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CatB 11-06-2011 12:28 AM

Starting a 10 gallon freshwater tank, have questions
 
Hi, I'm new to this site but since I'm going to be starting a 10 gallon (freshwater) tank soon, I thought it'd be a good idea to get some advice before making any purchases.

I'm going to get a totally new tank and hood, the biggest reasons I'm going 10 gallon are the price and amount of space I have. I have a penguin biowheel mini filter that's been sitting around but will be used for the first time, and I want to use some smaller gravel. I'm going to get a heater, a chemical testing kit (we already have an ammonia testing kit, so a pH kit really), and a thermometer that sticks on the side of the tank.

As for plants, I'd like something pretty easy (maybe a java fern?) and maybe only partial coverage, like plants on the sides of the tank mainly and not the middle. I'd maybe like a larger, rounded rock or two?

I'd get the tank through a nitrogen cycle, and then purchase my fish.
I'd like to keep one honey gourami (colisa chuna) and some platies, if that works.

So my questions are:
Does this set-up sound reasonable? If not, what's wrong with it?
How many platies could I keep with one honey gourami in a ten-gallon tank, and what are good foods for these fish?
What plants should I get/what's easiest to keep?
What wattage should I use for a tank light?
Any good tips on fishless cycling (links to good instructions would be nice)?
What else could I add to make the tank better, how much would it cost?
Any other general tips?

This won't be my first time keeping fish, but I only ever kept bettas in small tanks (1/2 gallon, mostly, but I did frequent water changes and two of the three I ever had lived about two years, one closer to three, and seemed happy, making bubble nests and stuff) and three goldfish that didn't live very long in a way too small tank that I didn't know was way too small (2.5 gallons with a crappy filter that didn't do a very good job) when I was a bit younger. I also had a 5 gallon tank of a very many ghost (feeder) guppies that lived for a long time until we tried to clean their tank and they all died because the water was too clean, or maybe stress or both. One of those guppies is still alive (he's really old, I don't even know why he's still living- I swear it's been at least five years and that seems long for a feeder guppy), but my mom does most of the work with him. He has a small corner filter.
So, this will be the most serious tank I've ever kept.

Thanks,

Cat B.

Calmwaters 11-06-2011 07:53 PM

Hi there! Welcome to the forum and I think it is great that you are doing your research before you get the fish. Now let me see what I can do to help you get going in the right direction. ; ) First I would not do a honey gourami in a 10 gallon tank I have one in a 55 gallon and he is a pretty active little guy that swims all over the tank. If you can get the ph and hardness of your water we can help you more with the fish suggestions. You mentioned a test kit for this I would suggest an API master kit it is very reliable do not get the strip test kits they are cheaper but they are not very reliable at all. For the light on your tank if its flouresant if you get a 6500 daylight bulb it would be great for simple low light plants, if its the screw in incadesent bulbs replace them with compact flouresant and they will work for plants. Now for plants if it is possiable for you to buy them online it will save you lots of money. As far as what plant will work well in a 10 gallon I would suggest Echinodorus ‘Kleiner Prinz’ which is a small sword plant, it would do well to oneside of the tank then maybe two Cryptocoryne wendtii, it comes in a really nice red color, a green color, and a bronze color, then maybe somekind of floating plant for the top one of my favorite is brazilian pennywort, or duckweed. If you would like some duckweed I can mail you a little bit of it as I have tons growing in my shrimp tank. Also if you get a good amount of plants it will automatically cycle your tank and you will not have to worry about seemingly endless water changes to keep your fish from dieing. Let me know if you would like some websites that I have used to order plants from that I have been pleased with and also feel free to ask if you have any more questions.

Byron 11-07-2011 05:12 PM

Hi Cat and welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

Amanda has given ytou some suggestions. When we know the water parameters of your tap water it will be easier for us to offer a few more ideas on suitable fish for a 10g.

Byron.


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