Starting a 10 gallon fish tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-03-2008, 03:48 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Apple Valley, MN
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Starting a 10 gallon fish tank

Hi all I'm new to fish, but I currently own a 30gallon vivarium with dart frogs, so I have some plant experience....

I have some questions though: I don't want to use CO2, and I don't know ANYTHING about lighting.

So what kind of lights do you guys recommend for a 10 gallon tank? I just want to be able to grow a lot of different plants but I don't know if I want a low or high light aquarium.
Also what kind of substrate do you guys think I should use? I was thinking some flourite under gravel, but I'm not sure?

Also as far as stocking goes, how many khuli loaches can comfortably fit in 10 gallons? I was thinking this:
5 serpae tetras
1 betta fish
3 khuli loaches
2 otocinclus (for algae)
Is this too much fish? I don't want to overstock them, but I need a cleanup crew...
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-03-2008, 02:02 PM
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Location: Michigan
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Hi, well it sounds like you want a low tech tank.

If you get "high lighting", you will need to have co2, I would stick to a low tech tank since it's you're first planted tank.

A lot people with little tanks go with T-5 lighting, but they can get expensive and, you will most likely need CO2. If you want low tech, I'd just go with a standerd or double tube flourescent strip light.

Here is a good list of low light plants you could use.

As for the substrate, I would definently go with Eco-Complete, one bag should do it. This will be perfect since you won't be using co2 or high lighting. Search around on google and read about it, it's awesome stuff.

You're stocking list looks good, good luck
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-03-2008, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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Ok thanks for the reply! Yeah I did some more reading after this post, and I realize now without CO2 I am going to want low light. Now by standard florescent lighting, do you mean the lights that come with a fish tank? Because at my local wal-mart, they have a kit that I might be interested in buying, it comes with the 10 gallon tank (I would love to have a 55gallon but my parents said 10gallon only ) , hood, heater, filter and lights. Should I buy this, or buy everything seperately? I think it costs $50 but it might be more or less.

Also do you use Eco-complete only, or do you put gravel over it? And where can I buy it?
Also the more I'm thinking about it, the more I want a German blue ram, but I have some issues:
Do they have to be in a pair? I don't think I have room for two...
Is 10 gallons enough space?
If my water is hard, can I make it soft for them?
And if my ph is too high, can I lower it for them too?

This is my other stocking list:
1-2 German Blue Ram(s)
5 Cardinal/Neon Tetras
3 Khuli Loaches
2 Otos

Again, is this overstocking? If it is I could replace the cardinals or neons with Cories or something like that.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-03-2008, 06:17 PM
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Don't know about the over stocking but for water hardness go to a local pet store and ask if the have RO water and fill you tank with that mostly. there are other way but that i think would be the most cost affective.

"real cars don't have spark plugs"
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-03-2008, 07:25 PM
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If that's the kit with the fluorescent strip light then it isn't bad, I bought one for a quarantine tank. The filter is... sort of craptacular and I'd replace it with an Aquaclear 30, but otherwise like I said, it isn't bad.

You can certainly grow plants under the 15 watts that bulb will provide, low light, slow growth, low maintenance enjoyment. It comes with a nice 'purple' All Glass bulb, it'll grow plants and make everything look nice too.

Eco Complete is used on its own, so no mixing with regular gravel, one bag should be plenty.

Please don't put Rams in a 10 gallon, they need more space to be happy. I'd pass on the Loaches, but a couple otos and some small schooling fish like those Neon Tetras would be very nice. You might want to look into other varieties like the Black Neons, or Glowlights as they're a bit more durable, err, hardy.

If you buy your fish locally they're probably in the same water you have, so don't worry about trying to adjust your water.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-05-2008, 08:21 PM
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Hmm..well you can't comfortably keep a pair of rams in a 10. I tried talking my parents into letting me have a 55 too but they only let me have a 29 hah.
You can get Eco complete usually at your local pet store, I think it's somewhere around $25 a bag? If they don't have it then they can order it for you. Yeah the lighting you want will work fine for low to medium-low plants. Goood luck and keep us updated
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