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Old 04-26-2010, 03:27 PM   #1
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10 gallon tank + 6 white clouds

I am a novice at this but have done a fair bit of research.

I have a 10 gallon tank + filter + heater. Currently home to 6 white clouds. They appear to be doing well (they are eating etc) but I do have a couple (or several) questions.

1a. They recently seem to be a bit less active. They kinda hover down in the back of the tank near the bottom. When they were first introduced (3 at a time) they swam all over the place but now only occasionally do they wander around the rest of the tank. Any ideas as to why this might be? With the coming of spring it has been getting warmer in the house, and we haven't switched on the AC yet, so it is possible the water has warmed up a bit. When we first set up the tank I would say the water temp was 74 or so, and now it might be reaching 76. Could two degrees make that much difference? Or am I barking up the wrong tree? I have tested for Ammonia and Nitrates and they have consistently come back in good ranges.

1b. Also related to temperature. If you recommend I cool off the tank, I currently have a hood with fluorescent lights built in and then a small door at the front (so when it is lifted I would say about 40%-50% of the top of the tank is exposed to the air). I was thinking of leaving that door open to attempt to cool it off. Do I need to worry about jumpers (assuming they become their former more active selves of course)? I have also heard running a desk fan across the open tank top to help cool it, but would prefer to avoid a big desk fan near the tank. Are there any mini-clip on types out there?

2. Feeding. So far I have stuck completely to flakes. What would you recommend I feed the white clouds to try and really bring out their colors (and offer from variety). Dried brine shrimp I have seen mentioned. Any live items recommended?

3. Tankmates? I have searched quite a bit about possible tank mates for the white clouds. And I have seen information that seems to go all over the map. Being a small tank I realize I would be looking for a solitary fish or one that would be content in very small schools... some things I have read:
a. Single Male Betta: I have read that these will work well with a white cloud, and others that have said that they won't mix well at all. Also there is a temperature difference to be considered, since Bettas would prefer slightly warmer water right?
b. Cory Catfish: one of the most common things I have seen, but given their size I don't think getting more than 3 small cory catfish is a good idea. I read a couple places that 3 is enough, while others say at least 6. And the preferred temp ranges for the Corys I have researched seem to be much warmer than what is recommended for White Clouds.

So any advice on tankmates? Or should I stick to white clouds and maybe add 2 or 3 more? Keys here would be hardy, easy to take care of fish...

I am probably forgetting some questions...
thanks very much for your time...

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Old 04-26-2010, 04:06 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinBlank View Post
I am a novice at this but have done a fair bit of research.

I have a 10 gallon tank + filter + heater. Currently home to 6 white clouds. They appear to be doing well (they are eating etc) but I do have a couple (or several) questions.

How long have they been in there? Was the tank cycled before they were added?

1a. They recently seem to be a bit less active. They kinda hover down in the back of the tank near the bottom. When they were first introduced (3 at a time) they swam all over the place but now only occasionally do they wander around the rest of the tank. Any ideas as to why this might be? With the coming of spring it has been getting warmer in the house, and we haven't switched on the AC yet, so it is possible the water has warmed up a bit. When we first set up the tank I would say the water temp was 74 or so, and now it might be reaching 76. Could two degrees make that much difference? Or am I barking up the wrong tree? I have tested for Ammonia and Nitrates and they have consistently come back in good ranges.

The temp is fine. I've kept them from 70-80, just avoid drastic changes.

"consistently come back in good ranges." How are you testing? The only good number for ammonia is 0, there is no range.

1b. Also related to temperature. If you recommend I cool off the tank, I currently have a hood with fluorescent lights built in and then a small door at the front (so when it is lifted I would say about 40%-50% of the top of the tank is exposed to the air). I was thinking of leaving that door open to attempt to cool it off. Do I need to worry about jumpers (assuming they become their former more active selves of course)? I have also heard running a desk fan across the open tank top to help cool it, but would prefer to avoid a big desk fan near the tank. Are there any mini-clip on types out there?

Never had them jump. Yes, they have clip on fans. Check at any target, walmart, etc.

2. Feeding. So far I have stuck completely to flakes. What would you recommend I feed the white clouds to try and really bring out their colors (and offer from variety). Dried brine shrimp I have seen mentioned. Any live items recommended?

Variety is the key. You can also look at color enhancing foods. No need for live, but they'd probably appreciate some live black worms on occasion.

3. Tankmates? I have searched quite a bit about possible tank mates for the white clouds. And I have seen information that seems to go all over the map. Being a small tank I realize I would be looking for a solitary fish or one that would be content in very small schools... some things I have read:
a. Single Male Betta: I have read that these will work well with a white cloud, and others that have said that they won't mix well at all. Also there is a temperature difference to be considered, since Bettas would prefer slightly warmer water right?
b. Cory Catfish: one of the most common things I have seen, but given their size I don't think getting more than 3 small cory catfish is a good idea. I read a couple places that 3 is enough, while others say at least 6. And the preferred temp ranges for the Corys I have researched seem to be much warmer than what is recommended for White Clouds.

So any advice on tankmates? Or should I stick to white clouds and maybe add 2 or 3 more? Keys here would be hardy, easy to take care of fish...

I am probably forgetting some questions...
thanks very much for your time...
IMO, a 10G is too small for the WCs because of their activity level (when healthy). I'd suggest trading them in and planning to stock it from scratch with good fish for a small tank.
Comments in blue. Opinion in black.
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Old 04-26-2010, 04:19 PM   #3
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Thanks. I cycled the tank with my first three white clouds. They have been in the tank since around the end of Feb first week of March. The second three white clouds were added on April 2nd.

Whenever I measure (the measuring kits I have are color based) the ammonia levels come back as "white" or 0. Nitrates also always come back in the lowest threshold (or "safe" zone).

They do become quite active during feeding time. Perhaps that are just a bit spooked? Not enough plants and other items perhaps? I would really rather not get rid of the white clouds as I do like them quite a bit.
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Old 04-26-2010, 04:25 PM   #4
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I can understand that. I'd suggest more plants then (especially floaters).

What type of kit is it? It sounds like one of those "monitors"... a liquid reagent kit is the best choice for accuracy.
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Old 04-26-2010, 04:32 PM   #5
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Floaters? Does that mean plants that are long enough that their tops "float" along the top?

It is a test kit where it is basically a stick with a small pad on the end. Move it back and forth quickly in the water for 10 seconds and then see if the pad changes color. Compare color to chart of ranges.
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Old 04-26-2010, 04:34 PM   #6
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I have actually found white clouds to be fine in a 10 gallon - but that is a matter of opinion, so that is up to you.

When talking about the size of cory cats try pygmy cories - very tiny so you could keep them in a large enough group for them to feel safe in a 10 gallon.
I have 5 in my 10 gallon. I think dwarf cories are a very similar size, slightly different pattern. See what you think of them after doing you're own research!
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Old 04-26-2010, 04:36 PM   #7
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Would 6 white clouds + 5 pygmy corys overpopulate?

I do try and do 20%-25% water changes every other week.
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Old 04-26-2010, 04:51 PM   #8
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try this calculator:
AqAdvisor - Intelligent Freshwater Tropical Fish Aquarium Stocking Calculator and Aquarium Tank/Filter Advisor

then you can enter your personal filter and tank dimensions etc!
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Old 04-26-2010, 08:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinBlank View Post
Floaters? Does that mean plants that are long enough that their tops "float" along the top?

It is a test kit where it is basically a stick with a small pad on the end. Move it back and forth quickly in the water for 10 seconds and then see if the pad changes color. Compare color to chart of ranges.
Floating plants. Google images of Frog bit, water lettuce, salvinia to get an idea.

Those "Dip tests" are notoriously unreliable unfortunately. Check out the API Master FW kit. It's a liquid reagent kit that is very good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinBlank View Post
Would 6 white clouds + 5 pygmy corys overpopulate?

I do try and do 20%-25% water changes every other week.
Not if you stocked them gradually and were willing to up your PWC schedule a tad.
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Old 04-27-2010, 10:01 AM   #10
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Update:

Ok I got a liquid reagent test kit last night and it showed some ammonia. I am due for a water change anyway so got the water prepared (treated) and set out to reach room temperature last night and I will do the change today. And I think I need to work on my feeding. That is the hardest part for me, figuring out how much they will eat in 3 minutes :P

As far as plants go, I am only using artificial ones. I don't feel like I know what I am doing with the fish, don't want to try and keep plants alive too But I will add some more... any recommendations on artificial (other than not to use them?). Silk over plastic for sure?

Oh, and I also got some freeze dried brine shrimp (which they loved) and I put a background on the tank (solid blue). Putting the background seems to have encouraged them to move closer to the front of the tank.

Oh and one last thing: I am really interested in adding a Betta. I think the splash of color he would provide would contrast great with the white clouds. I have read several people online saying they have done it without issue (and others where it has been a disaster). What is the opinion around these parts? Imminent disaster? Or doable?

Thanks everybody for all your help
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:49 PM   #11
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Good job on getting the test kit and taking action. Your test results will tell you what to do from here. > .2 ammonia or nitrite, do a water change.

I'd go with silk if I were to use artificial plants. Also, the betta (if you opt) will like it.

Some fish eat faster than others. I hate that "rule". lol Imagine their stomachs to be the size of their eyeball. Feed accordingly. JMO

I think it's doable. I've seen a lot of conflicting stories as well though.
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Old 04-28-2010, 11:17 AM   #12
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Update:
Ok, purchased some more plants (and a castle, cliche I know, but the kids and wife liked it :P).

Did a 20% water change last night as well.

Last night the fish were still hanging out down in the back of the tank (behind the new castle under some plants). This morning they were still down in the back as well. Hoping that it is just an adjustment thing to the major changes to their tank (in hindsight probably too major. Oh well).

Tonight we will see if I can coax them out with a bit of freeze dried brine shrimp, and do another water check to see if the ammonia levels are down sufficiently or if I need to do another water change.

Maybe I will try and snap a picture of it as well...

Thanks again for all your help
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Old 04-28-2010, 01:00 PM   #13
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Good luck with the cycling. I'd hold off on the betta until your tank is stable. You'll probably need to do 50%+ PWCs every day to keep your fish alive.

I've never had problems with bettas in my community tank. I've had both males and females in there. They might chase some other fish a little bit, but they're too slow to catch them. It's actually comical to watch.
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Old 04-28-2010, 02:28 PM   #14
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I have had fish (3 to start with) in this tank since the last week of February or so. Added 3 more just before Easter. So the tank has had these same 6 fish in since April 3rd. Unfortunately was using the dip testers which turned out to be a bad idea as at the end of the 6 weeks (before I bought the second 3 on April 3rd) I was showing 0 ammonia.

I will keep an eye on things, but really hopefully any cycling should hopefully be pretty close to the home stretch by now. Of course if more water changes are required I will certainly do them.

This board is the first I have come across that has really encouraged the fishless cycling. The two books I purchased both spoke of using a small number of a hardy breed of fish (like the White Clouds) to cycle your tank and then adding a few more at a time. Live and learn

And yes I agree that I will not be adding the Betta until I am reading 0 ammonia in the water.
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Old 04-29-2010, 10:32 AM   #15
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Update:

I tested the water again and decided to do another 20% water change. I am using the API Ammonia test kit:
Amazon.com: Ammonia Test Kit: Home & Garden

I am finding it a bit challenging to tell between the Yellow of 0 and the Yellow-Green of .25. :p So I decided to do a partial water change just to be safe.

The fish are noticeably more active. They do spend quite a bit of time towards the back, but I am beginning to think they just enjoy being in the current of the intake for the filter (as that is where they hang out). The main thing is that they are also again spending time out and about in the tank and are much perkier.

I will test again tonight and do another water change if necessary. Once I get to the point of where I think that ammonia levels are reliably at 0 I will look at adding the betta.
Thanks!
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Old 05-05-2010, 03:13 PM   #16
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I have the same exact ammonia test kit with the same exact problem. Some of the colors are so close to eachother that it can be hard to determine which level they are at. Right now mine is at 4.0 and it has been that way for the past week. I've been doing water changes. I've done a 40-50% but it is still at 4.0. I have 2 zebra and 2 leopard danios. As for the betta you are planning to get, bettas are a hit or miss. They can be aggressive toward other fish or mellow. It all depends on their attitude. Fish are like humans when it comes to personallity. They are all different.
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Old 05-05-2010, 03:38 PM   #17
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The fish are a lot more lively. I reached a stage with the testing that I was.. highly confident.. it was at 0 after 24 hours.

I am planning on attempting the Betta this weekend. Basically if there appears to be a lot of hostility shown while the betta is in its bag getting acclimated to the tank's water temp I will have to come up with a plan B (most likely a 5 gallon home for the Betta).
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Old 05-05-2010, 08:24 PM   #18
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I'd actually put the betta in the tank first before deciding whether to relocate him. I highly doubt a betta is fast enough to catch a white cloud. My wife's betta chases her neons, but he's way too slow to catch them.
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:57 AM   #19
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Thanks I will do that. Actually I am a bit more worried about the white clouds bugging the betta :P There is one that pesters his school mates quite a bit... hopefully he will leave the betta alone
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Old 05-06-2010, 11:52 AM   #20
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Ok. Lets take a step back and venture down rhetorical row here for a second.

Lets say I was backing off on adding a Betta to the tank and instead was buying a bigger tank (say a 29 or 55) and was going to transfer the white clouds to. So basically I would have an empty 10 gallon.

What stocking ideas would you recommend? I am fine with it being a single species tank as well.
A male/female pair of Bettas?
8 or so Neons?

What are some good fish to live in a 10 gallon?

And no I am not really doing this.... just something that is floating in the back of my head that I would like to discuss a bit....
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