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Brendt

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Hi guys, I’m still cycling my tank but today added decorations to it, the picture of my tank is attached. I wanted to go for a natural look and wanted to know how I did as I’m a beginner... also if you think my tank (when cycled) will be good for a couple tetras and if they will be happy. It’s stocked with several fake plants, drift wood, and lava rocks Any suggestions are welcome on fish that would like this set up if tetras will not or decor suggestions. Thanks and have a great day!
 

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how big is the tank?

I would remove some of the rocks and push the plants to the back so the front is clear of objects. The fish can swim around in the open and still feel secure with the plants at the back.

Get a picture or some cardboard to put on the back of the tank. Dark backings usually show up the fish better than light colours. Unless you have dark fish, the a medium colour (blue or green) is better.

Get some Water Sprite (Ceratopteris thallictroides). It's a floating plant that can be planted in the gravel. When it is floating it will reduce the light getting onto the plastic plants and reduce algae on the ornaments and glass. Rinse plants well before adding to the tank.
 
Hi Colin thanks for The reply, it’s a Ten gallon tank. I will move those rocks and free up some of that room in the front like you are saying, that makes sense. Also since I posted this picture I did add a all blue background :)
 
Hi welcome to the forum and the hobby :)

I quite like what you have done with the tank, but dont be afraid of live plants, you cant beat them if you want a natural look. Colin above has pointed out some good points :) I personally prefer black backgrounds to blue in freshwater, blue makes more sense to me in marine tanks.

Can I just ask how you are cycling your tank? I know you dont have fish in there but are you using bottled ammonia or shop bought products?

If your tank is 10 gallons I would look at what are called nano fish, which are suitable will depend on what your tap water is like. Do you know your ph and do you do know if your water is soft or hard?

I would try and find a good local shop and try and source some slightly more unusual species of tetras and raspboras as most of the common 'small' schooling fish wouldnt do as well in this size tank as some of these, things like Neon Tetras or Harlequin Rasbora are actually quite big fish for this size tank.

The types of fish I would look at (depending on your water) would be things like Ember Tetras, Chilli Rasboras, Celestial Pearl Danios, Green Neon Tetras. If you wanted bottom dwellers, you would need to swap your gravel for sand though you could look at Dwarf Cory Catfish, Rosy Loaches or Dwarf Anchor Catfish. Then if you wanted feature fish, something like Scarlet Badis, Pyjami Badis, Pygmi Gourami or Clown Killifish.

Like I say it would depend on your water but you can make a really nice tiny community if you plan it well and source the correct species of fish :)

Wills
 
If your water is soft

I wanted to go for a natural look and wanted to know how I did as I’m a beginner.


Ditch the rocks and the plastic plants.

Create something like this.
f4582e0f95cede228cc2d37956dd85f3.jpg


or this
maxresdefault.jpg


Both are easy to do its just some sticks leaves and cheap plants, but both look great. It would cost less than $50 to do either set up.

O
 
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Ditch the rocks and the plastic plants.
I agree. Its a small tank so losing the rocks allows you to add more water. The plastic plants don't do anything. What about some floating plants like in Nick's top picture. The plants help oxygenate the water and assist the filter in dealing with ammonia, nitrite and nitrates. The fast growing ones do this better (frogbit is a good example). An added advantage is that it filters the light (tetras don't naturally like bright light), and of course they don't take up space in the tank.

Post you water parameters, especially pH and GH / KH so that someone can better advise what fish would work. Most of Will's suggestions are good. I would suggest a largish group of a single species rather than trying to have different types.

In case you're wondering: Nick's pics are a pretty good representation of the environment tetras live in in the wild - including the "tea" coloured water.
 
Look on your water supplier's website for your tap water hardness. We need both the number and the unit rather than words. They could use any one of half a dozen different units which is why we need that as well.
 
I agree with most of what has been suggested.

Water parameters are crucial to fish, so we need to know the GH, KH and pH of your source water in order to suggest fish species.

I agree that a p[lain black background, not a shiny finish, is best. It increases the visual space and fish and plants will be more obvious. Black construction paper is inexpensive and works very well, I have this on all my smaller tanks.

Tetras need chunks of wood more than rock. I think the suggestion to remove the plastic plants is a good one, and you can get some wood to represent logs or standing tree trunks, and/or branches. Tetras will shimmer in a tank with black substrate (you have this), black background, and lots of wood.

Floating plants (live) is also a very good idea; tetras do not appreciate direct light overhead.
 
Thank you all for the replys, I contacted whom I thought would know my water parameters and they said I’m on a well so they do not know, I however do know this I do have hard water but it isn’t unbearably hard to where you cannot wash your hair lol. My ph out of my faucet is 8.0.

As for how I’m cycling my tank I’m using janitorial strength ammonia I picked up at ace hardware that several people have recommended on here paired with seachem Stability.

My tank is also equipped with 2 tetra PF10 whisper filters and a multi color light that also dims to a fairly reasonable brightness.

I love the suggestions with the live plants and I wanted to do live plants I just started doing more research on them when I decided to set my tank up and it sounded like a lot of work. I may still do live plants on a bigger tank or a littl down the road with this one after it’s established
 
if you want a real easy plant, try water sprite. light and water and its off and racing :)
 
I might have to buy my Own test kit to find out exactly what my water parameters are as all I know for sure is it is hard and 8.0 ph.

As for the decorations, I’m okay with taking some decor out to make some more room and maybe at a later date taking the fake plants out and replacing them with plants suggested but I don’t really want to redecorate my tank for tetras. I’m not set on tetras that is what I was thinking because of how small of a tank it is and danios needing more swim room. I’m deffinantly open to other fish suggestions that would like and thrive on my tank.

Thanks again guys
 
I might have to buy my Own test kit to find out exactly what my water parameters are as all I know for sure is it is hard and 8.0 ph.

As for the decorations, I’m okay with taking some decor out to make some more room and maybe at a later date taking the fake plants out and replacing them with plants suggested but I don’t really want to redecorate my tank for tetras. I’m not set on tetras that is what I was thinking because of how small of a tank it is and danios needing more swim room. I’m deffinantly open to other fish suggestions that would like and thrive on my tank.

Thanks again guys

As you are on a private well, you have two options for testing the water parameters. A test kit, and I would recommend the API GH/KH liquid test kit. It is a shame to spend money for something you will probably only use the once, but you do need to pin down the numbers. Small tanks mean small-size fish species and these are more likely to be wild caught and that means paying very close attention to their requirements respecting water parameters.

But a second option is if you have a reliable fish store, they may do water tests. Take a sample of your water straight out of the tap (not from the tank here), and ask to have the GH tested. KH too if they will, but GH is the more important as this is the level of dissolved mineral (primarily calcium and magnesium) and this can affect fish. Ask for a number, not some vague term like "medium hard" which really means nothing. And ask for their unit of measurement; there are several, common ones being ppm (parts per million) or mg/l (milligrams per liter) and degrees.

I assume you have a pH test, this is a good test to have on hand. When testing tap water, let a glass of water stand for 24 hours to out-gas the CO2 which can affect the result. Not so critical as if you are on mains water, but still worth doing.

Make sure you do not have a softener on the tap or elsewhere. Some people on well water that is hard do have one or more softeners, and these can be an issue.
 
grab a glass of well water and take it to your local shop to test. Most shops only charge a few dollars and it would be cheaper than buying your own test kits. However, if you want to buy your own test kits, then get liquid test kits rather than paper strip test kits.
pH is the most commonly used test.
Ammonia & nitrite are used when first setting up and never again after that unless you lose a fish.
Nitrate is used once the filters have established.
General Hardness (GH) is used to find out what the total hardness is and then only gets used once every blue moon. GH measures carbonates, bicarbonates, sulphites, chlorides and anything else that is mineral based in the water.
Carbonate Hardness (KH) is used to measure carbonates & bicarbonates in water and is used whenever you want but not that often.

The only test kits I bother with are pH & GH, and I primarily use them when I am collecting fish and want to find out what the water is like where I am catching them. The rest of the time the kits live in the fridge doing nothing.
 
Sounds good, my first step will be to go to my LFS and see if they do water tests then. Thank you I wIll post an update and a couple of days.
 
I do have a master test kit however it doesn’t include GH and KH only PH, nitrate, Nitrite and Ammonia
 

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