help planning for ten gal stocking

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katienewbettakeeper

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Hi all, I currently have a 2 and a half year old ten gallon planted tank that’s way over do for an overhaul. It has an elderly betta and a colony of cherry shrimp that I can move into an empty five gal I have. I’ve been keeping nothing but bettas since I started fish keeping a few years ago and want to change things up.

Here’s my plan so far, I’m looking for advice on stocking and opinions on what I already have planned:
for substrate, I want to keep some of the sand and gravel I already have in the tank but add a layer of ADA Amazonia ver 2 on the bottom in mesh bags, then cap it with a mix of the old substrate and new sand. I’ll replant it ( I have lots of guppy grass, a couple crypts, Java ferns, two small Amazon swords, and an anubias) and rearrange the driftwood. Then I’m going to essentially re-cycle for however long that takes, since the Amazonia leeches ammonia.
As for stocking, I’ve thought a lot about guppies but I don’t want to deal with overpopulation so I’m thinking an all male tank. Problem is I would probably be getting the fish from a PetSmart, so quarantine is a must. I’ve only ever done quarantine for bettas and never had to medicate before. What does everyone suggest? I wouldn’t mind ordering online if it meant I didn’t have to quarantine as much, but it’s very cold where I live so shipping fish seems risky. I have a 5 gal bucket I can use and an extra sponge filter, would aquarium salt and api general cure be enough? I’m nervous dosing more than one med.
I’ve also briefly thought about having a honey gourami with some guppies or another fish, but I don’t want to overstock or get ahead of myself. Ideally I want this to be a fun new introduction into keeping other fish, nothing too stressful lol.

What I want most is to have a more busy tank with lots of plants that’s fun to watch and maintain. Easier said than done!

I don’t have water parameters at the moment (besides ammonia nitrite and nitrate) so I’ll update when I get ph, gh, and kh. For now just assume I have a ph around 6.8 to 7
My gh is close to zero and kh is pretty high, because my house runs on a water softener.
I wont get any new fish until I’m sure the aquarium parameters work well for them.
 

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Sounds like a pretty good plan. A few tweaks I'd do if it were me:
Ditch the Amazonia and just get some API root tabs, or just grow the plants in straight sand.
If you use the old filter media and/or substrate, along with lots of plants, you won't need to cycle.
The purpose of quarantining is to avoid the new fish making your older fish sick. You don't really need to quarantine a new tank, since you aren't adding fish to an established community. Don't add any meds unless you see a problem. With fish as inexpensive as guppies, I would probably just keep a close eye on them for a few weeks and remove any that get sick.

Stocking: Ordering from a reputable online shop is fine. I usually order from The Wet Spot in Portland. They'll actually check the weather along the route, or ask you to do so, and they'll hold your fish until temps are acceptable. They are the only shop that I trust enough to not quarantine their fish, too. I've never gotten anything from them that was in less than perfect health.

I'm not sure about honey gourami in a 10g; I suspect it's too small but I've never kept that species. Guppies like fairly hard water, but the domesticated strains seem pretty adaptable. If your water is truly that soft, you might look into sparkling gouramis. They have a lot of personality and you could keep a nice group in a planted 10g. (don't put them in with shrimp, though, unless you don't like your shrimp very much) Dwarf anchor catfish (hara jerdoni), dwarf cories, and dwarf kuhli loaches are other possibilities.
 
Sounds like a pretty good plan. A few tweaks I'd do if it were me:
Ditch the Amazonia and just get some API root tabs, or just grow the plants in straight sand.
If you use the old filter media and/or substrate, along with lots of plants, you won't need to cycle.
The purpose of quarantining is to avoid the new fish making your older fish sick. You don't really need to quarantine a new tank, since you aren't adding fish to an established community. Don't add any meds unless you see a problem. With fish as inexpensive as guppies, I would probably just keep a close eye on them for a few weeks and remove any that get sick.

Stocking: Ordering from a reputable online shop is fine. I usually order from The Wet Spot in Portland. They'll actually check the weather along the route, or ask you to do so, and they'll hold your fish until temps are acceptable. They are the only shop that I trust enough to not quarantine their fish, too. I've never gotten anything from them that was in less than perfect health.

I'm not sure about honey gourami in a 10g; I suspect it's too small but I've never kept that species. Guppies like fairly hard water, but the domesticated strains seem pretty adaptable. If your water is truly that soft, you might look into sparkling gouramis. They have a lot of personality and you could keep a nice group in a planted 10g. (don't put them in with shrimp, though, unless you don't like your shrimp very much) Dwarf anchor catfish (hara jerdoni), dwarf cories, and dwarf kuhli loaches are other possibilities
Sounds like a pretty good plan. A few tweaks I'd do if it were me:
Ditch the Amazonia and just get some API root tabs, or just grow the plants in straight sand.
If you use the old filter media and/or substrate, along with lots of plants, you won't need to cycle.
The purpose of quarantining is to avoid the new fish making your older fish sick. You don't really need to quarantine a new tank, since you aren't adding fish to an established community. Don't add any meds unless you see a problem. With fish as inexpensive as guppies, I would probably just keep a close eye on them for a few weeks and remove any that get sick.

Stocking: Ordering from a reputable online shop is fine. I usually order from The Wet Spot in Portland. They'll actually check the weather along the route, or ask you to do so, and they'll hold your fish until temps are acceptable. They are the only shop that I trust enough to not quarantine their fish, too. I've never gotten anything from them that was in less than perfect health.

I'm not sure about honey gourami in a 10g; I suspect it's too small but I've never kept that species. Guppies like fairly hard water, but the domesticated strains seem pretty adaptable. If your water is truly that soft, you might look into sparkling gouramis. They have a lot of personality and you could keep a nice group in a planted 10g. (don't put them in with shrimp, though, unless you don't like your shrimp very much) Dwarf anchor catfish (hara jerdoni), dwarf cories, and dwarf kuhli loaches are other possibilities.
Thanks for replying! I did consider just getting more root tabs but I’ve been wanting to try out aquasoil since so many people use it, I already ordered it so I’m pretty committed haha. Thanks for the recommendation on where to order guppies, I’ve heard lots of horror stories about guppies with parasites and ich from pet stores ruining planted tanks so I’m cautious. I am able to tweak my water hardness by using water from an outside tap mixed with softened water, so that might help with guppies. I’m going to look into sparkling gouramis as well, from what I understand honey gouramis do well in smaller tanks and are better community fish (might not attack shrimp for example) but need to do more research. I didn’t even think of the other fish you mentioned so thanks! I’ll look into them as well.
 
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