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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going off to college at the end of the year, and my top 3 schools only allow 10 gallon aquariums in the dorms, specifically for fish (and I assume crustaceans), but no amphibians.
My current set up is a heavily planted halogen Fluval Edge with 4 Platys, 2 Julii Corys, 2 Pristella tetras, 2 Harlequin Rasboras, and one Oto. I do bi-weekly 30% water changes on it since I do realize it is overstocked.

However, I have been modifying it steadily over the course of the two years that I have owned it, since initially I chose plants and fish by appearance rather than light level and temperament.

With the tank I plan to get in college, I want a set up that I don't have to continually work on to get right, but I also need something on the lower tech end (or at least less expensive), since other than the initial setup, I will be paying for the maintenance of the tank on a limited college budget.

If anybody could suggest plants, fish, and equipment ideal for my situation, I would be extremely grateful.
 

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Planted Tank Nation
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Welcome to TPT

Low tech is definetly how you want to make this tank. Just make it low light with small bioload and you can have a very succesful little tank.

Plants- moss, anubias, java fern. Then in addition to that consider some type of crypt like weditii then a a foreground plant such as marsiela minuta if you are willing to go up to medium lighting, but still low tech. You can also use ludwigia or rotala for a background
stem plant.

Equipment- small canister fillters would always be preffered to HOB's, but thats not a huge deal. Fluval 106 maybe? Then there are tons of options for light. A lower light LED would be perfect for what your are going for. Finnex fugeray might work.

Fish- keep it simple. How about chili rasboras for the schoolers, then sparkling gourami pair as the centerpeice. Then you could also throw in a few amano shrimp for cleanup crew purposes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I like your suggestion for the rasbora, but I also like B. merah (Phoenix Rasbora). Also, the gouramis are interesting, but I think they are too small for a centerpiece. Another concern is their reputation as shrimp-eaters.

For a centerpiece fish or pair of fish, I would prefer something with a deeper body that gets no bigger than two or three inches long. It would have to co-habit with the Boraras and not pursue the shrimp.

Any ideas there?
 

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If you prefer the orange of merah, then go for it! I like the orange better. But you can't go wrong either since they are close cousins. I just recommended the briggitae because those seem to be more popular.

Not sure what to suggest you for the centerpiece. What type of shrimp are you talking about? If its amano shrimp, then they get pretty big and I doubt the gouramis will mess with them.
 

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My 5.5 I have in my dorm with me (home for now cause I am home as well), and I just did a dirted tank with hi-lighting (going to do DIY co2......then again everything grows so fast I'd be afraid to make it faster lol)

Livestock, I just keep shrimp tbh. Although I want to get fish, I'm waiting for the shrimp to start breeding first.
 

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Hm... I have pondered the topic of centerpiece fish for a 10 gallon for a while and have not come to any good conclusion. Personally I would want a fish that is relatively easy to get, hardy, peaceful, good looking (of course), and would do well not in a school. The only fish I could come up with are gouramis. I've had bad luck with gouramis, but you could look into honey gourami (small and cute, and have the deeper body that you're looking for) or dwarf gourami (3 color variations: powder, natural, flame).

You could look into killifish as well but they don't have that deep body and I can't really see them as a center fish anyway.

A nice school is actually pretty calming and you don't need a centerpiece. They make a cool pattern from afar and you don't have to worry about species compatibility.
 
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