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Hi,

I'm a newbie but have had enough success with my 40 gallon tank that I'm now obsessed and starting a small 10g planted tank for my office.

I'm open to suggestions, but am currently thinking about having galaxy rasbora, chili rasbora, and some shrimp. I also love dwarf pencilfish, but know I can't have too many fish in such a small tank. I'm wondering if there is a small algae-eater that might also fit in the tank?

Most importantly, I'm wondering what I should do for the weekends, since I won't be available to feed the fish. I've read that it is fine to leave fish for a few days without feeding, but is it ok to do that on such a regular schedule? I'm planning on feeding them new life spectrum flakes during the week. Also, I've heard that it is good to reduce light while you are away... should I do this on the weekend as well?

I've got the tank planted, but it's not ready for fish yet. I'm using AquaSoil Amazonia.

Thanks for any advice!

-Annelise
 

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Leave the light alone as long as you set a fairly consistent photoperiod and darkeness cycle. Not feeding them for 2 days is not only fine, it probably is good for them. Cleans out their guts. Just don't give a heavy feeding on the first few days and ensure you have good oxygenation at night.
 

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Shrimp are algae eaters, but otherwise, there aren't that many efficient small algae eating fish out there. Otos favor soft algaes, and are quite picky in my experience. Some plecos get too big for the tank, and others refuse to clean algae. Livebearers will hunt down shrimplets. Siamese algae eaters are too big. Florida flagfish (eat hair algae but) hunt down shrimp. I think you'd be best off buying some nerite snails to eat any algae problems that crop up and the shrimp can't take care of.

I think a small school of either rasbora would be a fine idea, but be warned that of all your choices, the chili's are the most shrimp safe. Assuming the tank is quite heavily planted, I think you could get by with a school of 8-12 fish, as long as you keep up on water changes.

Note on the feeding part: for all the species described, they need initial frozen/live food weaning. Unless you see them eating the exact same flake you plan on feeding, I'd invest in some sort of food to get them started. Instant Ocean makes a ready made baby brine shrimp solution that I think would work for most of the fish described, but it has to be refrigerated.
 

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2-3 Ottos and a hillstream loach, maybe two, to clean the glass would make a great combo for this tank.
 

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I was about to ask about that...

Hillstream loaches need lots of oxygen in the water they're in, as well as lots of algae. Their preferred environment would be a cool, fast running stream (cold fast moving water holds a lot of oxygen).

As for the otos...ehhhh, I guess? They like schools, so maybe a school of 6 otos would work? They also like oxygen, but prefer a warmer temperature.

Both the loach and the otocinclus eat film algae and aufwuchs. Don't count on them to eat BB, hair, or green spot algae.
 

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Maybe try to keep a colony of micro critters going in the tank that the fish can hunt when they're hungry over the weekends.
 

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Don't worry about it. I have a 5 gallon betta tank in my office that does fine over the weekend. Not feeding fish for a few days isn't a big deal and your tank won't crash if you don't dose it for 2 days. If you go high tech and need to dose it or something just load it up extra on Thurs / Fri. Don't mess with the photoperiod IMO - you should be able to leave things as-is and be fine as long as you don't run out of nutrients.
 
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