Brand New 10 gallon

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Brand New 10 gallon

Postby fishylove » 2008-07-02 06:57

HI :) Im new to the forums and new to fish keeping pretty much. But they look awesome and I want to become an expert. :D But for right now i only have the money and room in my apartment for a 10 gallon. I fell in love with the redtailed black shark when I went to Pet Smart. The guy told me that one would only get to 4 inches and would be suitable in a 10 gallon. So now he's in there :) But my question is could I put two kribinesis fish in there as well? There dwarf cichlids I think and get only 4 inchs and are semi aggressive so they seem like they would work with my shark. I know that this equals around 12 inches but it only goes over by 2 inches, so does it work? :yes: Please tell me yes because I want both :D
Thanks for any help :woot:
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Re: Brand New 10 gallon

Postby KittyKat » 2008-07-02 10:03

Hi & welcome to the forum!

First rule: never ever take anyone's word for anything. Especially if they work in Pet Smart as they probably (not always) don't know anything about fish.

Epalzeorhynchos bicolor (red tailed black shark) is a very active fish that should not be kept in small aquaria, requiring at least a 20 imperial gallon (about 24 US gal) tank, preferably a 40+ imp gal (about 48 US gal). I would strongly recommend that you take this fish back to the shop.. if you don't believe me, please do just Google for it and look at the other pages that come up!

Now first thing's first: did you cycle the tank before you added the fish? If you haven't, then I would recommend that you do that first. Cycling essentially means "establishing bacteria in the filter that make your tank safe for fish". Two ways to do this:
  • Fishless: use a non-live source of ammonia (ex. prawn or pure (thin) bleach) and not harming any fish in the process
  • With fish: use a live fish, cross your fingers and hope it doesn't die a slow and painful death from ammonia and nitrite poisoning. (You can probably see that I'm biased!)
Whichever way is used, it takes about 4 weeks to cycle a tank before it's ready/safe for fish to go in.

You can do a lot with a 10 gallon, but it all depends on the dimensions and filtration. So if you would be so good as to let us know what they are? Do you have any live plants in there?

The "1 inch of fish per gallon" is not a very good rule to follow, although it's good as a starting point if you've never kept fish before. Let me explain why: imagine you have a 12 inch Oscar in a 12 gallon tank.. the poor fish won't even be able to turn around! An Oscar is a large bodied fish that consumes a lot of food and thus produces a lot of waste. These fish need at least a 5ft long tank, a 12 gallon would just not be able to support them. Now let us look at 12x 1 inch long neon tetras, these are small fish that barely eat anything at all and do not produce much waste. In fact, you can easily get away with 20 of these in a planted 12 gallon tank. Makes sense?

Please understand that I am here not to tell you off, but to help you as my main priority is the welfare of the fish. I hope that I have not put you off fish completely, but have encouraged you to find out more.
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Re: Brand New 10 gallon

Postby dekker » 2008-07-02 15:24

hi fishylove :)

welcome to the forums :) you will get the best advise here i have and now i a'm looking forward to enjoying my new tank, just listen to the help and advise and you will soon be on you way to bigger tanks. :) hope you enjoy your stay here on AFF. :)


dekker :)
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Re: Brand New 10 gallon

Postby Aestolia » 2008-07-02 18:15

Hey Love,

I'm fairly new to the fish as well, just setting up my tank and doing research on fish compatibility for my tank. Welcome to the Forums. Kat give pretty good advice, I'd keep an open ear to her, but as she says 'Never take anyone's word for anything' :yes:

It important to try and get some first hand research in as well, though having advice as a starting point is always good.

Thanks to the advice I've gotten here, I've been really rethinking my tank and who I'm going to put in it. :D
-----
An empty tank 56g tank, awaiting me to make up my fickle mind.
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Re: Brand New 10 gallon

Postby fishylove » 2008-07-02 18:46

Thanks guys :)
Ok well Im not exactly sure if i cycled it. The guy at Pet Smart seemed to know what he was talking about because he went off about making sure the ammonia is 0 in the tank, the nitrites are 0 and then nitrates are 0. I think that is what he said. So he gave me three small goldfish, like 2 inches, to take home and said to put them in and wait a few weeks and check my water every week. So he had me buy these strip things with a bunch of stuff on it. So I put the goldfish in and it was like a week when one died off and then the other two were just laying on the bottom not doing much, I have no idea why. they wouldn't even get up for food :unsure: So then after two and a half weeks they died and then on the third week a person at Pet S. told me it was ok to put some fish in. I found the redtail shark and the guy said it would be ok since it only grows 4 inches and is less than half of the width of the tank or something. He said you don't want anything over a half or two thirds the length of the tank I think. So he said a redtail would be fine. And he had me buy a Tetra Whisper Internal Filter 10 gallon.
Oh and not to criticize or anything cause I dont know anytging compared to you KittyKat but the redtail isn't exactly 12 inches, its 4 inches. Is there anything I can do to keep it without getting another tank? :yes:
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Re: Brand New 10 gallon

Postby KittyKat » 2008-07-02 19:34

fishylove wrote:The guy at Pet Smart seemed to know what he was talking about because he went off about making sure the ammonia is 0 in the tank, the nitrites are 0 and then nitrates are 0.

Ammonia and nitrite are both toxic so both must be at 0 at all times or the fish will be hurt by them. Nitrates are plant food: anything up to 50 is safe, preferably keep under 25 and if they're at 0, then you've probably either got lots of plants or nitrate free water and do very regular water changes. I have heard people of not having any problems with nitrates up to 250ppm, but wouldn't want to try that myself.
So he gave me three small goldfish, like 2 inches, to take home and said to put them in and wait a few weeks and check my water every week.

This is where he proved that he shouldn't be working with fish and does not know very much about them. Every fish is alive and should be treated as such: you wouldn't send a cat or a dog for a swim in bleach, would you? So why do that to a fish? This is cycling with a fish: less then half the fish put through it survive - most die a slow and painful death of ammonia burns, inside and outside. Yes, there are some people who use fish for cycling, but I can not morally agree with them.
So he had me buy these strip things with a bunch of stuff on it.

Test kits. What have you got? Ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? pH? Glad to see that he had at least some sense!
So I put the goldfish in and it was like a week when one died off and then the other two were just laying on the bottom not doing much, I have no idea why. they wouldn't even get up for food :unsure: So then after two and a half weeks they died

Ammonia and nitrites are toxic, goldfish are just as vulnerable to them as any other fish. This is why I do not recommend cycling with fish.
then on the third week a person at Pet S. told me it was ok to put some fish in.

No, it's not. A cycle takes 4 weeks, not 2 so there may still be an ammonia build up which can kill your fish.
I found the redtail shark and the guy said it would be ok since it only grows 4 inches and is less than half of the width of the tank or something. He said you don't want anything over a half or two thirds the length of the tank I think. So he said a redtail would be fine.

5 inches, 4 if you don't look after it well. It's a very active fish so needs a large tank. As a general rule largest fish that can be kept in a tank without causing harm to the fish (with a few exceptions) is 5 times less then the length of the tank. Having a fish in a tank where it can barely turn around is not acceptable.
And he had me buy a Tetra Whisper Internal Filter 10 gallon.

The filter needs to be in before cycling, or cycling is pointless as it doesn't actually do anything. Is it the 40i or the 10i model? Do you have a heater?
Oh and not to criticize or anything cause I dont know anytging compared to you KittyKat but the redtail isn't exactly 12 inches, its 4 inches.

No offense taken, that was just an example to demonstrate that the 1 inch per gallon is very inaccurate and does not mean that you can only keep 10 inches of fish in your tank.
Is there anything I can do to keep it without getting another tank? :yes:

IMHO it's either take the fish back or get a tank at least twice as big, preferably 4 times.

Wash out media from the filter only in old tank water or the bacteria in it will be killed and you will get a cycle all over.
Dechlorinate water before adding to tank when doing water changes: chlorine and chloramine are dangerous to fish. Dechlorinator can be bought from any fish shop.

What are the dimensions (length, depth, width) of your tank?
What are the current readings from the test kits?
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Re: Brand New 10 gallon

Postby fishylove » 2008-07-02 19:53

Ya I see what your saying. Well he had me buy a test kit with nitrate and nitrite and pH and chlorine and hardness of the water. The filter is a 10i and I had it in there while the goldfish were in there. And after three weeks when I brought a sample of water to Pet Smart the guy said that there was 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites so it was safe. The tank dimensions are 20in x 10in x 10in. Yes I dechlorinated the water with Aquaclear i think and the readings are 0 nitrite and 30 or so nitrate, and pH of 7.8. Oh ok :( well Im dissapointed that I wont be able to keep the redtail it seems like but whatever is best for the fish.
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Re: Brand New 10 gallon

Postby KittyKat » 2008-07-02 20:20

Alright, we'll assume that your tank is cycled.. just keep a close watch on the nitrites. If possible get an ammonia test as well. I would recommend that for the next two weeks you do tests every day, and if all is OK, drop that to once a week. If for whatever reason you see a spike in ammonia or nitrate, do 30% water change immediately then come ask for advice.

What do you do at the moment in terms of maintenance? Water changes, cleaning, etc.

Filter is excellent. Got a heater?

You mentioned that you wanter Kribs.. I was thinking say a pair of Kribs, 6 tetras, plants and bogwood. Maybe even eventually add a small catfish. What do you think? With a bit of work, you can even get the Kribs to breed for you and thus raise some money for you to expand your hobby.

If you want to go for that option, I would recommend that you buy a piece of bogwood while at the same time look up some tetras (& plants) and see what you like. We'll help you pick something suitable in size and temperament for your set up. Pre-arrange with the shop you will be getting the tetras from to take the shark back and swap them out in one day (take shark to shop, come back with tetras). At the same time, you should get some plants. If you do not feel too confident about plants, we'll help you pick something human proof. A few weeks after the tetras & plants, you should be able to add the pair of Kribs. I expect that the whole thing will take at least a month, but you never know :) The most important thing is to not rush, to not impulse buy and to do your research.
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Re: Brand New 10 gallon

Postby fishylove » 2008-07-02 20:34

So a pair of kribs and 6 tetras wont be a problem? and a catfish? what kind of catfish could i put in?:) Arent kribensis cichlids? So wont they eat tetras? I have been researching kribensis cichlids for the past hour or so and they sound very interesting. And yes I have a heater, its an aquatic gardens 100 watt heater.
As for the plants I'm not to confident. I've heard about CO2 injection things and buying like 200 dollar lights and Im not to up for that. So maybne fake plants even though real look so much better
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Re: Brand New 10 gallon

Postby KittyKat » 2008-07-02 21:25

fishylove wrote:So a pair of kribs and 6 tetras wont be a problem?

With care and good maintenance, correct.
and a catfish? what kind of catfish could i put in?:)

Maybe something like... one bristlenose (Ansictrus species) or 5 otos (Otocinclus affinis) or 5 dwarf corys (Corydoras hastatus).. probably corys or bristlenose is best bet. But I would advise waiting 2-4 weeks after Kribs to see if the tank can take them.
Arent kribensis cichlids? So wont they eat tetras? I have been researching kribensis cichlids for the past hour or so and they sound very interesting.

They are African cichlids, yes. Depends: they will eat anything that will fit into their mouths which means that you're fine for most common tetras like cardinals, neons, serpae, widow, lemmon, blue, skirt, glowlight, xray, Buenos Aries, rummynose, silvertip, emperor, phantom, redeye, bloodfin, penguin and beacon tetras are all fine because of their size, but don't go for the small individuals if you want to add the Kribs soon after. Basically any tetra between 4 and 7 cm in size (1.5 and 2.7 inches) is fine. Anything smaller will probably get eaten and anything larger will be too much for the tank. Because tetras are schooling fish, I would recommend that you get 6 fish of one species.
And yes I have a heater, its an aquatic gardens 100 watt heater.

100w is a bit big, but not a problem. Set the temperature to about 24C (75 F) if you can.
As for the plants I'm not to confident. I've heard about CO2 injection things and buying like 200 dollar lights and Im not to up for that. So maybe fake plants even though real look so much better

Unnecessary: CO2 and excellent lighting in only required for some very picky plants... there are many plants that can do very well without either. I personally use only basic lights for all my tanks and at the moment no CO2 in any while all are relatively heavily planted. I am sure that Susankat (our resident plant guru) will second that :)
Plants like Java moss and Java fern are almost impossible to kill and both can be tied to bogwood for a very nice effect. Also worth looking at are Crypts, Anubias, hornwort, Hygrophila and Vallis.
The thing that live plants have over fake is that they will use up nitrates and ammonia, making the tank more stable and easier to care for, but up to you! There are a few people here who were weary of getting plants when starting out, but now that they've had a bit of experience, feel more confident about it.

For maintenance, as of now, I would recommend 10% water changes once a week. How much are you feeding at the moment?

Are there any fish shops around where you live which are not part a chain? If there are, try to visit them as on average the advise you get there will be better.
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Re: Brand New 10 gallon

Postby fishylove » 2008-07-02 21:54

Ok, well then maybe I will go for real plants. I am feeding the redtail three times a day for two minutes as said on the food package.
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Re: Brand New 10 gallon

Postby KittyKat » 2008-07-02 22:22

Probably a good idea to cut down to 30 seconds twice a day or he may over eat! In fact, many people won't feed their fish one day a week just so that their systems can clear of all the food.
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Re: Brand New 10 gallon

Postby fishylove » 2008-07-03 17:31

Ok will do KittyKat :) Thanks for the help :) Am I good to go if I do what you say? or do you need to add anything else?
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Re: Brand New 10 gallon

Postby KittyKat » 2008-07-03 17:53

All good to go :) just remember to take it slow! Why don't you start a diary of your tank here and share some photos with us?
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Re: Brand New 10 gallon

Postby fishylove » 2008-07-03 20:07

Ok :D Ill try to get some pics up later when I go to the store and get some tetras and return the redtail shark
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