Fish/plant Stocking questions/ideas and other general Aquarium questions.

  1. trawrs97 Initiate Member

    Hi,

    I've spent most of the last 6 or 7 hours doing more research into what I should be doing and how I want to proceed with my newly setup (currently cycling) 10 gallon fish tank and I've been reading a bunch of conversations on this site that have proved very helpful so I caved and decided I would as some more specific questions to an audience that hopefully can help me!

    About a week ago I decided I wanted to setup a fish tank to have something to do over the course of the summer and ultimately to take back to college with me in the fall (Where I've already checked, I can keep the 10 gallon tank.)

    I have:
    • 10 Gallon Tank
    • 3/4" Dirt 3/4"-1" Aquarium gravel substrate
    • Aqueon 10 (20 gallon) filter
    • 50 Watt Heater (unfortunately set permanently at +/- 2 degrees around 78)
    • An Air pump running to an air stone and some DIY Co2 running into the tank, Both set relatively low, Right now the Co2 is running at 1 bubble every 7 seconds and the air stone is about as low as I can get it, just enough to keep some ripples at the top of the water.
    • some rocks from a well established friends tank to help jump start the beneficial bacterial culture.
    • Two 6 watt LED Tube sticks (40 Watt Equivalent To Incandescent bulbs) that produce a fair bit of light (Maybe too much?) that I've been keeping on 11-12 hours/day since I planted.

    For plants right now I have some Amazon swords, Anubias, Dwarf Hair grass, and Temple Compacta That I got from petsmart and aside from what I understand to be some expected die back they seem to be doing very well.

    The game plan is to just let the tank cycle right now while the plants are in it (Hopefully the plants help) I'd like to let the plants get particularly healthy and vibrant over the next few months before I add any fish (likely after I go back to school in August)-- Part of Why i'm currently using the DIY Co2 (I don't think it's very accurate and is probably dangerous for the fish if I used it after I put fish in the tank.. Maybe switch to Flourish Excel when I put fish in?)-- But I have no intention of keeping the DIY Co2 Long term, from what I've read the co2 isn't super necessary but with the dirted tank it will help prevent algae right?

    It's been several years since I kept a fish tank and I was too young to really understand it and I know that Starting out with a Planted, Dirted, 10 Gallon Tank is jumping into the deep end, but after literally an entire night of research the night before I started I decided If I was going to do it I was going to do it the most rewarding way I could afford.

    On to the questions!
    -When I put fish into the tank I would really like the centerpiece fish to be a Honey Gourami, I've read some seriously mixed reviews on whether or not this meant to be in a 10 gallon tank, Is that okay or should I avoid that? If it's bad, or even if it's not and you just have a better suggestion for a centerpiece fish?
    -What other fish should I keep with it? I was thinking a small schooling fish like neon's but I've read that they are really finicky and it makes me nervous.. Should I have anything that Eats Algae? I was thinking Otocinclus but they're a schooling fish and I'm nervous about putting 3 otocinclus catfish in a 10 gallon tank because I've also read some really mixed ideas about that. Snails Seem like an alternative, but shrimp just kind of creep me out...
    -Does anyone have information on Temple Compacta? I've looked through the internet and I'm not really finding anything and while it seems to be the plant growing the best in my aquarium I'd like to know more about it.
    -I noticed just today- a week after the start- a fine white/clear algae looking slime growing in the gravel and on the hairgrass and on yeah like anything it can stick to, and my preliminary search said it was a bacterial bloom that's natural when the tank is cycling and will die off in a few weeks? Does that sound right?
    -Finally I read somewhere that Gourami like Surface plants for the shade and Somewhere else that surface plants are great at soaking up excess nutrients and preventing algae? Should I have a surface plant growing in my aquarium? Duckweed was what I was kind of looking into, but I've ready REALLY mixed reviews on duckweed.. Should I put duckweed in a 10 gallon Tank? are there any other cost effective surface plants that would do the same job without uhm.. being duckweed? Or should I roll with the duckweed and embrace the benefits it provides?


    I know it's A LOT of information and A LOT to throw at you guys, but I appreciate your help and hope that I've provided enough information to help you help me!

    If there is anything else I can provide just ask and I'll be more than willing to try and explain as best I can. Also if there is just any advice you guys can give me I would love to accept it!

    Yours in Cheerful Service,
     
  2. BrokerTamara Member Member

    Thanks for this post as I just started a 5 gallon Fluval with similar plants, established media, and heater. I used rock however thought about the dirt . I also would like to know about what to use with the plants that will not harm my Betta. Planted tanks with fish seem so natural and wonderful for the fish. Anything I find I will share also. I have the low maintenance plants and purchased flourish and have not used it as of now.
    I am also wondering what type of timer to use for my light that is not loud to make sure my lighting turns on.
     

  3. trawrs97 Initiate Member

    I was considering a timer although I imagine I've already spent enough money so far that it can wait at least until I start to get the hang of things!
    I appreciate you keeping myself and the community updated!
     
  4. Ihaveacactus Member Member

    Hey! :) its great to see another enthusiastic planted tank newbie like me. I can't give any recommendations on fish as I'm still looking myself, but Asian stone catfish was just suggested for my 10g planted tank.

    Also, if you want an entertaining algae eater, I really love my nerite snails. Especially when they're tracking along the glass and you can see their tiny mouths scraping away algae. It almost looks like they have two bunny teeth, and they leave very distinctive patterns in the algae as they eat.

    I've noticed my pennywort likes to grow towards my lights and sends out lots of leaves that sit atop the water. It provides some shelter without being a completely floating surface plant. The stems are very easy to snap and replant into the substrate. I believe it can be grown floating though too.

    Oh, and the white, stringy bacterial bloom happened in my tanks too. I still have a few patches in my 20g, but it went away in my 10g after a bit.
     

  5. trawrs97 Initiate Member

    Thanks so Much for the help buddy!
    I was thinking about Ramshorn Snails but I will definitely look into Nerite snails now, That sounds really cool!

    I continued looking into things after this and was thinking about one honey Gourami and 8 Black Neon Tetras with a couple of snails scavenging around the bottom and the glass, I've also opted to go with the duckweed route as it is fast growing and much of what I've read says that it prevents major algae blooms that could harm the tank by sucking up excess nutrients and if it gets too out of control it's pretty easy to just scoop away but the pennywort sounds like a really good alternative if the duckweed doesn't work out-- if I can ever get the duckweed out-- or if I do this again maybe in a 20 or 30 gallon somewhere down the road.

    Does anyone else have any information that could help me? I would super love the information on temple compacta but everything else is still fair game I love the advice and assistance!