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10 Gallon Stocking Options

Austin Burgess

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Hello all,

Brand new fish keeper here. I was looking for a 20gal to get my feet wet with, as I really wanted to get into the hobby. In my search however, someone offered me a free 10gal with all the equipment. I know it's not great for a beginner but its doable.

What kind of fish/fish combos would be simple enough for a beginning college student, but still fun and interesting?
My water has pH 7.2 and gH of 45ppm according to my city's website (http://www.mlgw.com/images/content/files/pdf/WQR 2018-sm.pdf)

Thanks!
 

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How about a betta? You could add a snail.
 

Byron

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Agree with above. Another option since you have soft water would be a tank of "nano" species. These are fish that remain quite small at maturity. Ember Tetra, or one of the dwarf rasbora species in the genus Boraras. The latter are all bright red with black patterning depending upon the species. One of the "dwarf" cory species with them?
 
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Austin Burgess

Austin Burgess

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Agree with above. Another option since you have soft water would be a tank of "nano" species. These are fish that remain quite small at maturity. Ember Tetra, or one of the dwarf rasbora species in the genus Boraras. The latter are all bright red with black patterning depending upon the species. One of the "dwarf" cory species with them?
So say, 10 chili rasboras/ember tetras, and 6 panda cories or 8 dwarf cories?
 

Byron

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So say, 10 chili rasboras/ember tetras, and 6 panda cories or 8 dwarf cories?
You could up the numbers a bit. I had 12 chili rasboras and 9 pygmy cories in my 10g for over a year. If panda cories, seven.
 
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Austin Burgess

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I honestly think that is exactly what I am going to do. Do you have any recommendations on the care of such a tank?
 

Byron

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I honestly think that is exactly what I am going to do. Do you have any recommendations on the care of such a tank?
Not sure what you might be getting at here, but normal maintenance involves a partial water change once a week (without fail) of 50-60% of the tank volume. Do this early in the day so you can monitor it for the rest of the day just in case.

Do you intend live plants? Floating are easiest to grow and provide incredible benefits not only in water quality but in shade for the fish, and these mentioned will need this. Both will be stressed in "open" tanks. If the tank has a light, have it on a timer so it is consistent day to day, this is very important for fish even more than plants.

A sand substrate is essential for the cories, whichever. Play Sand is inexpensive and ideal, I use it in all my tanks.
 
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Austin Burgess

Austin Burgess

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You could up the numbers a bit. I had 12 chili rasboras and 9 pygmy cories in my 10g for over a year. If panda cories, seven.
I'm curious, when I eventually upgrade to a 55gal community, would those pygmy cats be fine with dwarf cichlids? I've read a lot about cichlids not liking cories in their territory but I feel like the more midwater swimming pygmies would be fine
 

Byron

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I'm curious, when I eventually upgrade to a 55gal community, would those pygmy cats be fine with dwarf cichlids? I've read a lot about cichlids not liking cories in their territory but I feel like the more midwater swimming pygmies would be fine
A couple of issues here. First, the pygmy cory is not a good cory for larger tanks as it tends to get "lost." I have had mine in 10g, 20g and 29g tanks.

Second, the cichlids generally get annoyed with cories because both fish feed from the substrate. With larger-sized cory species this is rarely an issue, as the cichlid will head-bunt or push the cory aside, which does no harm to the armoured cory, and often they will be back within a few seconds. But with the pygmy cory, this could get very serious and cause stress. Cories are cories and they like to bumble everywhere.

Third issue is cories eating the eggs/fry. If you want to raise fry, never have cories in the tank, as being nocturnal they find the eggs and fry shoal easy pickings when the parent cichlids are not able to defend them. I'vee even observed cories devouring a shoal of fry they just came upon during the day, it only took a few seconds and the female cichlid had no chance of saving the shoal.
 
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Austin Burgess

Austin Burgess

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A couple of issues here. First, the pygmy cory is not a good cory for larger tanks as it tends to get "lost." I have had mine in 10g, 20g and 29g tanks.

Second, the cichlids generally get annoyed with cories because both fish feed from the substrate. With larger-sized cory species this is rarely an issue, as the cichlid will head-bunt or push the cory aside, which does no harm to the armoured cory, and often they will be back within a few seconds. But with the pygmy cory, this could get very serious and cause stress. Cories are cories and they like to bumble everywhere.

Third issue is cories eating the eggs/fry. If you want to raise fry, never have cories in the tank, as being nocturnal they find the eggs and fry shoal easy pickings when the parent cichlids are not able to defend them. I'vee even observed cories devouring a shoal of fry they just came upon during the day, it only took a few seconds and the female cichlid had no chance of saving the shoal.
I get that totally. Makes plenty of sense.
So if you aren't trying to breed though, larger cories like peppered for instance could probably do fine with an apisto or krib pair in a 20?
 

Byron

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I get that totally. Makes plenty of sense.
So if you aren't trying to breed though, larger cories like peppered for instance could probably do fine with an apisto or krib pair in a 20?
Well, a 20g is small space for the krib with cories, but the combo itself is OK. I had a male Bolivian Ram in my 5-foot Amazon tank with some 50 cories for years; the Ram would poke the cories out of the way when they decided to chow down on "his" pellet or wafer, but that was the extent of the interaction.
 
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