A new 10 gallon and a couple of questions

  • #1
HI All!

A week ago (2/11) I set up a new ten gallon fresh water aquarium and wanted to get some opinions on it's progress. I used Tetra Aquasafe to treat the tap water and followed up with SafeStart, I then added three tetra's (assorted...the wife insisted on "variety") to the tank later in the day. A few days later I added a red wag platty, a black khulI loach, and a peppered cory catfish.

Using tetra easy strips I'm reading- 0 nitrate, 0 nitrite, 25 hardness, 0 chlorine, 40 alkalinity, 6.8 ph, 0.5 ammonia. I did a roughly 15% water change this morning when I vacuumed the gravel.

This leads me into the two question's I currently have.

Is it normal for the water to still be a bit cloudy a week later? It's not extremely cloudy, more of a milky/light brown tinge to the water. If it's not normal what are the likely reasons and fixes for this? Anything I should look into or do based on the numbers above?

Also, on the loach and cory, will they get enough with just the standard flake food? They don't swim up to the top during feeding time instead sticking to nibbling around the gravel. I bought some sinking pellets but these guys are young and the pellets are a tad large for them, so not sure if they are softening up and doing them any good or if they are unnecessary altogether.

Any other advice as the tank progresses?
fishy friend2
  • #2
The tank is most likely going through a proccess that is called the nitrogen cycle, I suggest that you do research on fish in cycling, ammonia is considered a toxic substance to fish, and can potentially kill them, due to the high amount of ammonia in your tank I would expect that your fish would already be dead....
1-your tank is cloudy because of something called a bacterial bloom that happens during cycling
2-they should ideally be in larger groups and be fed sinking pellets, and other meaty foods, but really, these fish are a bad choice for your tank. The only fish that would be okay are the tetras and platies
  • #3
Welcome to the forum!

I agree with fishy friend2 about the Nitrogen Cycle and the bacterial bloom. The nitrogen cycle should take up to a week or 2 since you used SafeStart. If the ammonia gets too high, like about .5 ppm, do a small 10% water change. With SafeStart, doing too many or too large water changes can cause it to fail.

The bacterial bloom should go away withing a few weeks and is not harmful to the fish. Once the bacteria gets established in the tank, it will settle down. Here's some more information on it:

I would suggest re-homing the loach and the cory, as they need a larger tank a larger school. If you could find out what kind of tetras you have, that would be very helpful too.

Hope you enjoy the site!
  • #4
Welcome to FishLore!

When using SafeStart you are not supposed to do and gravel vacuuming or water changes until the tank cycles (usually around 14 days). Vacuuming or doing water changes greatly increase the risk that the SafeStart will fail.

It is recommended when using SafeStart not to even test your water for the first 10-14 days, because people test, get what appear to be bad results and start doing water changes.

Your cloudiness is most likely a bacteria bloom, and should clear up on it's own in a few days. It is very common when cycling a tank. Generally if the cloudiness is white or grayish it is a bacteria bloom and when the cloudiness is green it is an algae bloom.

Going forward I would suggest keeping a close eye on you ammonia levels. With the odds much greater that the SafeStart will not work, you now have to decide if you want to hang with it and see if it works, add another bottle or giving up on SafeStart altogether and start doing daily water change with Prime as your water conditioner. Unlike Aqua Safe, Prime has the ability to detox lowish levels of ammonia and nitrite for 24 hours. But it is incompatable with SafeStart until after your cycled at which point it is fine to use.
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Thanks for the input. I went ahead and added some more safestart to compensate for any hiccup caused by vacuuming to early.

As for the tetras there is a skirt, a black phantom, and a flame tetra.
fishy friend2
  • #6
I think you should take 2 of the tetras back, and exchange them for 2 more of the species you have left as a 10 gallon isn't big enough for 3 schools of tetras, especially considering that they are the larger, bulkier species of tetras, and produce a lot more ammonia compared to neon or cardinal tetras
  • #7
I think you should take 2 of the tetras back, and exchange them for 2 more of the species you have left as a 10 gallon isn't big enough for 3 schools of tetras


  • Thread Starter
  • #8
The store seemed happy enough to swap them out when I explained the situation. So I returned the black skirt, rosey, and platty. So I now have a little school of three red minor's (I mispoke before I had my coffee this morning, had a red minor in there not a black phantom ) in their place.

Thanks again for helping me through the learning curve.
fishy friend2
  • #9
red minors are beautiful, personality filled fish! there awesome!
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
red minors are beautiful, personality filled fish! there awesome!

So I've noticed now that they're in a little group.

I also noticed that at least one seems to enjoy making the occasional dive bombing run at the cory. Haven't noticed any fin damage and he seems to stop short of actually biting at the cory. Guess I'll just keep an eye on it.
fishy friend2
  • #11
yes, they can be nippy little freaks though, they ripped up my dads gourami,
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Hopefully it doesn't go that far or I suppose it's back to the store again lol.

Not sure what to go with if this combo doesn't work out

Checked this morning and no damage that I could see, though one of the minors still seems a bit antI social.

Question on platies.

I've read differing things on platies. Most suggest a ratio of 1 male to 2 or 3 females. I've read that if fry aren't desirable an all male group will get along OK without any females around. All females will be OK to, but at least one is likely to already be pregnant thus defeating the purpose of single pair grouping. Thoughts and opinions there? Nothing against fry, I just lack a second set up to house them.
  • #13
Hello there and welcome to FishLore!

I've been asking the same questions about platies. I hope someone will chime in with some suggestions. One thing I have learned is that the females are basically pregnant all the time. Even if no male is present, the females store the male's sperm in their bodies and the sperm can fertilize a whole new group of babies (not sure if I'm explaining this just right). And after the pregnant female "drops" her fry, she could have a new batch of babies in as little as two weeks!

Like you, I'm not against fry and think it would be cool to have some babies. Just don't know what to do. And I'm not sure about getting three males...although that has been recommended.

What kind of platies are you considering? They have all these color varieties now that they didn't have when I was growing up. I've been thinking about "gold crescent platies," "sunset fire platies", "blue mickey mouse platies," etc. LOL. Think I'll go check out our livebearer forum now....
  • #14
One bottle of tetra safe start (if its the smaller bottle) should be emptied into the tank (per directions on bottle,) also you shouldnt test or water change for the first 1-2 weeks as your readings will be off due to the nature of the product. lastly testing strips are not usually known for there quality and frequently give false information, when you can I highly suggest getting a liquid test kit from, walmart also carries generic liquid test kits online that I believe to be compareable (sorry for spelling.)
  • #15
lastly testing strips are not usually known for there quality and frequently give false information, when you can I highly suggest getting a liquid test kit

I agree with this. The API Master Test Kit has all the stuff you need to test pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels. It costs more than the test strips, but it lasts a long time and gives much more accurate readings.

Good luck! I'm a forum newbie, too.
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
Thanks for the info all. The API kit is on the list of things to get soon.

As for the fish situation, I noticed that they were just getting more aggressive and started taking some actual nips at the peppered cory. Since I don't have a large enough tank to really do a big school as I've seen suggested to cure the aggression I switched them out. Hate to play ring around the aquarium (admittedly due to my ignorance) but hopefully third time's the charm. I replaced them and now have a red wag platy and two mickey mouse platies. All males so I don't end up turning two mickey mouse into a million minI mice.

All seems peaceful and they all seem to be getting along well now. Plus the wife likes them, their colorful and don't all look the same
  • Thread Starter
  • #17

I did get the API kit and have started doing water changes with Prime as opposed to just letting the TSS do it's thing. Not sure if it was just a matter of to many fish at once, a bad bottle, screwing it up by doing the first water change/vacuum to soon, or a combination of all of the above but I was getting high ammonia readings so I opted to go the route of a bit more work just to be on the safe side. Being it's just a ten gallon tank the term "work" is kind of relative anyway for the smaller volume of water.

As for the fish haven't lost any and they now all seem to be happy tank mates with no more tetras.

New question since the general consensus seems to be that 10gal is to small for the cories and kuhlI loach. How long would you consider them good in there before they started to outgrow the tank? Might be an excuse to talk the wife into another larger tank Already eyeing a spot in the living room where a 30-40 gallon would look great...and I can go through the cycle the "right way".
  • #18
Are the cories and KuhlI Loach babies right now? I know the Cories ideally would be with at least 6 of the same species and KuhlI Loaches, 3 is the absolute minimum... I would do more.

The big thing with Kuhlis is when they are out, they tend to swim all around the tank. Less tank space means very little room to parade around in. I've got a 10 gallon and I can't even imagine having my 5 KuhlI Loaches in it. Unless because they had to be quarantined and that was the biggest tank I had available...

The sooner you move them out, the better.
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
Yes they are still pretty small. The loach is only about 3 inches and very slender, the cory probably a little under two inches.

Similar Aquarium Threads

Fish N Dabs

Top Bottom