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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
(yes I know it has fish in it too but its need for information. plant section is towards bottom of post)

I have always loved fish, though I've had good experiences with them in the past so it's been hard to form a negative image of them. I've gotten over $500 this Xmas and birthday and I've been thinking about it for a long time now and I've decided to start a tank. I'll be starting with a 10 gallon tank that will rest nicely in my dorm with with my roommate (and though I will be moving into an apartment this summer vacation it is not out of the city, I just go from downtown to a bit out of the main city so the drive won't be extremely stressful on the fish and they'd be the last things moved as I don't want to over-stimulate/stress them with all the buzzing around that comes with moving into a new place).

I will be getting my fish from Petsmart (the only place in the town that even has fish besides Walmart... I never buy any fish from Walmart because I don't trust them enough to have cared for their animals) and I have it planned out so far of how it's going to go down (which I understand is good) and I have a word document with the basic information and requirements of the fish I would like to have (information gathered from Petsmart website only, not sure what other TRUSTED websites to go to for info) and have made sure that they are compatible.

Since I only have 2 days to get the items and everything, as I'm staying with my dad in Washington and it's a 4 hour drive to Missoula to go back to college, things are kind of mushed together which I know can be bad depending on the fish. Because I am also a beginner to fish care I chose hardy fish with only 2 that require a bit more (as in a cycled tank although I have come up with a solution though unsure if it will work, hence why i need advice from you fish lovers)

So, here's what I have planed for the tank itself (no fish yet):

-The tank and other products needed (such as filters, and chemicals for water) will be bought on Saturday (when dad and I come to Missoula to drop off 90% of my things back at the dorm)

-The tank and supplies I will take with me to my grandma's so I can prep it (a bit, not a lot since driving with a tank of water is a bit challenging) I decided that I want live plants, so I have found a gravel (though i'm open to suggestions) for the plants. This gravel needs a good cleaning before it can even be put in the tank so i'll wash it at grandmas since washing gravel outside with a hose is easier than trying to wash it over a sink at the dorm rooms.
This is the gravel mixture: Seachem Flourite Plant Substrate
info found here:

I'm unsure if the gravel has to stay in water or not but if it does I can keep some water in the tank just in case

-After the gravel is clean I'll be filling up the tank fully and setting the water filter to work (since it's said that it can turn the water a bit murkey if it has left over clay/mud in it) so it'll be (the gravel not the water) squeaky clean for the fishies when the time comes. This is the only reason why i'll be buying the tank on saturday and not when i get the fish (besides fish can only stay in the bags for a certain about of time before running out of oxygen.

-Come sunday I'll FIRST drop off the tank at the dorms, get it set up, fill it up and get the filters going. I'm going to get some API Tap Water Conditioner to put in the water to get in clean (since dorm room water is... questionable, especially for fish. I DON'T even drink it so why would I put my fish in it?) I'll have the chemicals for the water (such as PH and such though i am not sure what chemicals i need at all and though i can ask my dad I'd like to go in knowing EXACTLY what i'll need) already bought since i would have gotten it saturday. So i can set up the water just right before even putting fish in it. I know i'll be gone for 30 min to 2 hrs max so the water will have PLENTY of time to situate (i hope...) before i get back

So thats the plan for the tank. Now... I know each fish usually has different water requires but from what petsmart told me I've been trying to find fish that will work together. So this is where opinion from you fish lovers come into play. The list of fish i want is below along with a link to the petsmart page just incase you want to get a quick look. I want to know if I've chosen wisely or poorly and if poorly, are there OTHER fish that will work? (I love colorful fish, but every fish is pretty to me (most of them...) so feel free to recommend)

These are the fish that I have found and like that will go in my tank (if approved by you and petsmart staff) Trust me, i'll double and triple check to make sure all fish will go together and work.

  • Fancy Guppies (I'd prefer only males so I don't have a tank full of fish fry though my catfish might eat them so I'd like to get all males) I plan to get 3 at first.
  • Hi Fin Platy (again, males only, I'd rather not have a breeding tank but again, my catfish could eat the offspring too but thats iffy to much to rely on) I plan to get 2 at first
  • Snails (reason why is I want bit more help keeping the tank clean, living in a dorm room makes it hard to fully clean a tank but I will certainly do all i can) I only plan to get 2, these guys are small but not so small that the fish will eat them (i hope...)
  • Pictus Catfish (this is 1 of the 2 fish that I plan to get after the water's been cycled if i can't chance putting them in with the other fish I get for starters)

    This is the one fish i will NOT change. All other fish I have chosen are centered around this fish. Reason why is because when I was younger and lived in Phoenix, I have a Pictus named Snuffy. He was amazing and i loved him (no i have no idea if it was male or female but i always thought of it as a him, Snuffy is a bisexual name right?) he died during our move, i knew it would happen but not much we could do about it and dad didn't care enough to make him safer anyways. Petsmart says they get to 10" and recommend a 29+ gallon tank... I call bull[censored][censored][censored][censored] on them. Snuffy lived happily in a ~10g tank his whole life and never got more than 3" long. I plan to get 2 of them (company).

    So if you must make judgement on fish, base it about the Pictus, since this will be a fish that i will have, regardless (not saying and [censored][censored][censored][censored] with the water the make it so, I mean i'll only have these fish if thats what it takes to have at least one)
    Behold Snuffy Jr. and.... idk i haven't thought of a name for the 2nd one.

  • Dwarf Gourami
    I plan to get 3 as they suggest a 2 to 1 ratio female to male (since the males apparantly fight) I also like them cus they have orange on them and I love their dorsal fin...

So thats the fish I have. Did i choose right? Wrong? Any suggestions? Is 10 fish too much for a 10g tank? (im not counting the snails I think they'll be perfectly fine... right?) Food suggestions? Anything...

Also, because I am using live plants and not fake (i know many of you might reccomend fake over real for beginner fish carers, but real plants do SO much for the aquarium life) I also have to care for them. I already got the gravel for them (though again open for suggestions) but I'm unsure if I also need to get chemicals for them or if the gravel is enough? Are all the fresh water plants compatible with my fish? Are the ones I should avoid (yes ruling out salt water plants... if there are any)? Suggestions. I want to make the tank the best i can for fish and plant alike.

Feel free to list anything you know i should have or things that would be nice to have :) like I said, I'd love to have this all planned out before the 26th rolls around. ty <3
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