Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 09-02-2014, 09:20 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
goldfish1212's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 118
please help the newbie

Hi, so I am trying to start a new fish tank and to do everything right to give my future plants and fish a good home. I have a 10 gallon with an fluval aquaclear 20 filter. The light says it is 15 Watt full spectrum and I have a heater which is keeping the tank at 74F max. I have black sand which I washed and washed and washed before putting in and which seemed to be fine. I also washed the parts of the filter before putting them in and treated the water with api stress coat. Petco is the only fish store I have access to besides online ordering.
I am trying to do a fishless cycle of the tank and three days ago I set everything up and put in three pieces of the fish food I have, some small sinking algae wafers. I lowered the water level as well to give it more aeration. The second day I tested the water and the ammonia was only at .5 ppm, but I didn't want to throw in more food since I read that can make the tank gross. I woke up this morning and my tank was super cloudy and gray and the ammonia was at 0 ppm! I changed out the rotting algae wafers for 1 new one and changed out half of the water, vacuuming the sand as best I could to see if maybe that was what was turning it gray. The filter has been going strong, but tonight the tank is murkier and the ammonia is still at 0ppm.
So a few questions. How to get the ammonia up? I've seen mixed reviews about it, but does the method of using shrimp actually work? I've seen articles about "seeding" tanks, so if I go to Petco this weekend would it be worth it to ask for some filter media or gravel to try and use? Also how do I get my tank to not be so gray-green and cloudy?
Also, and I'm sorry this is a long post for just a 10 gallon tank, but I have some questions about stocking. How does 8 pygmy corydoras and either 6 celestial pearl danios OR 5 neon tetras sound? I'm not buying anything living for a few weeks obviously, but I want to go ahead and get an idea. I really love the pygmy corydoras, especially the corydoras habrosus (though pygmaeus is cute too), and also like the CPDs, though I'm more flexible on them. Petco has tetras. Does anyone know of online sellers for the first two that are reputable that will safely ship to North Carolina in the USA? The only people I can find are Arizona Aquatics and their reviews are God awful. As for plants I plan to get some anubias from Petco, but I would also like to get several other types of plants. I like the look of grassy plants like hairgrass and chainsword, as well as the look of anacharis. Any other suggestions? Would I need fertilizer? Where are the best places to order plants and what are good prices for them?
Thank you in advance for any help, though I have a small tank I want to be a good pet owner. I've tried to read up but it seems like every forum and article posts conflicting information on all this. The people at my Petco are well meaning, but apathetic. Thanks again!
__________________

__________________
goldfish1212 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2014, 11:44 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Fresh2o's Avatar



Tank of the Month Award
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 12,863
Welcome to AA!
You've been doing your homework...kudos. Don't apologize for the tank size. I have 20g tanks. Looks like you have a bacterial bloom from the fish food. Placing food in a nylon bag often helps keep the rotting food from being scattered in the tank. I'm not sure if Petco will supply you with any seeded media. You can get it online or from other AA members. If there are any fish/aquarium clubs in your area, that would be a place to check.
If you are looking for ammonia, try Harris Teeter grocery stores. I picked up 1/2 gallon for under $2 I think. You mentioned NC; there are quite a few HT stores in your state. Just look for the dye, perfume, and surfactant free ammonia.
Good luck!


Sent from my iPhone using Aquarium Advice
__________________

__________________
I am an ALGAE farmer.
Terms of Service | Community Rules | FresH2O's Planted Tank | Fresh2o's Shrimp Tank
Fresh2o is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2014, 12:15 AM   #3
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Eugene, OR
Posts: 1,159
If you can't get your hands on seeded media, I'd recommend Dr. Tim's One & Only bacteria. You'll likely have to have it shipped from SoCal, but it's worth it. Cycled my tank in nine days.

Also, if you can't find pure ammonia, Dr. Tim's sells ammonium chloride solution.
__________________
PNWaquarist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2014, 12:39 AM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Near Chicago, IN
Posts: 4,856
Hi and welcome to your new hobby! I have both kinds of cories and just love them. I actually have 6 kinds total. Severem Mama on here has the fish you want sometimes or she can get them. She has a sticky under classifieds and an ad there as well. Tell her Brenna sent you! Good luck!!
__________________

Brenna
brennae is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2014, 02:20 AM   #5
Aquarium Advice Addict

POTM Champion
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Southern Cali
Posts: 1,734
you should bump the temp up to about 80, it will make a big difference in how long it takes for the tank to cycle.
__________________
PB_Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2014, 09:25 AM   #6
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
goldfish1212's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 118
Thanks Fresh2o, I'll definitely check out HT for some ammonia, I had no idea they would sell it there. That would be so much cleaner than fish food rotting.
__________________
goldfish1212 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2014, 09:29 AM   #7
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
goldfish1212's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 118
Thanks so much Brennae, I'll see if she has some of the cories. Ordering fish online seems so risky, I'm glad for the recommendation.
__________________
goldfish1212 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2014, 09:31 AM   #8
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
goldfish1212's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 118
I would raise the temp to 80 if I could but the highest my heater goes is to 74F. It's consistent though, but how much longer do you think it will take if 74 is the max temperature the tank is at?
__________________
goldfish1212 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2014, 09:51 AM   #9
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
BBradbury's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 5,011
Your Tank

Hello blue...

A 10 gallon tank is too small for a beginner. It's too small for a beginner to keep clean. A 20 is still a bit small, but would give you a better chance for success. I started with a 30 gallon and was glad I did. I made some mistakes in taking care of the tank water and the bit larger tank with more water saved my fish on several occasions.

I can tell you that Corydoras are shoaling fish. A group of 6 or more is best They're very active on the bottom of the tank and need more swimming room than less active fish. A 10 G is really too small for them. The same is true for Danios. They're extremely active swimmers. Most grow to close to 2 inches long and are shoaling fish. A group of 8 or more is best for them.

You're the water keeper, but I'd say if you want to keep these fish, they'll be much healthier in a larger tank that's long and narrow.

B
__________________
"Fear not, my young apprentice. Just change the tank water."
BBradbury is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2014, 10:13 AM   #10
Aquarium Advice Addict

POTM Champion
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Southern Cali
Posts: 1,734
Quote:
Originally Posted by blue_cat View Post
I would raise the temp to 80 if I could but the highest my heater goes is to 74F. It's consistent though, but how much longer do you think it will take if 74 is the max temperature the tank is at?
74 is max?
It will slow down cycling by a week or so.

You may want to consider a new/better heater with a bigger range as 74F is more or less at the bottom of the range for most tropical fish. You will also be more susceptible to ich at lower temps.

I currently have mine running at 85. That way when the ambient temps get into the 90's +, there isn't as big of a swing. As it cools I will adjust it down to maintain about 78.
While it is important to maintain a consistent temp, there are situations where you are going to want to raise the temp past 74.

I also agree with BB about the cory cats, they will go bonkers in a ten gallon as they are VERY active fish. I just returned a pair of albinos I had because they were just too rambunctious for a 10 gallon and drove the other fish to distraction. They were very healthy and happy, just too energetic for such a small tank.
__________________
PB_Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2014, 11:06 AM   #11
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Rotonda West, Fla
Posts: 353
I have a 10 gal tank that I started about 2 and a half months ago, and it is doing fine. Not everybody has the room or capability to have a larger tank for whatever reason. I started my tank because Hubby wanted a community tank with neon tetras. I did the fish in cycle with tetra safe start for two weeks with 6 neon tetras who are still going strong, and now have some glow light tetras, and ember tetras, and 3 ghost shrimp, plants and everybody is fine. Don't get discouraged, it is a fun hobby, and we all started out as newbies at some point. You can have a nice 10 gal tank. You just have to test your water and do some water changes as necessary. There are many ways to get a tank cycled and the good thing is most of them work. Just keep reading and learning. Alison
__________________
Aliray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2014, 12:01 PM   #12
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
goldfish1212's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 118
BBradbury, I am well aware that it is always recommended on forums for beginners to get a large aquarium, but realistically a 30 or even a 20 gallon is not feasible for everyone. I would have loved to get a larger aquarium, and hope to one day off in the future, but in my current living conditions I literally can only have the 10. As I have already purchased all my supplies and I cannot return them, I would appreciate any advice on caring for a 10 gallon.
PB_Smith, I will go get a better heater this weekend. The one I purchased was recommended by the employee at Petco but after looking around I think I might have gotten ripped off if it only goes from mid 60s to 74 degrees. Do you have any recommendations for decent heaters for a 10 gallon, or should anything up to the mid 80s be fine? Also thank you for the advice about dealing with high ambient temperatures! I can't get any ac in my room, so that will be helpful.
As for the cory cats, I know that normal sized corys such as the albinos are too big, but I was wondering more specifically about pygmy corydoras, which only grow to a little over an inch. I've seen articles that say a school of 6 to 8 will do fine in a 10 gallon, do you think pygmy corydoras such as pygmaeus or habrosus would be fine? I saw similar information in regards to CPDs specifically. I would be happy to get just the corys or corys and some little neon tetras if that would give them more room. Would they appreciate planting the tank to leave several bare areas of sand to shoal around? Any other recommendations for fish that might be better suited?
__________________
goldfish1212 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2014, 12:43 PM   #13
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Rotonda West, Fla
Posts: 353
Hi Blue Cat and welcome, I went to a fish store near where I live and the gentleman that owns it has many ,many years of experience with all kinds of fish ,both salt and fresh, he also belongs to fish clubs and is very involved in all of it. I was getting some plants from him and asked about the dwarf cory cats, and according to him you could keep 10 in a 10 gal tank and they would be fine. So I would think a few with neons or Cpds would be fine. Bottom line it is your tank and you have to like it. The neons and cpds have very small bioloads compared to say platties or mollies. Another small pretty tetra is the ember tetra that tops out at an inch or a hair under. I have one more 10 gal set still in the box that I intend to put maybe 3 or 4 of the dwarf cats when I set it up. I still haven't decided on the rest but if I run into the cpds at a decent price I would get a school of them. Alison
__________________
Aliray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2014, 12:46 PM   #14
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
goldfish1212's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 118
Ok, thank you! I'll look into the ember tetras and other small tetras

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Aquarium Advice mobile app
__________________
goldfish1212 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2014, 01:00 PM   #15
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Rotonda West, Fla
Posts: 353
Your welcome...Alison
__________________
Aliray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2014, 02:40 PM   #16
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Eugene, OR
Posts: 1,159
Quote:
Originally Posted by BBradbury View Post
A 10 gallon tank is too small for a beginner. It's too small for a beginner to keep clean.


It doesn't take an advanced aquarist to successfully maintain a 10 gallon tank. The keys are stocking intelligently and changing out a larger percentage of the water than one would do for a 20 or 30 gallon tank. In this case, BB's legendary and shockingly absent advice of 50% weekly water changes would be applicable here.

Here are some options for stocking a 10 gallon tank. Your idea of adding pygmy corys is a good one. Ember Tetras have teeny bioloads and might be a nice option for the middle level of your tank. Regarding heaters, a 50 W should would nicely for a 10 gallon tank.
__________________
PNWaquarist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2014, 02:45 PM   #17
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
keegster803's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Westfield, IN
Posts: 1,341
Started with a 10 gallon full of guppies and 2 peppered cories, the guppies love them, but cleaning will get a little difficult at times, but don't let that discourage you!


Sent from my iPhone using Aquarium Advice
__________________
keegster803 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2014, 02:46 PM   #18
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
keegster803's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Westfield, IN
Posts: 1,341
50% water changes are the key to success


Sent from my iPhone using Aquarium Advice
__________________
keegster803 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2014, 03:53 PM   #19
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
goldfish1212's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 118
Ok, thanks for the advice on the water changes! I'll make sure to do big water changes and regular tests when i get fish.
The water is still cloudy, but I did clean the filter media today because it was filled with this gray dust and black fur like mess. I think i just didn't wash the sand as well as i thought. Grrr. When it clears up I got some ammonia from ht and I'll start the add and wait cycle here. http://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/aq...ess-cycle.html.
Thanks for the advice.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Aquarium Advice mobile app
__________________
goldfish1212 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2014, 07:15 PM   #20
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
FishieMomma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 499
Quote:
Originally Posted by PNWaquarist View Post
:

Here are some options for stocking a 10 gallon tank.

What a fabulous link! I have a 12 gallon I've not know what to do with but I got some great suggestions for combining species from this article.

Thank you.
__________________

__________________
FishieMomma is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
newb, newbie

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Please please please help with naso tang ASAP!!!! crister13 Saltwater & Reef - Sick Fish or Coral 5 07-17-2012 04:53 PM
Hi from newbie (new newbie) aveda6 Member Introductions 3 08-23-2010 02:21 AM
Oldie Newbie or Newbie Oldie! sushiray Member Introductions 4 07-18-2009 06:58 PM
Advice from a newbie to a newbie mdaniel2882 Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 1 07-13-2009 08:21 PM
for newbie's from a newbie! labman Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 8 10-20-2005 09:11 PM







» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:42 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.