June FOTM Photo Contest Starts Now!
FishForums.net Fish of the Month
🏆 Click to enter! 🏆


Mostly New Member
Feb 11, 2014
Reaction score
So I have been reading up on fish recently and have discovered that there is somehow an entire sector devoted to keeping small aquariums full of fish I have never heard of (why do I find that surprising?
So i have decided to make one.
But I have no idea whatsoever where to start: It will be 10 gallons so...what filter is best for a tank like this? what substrate would I need to make it planted?  what fish should I use (I can take care of almost anything that isn't extremely difficult) (thinking perhaps phoenix rasboras or celestial pearl danios with some shrimp and snails, cherry and or ghost shrimp with golden rabbit or mystery snails 
I will do some research but wanted to rind out some of the stuff I seen online yet.
I know rabbit and mystery snails aren't very compatible with plants, and gold rabbit snails get to be about 3" and usually demand a 30 gallon breeder at this age.
Hi there! Yes it's all happening in small tanks - they are very neat but you need to be aware that because of the small size, you're going to be a bit busier as it goes wrong at a rate of knots :D
I have mine in my signature if it helps.
You can use whatever substrate you like, I'd think. Unless you are going high tech then you might want a plant substrate.
Sand looks more natural & is easier to clean IMO.
Have you seen THIS? I imagine you have but just want to check. I'd personally go with mosquito rasbora. :D
Mystery snails shouldn't bother your plants at all, at least mine don't. Make sure to feed them algae wafers.
I have not had rabbit snails but my friend has some and they don't bother her plants either, but again, make sure you feed them! :) They need their own food just like fish do.
I havn't had shrimp unfortunately, but I hear cherry shrimp are a good beginner shrimp so sounds like you're on the right track!
I'm sure you already know but just in case, make sure to cycle your tank. You can find info on that HERE, and sources of ammonia HERE.
Wow! I honestly didn't expect that much feedback in such a short time!!
 I plan on cycling the tank for a few weeks with just plants and then another few weeks with plants and shrimp and/or snails before adding any fish.  I may go with mystery snails as they are super cheap around here and in no short supply.  In terms of shrimp I am leaning towards the cherry but perhaps I may stumble upon something better in the next few days ( planning on starting the tank on sunday if it gets approval from my parents and isn't too expensive keeping in mind that I am still finishing my 20g renovation).  In terms of fish I may go with the phoenix rasboras or the pearl danios as I am really looking for color as this will be in a corner of my room which is all brown I would like to have some strong reds or blues.
Although the mosquito rasbora looks pretty cool, it all depends on what I can get my hands on.  If I am suddenly not allowed to get fish online, would harlequin rasboras work, I know guppies would work but I am looking for something a bit more of a challenge.  Is there anything else to consider if my plans go awry as they typically do for some reason? 

Also, what filter would you guys recommend, I am clueless as to the different types so would someone point me to one that would work well with this kind of setup?
How are you going to cycle the tank though? >.< If you don't put any ammonia in then it's just going to be sitting there. That's why I gave you the links that I did :D
I'd only do 1 or 2 mystery snails in this size tank since they get large & are messy.
Celestial pearl danios are quite lovely too.
Sorry, I don't have much experience with cycling (first tank had fish every other day starting on day 2-3 and none died, not risking it with this tank though 
) where would I find said ammonia and also I still would like suggestions as to a filter.
OK never mind on where I would get the ammonia, I just answered my own question
But how much ammonia would be safe (measurement wise not test reading wise)  and assuming I read that right, you can use any ammonia so long as it turns out to not bubble when shaken??? never heard that before 

Also, as I keep realizing I have forgotten to mention these things, how many fish would be recommended if I used any of the species listed above (celestials, harlequins, mosquito rasboras or phoenix rasboras) I am not taking any chances with this tank.
I gave you a link to a cycling article (you can also find it at the top of the page 'Cycling a Tank' and a link for ammonia sources. You should be able to find ammonia at Ace hardware though. :D
You'll want some sort of pipette or syringe to be able to accurately measure how much you're adding to the tank.
Use the calculator at the top of the page to determine how much ammonia to add, you'll want to change the 5ppm to 3ppm, and put in the strength of ammonia you're using & tank volume.
When putting in tank volume take some off to account for substrate & decor.
Sorry I missed you asking for filter recommendations! I have Aqua-Tech filters (they're at Wal-Mart) on 3 of my tanks. I like them.
I also have a Tetra Whisper on 1 and a Aqueon Quietflow on another. :)
You have a liquid test kit right?
Ok, sounds good, I have plenty of syringes (for my gecko) so the goal then is to raise the ammonia  to 3 ppm for the length of the cycle?? Or is it indefinite, also I am not sure if there is an ACE anywhere near me so I will have to find that out. 
the pearl danios as I am really looking for color
Please don't put Danios in a small tank. They are a very active fish that live in fast flowing streams. They need a long tank and a reasonable filter to swim against, my old tank had a powerhead to generate the current.
Celestial Pearl Danios are fine for a smaller tank, they are not as active as the usual danios you are thinking of
If your getting plants then you should wait I think the proper waiting time is 2 weeks before adding shrimp, esp. cherry shrimp, the new plants can have chemicals that can kill the shrimp, also you shouldn't add any new plants when it is set up, but you can quarantine them, before you put new ones in.
Thanks for all the help!! Unfortunately, I did not get the go ahead as my parents seem to think that a 20g tank and a gecko is too much already 
.  This page will be bookmarked though and I will use it the second I can get this tank working.

Most reactions