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Discussion Starter #1
I have had tanks in the past but have been out of the loop for about 10 years.

A friend recently gave me a 10 gal tank. I know it's not an ideal size, but it's what I got. It's got a great filter, but that's about it. I'm heading to town tomorrow to get a hood and light and heater and hopefully some plants. Substrate is currently glass marbles and seashells.

I have always preferred natural decor. My last tank was a 500 gal. bowfront with plants and sand and slate rocks. So this is a completely dif. kettle of fish… I would still love a well planted tank. Keeping in mind we have hard water, what would you recommend for plants and/or fish?

I've had live bearing before and really enjoyed them- I could do that again or try something new. I'm leaning towards gouramies but am open to suggestions.
 

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I have had tanks in the past but have been out of the loop for about 10 years.

A friend recently gave me a 10 gal tank. I know it's not an ideal size, but it's what I got. It's got a great filter, but that's about it. I'm heading to town tomorrow to get a hood and light and heater and hopefully some plants. Substrate is currently glass marbles and seashells.

I have always preferred natural decor. My last tank was a 500 gal. bowfront with plants and sand and slate rocks. So this is a completely dif. kettle of fish… I would still love a well planted tank. Keeping in mind we have hard water, what would you recommend for plants and/or fish?

I've had live bearing before and really enjoyed them- I could do that again or try something new. I'm leaning towards gouramies but am open to suggestions.
Your substrate isn't the best, especially since shells change your pH.
Many live bearers such as Mollies, Platys, and Guppies, are able to stand hard water and actually prefer it.
As for plants, I've heard most do well in hard water.
 

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I think sand is best.

What did you keep in the 500 gallon tank and how much does such a tank cost??
 
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I think sand is best.

What did you keep in the 500 gallon tank and how much does such a tank cost??
The tank was given to me by someone moving and couldn't bring it. I have seen similar ones around 4000$ I have seen them used for $1500. He kept sharks and rays. He sold those separately. So I set it up with mainly angels.
 

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I prefer sand with my plants :)
Ten gallons is pretty darn small. I'd do a group of shrimp, or a single betta and some snails. Or a small sorority....or even a few African dwarf frogs.
 

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hello and warm welcome.
i like the shrimp and Betta idea…:-D
 
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Hello and welcome to the forum :wave:

One stunning male betta and some interesting looking snails would be great in that tank.
 

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It's wonderful that you're getting back into the hobby! I hope it rekindles your love for it :D

A 10 gallon gets a bad rap in my opinion. It's small and options are limited, but PWC are MUCH easier, filters are inexpensive, décor and substrate won't break the bank (so you can GI for nicer stuff), and maintenance costs (cleaning supplies, ferts, conditioner, electricity, PWC water...) are low. I have a 10 and a 25 myself and on days my disability acts up, I can still handle the PWC on my 10 alone :)

If I were you, I would go with sand. It is very easy to keep clean with a simple gravel vac. I've had both and the gravel stayed dirty and was impossible to clean once my plants developed a root system. And the young sprouts were always coming loose. My plants really took off once I put the sand in. Caribsea Supernaturals is a little pricey, but worth it. ;)

Also, I tried playsand and pfs and let me tell ya, they are not worth the time or wasted water. You might as well buy the good stuff instead of that with a small tank. It's not worth it unless it's 50 gal or more and even then, I don't know if I would do it again. -_-

Now to fish. A betta and snails or a betta sorority would be fun. I keep them myself and love them. They have a lot of personality. How hard is the water exactly? Guppies come in an amazing variety of colors and are good from 8 to 30 dGH. A Neolamprologus brevis can be in tanks above 18 dGH and you could put 2 pair or a pair and some snails/upper level fish in there with them. They are one of the few Cichlid that aren't too aggressive or territorial (just don't overcroud the floor). Sparkling Gouramis and White Cloud Mountain Minnows can be in water up to 18 dGH. ADF up to about 12. Those are just a few options to consider and from my research, they are all (save the ADF) easy care and hardy.

As for plants, I couldn't tell you what works best for hard water, but flourish is a great liquid fert and it lasts a loooooong time in a 10 gal. Just measure with an eye dropper as it is very strong. I stay away from root feeders as I don't like using tabs and the liquid is more cost effective.

Also, Omega One is a great brand of food and Prime is my go to conditioner. A turkey baster makes a great spot vac and cheep toothbrushes are good for cleaning décor and tank seems. If you live somewhere cold, make sure you have something to cover the tank with or power the heater if the power goes out. 10 gallons can cool down pretty fast. There are lots of diy ideas online if you look.

I hope that helps. My thumbs are killing me! I miss my laptop. Typing on my phone takes for-freakin-ever! -_-
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I like the beta sorority and snail idea...Say I get a sorority of beta… would shrimp, aquatic frogs or similar aquatics work? any other fish get along with them? I have decided against livebearing, as I think in a small tank it might get overpopulated. The pet stores here aren't awesome so there isn't often a large selection of snails. Would any cleaner fish thrive in such a small tank? I love catfish.
 

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I'd plant heavily for sure. I'd be wary of shrimp or frogs, since female bettas can be as aggressive as males, and it really depends on individual betta personalities. My only idea in a tank that small would be 4-6 female betta, and maaaaaaybe two Otto's, after the tank has been up for quite some time,
 

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I would deffinitely be careful of how many females you try to crowd in such a small space. they may not fight like males but they still prefer their elbow room. does you lfs have ghost shrimp? they tend to live well with bettas
 
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I would deffinitely be careful of how many females you try to crowd in such a small space. they may not fight like males but they still prefer their elbow room. does you lfs have ghost shrimp? they tend to live well with bettas
great tagline there crazy4fish. I am going to look for some females tomorrow. I was thinking 3 max. If they don't have any I was considering a male and a tank divider with some neons (6) or platys (3) on the other side.
 

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Four would be better, spread the aggression out. And I don't think the divider is a good idea with neons. They need swimming space. A male and neon tetras could work though
 

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I've always read that even numbers of betta girls work best, but it's up to you. The number of girls in a 10 gal is 3 to 5 according to the experts. They do best if they are all added at the same time and about same size/age. VT are statistically less aggressive than CT. They are usually the unlabeled girls. If they're out, ask your LFS if they can order some for you. Good luck :)
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I would try 1 Betta (preferably the calmer Delta Tail or Veiltail) and 4-5 Neon Tetras.
Or you could put like 6 guppies in there, it really depends on what fish you like.
 

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I've always read that even numbers of betta girls work best, but it's up to you. The number of girls in a 10 gal is 3 to 5 according to the experts. They do best if they are all added at the same time and about same size/age. VT are statistically less aggressive than CT. They are usually the unlabeled girls. If they're out, ask your LFS if they can order some for you. Good luck :)
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If you have less than 4 female bettas in a tank, the bettas will form a hierarchy and bully one or two specific bettas. I think in a 10 gal, you should only be able to fit 3 or 4...

Well, for bettas I think that a lot are more tame than others, it depends on the fish too.
- Veiltail (calm)
- Delta Tail (calm)
- Crowntail (very aggressive)
- Plakat (very aggressive)
 

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Actually, it does DJ. It's well documented online. I've only personally read up on CT and VT as that's all my LFS carries, but the articles all line up and personal accounts on betta forums of sororities follow the pattern. I totally agree about the Neons needing swim space. They are hyper little buggers!

Neons are a bad idea Poleren. They are fin nippers and in a 10 gallon, they will really harass a betta. Not only have I read up on it, I have first hand experience with it. They are cool little guys but they don't need to be in with anything with significant finage in my opinion. I think guppies would be fun. They are one of the reasons I envy people with harder water. They just look so cool! Would she need to space out adding all of them to avoid a mini cycle or can it handle 6 at one time? And thanks for breaking down the fin types. I never knew where plaket and delta fell. Is there anything out there on EE or HM?

Have you decided what you're getting yet Far? Did you find out your water hardness?
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