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Old 11-13-2011, 07:47 PM   #1
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So I am a complete newbie to aquariums. My daughter got a couple of goldfish at a Carnival a few weeks ago and her birthday was a couple of days later so we decided to get a tank. We could only afford to start with a small one (10 gallon) but needless to say the fish only lasted a couple of days. We still have the tank and want to get a few more fish but want to do it right this time. I have seen discussion on other sites about tank cycling so that the right bacteria is in the tank to deal with ammonia and nitrate levels. Any advice would be much appreciated. We don't want to kill any more fish as our four year old was a little upset about her fish dying. Thanks for your help. Also what is a hearty fish or community we can get for this size tank?
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Old 11-13-2011, 07:47 PM   #2
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Old 11-13-2011, 07:57 PM   #3
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I've heard that guppies or other small livebearers are perfect in a 10 gallon. Many come in bright, pretty colors that your 4 year old would probably love.

One thing to keep in mind with livebearers (and why I don't want any) - they're called LIVEbearers for a reason. Definite possibility of fry. Maybe that would be a good "facts of life" lesson, though?

I hope more experienced people chime in soon, and I hope you enjoy your new tank !
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Old 11-13-2011, 08:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven33
So I am a complete newbie to aquariums. My daughter got a couple of goldfish at a Carnival a few weeks ago and her birthday was a couple of days later so we decided to get a tank. We could only afford to start with a small one (10 gallon) but needless to say the fish only lasted a couple of days. We still have the tank and want to get a few more fish but want to do it right this time. I have seen discussion on other sites about tank cycling so that the right bacteria is in the tank to deal with ammonia and nitrate levels. Any advice would be much appreciated. We don't want to kill any more fish as our four year old was a little upset about her fish dying. Thanks for your help. Also what is a hearty fish or community we can get for this size tank?
I started with a 10 gallon and I started with black skirt tetras. They are one of the most hearty starter fish species that can take the high levels of ammonia. Although it is pretty much inevitable that some will die in the process of cycling your tank. Only put 3 or 4 in the tank to begin with to keep the ammonia down as compared to starting out with a lot of fish. Hope it all works out!
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Old 11-13-2011, 08:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven33 View Post
So I am a complete newbie to aquariums. My daughter got a couple of goldfish at a Carnival a few weeks ago and her birthday was a couple of days later so we decided to get a tank. We could only afford to start with a small one (10 gallon) but needless to say the fish only lasted a couple of days. We still have the tank and want to get a few more fish but want to do it right this time. I have seen discussion on other sites about tank cycling so that the right bacteria is in the tank to deal with ammonia and nitrate levels. Any advice would be much appreciated. We don't want to kill any more fish as our four year old was a little upset about her fish dying. Thanks for your help. Also what is a hearty fish or community we can get for this size tank?
to AA!

I'd begin by viewing the article on fishless cycling to get the 10gal established. It's a good way for beginners to get familiar with the unseen parts of an aquarium ..i.e. the nitrogen cycle and Beneficial bacteria.
If you do go this route, once the tank is established you can literally add any 10gal appropriate fish. Some tetras like the neon, cardinal or rummynose are relatively small fish where a 10gal is the minimum needed. Look up nano fish for other 10gal suitable fish. Shrimp and snails are other stock options.

If you go a fish in cycle, you'll need hardy fish to withstand the cycling process. The tetras I mentioned would NOT work ... but there are hardy tetras and some barbs that could work. This route requires fairly constant testing of water parameters and PWC's to keep ammonia at or below 0.25ppm.

Goldfish are not suitable for 10gal ... they produce too much waste and quickly foul up the water, often times poisoning themselves in their own ammonia if there is not adequate filtration and constant tank maintenance. To house the tropical fish I mentioned, you'll need to invest in a modest heater ... figure 100watts. They do not have the bio-load near that a single goldfish does.

I recently started a 10gal for my son so it was a bit of work at first, but now the fish in there are starting to show more activity.

Good luck!
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:37 PM   #6
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10 gallon is small but do-able. Salt or fresh?
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Old 11-13-2011, 09:43 PM   #7
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10 gallon is small but do-able. Salt or fresh?
Both are do-able but fresh will be more enjoyable. For salt there is not much you can do with a tank so small.
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Old 11-14-2011, 01:02 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the advice. I'm definately leaning towards doing a fishless cycle. Does having a smaller tank = less time to cycle the tank?
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Old 11-14-2011, 03:46 AM   #9
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Fishless cycle is much easier. I did both a fishless and a fishin cycle. For the fishin cycle, I had to do multiple pwc daily just to try to keep my ammonia and nitrite low. It took 6 weeks for me to cycle both ways.
In terms of fish, I have platies (males only) and ghost shrimps (great cleaners) in 1 tank and red eye tetras and ghost shrimps in the other tank.
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