Looking To Move From A 10 Gal To A Bigger Tank - Lots Of Questions

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by hluke2131, Jul 1, 2019.

  1. hluke2131

    hluke2131New MemberMember

    Like a lot of people, I got into the hobby with a small (10 gal) tank, rather than starting bigger like I should have (live & learn). But I'm anxious to upgrade. I'd like to end up with a low tech, low-ish cost, larger tank.

    My current 10 gal is planted with live plants but has blue gravel substrate (another rookie mistake) and the basic/built-in LED lights of the aqueon starter kit. Also a bit of a hodgepodge of a stock of fish. Oh, and my municipal water is so soft, it doesn't even register on a pH scale (which I compensate for with crushed coral in the substrate).

    I admittedly don't have the money or patience or desire to go hi-tech in the new setup - I want to avoid C02, etc. but wouldn't mind low barrier add-ons, like an air pump (which I don't currently have) either. I also have a HOB filter at the moment and, although I'm open to exploring other easy filter systems (sponge, etc.), I also think I want to avoid anything like an under-tank filter (it sounds complicated. But maybe it's not?).

    I'd also like a more.... thoughtful stock of fish. So, without further ado:
    1. What's the biggest tank, in your opinion, I can go and still meet the above criteria?
    2. Is there a good resource to find a list--preferably all in one place--of everything I need, to make the upgrade, and everything I don't know (I realize that's a weighted question)? I'm admittedly pretty nervous...
    3. Anything, in your opinion, I definitely must have? What about anything not to waste my time on?
    4. Favorite stocking options for the size?
    5. Anything I need to know transitioning both the plants and fish in the 10 gal to the bigger tank? I'd like to move everything (except the substrate) over.
    6. What am I not thinking of? :)
    Thanks so much, everyone! Look forward to making the leap!
  2. Brizburk

    BrizburkWell Known MemberMember

    My 2c....

    40 breeder is great (long not tall).

    The under the tank filter. LOVE mine!!!! Canisters are much easier than you think. Yes it requires maintenance. If you ignore if too long your water parameters will go crazy. That said I've used HOB. Hate them with a capital H. I've used submersible canister type, crock of crapola (in my not so humble opinion), and I'm now running sponge filters in my 20gal and my 20gal, happy with them this far.

    Craigslist or other similar sites/aps will be your bff for great finds! I found my 36 with stand and decor and canister filter for $60. SCORE!!!

    As for fish that like a lower pH, bettas, corys, some Gourami.

    I prefer sand over any other substrate. Again it's just my 2cents

    You'll need a heater of course and a decent light.

    I think this is the best place to put your list of needs together.

    If your area has a fish or aquarium club I'd suggest joining.

    But, as opinions go, everybody has one
  3. Donthemon

    DonthemonWell Known MemberMember

    55 gallon Aqueon cost you 100 bucks or so. Penplax cascade canister 89. Light and lid . 200. 300 watt Heater 40 bucks .Power head for circulation 30 bucks. Substrate 20 bucks for pool sand. Assorted rocks and decorations 50 - 100. Then add some fish!
  4. JayH

    JayHValued MemberMember

    I've been putting together a new 20 gallon tank and, sadly, have come to the conclusion there is no such thing as "low-ish" cost. Of course, this depends on your definition of "low-ish". I was all concerned about the cost of the tank, which I got at a $1/gallon sale, but the tank turns out to be the cheapest part. Don't mean to dishearten you. Just trying to be realistic. Maybe you can find somebody local looking to get out of the hobby and you can get a really good deal. I've checked Craig's list several times and everyone nearby seems to think their aquarium gear is made of gold.

    It would be helpful if you could be more specific about how much larger you want to go and what budget you might set for "low-ish".

    If by "under tank" you mean canister, there's nothing to fear. Not at all complicated and there are hundreds of videos on YouTube showing how to set them up. You'll probably find several for the specific model you end up with.

    What's the coldest the room gets and what temp do you expect to want to keep the fish at? Combined with the size of the tank this determines how large a heater you need (or whether you need one at all).

    Donthemon's estimates look about right, but if you're going with a 55 gallon you're also going to need a sturdy stand.
  5. Donthemon

    DonthemonWell Known MemberMember

    Ah, forgot that the stand!
  6. Paper Spiders

    Paper SpidersValued MemberMember

    You can do this hobby VERY inexpensively. Seriously. You just probably have to lower your expectations. For example:

    a 30g storage container--$15
    a goldfish --$0.29
    an airpump --$10
    A sponge filter $6.

    Done! Not the most beautiful, or the best for the fish, but this will work for a long, long time.

    Now, you probably want something a little nicer than this. You can select the areas where you want to 'splurge' and the things you may care about less. Maybe you choose undemanding fish that need less filtration or no heat? Maybe you forgo plants and the expensive lights and substrate? Maybe you get a smaller tank and pay less for filters and heaters?

    Take a look at the fish you want to keep, and build your budget and tank around that.
  7. yinoma2001

    yinoma2001Valued MemberMember

    As you mentioned, you started off small and probably wanted to start off bigger. I agree. Everytime I buy a smallish tank, I feel the same way.

    My recommendation is the smallest sized tank is a 29G (I just upgraded to 40G Breeder from it). It's a pretty versatile size for a lot of stocking options. I actually got the Aqueon 29G package (lights/hood/filter/heater) for $60 on Black Friday. I know it's not the best gear (and in my 40G I custom bought everything else) but it's cheap and very practical.