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Thinkin About Starting


chelsea

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hey guys! im thinking about turning my 10 gal into a tropical tank. before i do, i want to learn as much about it as possible, so i know what i am doing. i was hoping you guys could give me some advice? :lol

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Guest watermama

There isn't a whole lot of difference between tropical and goldfish unless you intend to breed fish that prefer a low pH. You already know about not overstocking, not overfeeding, cycling, water changes, etc.....

So.....you add a heater, get the temp around 78?, and think about what small fish you would like to have! :D Tetras, guppies, platies, rasboras, coolie loaches, cories, hatchetfish, killies, dwarf gouramis, bettas, danios, dwarf rainbows, and many more that I can't even think of, or you could go with the small shell dwelling cichlids.....there are so many choices...... :blink:

Ah, just to make it clear, I don't mean you should put all those fish in the tank at the same time! Just giving examples of various fish that stay small enough for a 10g!!

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i can mix those different breeds though, right? and also, which ones are NOT "breed-happy" (as in, dont breed like, every 2 days!) and also, the rule is 1 inch per gallon, right? so, if say the tetras are 2 inches i can get 5? and which ones prefer groups and of what size; and which dont? thank you so much! my dad has been on my back since i started w/ gf to start a tropicals tank "because they are cooler" -not that i think that...goldies are still the best!

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i have been wondering about reef tanks. i wonder if you can have growing coral, and living sand in a small tank. all the ones i see are huge. i would consider starting one, if i could start small, like in my ten gallon. i think that the soft corals are so pretty. the look so cool with the brightly oddly colored fish swimming thru them.

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Guest watermama

A saltwater tank in a 10g can be done.....but I sure wouldn't recommend it to someone who's never kept saltwater before. Things can get bad very quickly in such a small tank.

Back to freshwater tropicals......if you don't want babies, then avoid the livebearers (guppies, platies, swordtails, mollies). The 1" per gallon is a general rule....obviously any fish that is heavy bodied will need more room...but you already know that! ;)

Tetras - like to be kept in schools of 5 or 6. The smaller species would do well in your tank....like neons, cardinals, black neons, rummy nose, etc....these fish tend to hang out at the bottom/middle of the tank.

Rasboras - like to be kept in schools of 5 or 6. Harlequins are the most commonly kept....and they will hang out at the bottom/middle of the tank.

Killies - like to be kept in mated pairs. Can sometimes be found at your LFS but can be ordered on-line from www.aka.org Very stunning little fish that like to hang out at the top of the tank.

Hatchetfish - like to be kept in schools of 5 or 6. The different color varieties can be mixed. They will hang out at the top of the tank.

Ottos - like to be kept in small groups of 2 or 3. Very small suckermouth catfish that will help with algae control. They will be all over the tank.

Coolie loaches - like to be kept in small groups of 2 or 3. Can be shy but are cool little things. They hang out at the bottom of the tank.

Dwarf gouramis - best to be kept singly in a small tank. They will be all over the tank.

Betta - Males need to be one to a tank. Females can be kept singly or in a small group. All over the tank for them too.

Cories - like to be in small groups of 3 or more. Small catfish that need to be fed more than scraps. They hang out at the bottom of the tank.

Danios - like to be kept in a school of 5 or 6. Avoid the giant danio as it will get too big. Different varieties can be kept together (zebra and leopard). Mid water swimmers.

Shell dwelling cichlids - usually a mated pair or harem. (I know you said no babies, but these fish are very cool to watch and the babies usually can be sold) They will need a sand substrate and medium sized shells for the females to lay eggs in. They will also need to have a higher pH...around 8.0 or close to it. You may have to add buffers to the water to achieve this.

A nice tank might be something like this: a single male betta with 6 neons and 2 ottos. You could substitute a dwarf gourami for the betta and use rasboras instead of neons......there are several different ways you could go.

The only fish that I would not put in a community tank would be the killies and shell dwellers, they should both have their own tanks to themselves.

:D

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ok! wow thanks! im thinking maybe a gourami since ive always wanted one of those, some tetras and a few ottos. no way am i getting a coolie loach! you shoulda heard me when that pic came up! do you think maybe i could use sand in the bottom of the tank? or is that still to small. i always thought it looked so pretty. but also, wouldnt that be a pain to clean? i am not sure. thank you for so much help!!!

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Guest watermama

:D

Sand can be good or it can be bad....how's that for an answer! LOL! Really, it can be nice for fish that need to dig or bury themselves in it and cories and loaches love it. It can be tricky to clean though....you have to hover the gravel vac just above the sand so it doesn't get sucked up. You will also want to keep the sandbed less than 2" and you will also want to stir it around so anaerobic (sp?) areas don't form. It can look really nice though and to me at least, is worth the little bit of extra effort.

Are you going to have live plants?

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im not too sure about the live plants. i might try again, b/c last time, i put it in my tank, and it just stayed the same, didnt grow or anything. i might try again tho. maybe. but i will be sure to have lots of fake ones and maybe some fake coral?

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I started my planted tank when I upgraded the goldfish tank...

Don't give up on plants... now that there are no hungry veggie-loving goldies in yout 10g the plants will do great (just place your tropical tank where it can get plenty of indirect light). I recommend you buy sand or the smoothest gravel you can find if you are planning on having cory catfish in there. I have tried unsuccessfully to have them because of my rough substrate. Good luck with your tropical tank!

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I second the gouramis - they're really pretty.

Go for the sunset (one of the smallest and a gorgeous orange colour) or the powder blues. They look great together. They may be a bit shy at first, but they'll rule the tank in time!

Good luck Chelsea! You're gonna have so much fun! :D

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oh no. last night i got my gouramis, and tetras. i got 3 black striped tetras, 4 neon tetras. now, 2 of the 4 neons are dead, and one is missing. also 1 of the black striped tetras is missing. why is this happening???

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Guest watermama

Wow! :( I'm real sorry to hear that Chelsea! I would do a water change and get those ammonia readings down....

Might have added too many fish too fast or maybe the cycle wasn't complete???

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my last 2 neons died yesterday and the day before :cry1 and the only thing left are my 2 gouramis, one of which is constantly hiding, and the other is darting around constantly. im thinkin about asking vvvv if they can take them back. im thinkin maybe if they do, i can do a huge water change and start anew.

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