Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Eraserhead 09-13-2011 11:52 AM

First Tank Setup
 
Hey guys I'm new to the hobby and am setting up my first tank now(slowly, buying a bit more each payday ha ha). Anyway I have a 10 gallon tank that I want to make a pygmy cory community and want to make sure that my plans will work for that. Would the following make for a successful tank or do you veterans see any glaring problems?

10 gal 20"L x 10"D x 12"H
Sand substrate
Rocks and a fake cave
Drift Wood
Fake plants*
6 pygmy corys
A few shrimp
Some kind of "focal point" fish, a betta or guppy maybe


*I'm considering live plants but have never had a green thumb.

BarbH 09-13-2011 12:00 PM

Hello and welcome to TFK :-D Sounds like you have a good plan. One of the things I would do is to check your water parameters to see what the hardness and the ph of your water is to make sure that it will be suitalbe for the corys. You can find out the hardness of your water from your local water people, most have this information available online. If you can not find the information online than I would suggest calling them to ask for the information. The ph can be found out from your test kit. I would recommend in investing in an API master test kit. This will allow you to be able to check for the levels of ammonia, nitrite and nitrates and ph in your tank. This is important when first setting up your tank, and also later on if you are experiencing problems.

As for the corys with a 10 gallon I believe that you could actually do a few more, in the profile it does say that they do better in a larger group.

tf1265 09-13-2011 12:19 PM

Hello!

Your tank sounds like my tank! I have a 10 gallon and cories are my favorite.

It sounds like you'll have a great set up. I would encourage the live plants, my cories love them and they do a lot to help stabilize water conditions. The great thing about aquatic plants is that you don't have to remember to water them or worry about over-watering them. Fertilizer will take you far, and generally you just toss some in when you do water changes. A lot of them act double as water conditioners anyways, so you barely have to remember to do anything for the plants!

If you wanted to add a single "focal" fish to the tank, I think a betta would be beautiful. Cories and bettas make good tank mates because Bettas like the top of the tank and cories like the bottom. The best tips I can give you for the betta are to have something floating on top- real or fake floating plants, but somewhere for him to hide that the cories won't invade, and ADD THE BETTA LAST. Cories aren't territorial but bettas really really are.

The driftwood will be good to lower the pH a bit, cories tend to like pHs a bit on the acidic side.

Sounds like you've got a good plan and a good set-up. If you have questions about cycling your tank, adding fish, equipment to add or not add, or anything else, you've come to the right place!

Byron 09-13-2011 01:36 PM

Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum. Glad you joined us.

I concur with what has been posted. I certainly second having more pygmy cory, in a 10g you can easily have 9-10. I have found having more works better. By the way, we have fish profiles, second tab ifrom the left in the blue bar across the top; when the fish name is the same in posts it will shade and you can click the shaded name to see that profile.

Live plants are not difficult, and floating even for the corys makes a big difference in settling them. May have comments on water when we know your parameters.

Byron.

Eraserhead 09-14-2011 04:19 PM

Thanks for the quick response guys. I take it plants need no filters and don't care about the nitrate cycle? If that's the case I'd be pretty happy to start adding them in before the fish or even before all the necessary equipment for keeping fish are bought.

Also glad to hear I can add more corys, the plan is now 9-10 of them and the Siamese fighting fish (added last!), as well as a few shrimp, which I understand to have a tiny bio load.

I already have a water test kit, glad to hear that API is indeed a good brand. PH is at 7.2 or 7.3, so it seems I'll have to lower it somehow. Not sure on my water's hardness. Just called my water company and missed their business hours by 5 minutes. Who closes at 4 anyway?

Byron 09-14-2011 04:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Eraserhead (Post 825613)
Thanks for the quick response guys. I take it plants need no filters and don't care about the nitrate cycle? If that's the case I'd be pretty happy to start adding them in before the fish or even before all the necessary equipment for keeping fish are bought.

Also glad to hear I can add more corys, the plan is now 9-10 of them and the Siamese fighting fish (added last!), as well as a few shrimp, which I understand to have a tiny bio load.

I already have a water test kit, glad to hear that API is indeed a good brand. PH is at 7.2 or 7.3, so it seems I'll have to lower it somehow. Not sure on my water's hardness. Just called my water company and missed their business hours by 5 minutes. Who closes at 4 anyway?

When we have the hardness numbers (GH and KH) we can consider whether or not it is necessary to adjust the water.

Live plants can avoid any cycling issues if there are enough of them.

Eraserhead 10-02-2011 12:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Byron (Post 825648)
When we have the hardness numbers (GH and KH) we can consider whether or not it is necessary to adjust the water.

Live plants can avoid any cycling issues if there are enough of them.

Still unable to obtain the hardness levels-the women at the water company looked at me like I had three heads when I asked (through the phone no less), and the brochure they gave me only mention contaminates.

How can I tell if there are enough plants? I read that about 1 plant per 2 fish is adequate, is this an accurate generalization?

Byron 10-02-2011 12:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Eraserhead (Post 847746)
Still unable to obtain the hardness levels-the women at the water company looked at me like I had three heads when I asked (through the phone no less), and the brochure they gave me only mention contaminates.

How can I tell if there are enough plants? I read that about 1 plant per 2 fish is adequate, is this an accurate generalization?

As a last resort on the hardness, if your local fish store does water tests, ask them for a hardness. But make sure they give you numbers, for GH and KH [Alkalinity]. "Not bad" or "somewhat hard" are meaningless.

There is no workable guide on plants per fish. The issue is the plants assimilation of ammonia/ammonium, and while all plants do this, some do it far more rapidly and extensively. These are the fast growers, like floating plants, stem plants, and some substrate rooted plants. Swords are good at this, being heavy feeders.


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