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So Lost...so Very, Very Lost

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Hey everyone! I'm a newbie trying to set up a 10 gallon tank for platys. I tried to set up an under-gravel filter but it was a bust, so I'm going to return it and get a filter that hangs on the back. I don't have a huge amount of money, so I was planning on buying a heater in a little bit. It's pretty hot where I live in the summer and we think the house is at around 80 degrees. Are any species of platy hardier than others? I did a lot of research but I'm still really new at this. Any and all advice would be great. Thanks! :huh:

Also, I'm not planning on attempting to breed the platys, but if it occurs naturally I'm all for it. I'm getting a few different subspecies. Is it safe for them to crossbreed? Will they even attempt it?
 

Scales9

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Ok so the first thing you have to do is cycle your filter, there is a thread for this in the beginners section, this will take a few weeks so you will have pleanty of time to see if the water stays at a constant temperature or save for a heater. As for the platies the different subspecies refer mainly to colour, at the end of the day they are all just platies so will breed with no trouble, if you are going to keep both genders you will need at least 3 females for every 1 male.
 

asheyna

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I felt really lost when I started too. So much information coming at you, so little time! I second the previous poster. Go ahead and do a fishless cycle (great posts in the beginners section) and that will let you keep an eye on the water. If I remember correctly platys are one of the lower temp range fish so that's to your benefit.

Personally, and I know it's hard because yay fishies!, but wait until you can afford the proper setup for the fish you want. If it means hanging off getting fish until you can afford the heater, do it. Your fish will be happier and healthier which means less cost for you in the long run (replacing and medicating). Also, idk about your LFS, but the ones here sell 10g heaters for like, $15.
 

crazyforcordoras

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Yep, you will def. need a heater. You may just want male platies, as they breed like rabbits.
 
OP
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I felt really lost when I started too. So much information coming at you, so little time! I second the previous poster. Go ahead and do a fishless cycle (great posts in the beginners section) and that will let you keep an eye on the water. If I remember correctly platys are one of the lower temp range fish so that's to your benefit.

Personally, and I know it's hard because yay fishies!, but wait until you can afford the proper setup for the fish you want. If it means hanging off getting fish until you can afford the heater, do it. Your fish will be happier and healthier which means less cost for you in the long run (replacing and medicating). Also, idk about your LFS, but the ones here sell 10g heaters for like, $15.
Thanks everybody and I totally know the feeling! I really want to go ahead and get the fish but I don't want them to die and to waste money. I think I can get a heater for about $20. I have set up gravel and a filter and I started cycling yesterday. I'm gonna add 2 drops of ammonia once every 24 hours. Will that work? Another thing, if I'm gonna go ahead and get a heater I don't need to stay in the "cooler" water range. I know livebearers are good together, but are any in particular really good with platys. On the off note (totally not on topic) my tank is "themed" Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I love that show, so I'm naming the fish after characters :) Thanks!

Ok so the first thing you have to do is cycle your filter, there is a thread for this in the beginners section, this will take a few weeks so you will have pleanty of time to see if the water stays at a constant temperature or save for a heater. As for the platies the different subspecies refer mainly to colour, at the end of the day they are all just platies so will breed with no trouble, if you are going to keep both genders you will need at least 3 females for every 1 male.
I was planning on starting with three plates and a snail because I don't want to get 5 or 6 and have them all die. That would not be good. Would it work to get 2 females and one male?
 

pumpkinnose

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You would probably be okay with 3 to start. I have 2 diffrent kind in my aquarium and they seem fine.
 
OP
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Thanks pumpkin nose and everyone else. Another question: how much ammonia should I add. I've been adding 2 drops every day. The big problem is that the various stores I went to didn't offer or were out of ammonia/master test kits. Do I need one, or can I rely on 2 drops? How long should I cycle before getting fish? It looks like I may have to wait even longer to get my platys :sad:
 

asheyna

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Thanks pumpkin nose and everyone else. Another question: how much ammonia should I add. I've been adding 2 drops every day. The big problem is that the various stores I went to didn't offer or were out of ammonia/master test kits. Do I need one, or can I rely on 2 drops? How long should I cycle before getting fish? It looks like I may have to wait even longer to get my platys :sad:
How long to cycle really varies from tank to tank. You'll need a test kit to be sure. Ammonia and Nitrites need to be at zero before the tank is considered ready for fish. How much you need to add and how often probably depends on the kind of ammonia drops you get. I'd read the label and see what's suggested for your tank size.
 
OP
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It's pure ammonia and I have a 10 gallon tank. I think I read that per ten gallons you should add 2-3 drops and that seems about right. I think I'm going to cycle it and then take a sample to the store where I will get my fish. They said they will test it before I get my fish and tell me whether it's safe or not. Will that work?
 
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