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AquaDuk

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Hello, I am a new member. I am going to buy a 10 gallon aquarium today for my birthday. So, could I have some suggestions of what to do?...because I don't know very much about fish and keeping them. I was introduced here by Stradius011, so...yeah.
 

Gunnie

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Welcome to FishLore! Please click on the link in my signature titled, "FishLore Articles for Beginners" to get you started. If you can swing the added expense and space, I think you would much happier to purchase a 20 gallon long tank instead of the 10. It's a really great size, and will be easier to keep stable than a 10.
 

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hi aquaduk, welcome to fishlore, i would say buy the biggest tank u can afford and don't forget to cycle your tank. u have to study a lot before u buy any fish.........good luck
 

inuyasha_lover_21

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Hi

Welcome to fishlore
 

susitna-flower

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Welcome AquaDuk, there is nothing quite like having a tank to bring you joy in life! Glad you have joined us, and I must say I agree with the rest, start with the largest tank you can afford! It makes everything easier, but especially when you start choosing fish, you can actually indulge yourself a little if you have a larger tank.
The big expenses in getting an aquarium are the accessories, ie., filter, lights, heater. You have to have these no matter what size tank you have, and the cost doesn't really go up that much unless you get a big tank of 75 gal. or more.

A good place to start is to research the fish you like first. Some folks love a fish in the store, then buy it just to find out it grows REALLY big and will eat everything else in the tank. You can't get an Oscar for example and keep it in a 10 gal. If you love angle fish, you need to know right off the bat that they need a Deep tank, and no smaller than 29 gal. It's fun learning about it all, and hopefully we can help if you have any questions.

Fish in the Frozen North 8)
 

Stradius011

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Welcome!!! ;D
 

tan.b

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welcome to fishlore! any questions let us know! i cant stress enough to read up as much you can to avoid upset and disappointment further on down the line. there's some great info on here starting with the beginners guides - the nitrogen cycle is crucial. the fish profiles are good too to give you the basics. research any fish you intend to buy like susitna-flower said to make sure its compatible with what you've got and what else you're likely to get. some fish like tetras for example need to be in groups of at least 6 or they will get nippy and attack other fish. kept in a group of fish makes them feel safe and not lash out. also, may i suggest you get an API master test kit. this wil help you through the nitrogen cycle and let you know when its safe for fish. needs to be zero for ammonia and nitrite and nitrate less than 20. i'm sure stradius will help you go shopping and find everything you need. also the bigger the tank the less of an impact any mistakes will have on the fish. also bear in mind you need about a gallone of water for every inch of fish, so the bigger the tank the more choice of fish you can have. small tanks limit you to small fish etc. it may be worth waiting a while longer til you can afford a bigger tank. i started with a 15 gal and wish i'd just got the bigger one in the first place!!! you only learn through making mistakes though :!
good luck
tan
 
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AquaDuk

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Uh...thanks. I have a 10 gallon aquarium (all that my parents would allow...) and so far I have 3 zebra danios (short finned) and 2 male guppies. I think 2 of the zebra danios are female, and 1 male. I'm planning on getting 2 bronze corydoras and 2 platys.
 

simpleton

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How old is your tank? If the tank is new, be careful not to add too many fish too fast. That could cause some potentially serious problem with amonia levels. I went through this a few years ago when I got my new tank. Also, be sure to not let your tank get too crowded. The rule of thumb here is 1 inch of matue fish for every gallon. This will allow you to have a healthy and happy tank.
 

tan.b

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just something to bear in mind....danios are great fish, but if they're not in a school of at least 5 they can get nippy. not always, but just so you know. also if they do get nippy, it'll prob be the guppies that'll know about it! their fins are irresistable to fin nippers! in a group the danios will be very peaceful.
good luck
tan
 

sirdarksol

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I agree with what has already been said, but I'd go so far as to say "don't add any fish other than a couple of danios to round out the school)
10 gallon tanks have very unstable water chemistry.
This is because the bacteria colony that stabilizes the ammonia/nitrate/nitrite levels is smaller, and so is more susceptible to changes.
If you have a total of 9 fish, two of which (the corys) can grow to 3 inches, and are pretty bulky, making them the equivalent of maybe 4 inches, you are seriously straining the colony's ability to handle the waste these fish produce. Remember, for smaller fish, a good rule is "1 inch of fish per gallon of water" Larger fish (like cats) kind of break the rule, because they have much more mass, and therefore really count for more waste in the tank.
If I were you, I'd get a couple of more danios, as someone here suggested, just to make sure that they are happy. If I really wanted something to clean the bottom of the tank, I'd get a snail, or maybe a single oto (they're a pretty small cat.) But I'd do a little online research to make sure that everything in the tank will be compatible.
Anyway, get a book on keeping an aquarium. ("The Simple Guide to Freshwater Aquariums" by David E Boruchowitz is a good one). I'd prove to my parents that I could keep my fish alive, and after 6 months or a year, I'd show them the part in the book that says something to the effect of "a small tank is much more difficult to keep than a large tank." Then I'd ask again if they'd let me buy a larger tank. If money's an issue, smaller pet shops that specialize in aquariums usually have used tanks, and garage sales can be helpful too.
I hope your tank does well and your fish survive. I've always loved fish (even if I couldn't keep them alive when I was a young teen )
 
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AquaDuk

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Hey thanks for all the help, guys. But listen. I had 3 zebra danios in the beginning. Then 1 died. So I went back to the store and got a refund for it and 2 guppies. Now 1 more zebra danio is dead. And another one is dying, I think. What's wrong? I don't understand why they keep dying!
 

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Welcome to FishLore and good luck!
 

sgould

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You need to test the ammonia and nitrite levels in your tank.  If you do not have a test kit to allow you to do this yourself, see if your fish store will test a water sample from your tank for you if you bring it to them.  More than likely, your water is turning to poison from a build up of toxic chemicals from the fish waste. Try changing out half of the water in your tank with fresh. If ammonia is your problem, the water change will buy you some time and give your fish some relief.
 

tan.b

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AquaDuk said:
Hey thanks for all the help, guys. But listen. I had 3 zebra danios in the beginning. Then 1 died. So I went back to the store and got a refund for it and 2 guppies. Now 1 more zebra danio is dead. And another one is dying, I think. What's wrong? I don't understand why they keep dying!
what are your readings for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? has your tank cycled yet? how often and how much are your water changes? have you cleaned your filter? if so did you do it in old tank water? dont do it under the tap as the chlorine will kill the good bacteria. also remember to add dechloinator to your water thats being added to the tank and that its the same temp as the tank water. also am i right in thinking your original 2 male guppies are in there and the 2 new guppies. is that what's left? just remind me whats in there!!! i lose track! :-\ how are they looking? feeding ok? swimming alot or just hovering in one spot alot? fins and gills all looking ok? danios are fairly hardy, i'd say more so than guppies, so it is odd they've died and the guppies havent.
sorry for the amount of questions but that'll help us determine what's wrong and ensure no more fish die.
tan
 
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AquaDuk

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Sorry. I don't have a kit. But I think that I can go to the store soon. Right now I have 2 zebra danios (one died and I think that 1 is dying at the moment) and 2 guppies (male). 1 zebra danio is looking fine, but the other is swimming slowly and in the same spot. Both guppies are doing fine. All but the 1 zebra danio are swimming around a lot. Fins and gills...well, the gills of the dying zebra danio are opening really far whenever it breathes.
 

susitna-flower

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 AquaDuk, sorry you are having problems, like folks here have said, YOU need to read the sections here on what beginners need to understand on keeping an aquarium, especially on the nitrogen cycle.   You can find a link to  all these articles at the bottom of this page titled, Fish Tank Beginners Guides.    Your tank is now just old enough for the ammonia and/or nitrite to have built up enough to start killing your fish.    SO the first thing to do at this point is to do a 50 % water change.  Then if you don't have the API Master Test Kit, to test your own water, which you will want to get, take a sample of your water to your LFS and ask them to test it.  

You will have to do a 50% change every couple of days now to keep your tank healthy, until the bacteria that change the ammonia to nitrite, then to nitrate, has a chance to grow into a large enough colony to sustain your tank.  

Don't overfeed your fish, and do not at this point add any more fish, until your ammonia, and nitrites reach 0 and your nitrates go up to approx. 5, this is all explained in the articles you need to read.  

Like sirdarksol said, you have to prove to your parents that you will read, listen to good advice, and do all you can to keep a healthy tank, they will be really impressed, and supportive.    GOOD LUCK  

Fish in the Frozen North. 8)
 

sirdarksol

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I'm sorry. That sucks.
Now, time to try to save the rest.
#1, don't add any more fish until you figure it out. If more than one fish has died, there is either something wrong with the tank or your source of fish, probably.
#2, do a partial water change. If it's a chemical or freefloating disease problem, you'll be buying the rest of your fish some time. Make sure you are using a dechlorinator (like amquel) when you add the water. Also make sure that the temp of the water you are adding is very close to the temp of the water in the tank. Your fish are already stressed, you don't want to make it worse. If you don't know how to do a water change, head to https://www.fishlore.com/Maintenance.htm. It's on general cleaning, but water change is in there.
#3, go out and buy an all-in-one test kit. It should at least test pH, ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites. Do it tonight if you can find a store that's open. Do the test. If any of the chemicals come up in the "unsafe" zone, you've got your answer. If that's the case, come back here, and I bet a bunch of people will be able to give you ways to fix the problem.
#4, do your fish have white spots, are there fuzzy patches on their gills, are there red patches or missing scales? If so, let the forum know and again, you'll find answers coming. If there are red patches, (they look like blood just under the surface of the skin), it's probably ammonia poisoning. Add amquel if you have it, do a water change, then come back here and you'll probably get ideas on how to stabilize it.
Hopefully this helps.
 

Stradius011

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OMG AQUADUK!!! YOU'RE LIKE CALLING ME EVERYDAY ABOUT 3 TIMES BECAUSE OF PROBLEMS!!! but it's okay.....well anyway, I think you should buy the master test kit and I'll let you borrow my filter cartridge thing and a little gravel I guess.
 
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AquaDuk

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Once again I thank you all for your help.

I have done a little researching (as you suggested) and I found out that yes, my fish had ammonia poisoning (another died this morning, so there are only 1 zebra danio and 2 guppies left...). I went to a Petco and they tested my water for me. The ammonia level was a green (which is the worst). So, I did what they suggested and used the tube (the one to remove fish waste) and got out 3 gallons while getting rid of some waste. Then I put in 3 gallons into the tank with some Cycle already in it.

I think that the fish are doing better...but the zebra danio is still gasping for air. I think that he may be suffering from Oxygen Starvation...or whatever it is called. So, I opened the tank hood so that they could have more oxygen. The other day I was at Petco, when I saw something called and Air Pump for aquariums. I was wondering what that was. Does it pump oxygen into the tank? Or is it something that I wouldn't want in my tank?
 
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