Best bottom feeder fish for a 10 gallon tank!

carligraceee

Fishaholic
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Messages
499
Reaction score
213
Location
Denver, CO
Hey all! So I have always been obssessed with plecos but I found out they grow incredibly large. And will most definitely NOT fit in my tank.

I read that pygmy corys would do great with my selection of fish and the size of my tank. (I have two mollies and a platy and am going to grab some different fish. Maybe Swordtails or guppies).

Let me know you guys!

My tank is FULL of plants so that is what made me think of it.
 

CassCats

Fish Aficionado
Pet of the Month!
2x Tank of the Month!
Fish of the Month!
Joined
Mar 22, 2020
Messages
3,780
Reaction score
8,137
Location
North America
Your GH you said in another post was 60ppm

corydoras pygmaeus, habrosus, or Hastatus would work.... Your GH is great for any of those 3. A group of 10 would be great.


Mollies need a 30 gallon minimum, and swordtails 40 gallons minimum, and need a GH over 250ppm. Unfortunately this isn't good news for you.
Id avoid all livebearers since you have soft water and this will cause them to suffer and die off easier to problems compared to other fish because they become mineral deficient in soft water, which causes their bodies to work a lot harder just to survive.

I would probably rehome the mollies, and look for soft water fish suitable for a 10g. And there are many :)


Suggestions:

2-3 sparkling gouramis
10 pygmy corydoras

Or,

6 ember tetras OR a micro rasbora species
10 pygmy cories
 

CassCats

Fish Aficionado
Pet of the Month!
2x Tank of the Month!
Fish of the Month!
Joined
Mar 22, 2020
Messages
3,780
Reaction score
8,137
Location
North America
If you want a pleco.... get a 30g minimum.

Then get a bristlenose pleco, they stay small.

OR.

If you want to keep your mollies there is a route to take but it'll be more expensive long run.

Keep the mollies, get a rubber lip pleco (this pleco needs harder water and lots of oxygen in the tank, so a big airstone or a lot of current is necessary for them).
Then buy Seachem Equilibrium which is a product that will raise the GH in the tank to an adjusted amount, and you replace this every water change.
Given your GH, and the minimum tank size you need, you are looking at using 4.5-5 tablespoons every week of the product.
 
OP
OP
carligraceee

carligraceee

Fishaholic
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Messages
499
Reaction score
213
Location
Denver, CO
If you want a pleco.... get a 30g minimum.

Then get a bristlenose pleco, they stay small.

OR.

If you want to keep your mollies there is a route to take but it'll be more expensive long run.

Keep the mollies, get a rubber lip pleco (this pleco needs harder water and lots of oxygen in the tank, so a big airstone or a lot of current is necessary for them).
Then buy Seachem Equilibrium which is a product that will raise the GH in the tank to an adjusted amount, and you replace this every water change.
Given your GH, and the minimum tank size you need, you are looking at using 4.5-5 tablespoons every week of the product.
Oh gosh.
I have heard that, while mollies are larger fish, 10 gallons works for a very small amount of them. I only have two and a small platy.

If I truly have to, I will rehome them (does that mean give them to a friend or give them back to the pet store?) and grab the fish you recommended to me.

I already spent so much money on them and don't believe I can spend anymore. I love my little mollies so much but I want them to have a good life. I am getting my friend fish for Christmas but her starting tank is only 3 gallons so I can't rehome them to her.
I can take them back to the best store though and purchase the fish you advised would be best for my tank. I am so glad I can get some kind of pleco or bottom feeder. I cannot buy a bigger tank though so does the rubber lip pleco get too big for a 10g? If so, I can stick with the pgymy corys.

If my water has been too hard for the mollies, does that mean that could have been responsible for them dying so quickly? Does the size of my tank matter like that too?

If they will eventually die due to those reasons, I will rehome them.
 

Utar

Fish Addict
Joined
Jun 24, 2020
Messages
919
Reaction score
955
Location
Texas
Is cost the reason why you can't get a bigger tank than 10 gallons? If so you can watch out for the Petco dollar a gallon sale and get some tanks like the 29 gallon at a around $30.00. Stands are easy unless you want a fancy stand. Many people build simple sturdy stands using cinder blocks and boards, these can be painted and dressed up to look nice. Also you can check craigslist and other online sights for used tanks.
 

CassCats

Fish Aficionado
Pet of the Month!
2x Tank of the Month!
Fish of the Month!
Joined
Mar 22, 2020
Messages
3,780
Reaction score
8,137
Location
North America
Oh gosh.
I have heard that, while mollies are larger fish, 10 gallons works for a very small amount of them. I only have two and a small platy.

If I truly have to, I will rehome them (does that mean give them to a friend or give them back to the pet store?) and grab the fish you recommended to me.

I already spent so much money on them and don't believe I can spend anymore. I love my little mollies so much but I want them to have a good life. I am getting my friend fish for Christmas but her starting tank is only 3 gallons so I can't rehome them to her.
I can take them back to the best store though and purchase the fish you advised would be best for my tank. I am so glad I can get some kind of pleco or bottom feeder. I cannot buy a bigger tank though so does the rubber lip pleco get too big for a 10g? If so, I can stick with the pgymy corys.

If my water has been too hard for the mollies, does that mean that could have been responsible for them dying so quickly? Does the size of my tank matter like that too?

If they will eventually die due to those reasons, I will rehome them.
No pleco is small enough for a 10g unfortunately. All get over 3 inches and also produce a lot of waste as theyre poop machines.

Mollies... a full grown molly gets 4-6 inches depending on species... most average around 4 inches, which is huge for a 10g.
And as they mature, they can get aggressive in smaller spaces as they form a pecking order. So they need space to get away from each other. Ive got two. Like you I started with the wrong fish too.
Platies need a 20, theyre monster poop machines and get 2-3 inches.
All need GH 250pp..

Id return to the store or sell to other locals on a site like Craigslist or kijiji, or even a local fish club if you can find one for your area. Never know.


I would get the pygmy corydoras for the 10g as theyre suitable, group of 10 is the minimum. Theyre social.
Look for something smaller, but depending on your store, you might have to look elsewhere.
Really read into the fish you want and their needs, then go and choose your fish.

As for the mollies, I started in the hobby with a 10g, my husband brought the tank home for our son on a whim. Followed the stores advice (let filter run for 3 days then add fish!). Added a molly, a betta, a dwarf gourami, and a rubber lip pleco. To an uncycled tank, so we had to do a fish in cycle as well. Unfortunately we lost the pleco and the betta eventually too. We still have the molly and the dwarf gourami. But learned our water is also bad for the molly (89.5ppm), so our livebearers we keep in a tank and use the Equilibrium i mentioned above until we no longer have them.
But that molly my son picked, she can be a mean little brute. When she was in the 10 and later a 20, the space wasn't enough and she constantly rammed tankmates. Had her in a 20 before with skirt tetras and no joke she beat the poop out of them all the time, we separated her and now she's in a 46g and she's totally chill and happy, with another molly girl companion too. But they can really have bad attitude, especially if they don't have the space either.

You are on the right track with plants too!

And the above advice, look for a cheaper larger tank, honestly, then just move your filter and substrate and plants, everything over to the new one. You'd be able to pick a bristlenose pleco or other soft water fish.

Check the fish you are interested in on www.seriouslyfish.com they list the GH range (in ppm and in DH, so check a converter to tell you what the number is in the term you understand best) and ask questions here about your stock numbers and for compatibility reasons as well.
 

Fishiemang

Fish Crazy
Joined
Oct 9, 2020
Messages
345
Reaction score
170
Location
The States
Even an oto is 29 gallon minimum. These are small catfish.

That 10 gallon isn't enough to get much of anything, especially if you have stock already. You can only realistically have so many fish in there. Like 5 glofish tetras would be it. At that, you'd be running into a pain on cleaning unless heavily planted.

Get a bigger tank. Or get used to what you got. You're not going to find a pleco that will.comfortably live its life out in a 10 gallon. There aren't many bottom dwellers that would be viable either. You got enough room for 3 regular size cories and no other fish.
 

Fish4dawin

Fish Addict
Joined
Nov 30, 2020
Messages
840
Reaction score
292
Location
Uk, London
An alternative for algae eating invertebrates would be red cherry shrimp or amano shrimp. Both will help clean your algae. You'd just have to check your water parameters.

As said above, mollys need a minimum of a 30 gallon. I have 3 in a 33 gallon but they are small 2 inches or so. But if you picked out a sailfin molly you will need to rehome it. These fish get to 5.5 inches in length and would probably bully the other fish to the death because of it being in the upper hierachy inside you tank.
 

Most reactions

trending

Staff online

Top