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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all! It's been a while since I've been on. Since my last post, I have passed the 1 year fishkeeper mark (ya me!), have 2 fishtanks (10 and 25gal) with healthy inhabitants, and did a complete overall on a disasterous tank at a retirement home (it's not perfect, but at least it's not 3x overstocked!).

Needless to say, all this awesome fishery has warn off on my 2 little nephews (4 and 6) who now want nothing more than a tank of their own. After getting the ok from mom, I got them a nice 10gal tank kit.

That's where yall come in. I need some of yall's awesome advice and ideas.

First off, I need some ideas on what all we need to get. Prime for sure. Tests for pH, ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite (the rest can be done at a pet store). Appropriate food (Omega One most likely). Decor (suggestions?). New sponge, bowl, and toothbrush for cleaning. Thermometer. Sand and maybe diy gravel vac and heater...

The other thing I need is stocking suggestions for this tank. I would prefer slightly understocked mixes to make the tank more forgiving than if it was fully stocked. They should be inexpensive and beginner level. Nothing that has hundreds of babies at a time that could cause the tank to quickly get overpopulated. Ian loves my mystery snail and Zachary is fond of my kuhli loaches. They both think my betta is cool but a fancy guppy might work better in some setups. We will find out her water perimeters next week.

I was looking for mixes that would suit these different conditions so we would be able to choose what food and such to pick up when we find out the water perimeters.
Soft water
Medium hardness water
Hard water
Low pH
Neutral pH
High pH
Unheated (my state doesn't get that cold in winter)
Tropical

Heads up: Because of time and distance, we can't fishless cycle and the boys will want something in it.
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It would really be best to explain to them why the tank needs to not have fish in it for a couple weeks and have their mom dose ammonia and monitor the cycle. As far as the test kit, API Liquid Master is the way to go. Stock-wise, a betta, nerite snail and 5 Pygmy cories would do them well, I think. You NEED a heater and thermometer, though.
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Take some filter media from your established tank and plant it in the new filter. It will mitigate the cycle.

Some pretty male fancy guppies seem nice for hard, high pH water and are hardy. I like platies as well. You could easily select all males (or females, but they will likely be pregnant). If he likes snails you could try nerite snails. I'm not sure if its just my luck, but I can't get mystery snails to live but my nerites are doing great.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Hey flint. I already have the thermometer. <br />
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The no heater is only if she decides on a coldwater/subtropical mix. I was thinking on a similar mix for them, but I've had bad luck with Corys myself. Is it just a fluke or are they difficult to care for? They can't be any harder than my kuhli loachs...<br />
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There are some fish (like WCMM and guppy) that are okay in an unheated 10gal tank. With my sister's health condition and her central heating and air, her house will have a fairly stable temp. We don't have central heating and air at my house (wood heater which is less stable) and I only have to use my heaters on the tropical tanks 3 months out of the year. <br />
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Austin! Omg I forgot that trick! I have the same filter in my 10gal and everything. And what numbers do you think would be good for those fish? <br />
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Btw, I had the same problem til I started adding about half a crushed eggshell to my tank. I'd bake it first to disinfect. It didn't really mess with my tank chemistry but it made him look much healthier. He lived for 15 months after I got him. Add to that however old he was when I got him and he lived to be quite old for a mystery snail :)<br />

Oh! Almost forgot. The boys are 4 and 6 years old. They wouldn't understand waiting for it to cycle, but they do understand slowly adding fish to their new home. As long as SOMETHING was in there (like a snail) they'd be happy
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Then I strongly suggest a bottle of Tetra SafeStart. You add all the fish at once with that.
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Discussion Starter #6
I looked up a few fish types that look like easy care in their respected water perimeters. I would love yall's input on these different fish and their difficulty, what could be mixed together, and which must be a species tank
Male Betta
Female Bettas
Guppy
Dwarf Cory
Other Corys
Sparkling Gouramis
Kuhli Loaches
Nerite Snail
Mystery Snail
Assassin Snail
African Dwarf Frog
White Cloud Mountain Minnows
Ottos
Dwarf Rasbora
Other Rasbora
Dwarf Lamprologus (like Neolamprologus brevis)
Neons
Glowlights
Pearl Danio
Celestial Pearl Danio
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Discussion Starter #7
Then I strongly suggest a bottle of Tetra SafeStart. You add all the fish at once with that.
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Thank hun. I'll pick up a bottle. I know the boys will wait however long it takes as long as they have something to watch in there. The safestart might save us a lot of trouble though. At least it would make it easier on whatever goes in 1st :)
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Kuhlis really aren't suited for a 10 gallon. Neither are larger tetras. Danio, tetras and rasbora will fin nip a betta. I stick to my original stock suggestion but you could also do three or four female bettas, a nerite and 5 Pygmy (dwarf) cories. Check out AqAdvisor to play around with more stocking options. They have a "display only suitable species for tank" option.
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Discussion Starter #9
To be honest, I'm not that fond of tetras anyway. I just put them in as an afterthought.

Corys and Snails? How would that work? Corys need 8 or less dGH and snails need 12 or more.

I understand what you are saying about the kuhli loaches, but I read many places that 3 are okay in a 10 gallon with proper substrate and hiding spots. Some say 20 gal is the minimum. Having the little guys myself, they look to be inactive enough to work, although they would be more of a cleaner than an eye catcher. Mine do a great job keeping the sand nice
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Discussion Starter #10
I talked to her about the bettas and she likes them. However, just in case her water is out of range, I would love to learn more about guppies, white cloud mountain minnows, sparkling gourami, African dwarf frogs, the smaller danio and rasbora, and Dwarf Lamprologus. I also would like some ideas on what can be mixed with them and maybe some tips on how to do an unheated subtropical tank (like would it be strictly WCMM or could guppies live comfortably in that type of tank?).
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Loaches should be in groups of 8 or more... We really need to know your parameters before stocking advice can be given because honestly we would be here all day naming ever species that could go in a 10 gallon.
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Discussion Starter #12
Okay, I sent her a text. Hopefully I will know soon :)
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my nephews really enjoyed my guppies but they had babies and i had to do some population control lol
but a group of males would be neat, however i had a tank with just males in it and got some fry after a while so idk what went on there
another thought would be doing the glofish which are super cute and fun to watch, i prefer the danios over the tetras in that case tho
and i would say just get snails bc cories like sand over gravel and like to be in groups in most cases (mine are just anti-social lol)
 

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Or if you want to do guppies and watch them have birth but not do population control, you could get a dwarf gourami as well. They are colorful and will snack on the fry.
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Discussion Starter #15
Oh that sounds like a fun mix. On to research.:)

Question
Are Dwarf and Sparkling Gouramis the same thing? If not, how are they different? Would 3 with bottom dwellers, WCMM, or Rasboria be too many?
How are dwarf rasbora anyway? Ever had them? Are they hearty and easy care or a total nightmare?
Which do you think is better: betta or fancy guppies?
And can anyone tell me about the Neolamprlogus Brevis just in case she has hard water? It sounds like a cool fish.

I need this distraction right now. My uncle just passed this morning and I'm in tears. We just lost my great aunt last week so it's been tough. I know it's not yall's place, but please help me keep my mind off it and preoccupied with this. I don't care if you give me a list of hundreds of fish or an extensive list of stuff to get of the tank or a freakin book's worth of info on a single fish or the hobby. I just need... something. Please :'(
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No, dwarf and sparkling gourami are not the same. The dwarfs are also referred to as powder blue dwarf gourami. They have red stripes.

I'm sorry for your loss. I'm at the doctor otherwise I would write more, I'm sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thank you. It's been tough. I've been crying most of the day and my dad is numb. A distraction is a blessing.

Are the fish only different in terms of color or are there other differences?
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They are different just like an opaline and a honey gourami are different. If I renember correctly they are much smaller and less colorful but I could be mistaking them for another fish.
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i had three dwarfs in my 55 and they were fun to watch but theres the powder blue dwarf ,a honey dwarf or something and a couple others .
im sorry for your lose we went thru the same thing a year ago with my uncle ... he was only 46 :(
but read up on the dwarfs bc i love em
 
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