very peaceful. i have three of them (one black rasbora, and two harlequin) they are sooo pretty and they all hangout together. i also have a pair of cherry barbs, which fit in there just fine. i think thats all i am going to keep in there for now, unless i get 1-2 more rasboras. you should check them out, they are really cute! they get along with anyone.
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