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What to stock a 36litre / 10 gallon tank?

UnicornFish

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I have just purchased a 36 litre/ 10 gallon tank and would love some suggestions on what to stock it with. I want to have tropical fish, and ideally a centrepiece fish, schooling fish and some bottom dwellers. This is my first tank and due to size constraints a bigger tank isn’t an option at the moment. I understand it’s quite a small tank so if the above isn’t possible, what are some alternatives that I have?

I’m in the UK if that helps!
 

essjay

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Hi,welcome to the forum.

Small tanks need small fish, and most small fish are shoaling. I'm afraid the tank is too small for a centrepiece fish.

The first thing we need to know is the hardness of your water. You should be able to find this somewhere on your water company's website. We need a number and the unit as they quite likely use a different unit from the ones we use in fish keeping.
The reason I ask for this is because fish have evolved to live in water with a certain hardness and we need to keep fish that come from similar water to our tap water. This is particularly important with small fish as they tend to be wild caught.

It would also be helpful if you can tell us the dimensions of the tank - is it long and shallow or tall and thin, for example.

Once we know these details it will be much easier to help you choose fish :)
 

PheonixKingZ

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I concur 100% with @essjay!

10 gallon is pretty much a “nano” tank, which means small species. :)

Also, a 10 gallon tank is a great choice for a betta fish, we just need to pin down your water parameters before you decide on any fish. :)
 
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UnicornFish

UnicornFish

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Hi,welcome to the forum.

Small tanks need small fish, and most small fish are shoaling. I'm afraid the tank is too small for a centrepiece fish.

The first thing we need to know is the hardness of your water. You should be able to find this somewhere on your water company's website. We need a number and the unit as they quite likely use a different unit from the ones we use in fish keeping.
The reason I ask for this is because fish have evolved to live in water with a certain hardness and we need to keep fish that come from similar water to our tap water. This is particularly important with small fish as they tend to be wild caught.

It would also be helpful if you can tell us the dimensions of the tank - is it long and shallow or tall and thin, for example.

Once we know these details it will be much easier to help you choose fish :)
Thank you! I thought as much about centrepiece fish but in any case I’d love some suggestions for something bright and eye catching. I have been recommended an amber gourami or Betta, plus some tetras, but I’m a bit unsure about Bettas because as beautiful as they are they can be aggressive.

My tanks is 50cm wide, 25cm deep and 30cm high. According to our water company our water is

110.6mg/l calcium

I hope that this helps!
 

Byron

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Thank you! I thought as much about centrepiece fish but in any case I’d love some suggestions for something bright and eye catching. I have been recommended an amber gourami or Betta, plus some tetras, but I’m a bit unsure about Bettas because as beautiful as they are they can be aggressive.

My tanks is 50cm wide, 25cm deep and 30cm high. According to our water company our water is

110.6mg/l calcium

I hope that this helps!
I have to sign off momentarily, but wanted to respond here before I do. On the water parameters, if you can link your water authority's website other members may be able to sort this out. We need the GH and pH especially.

Re the fish, Bettas are not community fish, but one male Betta in your 10g tank would be fine (depending perhaps upon water parameters). But no other fish.

Not sure what the amber gourami is...can you narrow this down a bit?
 
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UnicornFish

UnicornFish

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Apologies! Water hardness is listed as 110.6mg/l calcium and ph as 7.5. It is Yorkshire Water.

My mistake! I had meant the honey gourami
 
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UnicornFish

UnicornFish

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What kind of tetras are you hoping to House? :)
I don’t have a particular type yet, infact I’m not even settled on tetras themselves. I’m open to any and all suggestions but particularly love bright fish like guppies
 

essjay

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Your hardness converts to 15.5 dH and 276 ppm - those are the two units used in fishkeeping. This is hard water so tetras, bettas and honey gouramis are not suitable as they are all soft water fish.
However, there is one species that would love your water and is suitable for your tank size - endlers. These are bright little jewels and are commonly available. http://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/poecilia-wingei/ Maidenhead Aquatics branches usually stock two or three varieties if there's branch near you; smaller shops also usually stock at least one variety.
Endlers in shops are usually endler-guppy hybrids and there are many colours/patterns so having a few of them doesn't mean a tank of fish that all look the same. I don't recommend buying from there, but search on Ebay for endlers and look at the photos to see what I mean.
I would think about something like 6 to 10 males - once the tank is ready for fish. No females though. They are bigger, plain grey-beige and will have lots of fry every month so your tank would very quickly become overstocked.


When I say once the tank is ready for fish, there are a couple of ways to do this depending on whether you intend having live plants or not.

If you intend fake plants, silk look more natural than plastic. You will need to cycle the tank before getting fish, this link explains why and how to do it. https://www.fishforums.net/threads/cycling-your-new-fresh-water-tank-read-this-first.421488/

If you intend live plants, buy the plants first and let them become established. Once you are sure they are growing well, then you can get fish. But you need to monitor ammonia and nitrite to make sure the plants are taking up all the ammonia made by the fish. You would need quite a few fast growing plants, not just the odd one or two slow growing plants to do this. One of the best is water sprite, which can be planted in the substrate or used as a floating plant.
 
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UnicornFish

UnicornFish

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Thank you! That’s really helpful. I love bright fish like guppies so these look like they might be a good option. I have two branches of Maidenhead aquatics fairly close we will give them a visit
 
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