10 Gallon Tank I need help.

Feeeshies
Member
I did apparently what no one should do which was go to walmart buy a 10 gallon aquarium starter kit with saltwater intentions. The kit came with a 10 gallon tank, waterfall type filter with 2 actual filters inside the unit. I bought the heater which was an additional cost the kit did not come with. It also came with a carton of aquarium salt.

I thought I would be good, so I bought 5 fish from walmart the same day. Boy was I wrong. I bought two sucker(cleaner) fish, and 3 spotted puffers. Well one cleaner died in the bag while waiting in line at the cash register.

I then put tap water into the tank with some solution the kit came with that said it would make the water fish friendly. 2 days later one of my spotted puffers died.

So I'm already down to 3 fish. I go to petsmart and bought sand, an oxegen thing that makes bubbles, some artificial plants and decorations. So I took the fish out and put them into a plastic bin while I put the sand into my 10 tank. Well the sand is taking a lot longer to settle than I thought, and I woke up this morning to another one of my spotted puffers dead in the plastic barrel I have them in temporarly until the sand settles.

So now I'm down to 2 fish, one puffer and one cleaner. I feel really bad and I will not be buying any more fish until I grasp a complete understanding of the task at hand. I had no idea this would be this complicated but I'm still interested and want to do this again, but the right way.

I never tested for anything in the water, and I currently have my remaming two fish still in the platic bin with the air pump and heater running. And I have my 10 tank still a bit murky with sand, and I have my filter running in that hopefully to get the sand out quicker. I also have about 4 live rocks in the tank as well.

I don't want to build a reef, I just want a nice simple 10 gallon saltwater tank with maybe about 4 to 5 fish in it.

I already have about $200 invested into this entire operation and I need help because its not going to well!

Any advice would be helpful! thanks
 
Stang Man
Member
Welcome to Fish lore!!!!!!

Sorry to here this thread!!! The reason that you are having problems is that the tank was not cycled, This is a very important step first of all and also a 10 gallon is way to small for a fish tank for salt. I would strongly suggest that you begin reading on salt water keeping, there is a ton to learn. The reason you are loosing fish is the water is becoming toxic day by day, This is because of the nitrogen cycle. Also 5 fish in a 10 gallon it's impossible to do starting from scratch. Have you tested the water yet? Can you tell me more about the knowledge that you know?
 
  • Thread Starter
Feeeshies
Member
Well I have read that a 10 gallon was too small for a proper saltwater tank but I could settle with only 2-3 fish. I also have no clue what cycling is, I have an idea in my head that its simply testing the water for a while to make sure its fish friendly. but no I have not done any testing, what test kits should I buy, and where from, and how much would it cost? I understand I started under less than ideal circumstances but I want to do it right and I will not be buying anymore fish until I know its safe to do so.
 
locoyo386
Member
HI there,

Feeeshies said:
I did apparently what no one should do which was go to walmart buy a 10 gallon aquarium starter kit with saltwater intentions. The kit came with a 10 gallon tank, waterfall type filter with 2 actual filters inside the unit. I bought the heater which was an additional cost the kit did not come with. It also came with a carton of aquarium salt.
The kit you bought should be adequate enough for both, freshwater and saltwater. Not sure which one you are doing, but I have not seen any walmarts that sell salt for saltwater tanks. They sell salt for brackish water tank or to soften up the water in freshwater tanks.

I thought I would be good, so I bought 5 fish from walmart the same day. Boy was I wrong. I bought two sucker(cleaner) fish, and 3 spotted puffers. Well one cleaner died in the bag while waiting in line at the cash register.
Yeah, both of these types of fish require a fully cycled tank. However, they should not die that fast in a bag. They can last up to 2 hours unless the temperature of the water drops really fast and quite a bit of degrees.

I then put tap water into the tank with some solution the kit came with that said it would make the water fish friendly. 2 days later one of my spotted puffers died.
As mentioned by some else this happened because your tank is/was not cycled. The waste of the fish will produce ammonia and it is toxic for fish. Goldfish (freshwater), Damsels (saltwater) are some of the fish that may survive ammonia and nitrite (nitirite come after the ammonia once the tank STARTS to cycle).

So I'm already down to 3 fish. I go to petsmart and bought sand, an oxegen thing that makes bubbles, some artificial plants and decorations. So I took the fish out and put them into a plastic bin while I put the sand into my 10 tank. Well the sand is taking a lot longer to settle than I thought, and I woke up this morning to another one of my spotted puffers dead in the plastic barrel I have them in temporarly until the sand settles.

So now I'm down to 2 fish, one puffer and one cleaner. I feel really bad and I will not be buying any more fish until I grasp a complete understanding of the task at hand. I had no idea this would be this complicated but I'm still interested and want to do this again, but the right way.
Bad lessons are always hard to take since most of the time fish die. Keep in mind that there are 3 types of aquariums you can set up; Freshwater, Brackishwater, Saltwater. You have to decide which one you are going to set up. Also, just for your information, the green spotted puffers are brackishwater. and the sucker fish are freshwater fish. Note that most of the times you will not be able to mix brackish with freshwater and most certeinly you will not be able to mix freshwater fish with saltwater fish. Some times you can have brackish fish with some saltwater fish. Make sure you reserach the fish before you attempt to do any combination os that sort. It would be best to for a begginier to stick with one kind of fish, either freshwater, brackishwater or saltwater fish.

I never tested for anything in the water, and I currently have my remaming two fish still in the platic bin with the air pump and heater running. And I have my 10 tank still a bit murky with sand, and I have my filter running in that hopefully to get the sand out quicker. I also have about 4 live rocks in the tank as well.
If you have live rock, keep in mind that will be a saltwater tank. The first two things you are going to check for are ammonia and nitrites make sure you have test kits for both.

I don't want to build a reef, I just want a nice simple 10 gallon saltwater tank with maybe about 4 to 5 fish in it.
Even with the smallest fish, you will be only able to have at most 3 fish, maybe 4. It is dependent on how well you are able to maintain your tank. Water changes and the amount of filtration you have.

I already have about $200 invested into this entire operation and I need help because its not going to well!

Any advice would be helpful! thanks
It sounds like you are going full saltwater fish tank. Make sure you understand exactly what it means to have a cycled tank. Also make sure you read on the types of fish you are going to want to keep before you buy them. A 10 gallon tank is do-able but you have to know what you are doing before you start it. If you have any further questions do not hesitate to ask.
 
  • Thread Starter
Feeeshies
Member
Thanks guys you are really helpful, I am sad to say that the last of my spotted puffers has passed right on que. So I now have one sucker fish left.

I didn't know that there was a level in between salt and freshwater tanks. I thought it was either or. So this brackish water is news to me. And I would like to go that route, now that I have no more puffers I would like advice on how to get the water quality to the point where they would thrive. I really like the spotted puffers they look really cool to me.

So basically I'm going to need to start over. Would anyone care to tell me exactly what to do from scratch to create a 10 gallon brackish tank?

My hardware consists of 10 gallon starter kit tank with waterfall style filter, a heater that keeps the water around 78 degrees I believe, an oxegen pummp that's rated for a 20 gallon tank. And I bought some live rocks but if I do not need them or if they are going to hurt what I'm trying to accomplish I will just not use them. And sand that I bought from pets mart that I would like to use instead of gravel.

And also how much more money knowing all the things I have now will I need to spend to reach my goal? Thanks again guys!

I feel as if I owe to the fallen puffers to get this right.
 
psalm18.2
Member
If you want a puffer fish, then cycle your tank w/ freshwater and go with a pea puffer. If you want to continue w/ salt water, you could do a clown fish (little Nemo). Salt water can be tricky and will require marine aquarium salt, not salt to treat infections. You will need a skimmer and a hydrometer to test salt water. You will also need a liquid test kit for measuring ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. The test kit will depend on freshwater (FW) or saltwater(SW). To be honest, if you can return the live rock, freshwater is much easier and less expensive. Before you do anything else, please read about the nitrogen cycle. We've all made mistakes in this hobby so don't feel bad. Research everything and read all you can.
 
locoyo386
Member
HI there,

Feeeshies said:
Thanks guys you are really helpful, I am sad to say that the last of my spotted puffers has passed right on que. So I now have one sucker fish left.
Your welcome, and sorry to hear about your fish.

I didn't know that there was a level in between salt and freshwater tanks. I thought it was either or. So this brackish water is news to me. And I would like to go that route, now that I have no more puffers I would like advice on how to get the water quality to the point where they would thrive. I really like the spotted puffers they look really cool to me.
OK, brackishwater tank shall be. However, the Green Spotted Puffer will not be ok in a 10 gallon tank for the long run, they can get up to 6" long. There are not too many fish that are brackish that are suited for a 10 gallon tank for the long run. Most of the ones I know get about 6" long. You could do some serching and see if you find any that are only about 3" full grown.

So basically I'm going to need to start over. Would anyone care to tell me exactly what to do from scratch to create a 10 gallon brackish tank?
Before you get started again, at this point. I would suggest you really look into what kind of fish you will be able to house in a 10 gallon tank. If you find any that only get around 2"-3" inches long when full grown, then let me know and we find out if they will be ok in a 10 gallon tank. However, if you really want to do the Green Spotted Puffer, I would suggest a 30 gallon tank or bigger, but preferably a 55 gallon tank.

Keep in mind that I know of fish that you can keep in a 10 gallon tank that are saltwater fish. I had about 16 tanks that are 10 gallon tanks, but currently I have downsize to about 8 tanks that are 10 gallon.

My hardware consists of 10 gallon starter kit tank with waterfall style filter, a heater that keeps the water around 78 degrees I believe, an oxegen pummp that's rated for a 20 gallon tank. And I bought some live rocks but if I do not need them or if they are going to hurt what I'm trying to accomplish I will just not use them. And sand that I bought from pets mart that I would like to use instead of gravel.
All the stuff you have will be ok for either brackishwater or saltwater tank. However, yuo might look more into the air pump as they are not typically used in tanks that are salt water (and would imagine it would be the same for brackishwater tanks).

And also how much more money knowing all the things I have now will I need to spend to reach my goal? Thanks again guys!

I feel as if I owe to the fallen puffers to get this right.
The only things I can think of at the moment that you might need, are a refractometer (to measure the salt level of your tank, for either brackishwater or saltwater), and the proper test kits for ammonia and nitrites.
 
psalm18.2
Member
Locoyo386 good answers. The pea puffer I have is a Freshwater dwarf perfect for small tanks. However it does require a cycled tank, live food, and big water changes. Probably not a beginner fish.
 
Llama
Member
I wish to repeat again that salt-water (and brackish) are defentally not easy for beginners. I'd start off with a simple freshwater aquarium first, when you feel confident enough to have to handle the extra parameters and more expensive and fragile fish - you go for it.
 
  • Thread Starter
Feeeshies
Member
Thanks everyone for your input! I am taking the 10gal tank back to Walmart and am going to get a much bigger one, probably about 40 gallons from petsmart. I appreciate your honesty about a brackish tank not very suitable for a beginner but I must let you know that I am inspired and a fairly intelligent person and I don't mind waiting weeks or months until the water is in its appropriate condition. I will continue to read and research all that I can before buying more fish.

One question I do have is about the water. I understand tap water isn't ideal for fish. Should petsmart have the treated/pure water I should use?

And will that sand that was in the old water contaminate the new? Or would a thorough rinse do the trick for that?
 
locoyo386
Member
psalm18.2 said:
Locoyo386 good answers. The pea puffer I have is a Freshwater dwarf perfect for small tanks. However it does require a cycled tank, live food, and big water changes. Probably not a beginner fish.
I know they are in the dwarf freshwater puffer species, and they only get about 1 to 2 inches. However, I do not know enough about them to say if they are a begginer's fish or not.
 
locoyo386
Member
Llama said:
I wish to repeat again that salt-water (and brackish) are defentally not easy for beginners. I'd start off with a simple freshwater aquarium first, when you feel confident enough to have to handle the extra parameters and more expensive and fragile fish - you go for it.
HI there, sorry to diagree with you but all aquariums are easy to keep with the proper information and commitment to them. I started saltwater with some expereince in freshwater, but I still think that saltwater are not as complicated as they make them out to be, with the exception of reef tanks. I have not done one, thus I can't really comment on them extensively.
 
locoyo386
Member
HI there,

Feeeshies said:
Thanks everyone for your input! I am taking the 10gal tank back to Walmart and am going to get a much bigger one, probably about 40 gallons from petsmart. I appreciate your honesty about a brackish tank not very suitable for a beginner but I must let you know that I am inspired and a fairly intelligent person and I don't mind waiting weeks or months until the water is in its appropriate condition. I will continue to read and research all that I can before buying more fish.

One question I do have is about the water. I understand tap water isn't ideal for fish. Should petsmart have the treated/pure water I should use?

For freshwater or brackish water, tap water is fine aslong as you use a chlorine and chloromine remover. For saltwater (since fish are more delicate) we use reverse osmosis (RO) water. Some have been able to get away with using tap water aswell, but you have to know what your water has before you decide to do that. If you are iffy about using tap water, you can use filtered water or buy it from different places that have regular filtered drinking water. Typically they sell it for 0.25 cents a gallon.

And will that sand that was in the old water contaminate the new? Or would a thorough rinse do the trick for that?

The snd will be fine specially for the green puffer. If you decide to go with the sand, you might have to use powerheads to keep the sand from turning brownish (with cyanobacteria, it's a brownish or redish color), you might sometimes see that in the tanks at petstores.
The 40 breeder tank would be adequate enough for maybe up to 3 puffers. Brackish and saltwater tanks are not that difficult to have, just make sure you ask all the basic information before setting it up. For now I think you have enough info to be able to start one. Just make sure you read up on what it means to cycle a tank. As a begginer I would recommend that ask any and all questions that come to mind before you set it up. However, you can actually setup a tank then ask, aslong as you do not add any fish right away.

Any tank is suitable for a beggnier, it's not like you are going to have to wait till you are a pro at it before setting up your first tank.
 

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