Help me stock my first ever tank?

  1. breakfree3 Initiate Member

    :;hi1 Hi there! I'm new to this forum, and new to this exciting hobby! Sorry if this post becomes a ramble, bear with me!

    I found a steal of a deal on a 10g half moon tetra tank set up, for my son's birthday (it'll be "his" fish, but really MY fish) and I've kind of become obsessed with getting it right so our new little pet(s) thrive! I've been snooping through a bunch of threads, trying to piece together a game plan for my first tank, but with the knowledge I've gained so far, I'm still left with a few questions.

    The tank came with a heater, filter (I purchased a separate one that was recommended - Aquaclear 20), light, and lid. I bought a few fake plants and decorations (two spongebob houses and a rock hideaway). And I'd like to go with off-white sand. Once everything arrives next week I'll be setting up the tank and starting the cycle process. I plan on taking a tap water sample to my LFS and have them help me pick out anything I need to supplement the process. I'd prefer to cycle with a fish instead of a bare tank (thoughts?) So with that in mind, I'm trying to get a stocking list put together so I know which fish to buy first to start my tank off, and which ones to add next/last.

    I've tried to do my own research, and quickly figured out I'll be pretty limited on options due to tank size (oh well). So I've narrowed my ideas down, but I've found a lot of contradicting information, and am still pretty confused on which way I should go. I'd really like a "centerpiece" fish if possible, with 2-3 other swimmers, and a few bottom feeders. Ideally I was hoping for something colorful, and for some reason I'm obsessed with the idea of cherry shimp, but I'm seeing that most fish will eat the shrimp, so I'm open to other ideas. This is what I've narrowed my options/likes down to:

    Honey Gourami or Red Platy (one? or one of both?)
    Sparkling Gourami (2-3?)
    Ember Tetras (5-6?)

    With one of these Bottom Feeder:
    Pygmy Corys (3-4?)
    Cherry Shrimp (4-5?)

    -OR- Just one Betta and some bottom feeders (kind of my last option because I'd prefer more swimmers)

    I know I can't have ALL of them, but I'd like to try to put together a combination of them? I'd love input on which ones are truly options, and which combos would give me the most variety/color. Or totally different fish ideas you think would fit better?

    Let me know what other information you need from me! And thanks in advance for any advice!
     
  2. Sarah73 Fishlore VIP Member

    I would do a beta, some cherry shrimp, and snails:) remember that a beta can eat the shrimp, so if you come home one day and you don't see any shrimp their ya go;).
     

  3. Katiec90 Member Member

    Id go with the betta options (i have a male betta and 2 snails in my 10 gal) just because it really isnt enough room for all those fish. Fish dont always want to be on top of each other, even with plenty of hiding places you would probably take away a lot of swimming room.

    Im not sure what all You could out with them, but you could probably do 4 or 5 fancy guppies (small and beautiful) and a few corys, maybe a few more of something else little. Small fish would make for more swimmers and keep your tank spacious.

    I'm not sure how they do with guppies, but you might be able to add a small school of neon tetra too. My guppies seen to be top swimmers, corys are bottom, and I'm pretty sure most tetra are middle. I think it would look very nice.
     

  4. Sarah73 Fishlore VIP Member

    You can't do any of that Katiec90 first, putting 5 guppies in a 10gal is maxing the tank. Second, cories are meant to be in a group of 6 plus. A 10gal is to small and their isn't enough room for them to swim like they are suppose to. Third, you can't put neon tetra's in a 10g because they need swim space, are very active, and need to be in groups of 6 plus. Also tetra's and albino's aren't temp compatible.
     

  5. Platylover Fishlore VIP Member

    How about some nano fish? You could do a small school of one I believe(don't know which, but I believe you might be able to do Ember tetras) or do some guppies like mentioned. You could still do some shrimp.:) But TexasDomer should be able to help. Welcome to the forum!
     
  6. jhigg008 Well Known Member Member

    I think you could do endlers. But there is a great 10 gallon stocking list on the stickies section of the stocking thread.
     
  7. breakfree3 Initiate Member

    Thank you everyone so far!

    If I get nano fish (like the ember tetras) are they big enough to eat the cherry shrimp? I don't really want to buy shrimp just to be a gourmet meal... so if I did end up going with the single betta option, would pygmy corys live peacefully with one? I've read mixed reviews on it. Is there a way to gauge a betta's aggressiveness before buying it? Like how it's reacting at the store?

    I did read the stocking list :) It's a great starting point resource! But when I started researching some of the options, half of them ended up not really being recommended for such a small tank by other sources, so I started getting confused.

    EDIT: Actually I'm find if shrimp get eaten if it helps control their population. For some reason I wasn't taking into consideration the fact they will probably be making babies.. and I don't really want to breed. That leads me to another question, if I get a few guppies, can I get all male and be fine? or do they need females to keep aggression down?
     
  8. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    Albino what? Cories? And what kind of tetras? I'm confused what you're saying here, as no one mentioned albino fish. Albino cories and neons are temp compatible, if that's what you mean.

    But agree with the rest of your assessment!

    Ember tetras shouldn't bother your shrimp!

    Pygmy cories are too active for a 10 gal.

    Why don't you want the shrimp? They won't overtake your tank - their population size is partly dependent on tank size.

    All male guppies would be great! Being overrun with fry is no fun.
     
  9. breakfree3 Initiate Member

    I actually really do want the shrimp! I just don't want them ALL to be eaten, or overrun the tank. Peaceful balance would be loved :) Since I've purchased all artificial plants, I plan on getting a few moss balls to give the aquarium something live, and I've read that shrimp would really love them. How many shrimp would you suggest starting out with once the tank is established?

    Would a certain gourami be ok to get with ember tetras and cherry shrimp? Or do you suggest another "centerpiece" fish?
     
  10. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    Some gouramis will work in a 10 gal, but I wouldn't if you have ember tetras and RCS. They'll eat your RCS.

    What about 10-12 ember tetra and 10 RCS?
     
  11. breakfree3 Initiate Member

    Embers and RCS sound like a great starting combo. Thanks everyone for the help! I'll try to post a pic/update once I have the tank up and running :D