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10 gallon fish tank stocking ideas and cycling tips

Discussion in 'New to the Hobby Questions and Answers' started by MaddyD101, Jul 2, 2018.

  1. MaddyD101

    MaddyD101 New Member

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    Hi Guys,
    I'm new to fish keeping and have got a 10-gallon tropical tank that I'm about to cycle and wondered if you guys could give me any stocking advice. I also wanted some sort of algae eater and some shrimp in there too, if possible. Unfortunately, you can't get ammonia where I live so I will have to do a fishless cycle with fish food so does anyone have any tips?

    Thanks and sorry for all the questions!

    PS The tank has been recently planted with some taller background plants and some java fern as well as some dwarf baby tears. There is also some driftwood and rocks.
     
  2. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Hi and welcome to the forum :)

    Everyone is going to spit the dummy at me for saying this but if you can't get ammonia, just get a couple of fish and let them cycle the tank. Feed them 2 times a week and do a 75% water change if you get an ammonia or nitrite reading.

    Don't add shrimp or algae eating fishes until the tank has been set up for a while and has some algae. :)
     
  3. essjay

    essjay Moderator
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    If the tank is well panted, you don't need to do a fishless cycle as plants use ammonia as fertiliser. Take it slowly with fish - though in 10 galls you don't have room for many - and monitor ammonia and nitrite every day until you are sure they are both staying at zero. If either of them do show above zero, do a water change to get them down.
     
  4. Byron

    Byron Member

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    Colin's suggestion is absolutely correct in this situation. You have live plants, and provided they are growing, you really should not add any ammonia as it could kill them if too much. But there is more to this.

    Plants need nitrogen, and aquatic plants prefer it as ammonia/ammonium. They can take up quite a lot of this (though there is a limit, but not likely one you would ever reach unless you really overstock suddenly). The cycle will still establish in the background so to speak, so it will not be detectable with aquarium water tests, and most importantly the fish will not be affected. Provided the plants are growing, you should be able to add fish slowly.

    As for fish...a 10g tank is very small to fish and with respect to water conditions, so we need to be careful. First thing to sort out is your water parameters. GH (general or total hardness) and pH are thee two most important, but it helps to know the KH (carbonate hardness, also called Alkalinity). The GH impacts fish most, then pH, then KH. You want to know these values for your source water, presumably tap, so check the website of your water authority or call them. You/we need the number and the unit of measure (for GH and KH) since there are several units. Once we know this, we can suggest suitable fish. Small-sized fish species suited to this size of tank will often be wild caught, so parameters can be very important.

    EDIT. Essjay happened to post as I was typing, so we are on the same page. :friends:
     
    #4 Byron, Jul 3, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2018
  5. seangee

    seangee Member

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    Byron's comments about water parameters are definitely worth considering. Since you originally asked about shrimp how about a shrimp only tank? If you choose something like cherry shrimp the plants will certainly support a group of 10 or so, and they will soon turn into a lot more.

    If you are set on algae eaters you could consider a group of otos, depending on your tank dimensions. They do need to be in a group though and they eat constantly so a new setup won't provide sufficiant food for them for some time. If your only concern is algae removal its actually quite easy to keep under control - and you may consider a nerite snail or 2. These will not breed in fresh water so you won't be overrun.
     
  6. MaddyD101

    MaddyD101 New Member

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    I currently only have one of those API master test kit so I don’t know my GH and KH, but I could get a kit. My PH is around 6.8/6.6. It was originally 7 before added to the tank though! I was thinking of maybe adding some neon tetra to start off with instead of cycling the tank. Thanks for all the advice!
     
  7. MaddyD101

    MaddyD101 New Member

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    CE2C154A-7E72-4B60-A8CA-28B1E40179CE.jpeg Here is a pic of the tank
     
  8. essjay

    essjay Moderator
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    You should be able to find your tap water hardness somewhere on your water supplier's website. Ignore any words like slightly hard or whatever and look for numbers. We need the number and the units (they could use any one of half a dozen different units). If they give alkalinity, tell us that too - we call that KH.

    I'm afraid 10 gallons is not big enough for neon tetras. They need a tank with a footprint of 24 x 12 inches. http://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/paracheirodon-innesi/
    Seriously Fish is just about the best site for researching fish. Their profiles tell you the minimum tank size, the hardness, pH and temperature they need, and information on their diet, original habitat and possible tank mates etc.
     
  9. Byron

    Byron Member

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    You may not need to buy a GH/KH test. As essjay suggested, check your local water authority's site, or call them. Once you/we know the GH and KH, we will know what the pH may do. The fact that it is lowering naturally in the aquarium would suggest the GH/KH is on the soft water side, but this is not absolute. Assuming it is, acidic water tends to be soft, and there are lots of fish we can recommend that will love this and be small. A smallish tank with many small fish is much more interesting that if you only can have one or two fish. Essjay mentioned about neons, one or two fish this size would be fine but neons like all tetras need a group to be healthy and that means more space. But there are lots of colourful small-sized species.
     

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