10 Gallon Tank Advice on aquarium setup for a newbie

Satyaki Barui
  • #1
Hi guys,
Previous I used bowl, but due to nitrtate pollution, my all fish died and I stopped aqua culture for almost 2.5 years.
But now I am going to make an aquarium setup near around 10 gallon and I am a newbie for this. So I need suggestions, advices from your experiences. Here is my interest list:

Going to buy aquarium: 18x10x12 or 18x10x10 (inch)

Substrate(Base): Black sand and little radium gravel (how much black sand required in kgs?)

Aqua plants: Java moss, Java fern and Hygrofilla/chris moss (want to place beginner level aqua plants without fertilizers)

Decoration: 1. One small buddha's face statue
2. 2/3 lava stones.
3. One small sized driftwood.
4. Plastic plants (1/2).
(Should I add or I remove as they become crowdy?)

Things: A 1.5 ft Led lgiht and sobo wp 850f low powered inner filter
(Suggest your recommendation, should I use bio filter like sponge or powered filter)

Fish combinations: First of all, I don't know about the maximum number of fishes I can keep in my choiced size. So take my pardon first if it crosses the maximum level. Here are my choices-
A. 1 betta +4/6 neon tetras +2/4 red shrimp
B. 6 Widow tetras +4/6 neon tetras +2/4 red shrimps
C. 4 Widow tetras +4 neon tetras + 4 black spotted molly
D. 2 ram blue chiclid +4 black spotted molly/clown molly +4 neon/widow tetra

(Please kindly suggest the best combinations and numbers of fishes within this as these are my favourites)

Here I end my interests. Please give me the suggestions from your best. Also suggest your combination. It will be really helpful for the beginner. Also about water quality like using of filtered water or tap water (tap water near my areas has nuch calcium as it gives so much whitish spots), water change duration.

Thanks to everyone.
  • #2
Hi Satyaki Barui
With the ten gallon you should not try Black widow tetras. They are a nippy fish needing a big group with lots of swimming space. A ten would not work. There are other small tetra species like ember tetras but they are not on your current list.
I have a female betta in with green neons.A male betta is often more aggressive? The greens are very similar to (standard) neons to look at and in their behaviour. A group of 8 neons would be more likely to succeed than a group of 4 as they are a social species needing their own kind to relax.
A ram is more suitable to a replacement for the tetras in around 3 years when you have the experience. 3 years is about the life expectancy of tetras and a betta.A ram is not a beginner fish.
Mollies are live bearers that are often pregnant when you buy them . Probably not well suited to a ten?

You will need to read up on the nitrogen cycle before you get fish. You can build the colonies of bacteria that do the work of the nitrogen cycle in the new tank before you get fish. Click on the green words to find links on the nitrogen cycle. We will all answer any questions you have?
Satyaki Barui
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
I read everything, so can you suggest the fish combination with numbers? I remove ram, betta from interest list, except that? Should I keep shrimp? Ember tetras are not available, mollies, guppies, yellow/green widow tetras, neon tetras, pearl gouramis shrimps, goldfishes, angels are available. But seller is saying that everyhing is fine in the tank, may be it's for their business.
  • #4
An angel will grow to 8 inches tall 200 mm. Yes it can live in a ten gallon for a few months but it will not live a full life and will die before it would in a 75 gallon. Pearl gourami are also to big as adults. When they die you can go back and buy more fish?
Live bearers are very likely to bear some young will be eaten but you will soon have far to many for that volume of water. Some people will say mollies are to big as adults for a ten anyway ?

Everything is probably fine in your water with the calcium you mentioned?
But seriously ten gallons in no place for an angel. Not even as a short term throw away fish for a few weeks.

No goldfish ether. They grow big and poop a ton because of their stomachs. They do not digest all the food and poop half eaten food . They need many gallons of water. Yes you can put a goldfish in a ten gallon but it will not grow to an adult fish living up to 20 years. Just don’t do it.

Yes to cherry shrimp in any tank that has a working nitrogen cycle/ bacteria.

Unfortunately people will say almost anything.

If you ask around I am sure you will find many species in your country. They are just not always sold in every shop at all times of the year.
Satyaki Barui
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
I understand.
  • #6
You should find another seller, this one is trying to snow you.
Angel fish =55 gallons, mollies - 20-30, rams, 30. pear gourami, 30, most tetras 20+
Dont give this guy your money!!

A 10 gallon is a small tank, Small fish are your best option, there are many articles on this sight about stocking a ten gallon.
I suggest
a betta and or,
or 5 porkchop rasbora.
or8 ember tetra and shrimp
or6 porkchop rasbora
or 6 golden pencil fish
Satyaki Barui
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Thanks mate, I decided to buy 6 widow tetras+shrimp or 8 neon tetras+shrimp, after you and Flyfisha s suggestion. Do you have any idea about how much kg of sand required for a great substrate for my plants, which I mentioned above?
  • #8
Sand. The Java fern and Java moss do not grow in substrate. They do not require sand or soil they grow ON wood or rocks . They can be glued to almost any hard surface like an ornament.

chris moss? That could be Christmas moss which is just like Java moss.

Hygrofilla is a stem plant it does not require much sand to hold it in one place. It can also grow floating. It’s best to anchor it in one place.

A 5 kg bag or two should be enough sand. You can easily add more sand at any time even with fish in the tank.
All aquarium sand needs to be rinsed LOTS to remove dust .

Any filter that is sold for ten gallons will work. All filters need the colonies of bacteria living ON them that are part of the nitrogen cycle before they work for any fish. The nitrogen cycle is even more important for cherry shrimp.

I had a school of long fined black widow tetras in a 55 gallon. I found them to be more nippy than any other species of tetras that I have kept. They were always taking chunks out of each other’s tails.

Any neon tetras will be more peaceful I suggest?
  • #9
Thanks mate, I decided to buy 6 widow tetras+shrimp or 8 neon tetras+shrimp, after you and Flyfisha s suggestion. Do you have any idea about how much kg of sand required for a great substrate for my plants, which I mentioned above?
Black skirt/widow tetra need a 20 gallon long minimum. They are nippy fish. Neons do best in larger schools of 12+ Thus a 20 gallon long is better.
Ember tetra are recommended because they are so very very small. Less than one-inch maximum adult size. And probably too small to live with a betta that might see them as food.

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