Tropical Fish Keeping banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I'm relatively new to keeping an aquarium, and I recently bought a new 10gal tank. I went to the local pet store and bought everything to start it up (live plants, driftwood, bacteria starters). I was looking for a nice centerpiece fish and really liked the looks of the a rainbow shark - and with the advice of the aquatics guy I bought one. I realize now I should have looked into it more. Is this shark going to get too big? And what can I put in with it, if anything? I have a whisper pf10 filter and water heater in the tank already.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,059 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Now I really wish I would have joined this site before I bought the tank.

I believe that I could return him (or her, I don't know) So would that be the only option besiides getting a new tank?

I am also aware of cycling, but (again on the advice of people I thought knew better) went ahead and bought the Tetra's Safestart which he told me could let me skip the first parts of cycling.

I guess I need to know where to go from here now that I have kinda screwed up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,252 Posts
Hi and Welcome to the forum! Like BWG has already stated he will get too big that tank. As long as you have him in there I don't really think adding another fish would be a good idea. I am sorry you got this advice from a fish store. There are so many out there that just don't know as much as they should or just want to make a sale.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,252 Posts
Now I really wish I would have joined this site before I bought the tank.

I believe that I could return him (or her, I don't know) So would that be the only option besiides getting a new tank?

I am also aware of cycling, but (again on the advice of people I thought knew better) went ahead and bought the Tetra's Safestart which he told me could let me skip the first parts of cycling.

I guess I need to know where to go from here now that I have kinda screwed up.
For the well being of the fish yes those are really the only two options. Once again sorry!
Safe start will add the bacteria but (and some one can correct me if I am wrong) it won't really skip the whole cycling process. It will add a boost to it and you may still see some spikes in the parameters of the process if you stock too fast. Do you have a test kit to check for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,059 Posts
Now I really wish I would have joined this site before I bought the tank.

I believe that I could return him (or her, I don't know) So would that be the only option besiides getting a new tank?

I am also aware of cycling, but (again on the advice of people I thought knew better) went ahead and bought the Tetra's Safestart which he told me could let me skip the first parts of cycling.

I guess I need to know where to go from here now that I have kinda screwed up.
Returning is probably your best option. Buying a larger aquarium is definitely one though. It would require a pretty big upgrade, up to a 55 or 75 gallon. There is a third option, but let's not get into it right now.

I honestly don't know much of anything about bacteria in a bottle like Tetra's Safestart. I messaged another member who is familiar with them, so he will hopefully be able to help.

Don't think of it as you screwed up. You're new and got some bad advice. Trust me it happens to nearly everyone. What you do about a mistake is more important in my opinion than if you make one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I'm feeling more and more cheated as more people join. . . haha. I don't have a test kit - the rep at the pet store said he'd test it for me whenever I brought it in, but is that important to have?

So what are the general guidelines for cycling and stocking? I feel like I should probably throw away everything the rep told me based on his track record.

And I'm thinking I'll probably return the shark if I can. Thanks for helping me through this everybody!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,252 Posts
The test kit can be a life saver during the cycling process. As you want to be able to test the waters on a regular bases. If the store is close and depending what test kits they use and you feel like running down there when its needed then sure. But to me its much better to have it on hand and test right on the spot. That way if something is off you can immediately do something about rather then having to drive back home. If that makes sense.?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Yes, that sounds like it would be easier. When would be a good time to add fish, and which ones would be a good idea for my 10 gal tank? i(t's planted relatively heavily)

I'm looking for a community tank with a group of schooling fish, a nice centerpiece or two, and somekind of bottom feeder if it'll fit. I just don't want to make the mistake of going of the pets tore's advice again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,265 Posts
Welcome to the forum!!!

Test kits are a GREAT investment! One of the best and most commonly used by members here is the API Liquid Master test kit (Here's a link to it on Amazon: Amazon.com: API Freshwater Master Test Kit: Pet Supplies)

As you can see, it is $20, but it will last YEARS, and is, in my opinion, invaluable. It allows you to test your water whenever you need to, at any time of the day, without having to get in your car and drive somewhere. This is especially important when you're cycling a tank, as you'll need to test the water daily, sometimes even several times daily! It's alos relatively easy to use, I can test my water for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate in less than 5 minutes. Much quicker than driving to a store!

The next step would be to find out the Ph, Kh, and Gh of your source water. If you're on city water, you can usually find this on your water suppliers website. If you're on tap or can't find it, API does sell a test kit for gh and kh.. (Here's a link! Amazon.com: API GH and KH Test Kit: Pet Supplies). The Master Test Kit already has a ph test in it, yay! :D

The numbers from that will determine just how 'soft' or 'hard' your water is, which plays a role in fish selecting (once your tank is cycled, of course!)

Now, you mentioned you bought live plants? AWESOME! I LOVE plants, probably almost (if not more, truthfully) as much as I love fish. What kind of light do you have on your tank? What kind of plants? (Some plants need fertilizers and root tabs, but don't worry! They're cheap, and we can guide you in the right direction of good brands to choose from)

What kind of substrate do you have? Sand, gravel?

As for cycling, I'll leave that for another member to explain, I'm not the best at explaining it unfortunately!

My first experiences in fish keeping weren't the best and I made a LOT of mistakes (most of us here have, don't worry! It's how a lot of us found this forum, and grew to be passionate, responsible hobbyists from it!).

I will let you know now though, in terms of fish-keeping, a 10 gallon is quite small. It's even considered to be a nano tank! This is because fish can get either large, active, or need large schools, or all of the those combined, and need a larger tank to thrive. With a ten gallon, you're going to be looking at very small fish that stay small (pet stores usually sell very young fish which is incredibly misleading as to what size of a tank they're gonna need.) Many people just keep either a betta fish or a shrimp colony (or the two combined) in a ten gallon. Now, that said, it IS possible to have other fish in a ten gallon, but they usually aren't the type of fish most readily available (though this does depends on your local pet shop!)

Phew, sorry for such a long post!! Can't wait to hear back from you :D And again, welcome to the forum!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,265 Posts
With a ten gallon, it's going to be pretty difficult to do a tank with two schools and a center piece fish. There are a lot of fish suitable for a ten gallon, but a lot that aren't. Before I can recommend fish, I'd be a lot more comfortable if we had numbers on the soft/hard parameters of your water. I could suggest a whole stock plan, but if your water isn't suitable for them that kind of gets us nowhere, you see? Choosing fish that thrive in the type of water you have is gonna give you the best shot at a balanced, healthy tank.

The best time to add fish would be after returning the rainbow shark and cycling the tank! ^-^ That can be quite a long time down the road (a few weeks), so it gives you a LOT of time to plan out your tank, re-arrange, order any more equipment, gives your plants a chance to establish themselves and grow...etc. I know it sounds like a lot of time to wait, but it's all for the best!

Also, do you think you could post a picture of your tank?! :D I LOVE seeing new tanks and watching them progress and change and grow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,252 Posts
I don't know what kind of test kits the store has or recommends but the liquid test kits from API (API Master test kits is the name.) are about the best you can buy for home use. If they have the strips then you might want to consider get a kit on the internet as the strips are not accurate due to them pulling moisture from the air.

You want to add fish after the cycle is complete but you said you have lots of live plants? That can change things a bit. Live plants will consume ammonia as it is a food source for them. With enough of them you won't see a true cycle process. Do you know what plants you have in the tank?

As for what fish to stock well I am never good at suggesting that soo will that to others but knowing what your water hardness and PH numbers are will help them out for suggestions. If you don't know these numbers you should be able to either call your water company and they can tell ya or if they have a website usually they will have those numbers posted under a water quality chart.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,265 Posts
Ack, reading back I got a bit messed up. I thought you were looking for two schools, one middle and one bottom! Is there a reason you're looking for a bottom feeder? If it's for food clean up you don't need one if you feed properly (small amounts). When your tank is nice and settled (cycled, plus let it age for awhile to get nice and 'mature' as we call it) you could look into adding shrimp to the tank for some added color and activity. I actually have a ten gallon that just has shrimp and snails!

Oh, also, just a bit of advice. After your tank has cycled, it's good practice to do a water change every week, at around 30% to 50% of the tanks volume. Just a bit of information I thought might save you a headache down the road!
 

·
Reference Team
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
You've gotten good advice from some of the more experienced keepers on the forum. Sorry that test kit just went up in price at Amazon. But, if you add a thermometer and heater and/or bottle of Prime, you'll get free shipping. Both Petco and Petsmart use strips to test water. They can't train these kids to safely and accurately use a liquid test kit. (Harrumph).

Having Safestart opens another option when it comes to cycling your tank. As you'll read, cycling is growing colonies of bacteria that eat toxic ammonia. They either fall out of the sky into your tank (literally) or they come in a bottle. Guess which one is fastest. But either way you have to feed them ammonia in order for them to grow.

---- The classic method is to put fish in the tank and let them produce the ammonia. Many millions of fish have died starting a cycle when the ammonia got too high. This is called fish-in cycling and it's what Safestart was designed to work with.
---- Or you can feed the bacteria "pure" ammonia, that does NOT foam when shaken. This is called a fishless cycle and Safestart will make it go faster. (The most time-consuming part of cycling is waiting for the bacteria to fall into your tank.)

You have further complicated the issue by planting your tank. Actually, this is the best thing you could have done and the one I recommend most highly. Plants eat ammonia faster than bacteria. So it is safer for the livestock to have live growing plants.

By now you should be thoroughly confused and overwhelmed with too much information. So...
Get us a picture and/or description of your plants. Find out your water hardness, especially KH.
And we'll get you stocked and cycled, painlessly and as easily as feasible.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top