Given to me by friend, best course of action? 10 Gallon Tank

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Ohyouknow, Mar 19, 2010.

  1. Ohyouknow

    OhyouknowNew MemberMember

    I inherited a tank from my in laws, which is currently inhabited by ten fish.
    3 inch pleco,
    5 inch (gold fish I'm guessing, it's white but has a gold spot on it's belly on each side, between sets of fins... large fins... won it from a fair but has a fun personality!)
    1 male gourami (2 inches) and
    2 female gouramis (1 inch each)
    5 minnows (1 inch each).

    So, that is 19 inches of fish, the minnows are left over from using the tank as a live-well during the week. The chemical balance is WAY out of whack - I used test strips to see where I am sitting and I feel like I don't know where to begin. I don't have the heart to toss any of these fish and do not have a place for a second tank at the moment. I do have a gravel vac, and it has a filter (it's one that came with the tank, disposable cartridge. OH, I also found a small LIVE plant sprouting when I vac'd today.

    I attempted a 50% water change using the gravel vac, the glass looks clear (no algae spots)... When using the vac I dig in the rocks but find I stir up more than I clean out. The water has since settled, but still has quite the greenish yellow tinge. Not clear, but not cloudy.

    My chemical readings are:

    Nitrate 200
    Nitrite .5
    Hardness 100
    Alkalinity 300
    pH 8.4

    My test kits I bought do not test for Ammonia, but my boyfriend works for a landscaper and brought home a Pond Test Kit for Ammonia and Nitrates that they sell. Since it tests for the same thing, would that work the same?

    With the levels so far out of whack at the moment, should I continue with the 50% water changes daily? I want to end up with a nice clean tank since it is in my dining room. I'd hate to start ALL over, and lose any bacteria, but I guess I'd like any suggestions I can get!
  2. xxSTEPHENSxx

    xxSTEPHENSxxValued MemberMember

    Welcome to fishlore!!

    I am pretty new to the fishkeeper world but I have learned tons here in a short period of time.

    I would first go purchase the API Master test kit. Or if the budget is tight there is a freshwater test kit sold at walmart that is the same thing for half the price. Then you will know what your readings are for CERTAIN!

    I assume you are aware of the nitrogen cycle? If you are not you may want to go to
    I would do 25% - 50% water changes daily until we know where you stand.

    Hope this helps. One of the vets will chime in soon.
  3. Elodea

    ElodeaWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to Fishlore! 200 nitrate? Are you sure you wrote that right? Do not use test strips, they're rather inaccurate.

    An API Master Test Kit is a very good investment, and you should get one. Actually, it is cheaper than test strips per test, has tests for everything you need, and way more accurate.

    Do you have any Prime? It locks ammonia levels for 24 hours between water changes.

    Also, you might want to rehome all the fish, or at least the goldfish and pleco, they are one of the greatest waste-producers of aquariumkeeping.

    Could you describe the minnows and goldfish a bit more in detail? Best to add a picture!

    EDIT: Jaime: :;tmnt

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2010
  4. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    welcome to fishlore!!!!
    wowsers thats allot of giving for a 10g tank ;)
    at this point, im not sure all the advice will be what is what you want to hear but ill do my advice :) just to start off, no matter what their size is now, their bioload is much larger

    the goldie has to go to a new home or your LFS...hes a cold water fish and requires at least 20g per goldfish :( im sorry and your minnows also are cold water fish...the rest are warm tropicals

    the pleco also is something that needs a new home...if its a common pleco, he will get over 2 feet and his waste at even 3 inches, is much much more than a 10g tank can begin to handle....:(

    in that size tank, im surprised you have 3 gouramis alive...they are super territorial and usually need a ton of space per fish....20g or more ....are they dwarf gouramis? (not meaning their size now just their species) if you can get a pic that would help allot

    im not sure if hte kit your hubby got will do the trick or not, but daily water changes for now wont hurt....test strips are not reliable and give false readings more often than not.....api makes a master liquid kit that will test for everything you need and give you 100s of tests....that would be your best bet....

    also , check out in your area...there have been a ton of full setups cheap with people cleaning stuff out for spring....good luck with things!
  5. xxSTEPHENSxx

    xxSTEPHENSxxValued MemberMember

    Forgot to add that the ideal tank should read the following

    Ammonia - 0
    Nitrites - 0
    Nitrates - 20 -40 or less.

    That is a fully cycled tank and is ready for any fish you can throw in it!
  6. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    40 is super high....but everyone has a preference....and the size tank she has now, is severely overstocked and she has no room to "throw anymore fish " in there :(
  7. xxSTEPHENSxx

    xxSTEPHENSxxValued MemberMember

    You are right... less is better. And as for the "throw anymore fish" I meant she could keep any type of fish that fits the tank... didn't mean to add more. Sorry I need to work on explaining things a little better.

    Thanks for clearing that up. I can see where it was misleading!
  8. Elodea

    ElodeaWell Known MemberMember

    Maybe even change more water, like maybe 60% of 65%...
  9. OP

    OhyouknowNew MemberMember

    I figured I would have to get rid of something. My hubby will probably be taking all the minnows for sure - as he will use those to fish. The male gourami looks just like my avatar, the females are smaller and plain grey/silver. I am looking all over for photos of the goldfish, I may have to send some to my email from my phone. Pics on the way though!
  10. OP

    OhyouknowNew MemberMember

    oh, this is what the minnows look like - no more than an inch long each.
  11. OP

    OhyouknowNew MemberMember

    Ok, they are small *frown* but you can see the color of the goldfish. It's a pale color with the orange spot between the two front fins on each side. He likes to pick up the pebbles and spit them at the glass to get attention...

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  12. e_watson09

    e_watson09Well Known MemberMember

    Well like many people have said I really reccomend rehoming all of the fish. The pleco for sure has outgrown the tank and will only continue to get larger. Then the goldie regaurdless of what it really is if it is a gold in general then it really needs a new home those also get massive. And both the gold and pleco produce more waste than you can imagine. Then the gourami really need a bigger tank, you could probably get away with one but three in a 10 gal is just too much. Then the minnows like said before are a coldwater fish. So basically my advice would be to rehome EVERYONE and then start from scratch.
  13. Elodea

    ElodeaWell Known MemberMember

    Could that goldfish be a koi? If it is, it needs a 300 gallon tank minimum, so I'd suggest you rehome it. And fast.
  14. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    lets remember when we got our first tank :) and how much we loved the fin babies.....its not as easy to realize that its not the best home, but its still hard to just "give them away"
  15. Craig-D

    Craig-DValued MemberMember

    40 or less is not really high. It's what most experts recommend (including the manual that comes with the API test kit). But I hear what you're saying. I too keep mine at 20 or less. That said, the nitrate level is the least of the OP's problems. That 10g tank is way overstocked and the cold water fish and pleco have to go pronto.
  16. Shawnie

    ShawnieFishlore LegendMember

    hence the "everyone has a preference" IMO it is high....but thats my :;2cents;D
  17. OP

    OhyouknowNew MemberMember

    I'm not sure if it IS a koi or a goldfish. I have seen a lot of pictures of goldfish, but none of them really look like this big fish's build. I see similarities, of course - but he's just not even quite the right shape to what I have seen. As for Koi pictures, I need to look more to make comparisons. Most of what I can find are tattoos or photos of them from the top (where they are gathering at the top of the water in schools and such.) Even Koi that I can compare to seem to have broader heads - this fish is kind of thin from the top. My boyfriend says 'It's just a carp.' Maybe he's right. Of course, he has already said that if I wanted to get rid of ANY in the tank, he'd love to take them off of my hands (fishing bait?! he loves to catch those big fish with live bait!) I'm calling the store uptown tomorrow to see if they would like some well loved fish. Then I'll make him take care of his new minnows... They are kinda pretty and shiny when they school and play - but there just isn't the room! I'm determined to save this tank, and get it in shape. Even if it is high maintenance to clean it often, I think getting a bigger tank too - my counter for the tank now could easily hold 2 ten gallon tanks, and my boyfriend said it's well reinforced (he checked it out, and said he could even brace it up more if I liked from the inside) and on cement floors - and it's level to boot. I might see what kind of tank I can fit on here, and see how big I can really go!
  18. Shine

    ShineWell Known MemberMember

    Well in a sense he is right: goldfish and koi are members of the carp family, but they differ from each other in that goldfish lack any barbels around the mouth. This characteristic allows them to be distinguished at a glance from koi.

    The pics you put up are a bit hard to see, but I am leaning towards 'goldfish'. They come in plenty of colours other then gold, so being white doesn't discount him. Check out pics of 'comet goldfish' and you'll probably find some that look close ;)

    Personally I love my goldies. They have so much personality... but for one that is 5 inches long, a 10 is definitely too small. You'd need an upgrade in tank size to house him comfortably :-\
  19. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    The pond's test kit that your boyfriend is bringing home may not work. You really need to know what range it tests for. If the test graduations are to large (for example if the range for the first color is 0 to 5) it will not be sensitve enough to indicate .5ppm ammonia which would be very toxic to the fish.
  20. gremlin

    gremlinWell Known MemberMember

    It looks like you have a beautiful male comet/common goldfish. He will definitely need a larger tank. A minimum of a 20 gallon - larger if possible. He and the minnows could share a 30-40 gallon filtered tank since they would have similar temperature needs.

    The pleco should also be in a larger tank, but it would need to be heated. Plecos can be very dirty fish, and they can grow quite large. A 30-40 gallon would not be too small. I don't know much about gouramis, they may be able to share with the pleco if you were able to get a large enough tank for all of them.

    I would say start watching craig's list for a couple of larger tanks. Maybe you'll get lucky and find a couple of good deals. In the meantime, daily 50% water changes with a water conditioner such as Prime, Amquel +, or AmmoLock, will help your water parameters.

    Looking forward to more pictures of your sweet fishies.