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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone, I am new to this website. I stopped liked the looks of it and the community and thought I would join :D I currently have a 16 gallon tank (not in use atm) and will be getting a 10 gallon tank ready to go from a friend. I was very lucky to have 2 friends that can both give me tanks. Now the reason I have 2 tanks is because I will be going off to college and will be taking the 10 gallon with me. I had fish as a kid but I am still new to this completely. I am wondering if anyone can recommend some good fish for a beginner with a 10 gallon tank?? I like the dwarf puffers but I am not sure that would be a good fish for beginners. I like the more "weird" or "exotic" fish but understand that may not be the best idea since I am new. So any suggestions are welcome.

Thank You!!!
Volco
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Can I put Cichlids in a 10 gallon tank? I know some of them get pretty big, or is there perhaps a specific kind of cichlid that would stay small enough for a 10 gallon?
 

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Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

No to cichlids, a 10g is not going to be adequate for any. You want to look at small fish, like those for nano tanks. But first we need to know the water parameters, meaning GH (general hardness) and pH of the source water where you'll be. This you can get from the municipal water people, on their website usually. This is important because these small fish will almost always be wild caught and they have more specific needs.

Byron.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Oh okay thank you that's is what I figured. I would love to have cichlids but I have heard they need at least 20 gallons I believe. I looked up the water for my area and it said the pH level is 7.8 and the hardness level is 295 PPM. I don't really know what that means. If it's good or bad any ideas??
 

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Oh okay thank you that's is what I figured. I would love to have cichlids but I have heard they need at least 20 gallons I believe. I looked up the water for my area and it said the pH level is 7.8 and the hardness level is 295 PPM. I don't really know what that means. If it's good or bad any ideas??
Sounds to me like you got moderately hard water. My water system site shows my hardness at 36ppm and when I test it out of the tap its at 2dh. I have very soft water. My ph from the water site tests at 8.11, and out of the tab its 7.8. Find a fish that likes hard water and smaller tank sizes. I believe livebearers like hard water, such as a platy.
Dwarf puffers don't mind water anywhere from soft to fairly hard. And 1 dwarf puffer will actually be fine in a 10 gallon. Dwarf puffers (as all puffers) are scaless so their skin can tear very easily. You will want to keep a soft substrate and no pointy or sharp decorations as they can easily damage their skin on it. This also makes them more susceptible to disease. They prefer live plants and this can help with your water quality as well. You will want to already have your tank cycled before you even think of adding this fish.
Another thing to think about with any puffer fish is their beaks. They need crunch food to make up the majority of their diet. I have saps (which are the worst for their beaks growing so fast) and feed them a diet of 95% live ramshorn and pond snails that I grow for them. They absolutely should not be fed any kind of flake or pellet food. They need only live or frozen foods. For treats my lil guys get frozen bloodworms occassionally, and I have just added shell on shrimp to their diet. They very much enjoy that as well.
Puffers are not hard to take care of but they are intelligent fish and need to have a tank that interests them. Keeping up water parameters is important but that is with absolutely any fish. And their diet needs are a lil more work. Puffers enjoy hunting for snails when you drop them in their tanks though. With harold and mikey I drop a couple in a day. If i did more than that, they would hunt them and eat them until they couldn't swim because they would be so full.
 
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GH at 295ppm is about 16 dGH, which is fairly hard. For a 10g, Endler Livebearers would be one option. Guppy of course, but not very interesting for some people. Browse the profiles.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Alright cool. I mean I am most interested in Dwarf Puffers they seem cool. I know they can be aggressive but is there any sort of fish that is a suitable tank mate for them? I have read up on them but haven't seen anything. Also can i use an automatic fish feeder with dwarf puffer food? My friend mentioned to me that I should get an automatic fish feeder but I am not sure if there is a limit to what kind of fish food you could put in there. Reason I need one is because during school breaks like spring break I would need an auto fish feeder but I can take them home on longer breaks I can take them home.
 

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try AqAdvisor - Intelligent Freshwater Tropical Fish Aquarium Stocking Calculator and Aquarium Tank/Filter Advisor for the fish compatibility. that is a pretty cool webesite for calculating the load.

Why don't you make a planted aquarium with few celestial danios? Those are really small fishes but are very intersting. You can try Killi fishes too. If you are adding sand as substrate, then having pigmy corys will be a fun watching them foraging for food. You can have them as a small group of 5. Since they are 1" max, the load may not be a big issue if you keep more than 5. Or try some shrimps... a planted tank with cherry shrimp s will also be good.. good luck with your tank.. please share pictures when you are done...
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I like those ideas. I don't know if I would do sand I might just stick with pebbles or something. Would a freshwater tank with sand be hard to manage? another question about planted tanks. Do they need special lighting etc? I have heard they are an advantage but they create more algae? A planted tank with Celestial danios and cherry shrimp sounds like a neat idea. I am not sure if they are good tank mates though I will try using that site you gave me.
 

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If puffers, on their own, they will not make good community fish in a 10g. A trio fo dwarf puffers will be it. Lots of plants, they don't swim actively, just cruise among plants. Here's our profile written by a couple of other members:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/puffers-freshwater-species/carinotetraodon-travancoricus-178042/

Plants will do fine with good bulbs/tubes. I assume you have an incandescant (screw-in bulb) fixture? Get Daylight CFL bulbs with 6500K, in 10w size. Two of these will be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
3 dwarf puffers or the cherry shrimp with the celestial danios in my 10 gallon would be cool. I have a Eclipse Filtration and Lighting Systems on my 16 gallon and my 10 gallon I haven't received yet so I dont know what it will have on it. And is keeping live plants in your aquarium hard???
 

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Alright cool. I mean I am most interested in Dwarf Puffers they seem cool. I know they can be aggressive but is there any sort of fish that is a suitable tank mate for them? I have read up on them but haven't seen anything. Also can i use an automatic fish feeder with dwarf puffer food? My friend mentioned to me that I should get an automatic fish feeder but I am not sure if there is a limit to what kind of fish food you could put in there. Reason I need one is because during school breaks like spring break I would need an auto fish feeder but I can take them home on longer breaks I can take them home.
Then a dwarf puffer is probably not for you. A lot of fish will be fine without being fed for a a few days to even a week, but not this puffer. Small fish= big metabolism and as i said before they need live and frozen food given to them daily and cannot sustain in a tank where weekly water maintenance is not performed
 

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I'm planning the same size tank for my room at work, and no cichlids aren't out :) Check out these shell dwellers, which are the smallest of the cichlids. They seem to have pretty cool behaviors. The name is neolamprologus multifasciatus, or more commonly known as "shellies" or "multis". You can keep one male and 2-3 females in a 10 gallon.

I also thought of the DP, but there will be times I will need a janitor to drop food in, and live food for DP is just out, plus they are messy eaters, and water quality issues, unless you are willing to keep up on water parameters. I can be out of my office for 2 weeks, (it's at a school). Of course I'll bring my tank home for the summer :)

These fish are not easy to find, sadly. I've found a guy in Phoenix, who will ship me some. I'm waiting now on the shipping charge. These are the fish I'm planning on.
 

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I like those ideas. I don't know if I would do sand I might just stick with pebbles or something. Would a freshwater tank with sand be hard to manage? another question about planted tanks. Do they need special lighting etc? I have heard they are an advantage but they create more algae? A planted tank with Celestial danios and cherry shrimp sounds like a neat idea. I am not sure if they are good tank mates though I will try using that site you gave me.
Aqadvisor is a great resource if u have an ideaof what kinda fish u want. Planted tanks will actually help with algae as the plants use the resources that algae use. Algae has to compete for nutrients. I dont know much about sand but look at a substrate call Eco Complete. Plants love it. Its soft enough for puffers. It doesnt leach or cloud water. Its good stuff
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Eco complete sounds cool I might get that even if I don't get puffers. I just saw the comment about puffers eating habits, I suppose they are out of the question :/ Maybe some other time when I can take care of them more often. I have narrowed it down to the shell dweller cichlids (thanks Gwen!! :D) or the cherry shrimp with the celestial danios. I have a perfect picture in my head and hopefully I can make it come out that way XD. And I cant find the Daylight CFL bulbs with 6500K, in 10w size can Byron or someone help me find this??

Thanks!
 

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Eco complete sounds cool I might get that even if I don't get puffers. I just saw the comment about puffers eating habits, I suppose they are out of the question :/ Maybe some other time when I can take care of them more often. I have narrowed it down to the shell dweller cichlids (thanks Gwen!! :D) or the cherry shrimp with the celestial danios. I have a perfect picture in my head and hopefully I can make it come out that way XD. And I cant find the Daylight CFL bulbs with 6500K, in 10w size can Byron or someone help me find this??

Thanks!
Byron had just helped me with finding the CFL of 6,500K so I can answer that. It's the curly shaped light bulb, and I found mine at Walmart. The box will say something like it's a 40watt, but only uses 11watt. Something like that - It's a GE bulb. On the back you'll see the Kelvin rating. So, maybe we'll both be dwarf cichlid owners :p

Gwen
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks!! I am actually going to check out a fish store near me then will be heading over to wal mart to check for lighting today. So I will check and see if I can find the light bulb :)
 
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