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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
First time posting! I'm a high school art teacher about to bring aquatic life to my classroom. I have owned fish before, I know what a cycled tank means and I'm not afraid to do hours upon hours of research before acting on the smallest decision for my watery creatures.

One of my students graciously gave me a brand new 10 gallon tank (the Top Fin kit which includes waterfall filter, hood, LED light and heater). I'm ordering a sponge attachment for the intake on the filter. I'll also be adding some live bushy plants and fake plants and plenty of resin or rock hidey holes. I planned on using sand substrate but I'm open to suggestions. The room I keep them in is completely windowless and a bit chilly (tile floors and concrete walls, feels like a cave sometimes!) although I'm not sure of the exact temp yet. Being that this will be a classroom tank, I'll be away for weekends but could take it home for holidays longer than three or four days. The PH for the city water here is around 8.8. All my aquarium water goes through my reverse osmosis filter.


I love bottom feeders or any creatures with interesting traits (like long skinny bodies, spindly legs or plump bodies). I'll definitely be moving in two apple snails (as their new tank mate is harassing them horribly). I'd also like to have a few cherry shrimp. I absolutely adore kuhli loaches, but know they thrive with 4 or more. I guess my question is, what would be a good balance where I could have shrimp, two snails and then something of interest. If I must, I will stick with a few guppies (as I feel they're the most visually appealing of the "light load" fish) but I wanted to see if anyone had any interesting creature that I hadn't heard of yet. Or if having only bottom feeders (my true loves!) is a bad idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Keeping the snails and shrimp is kind of what I thought would be the answer, but thought I'd see if there were some mystery fish I hadn't heard about yet!

On the other hand, having breeding shrimp is a great thing as I also have a future Axolotl tank thats cycling atm and having some live food to leave for the little guys over the weekend was my backup plan!

Hmm, I wasn't aware of the mineral problem with reverse osmosis. At my local aquarium store (pretty good reputation around here and privately owned and operated by an aquarium enthusiasts) they sell "aquarium water" thats been treated somehow and when I mentioned my RO filter the girl said "it's basically the same as the water we sell" and left it at that.

Would you recommend using normal tap and a dechlorinator? That would be easier as I've got three sinks in my room already, I'd have to lug the RO water from home. The only problem I see is that our local water is pretty notorious for being awful (hence owning a filter in the first place). Just try google-ing "Norman, Oklahoma water" to see the horror stories of articles about arsenic, chromium-6 and others in our water system. I don't drink the water and I'm not too keen on letting creatures live in it unless theres a surefire way to remove everything harmful without removing minerals. But if theres ways to add minerals back to RO water, maybe that would be best?
 
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