Is It Overstocked? 10 Gallon Tank

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Hyler, Mar 30, 2010.

  1. Hyler

    HylerNew MemberMember


    You guys must have the patience of saints, seeing how many times the same questions (and variations thereof) get posted. I'm here to add another one—if you'll excuse me—but I don't know where else to turn.

    Here is the skinny: I am cycling one 10 gallon tank with fish in it. I am seeing chemical readings which are confusing to my rudimentary brain, and I need help. The inhabitant summary is as follows:

    1 x Guppy
    1 x Albino Cory (this is a creepy-looking fish by the way . . .)
    6 x Cherry Barbs

    1 x droopy and sad Java Fern (small)

    Before I post the water readings, I should mention that I was given a seeded filter pad, after the addition of which I started seeing nitrites and nitrates. But . . .

    My ammonia levels are steadily hovering around 0.25 - 0.50 ppm. Not going up, but not really going down, either. My nitrite levels are all over the place—sometimes they are at 0 ppm, other times they are close to 5 ppm. For some strange reason, the nitrate levels are more steady, right now at about 40 ppm but they go down with a water change and then steadily rise, as I would expect them to.

    Temperature is just about 79 F, and I am not overfeeding, as far as I can tell. Dropping a little bit of food every other day right now.

    The fish seem happy enough judging by their activities (reading books, going the the fish theater) but I cannot understand the water readings I am getting.

    I guess my main question is stated in the title of the post, am I overstocked? None of my eight fish are big at all. The tank is about one week old, however, so perhaps there is something odd (or normal, what do I know?) going on with the cycle.

    Does any one have any insight into what is going on? I am so excited about the time when my tank stabilizes and I can feel somewhat more secure that the ecosystem is stable, but the readings don't seem to indicate that this is the case. Am I doing something wrong?

    Thank you all so much.

    - George
  2. philipbouchard-davies

    philipbouchard-daviesValued MemberMember

    No your not will be cherry barbs get much too big for a 10 gallon and they nip fins (so your guppy is toast) also corries don't go well in tanks smaller than 20 (panda's may do ok but I'm not sure) since they need to be in groups of 6 or more...

    Phil :)
  3. AlyeskaGirl

    AlyeskaGirlFishlore VIPMember

    Cherry Barbs are not fin-nippers. IMO
  4. philipbouchard-davies

    philipbouchard-daviesValued MemberMember

    What??? i got some and my guppies fins were destroyed in literally like 4 days i got rid of them....?

    Phil :)

    By the way what does IMO mean?
  5. pinksprklmonkey

    pinksprklmonkeyValued MemberMember

    IMO means "in my opinion".
  6. philipbouchard-davies

    philipbouchard-daviesValued MemberMember

    Ahhh thanks you!

    O and the cherry barbs are still to big for the 10 gallon.

    Phil :)
  7. Furallicah

    FurallicahWell Known MemberMember

    Yes the cherry barbs with that number will grow to be to big for a 10gal tank. and IMO most barbs I have ever had are fin nippers.
  8. kcarmartinez

    kcarmartinezValued MemberMember

    I've come to the opinion Cherry Barbs are those "personality depends" fish. ;D
    I have 4 nice females and one really nasty male. But he only seems to have eyes for his ladies.
    I will be honest, I am horrible with knowing stocking. The 1 inch rule is useless so I get confused. :;jaws
    I do think that you will have a problem because the cory should have friends and I think albinos get a bit bigger than some corydoras. But for right now I as your fish are all pretty small I don't think that is where your problem is.
    Couple questions... What kind of tests are you using (liquid, strips). What are your nitrate/ammonia readings from straight tap water? What is your pH? And how much have you been changing water/any products have you been using, like prime or a bacterial booster (of which most of them don't work)? And did you add the seeded media before, at the same time, or after the fish? Just a couple of Q's :p
    THe nitrates are a little high... :;dete
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2010
  9. OP

    HylerNew MemberMember

    Well, I understand that the cherry barbs will get bigger, but they are small now and so is the rest of the fish. The cory, for example, is particularly undersized.

    Also, they seem to be socializing rather well. The barbs have kind of adopted the guppy in their social circle, although they make it wait to read the daily newspaper until they are all done with it.

    To answer some of the questions: I use the API Freshwater Master Test Kit. My tap water tests negative for any of the substances involved in the nitrogen cycle, and its PH is dead on at 7.0 (the tank PH, however, is at 7.5). The seeded media was added a few days after the fish, and I have been doing about 20% water change every other day. I am not using any chemicals to "fix" the water, instead relying on water changes. No ammonia remover, no prepackaged bacteria, nothing of the sort.

    And something else: I don't pretend to know anything, so I just do research and follow what seems to be the prevalent opinion, combined with what little common sense I have. Based on information gathered so far, I have put the cherry barbs and the guppy together because most sources claim those to be peaceful, easy to care for fish. My limited personal experience up to this point is in line with this information.

    The same research prompted me to add the albino cory. I would like to point out that itself lists the acceptable tank size for this species as "10 gallon or larger." Adds "They prefer to be in schools of 6 or more but many keep one or two corydoras in their smaller tanks."

    - George
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2010
  10. Furallicah

    FurallicahWell Known MemberMember

    Also I wanted to add, Corys do best in groups of 4-6.
  11. kcarmartinez

    kcarmartinezValued MemberMember

    Yep, checked the Fishlore profile... it says minimum 5G!!! A few other sites say 20. :-\ I guess Fishlore forgot to take into account that cherry barbs are schooling fish. They are supposed to be a more peaceful variety of Barb. But as I said I think it depends on the personality of the fish. Also, fish who feel confined or unwell will generally bicker more. My cherry barbs completely ignore the female betta that is temporarily in the tank.... but sometimes when a fish gets settled it's disposition can change so we shall see.

    Have they seen any good shows lately?

    Edit: I must have been on a different page. I don't see the cory thing and it definitly says tank size: 5 gallons or larger. But does mention about having 6 or more.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2010
  12. Furallicah

    FurallicahWell Known MemberMember

    Yeah, I had two. At one time and they were just not happy you know? They wouldnt swim around or anything so I added two more. Now they are as active as can be, they defiently like more friends. lol.
  13. LyndaB

    LyndaBFishlore LegendMember

    I found my cherry barbs only got aggressive amongst themselves. Started them out in a 20 gallon and they were always at each other. Put them into a 30 gallon and they became as quiet as nuns. They simply prefer more room. ;)
  14. t-ace

    t-aceValued MemberMember

    I have 6 cherry barbs in a 29 gallon, 4 females and 2 males. The males are the only ones that I have ever noticed to be fin nippers. They only pick on the female barbs, leaving the rest of the fish in the tank alone.