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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-28-2020, 06:11 AM Thread Starter
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A little help with 10 Gallon stocking ideas

Hey guys!

I am a complete newbie when it comes to planted aquariums. I have a regular 10 US gallon aquarium with aquaclear 20 filter. I also have 3 different plants (xmas moss, java fern, and some hornwort).

I am currently on the 1st week of cycling with 3 ember tetras. And now I'm searching out for some stocking ideas. I am really intrigued by having some dwarf gouramis. Here are a few lists of my stocking ideas:

- option 1 Click image for larger version

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-option 2 Click image for larger version

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I have done research on other fish forums and the verdict was panda corydoras would require more space than a 10 gallon, so I wouldnt mind grabbing some pygmy cories instead. Please shine some light on this poor newbie.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-28-2020, 12:41 PM
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Welcome to the hobby!

1) Stop cycling with fish in. If you can return the tetras to the shop while the tank cycles, that would be ideal. You can then perform a fishless cycle with bottled ammonia, dosing up to 4ppm. Fish-in cycles take longer and will shorten the fish's lifespans in the long run, if they survive the initial cycle. Ember tetras also don't have the bioload to cycle the tank fully anyway, so you'll just be doing an additional cycle each time you add more fish.

2) Between the 2 types of gourami, I'd go with the Sparkling. Dwarf gouramis get surprisingly large and can be aggressive. It's not uncommon for them infected with the iridovirus too, which isn't treatable as far as I'm aware and leads to the fish breaking out in horrible sores and eventually dying.

I don't have any personal experience with sparkling gouramis, but I do know that they can be aggressive to con-specifics (like any gourami) so I'd keep an eye on behaviours if you do purchase a pair, and have a back up plan if things go wrong. They're beautiful fish though and have always been on my list.

3) You're right on the panda corys, 10 gallons isn't enough space for them really. You also want at least 6 of the same cory species for them to even begin showing natural behaviours. Corydoras Pygmaeus, Habrosus, or Hastatus would be a better size with the tank as you said. I've only had the first and not had much luck with them, but many others keep them with no problems. These will not cope with an immature tank though, especially if you continue with a fish-in cycle. I'd probably wait 6+ months before adding them personally.

Do you have any photos of the tank?

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-28-2020, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Thelongsnail View Post
Welcome to the hobby!

1) Stop cycling with fish in. If you can return the tetras to the shop while the tank cycles, that would be ideal. You can then perform a fishless cycle with bottled ammonia, dosing up to 4ppm. Fish-in cycles take longer and will shorten the fish's lifespans in the long run, if they survive the initial cycle. Ember tetras also don't have the bioload to cycle the tank fully anyway, so you'll just be doing an additional cycle each time you add more fish.

2) Between the 2 types of gourami, I'd go with the Sparkling. Dwarf gouramis get surprisingly large and can be aggressive. It's not uncommon for them infected with the iridovirus too, which isn't treatable as far as I'm aware and leads to the fish breaking out in horrible sores and eventually dying.

I don't have any personal experience with sparkling gouramis, but I do know that they can be aggressive to con-specifics (like any gourami) so I'd keep an eye on behaviours if you do purchase a pair, and have a back up plan if things go wrong. They're beautiful fish though and have always been on my list.

3) You're right on the panda corys, 10 gallons isn't enough space for them really. You also want at least 6 of the same cory species for them to even begin showing natural behaviours. Corydoras Pygmaeus, Habrosus, or Hastatus would be a better size with the tank as you said. I've only had the first and not had much luck with them, but many others keep them with no problems. These will not cope with an immature tank though, especially if you continue with a fish-in cycle. I'd probably wait 6+ months before adding them personally.

Do you have any photos of the tank? <a href="https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/images/smilie/icon_smile.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Smile" >:-)</a>
Thank you so much for the thorough explanation. Unfortunately, I dont think I can return these ember tetras, so I would have to continue with the fish in cycle.

But now I know what to do for my next planted tank &#x1f642;

So my ideal stock would be
6 ember tetras
2 sparkling gouramis
6 pygmy cories?

Kinda sad now that I have to wait 6 months to add more fish in, but I'd rather have healthy environment for the fish.

Here is a picture of my tank
Click image for larger version

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ID:	897377

And one more question, I have a kit to test the water, what would the parameters be once the aquarium is cycled?
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-29-2020, 06:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moelotov View Post

So my ideal stock would be
6 ember tetras
2 sparkling gouramis
6 pygmy cories?

Kinda sad now that I have to wait 6 months to add more fish in, but I'd rather have healthy environment for the fish.

And one more question, I have a kit to test the water, what would the parameters be once the aquarium is cycled?
A cycled tank will have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and <20 nitrates. Since you're cycling with fish, you should be testing often, maybe every other day at least, if not daily. Any time the ammonia gets above .25, you'll want to do a 50% water change to bring it back down. With only 3 fish, this cycle will take some time, with perhaps multiple water changes.

As far as stocking, when you're ready to add more I would first add the additional embers and keep testing for a couple of weeks. Then the sparkling gouramis (great little fish) and I would add 3-4 of these at the same time - and again keep testing. I have had 3 of these together before and while there was occasional chasing, there was never any harm done. If you're lucky, you may hear some croaking from them - I did occasionally.

Finally, the cories. I would suggest looking at cory habrosus or cory hastatus. I've also had the cory pygmaeus, but these did not do well for me. The habrosus are larger than the hastatus and I currently have both of these. I thought habrosus was my favorite, but I think these both share top billing equally now.

I also notice you are not using a substrate in your tank. Is there a particular reason for this?
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-29-2020, 07:22 AM
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If your doing a fish in cycle look at products like Seachem Stability or Tetra Safestart. They’re a bacteria colony in a bottle, they can put you months ahead on a fish in cycle. Dose some, keep up light feeding of fish and dosing the stability etc, add 3 more ember tetra at end of couple weeks, keep dosing and go into a holding pattern on fish for about 3 more weeks keeping up on light feeding and monitoring ammonia, dose extra stability if you see a ammonia flare up over .25ppm. Monitoring your tank constantly in these 1st few weeks is very important.

Also check PH of your water your using for water changes and in tank. Ammonia exists as ammonium below 6.8PH, it’s way safer to your fish than ammonia. If your change water is above 6.8-7PH, when you change water you will get surge of ammonium converting to ammonia, ammonia is bad juju, ammonium in low amounts is fertilizer. Always let your change set in a bucket for 24hrs to absorb gases and normalize to atmospheric gases (which it can’t do trapped in a water pipe or even a gallon jug), let water breath before you use it, that way PH of your tank and change water will be about the same so you won’t get any ammonia surges.

Basic rule is the higher your PH the more lethal ammonia compounds become and more you have to worry about it. A level of .25ppm at <6.8PH in fresh not a show stopper but it would decimate a brackish or saltwater tank up at 7.6-8PH.

I would also suggest you get a some almond leaves or sera super peat or spaghnum peat and lightly treat your tank and change water with them to add extra humic and fulvic acids at this point. Natural PH regulators and also great softwater conditioner for fish like embers and gourami. This is my water prep bucket for my 7gal betta/neon/ember tank, light yellow tint.



I would also warn you about going bare bottom in tank. Usually the substrate layer is main bio-filter in freshwater tanks. You’d be much better off with .5” layer of pool filter or play sand than going bare bottom. The amount of bio filtration a good substrate layer can do will far exceed what any filter will do unless you’ve got g’normous canister full of bio media. A average sized hob filter like yours won’t even come close to doing what a good .5” sand bed will do in your tank as far as surface area to house a substantial bacteria colony.

I run AC20 on my 7gal also but I would never attempt a betta and 11 tetra without a substrate bio bed in tank. You also need a sand bed if your going to keep Cory, that’s what their barbs are for, rooting around in sand, picking up waste and turning sand over.
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Last edited by DaveKS; 04-29-2020 at 07:33 AM. Reason: Typo
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-30-2020, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moelotov View Post

So my ideal stock would be
6 ember tetras
2 sparkling gouramis
6 pygmy cories?

Kinda sad now that I have to wait 6 months to add more fish in, but I'd rather have healthy environment for the fish.

And one more question, I have a kit to test the water, what would the parameters be once the aquarium is cycled?
A cycled tank will have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and <20 nitrates. Since you're cycling with fish, you should be testing often, maybe every other day at least, if not daily. Any time the ammonia gets above .25, you'll want to do a 50% water change to bring it back down. With only 3 fish, this cycle will take some time, with perhaps multiple water changes.

As far as stocking, when you're ready to add more I would first add the additional embers and keep testing for a couple of weeks. Then the sparkling gouramis (great little fish) and I would add 3-4 of these at the same time - and again keep testing. I have had 3 of these together before and while there was occasional chasing, there was never any harm done. If you're lucky, you may hear some croaking from them - I did occasionally.

Finally, the cories. I would suggest looking at cory habrosus or cory hastatus. I've also had the cory pygmaeus, but these did not do well for me. The habrosus are larger than the hastatus and I currently have both of these. I thought habrosus was my favorite, but I think these both share top billing equally now.

I also notice you are not using a substrate in your tank. Is there a particular reason for this?
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveKS View Post
If your doing a fish in cycle look at products like Seachem Stability or Tetra Safestart. They’re a bacteria colony in a bottle, they can put you months ahead on a fish in cycle. Dose some, keep up light feeding of fish and dosing the stability etc, add 3 more ember tetra at end of couple weeks, keep dosing and go into a holding pattern on fish for about 3 more weeks keeping up on light feeding and monitoring ammonia, dose extra stability if you see a ammonia flare up over .25ppm. Monitoring your tank constantly in these 1st few weeks is very important.

Also check PH of your water your using for water changes and in tank. Ammonia exists as ammonium below 6.8PH, it’s way safer to your fish than ammonia. If your change water is above 6.8-7PH, when you change water you will get surge of ammonium converting to ammonia, ammonia is bad juju, ammonium in low amounts is fertilizer. Always let your change set in a bucket for 24hrs to absorb gases and normalize to atmospheric gases (which it can’t do trapped in a water pipe or even a gallon jug), let water breath before you use it, that way PH of your tank and change water will be about the same so you won’t get any ammonia surges.

Basic rule is the higher your PH the more lethal ammonia compounds become and more you have to worry about it. A level of .25ppm at <6.8PH in fresh not a show stopper but it would decimate a brackish or saltwater tank up at 7.6-8PH.

I would also suggest you get a some almond leaves or sera super peat or spaghnum peat and lightly treat your tank and change water with them to add extra humic and fulvic acids at this point. Natural PH regulators and also great softwater conditioner for fish like embers and gourami. This is my water prep bucket for my 7gal betta/neon/ember tank, light yellow tint.



I would also warn you about going bare bottom in tank. Usually the substrate layer is main bio-filter in freshwater tanks. You’d be much better off with .5” layer of pool filter or play sand than going bare bottom. The amount of bio filtration a good substrate layer can do will far exceed what any filter will do unless you’ve got g’normous canister full of bio media. A average sized hob filter like yours won’t even come close to doing what a good .5” sand bed will do in your tank as far as surface area to house a substantial bacteria colony.

I run AC20 on my 7gal also but I would never attempt a betta and 11 tetra without a substrate bio bed in tank. You also need a sand bed if your going to keep Cory, that’s what their barbs are for, rooting around in sand, picking up waste and turning sand over.
Thank you so much guys for the detailed info, I actually was just too lazy to clean substrates, but after lurking more thoroughly, I decided to add some sand.

Here is what it looks like now
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I will be doing 25% water changes every other day and testing the water parameters. And I will certainly look into that species of cories!
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-30-2020, 08:41 PM
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Thatís thing with finer gravel and sand, itís pore structure is tight enough that rough, raw organics arenít going to get down into it, gravel vacuuming it is a waste of time. Turkey baster will be your best friend. Before water changes turn AC20 up on high then just take turkey baster and just go around tank and puff, puff, puff and blow up loose debris and let filter flow carry it around and let filter intake pick it up. Then change water, save some of that old water, pull filters pads and use that old water to clean pads/sponges. Then top off water and reinstall sponges and then turn AC20 back down to tanks normal flow.

I would have you move filter to a better position also. Where your output ramp and intake tube are positioned very little debris going to get pushed over to intake strainer. Move it to right so output ramp is basically centered on right half of tank and input strainer will be close to center of tank. Outflow will sweep down right half tank and sweep a current around tank and just about the point where current slows down enough for debris to settle out of water thereís your input strainer to suck it up. Where intake is currently no debris will ever make over to it, itís in a dead zone.

My 7gal bow front is setup similar, my neons/embers love to hang out together just to the left of filters outflow. The flow is just to right edge of this photo, they just love that area. Iíve got 1 betta, 5 neon and 6 embers in there, so as far as your stocking list above, go for it, should be no problem, just build up the stocking slowly at 2-3week intervals to let bacteria catch up with increased load. Do the Cory last.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-01-2020, 01:01 AM
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I would recommend looking at the habrosus cory as opposed to the other two, just because c. habrosus is a bottom dweller like the larger corys and the other two species, while they do spend time on the substrate, spend a lot more time in the water column, and your water column will be full with the embers and gouramis. The c. habrosus is sometimes also called the Salt and Pepper cory-- not to be confused with the Peppered Cory, which is a different one altogether and one of the larger of them.

I currently have pygmy corys (c. pygmeus) and c. habrosus in my 29g. The pygmies are cute, but they really do swim a lot in the water column as opposed to patrolling the bottom of the tank. Gets the top of the driftwood cleaned better, though, so it works out. I want to add c. hastatus to the tank as well, so I'll have all 3 dwarf cory species. I like corys &#x1f937;&#x200d;&#x2640;&#xfe0f;

I posted a picture of the two species in my tank-- the c. habrosus is the darker one in the middle, with the thicker, broken line. The two on either side that are lighter with the thin line are the two pygmy corys. They have a more streamlined body type than the flat underside of the habrosus because they spend more time in the water column as opposed to substrate.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-01-2020, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thatís thing with finer gravel and sand, itís pore structure is tight enough that rough, raw organics arenít going to get down into it, gravel vacuuming it is a waste of time. Turkey baster will be your best friend. Before water changes turn AC20 up on high then just take turkey baster and just go around tank and puff, puff, puff and blow up loose debris and let filter flow carry it around and let filter intake pick it up. Then change water, save some of that old water, pull filters pads and use that old water to clean pads/sponges. Then top off water and reinstall sponges and then turn AC20 back down to tanks normal flow.

I would have you move filter to a better position also. Where your output ramp and intake tube are positioned very little debris going to get pushed over to intake strainer. Move it to right so output ramp is basically centered on right half of tank and input strainer will be close to center of tank. Outflow will sweep down right half tank and sweep a current around tank and just about the point where current slows down enough for debris to settle out of water thereís your input strainer to suck it up. Where intake is currently no debris will ever make over to it, itís in a dead zone.

My 7gal bow front is setup similar, my neons/embers love to hang out together just to the left of filters outflow. The flow is just to right edge of this photo, they just love that area. Iíve got 1 betta, 5 neon and 6 embers in there, so as far as your stocking list above, go for it, should be no problem, just build up the stocking slowly at 2-3week intervals to let bacteria catch up with increased load. Do the Cory last.

I've never noticed how much of a difference it makes just by moving the filter to the other side, but it makes so much sense. Thank you so much for the information.

I will keep in mind to wait another 2-3 weeks before adding the gourami. Thank you again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaylSoftpaws View Post
I would recommend looking at the habrosus cory as opposed to the other two, just because c. habrosus is a bottom dweller like the larger corys and the other two species, while they do spend time on the substrate, spend a lot more time in the water column, and your water column will be full with the embers and gouramis. The c. habrosus is sometimes also called the Salt and Pepper cory-- not to be confused with the Peppered Cory, which is a different one altogether and one of the larger of them.

I currently have pygmy corys (c. pygmeus) and c. habrosus in my 29g. The pygmies are cute, but they really do swim a lot in the water column as opposed to patrolling the bottom of the tank. Gets the top of the driftwood cleaned better, though, so it works out. I want to add c. hastatus to the tank as well, so I'll have all 3 dwarf cory species. I like corys &#x1f937;&#x200d;&#x2640;&#xfe0f;

I posted a picture of the two species in my tank-- the c. habrosus is the darker one in the middle, with the thicker, broken line. The two on either side that are lighter with the thin line are the two pygmy corys. They have a more streamlined body type than the flat underside of the habrosus because they spend more time in the water column as opposed to substrate.
Sheez I've never realized that there are so many cory species. Thank you!

Last edited by Darkblade48; 05-02-2020 at 04:13 PM.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-02-2020, 10:22 PM
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[
Sheez I've never realized that there are so many cory species. Thank you!
No problem. And oh, yeah, so many cory species. You've got the ones common to the trade, but if you start researching, there's a bunch!
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