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Old 01-19-2014, 12:01 AM   #1
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Smile New to the hobby

So my 7 year old is turning 8 and wanted a fish tank for his birthday. We already have a dog, a ferret, and 2 fids (feathered kids). Up until recently we had some very happy gerbils too, but alas old age got to them. We Love all critters... but I haven't kept fish other than bettas since my childhood.

My bettas were YEARS ago & only 2 gal tanks... and it's been a while since I had to go through setting up a tank.

We went around to the shops to get ideas and prepare last week. I decided a 10 gallon was the biggest I could handle right now and since his birthday is in 4 weeks we bought the tank today to get the ball rolling.

I found eco23's fish-less cycle thread, and I'd rather not kill our first fish... so I"m giving it a go.

We have a 10 gallon tank kit, a basic (but very quiet) internal tetra filter, stick on thermometer, blue LED bubble strip thingy so it works for the GloFish too, air tubing, 10lbs of gravel, fake glow in the dark style & 'live' plants that we are going to try and grow, and various decor the kiddos picked out.

The kit did come with a sample of chlorine remover, so we already threw the plant bulbs in the tank.

I ordered online an air pump, a nice heater, a bottle of api water conditioner, and an api master test kit. It will all be here Tuesday... in the meantime the water is just going to come to temp and get filtered a lot I guess.

I did not find ammonia in store yet... so I guess I have to do that before Tuesday... The kids think it's cool that we are growing a tank of bacteria. lol.

I would love suggestions for what to suggest my son Stock in this tank!

We like the look of:
The small glo fish, Neon Tetras, black mollys, guppies, snails, the little eel looking fish i can't think of the name of.... and many more! The Ghost shrimp are cool too!

I need suggestions for interesting/active fish to watch!

I also need advice on feeding the fish/snails/etc!

BLUE lights on:

White Lights on:

and this new smiley is like the best thing ever!

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Old 01-19-2014, 01:47 AM   #2
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In my experience, I think the best looking and easiest fish for a tank of 10 gallons would be either:

Fancy Guppies

Guppies are beautiful and vibrant in color. You could probably get away with 5 in the tank. You could get 1 if you wanted as they are not schooling.

Most tetras are east to take care of and hardy. They need good water conditions however and get stressed easily. Also, you need to school them 5+ would do the job.

Make sure when buying the fish you do research!


I love my Frog! His name is Barfolemule. He's kind of lazy, but so am I!
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:30 AM   #3
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You can always go community. An assortment of interesting fish:
1 male guppy
1 silver molly
1 black molly
3 fruit tetra

Or do a barb tank:
2 tiger barb
2 albino tiger
2 green barb

Slightly cramped but with ample filtration, and regular tank checks, I really think it could be lively. Who knows, maybe you'll get into tanking more and end up with a nice 40 gallon living room tank!
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Old 01-19-2014, 06:33 PM   #4
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I think my youngest son is drawn to the tetras/schooling fish.... I really like the Guppies/snails & he said I can have a fish in his tank!

It's going to wind up community.... we start with 2 fish in apx. 4 weeks.

Not sure exactly how many fish we can do, but i will be back for advice once he makes a firm decision on his first picks.

I am planning to get a gravel vacuum and a couple buckets. Otherwise I think we have the basics.

The tank is just sitting there filtering... funny how often I find a little boy squatting in front of an empty tank just watching the waterfall.

EDIT to add:

ALSO, I can't find Ammonia! We threw a few fish flakes in, but my test kit wont be here till Tuesday afternoon. I saw another post about fish food to cycle and how it got very messy... and how I could use a dead shrimp?!?!

I wonder how my dad started our tank when I was a kid... this is crazy complicated.
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Old 01-19-2014, 06:39 PM   #5
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I have neon tetras and fancy guppies in my tank, and they get along well! If your kid loves staring at the tank now, just imagine how it will be when it's stocked Your tank looks awesome- welcome to the forums!
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Old 01-20-2014, 08:43 PM   #6
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Molly's and barbs are both much too large and active for a 10g...
I'm guessing the "eel like" fish you are referring to are kuhli loaches they're one if my favorite fish- I have 4 in my 10g but they definitely hide a lot. I have heard differing opinions on what number should be kept minimum and what size tank they need- some people insisting a 20 long us minimum, but mine seem to do fine. You should get at least 3 though because they are very social.

Small tetras like neons, or harlequin rasboras are a good option as well that would be compatible with the kuhlis.

I'm a little unsure about the glo fish.. There are different species if fish that are grown with the glo gene, usually zebra danios or white skirt tetras are what I have seen- and both of these fish need a tank larger than 10 gallons :/

Male guppies are always a safe bet- and beautiful too!
20 gallon high-tech planted
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Old 01-20-2014, 09:29 PM   #7
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Kuhli loaches is exactly what they were! Thank you! I had no idea they were schooling either.
As for the glofish I guess I need to read up on tank size... I may have assumed that the smaller Danio's were going to be fine in a 10gal because 'they' heavily advertise the 2-5gal. kits for glofish.

Some Glo-Danios or a few Guppies were probably going to be his First choices too.
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Old 01-20-2014, 09:36 PM   #8
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Yes it is very sad what is advertised about fish keeping. I recently purchased a 4g aqueon evolve and on the box it said it was perfect for platys, goldfish, and Cory cats. When in reality its really only suitable for a beta or a couple nano fish... They're just setting up new fish keepers to fail!
Danios are very hyperactive, fast swimming fish that need a long tank to swim back and forth in. They would probably survive in a smaller tank, but would not be their happiest.

20 gallon high-tech planted
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