New to the hobby

BiologicalNerd

My name is Chetan and I was gifted a 10 gallon aquarium recently. With this aquarium came 4 neon tetras and 4 harlequin rasbora. This was before I understood anything about fish which in turn led to all of their deaths. After days of research I learned about the nitrogen cycle in depth, and what fish to purchase. I’m going to grab some used filter media from a mom and pop store, then I will give it a week to run while adding fish food at set intervals daily. Once I test the tank and get satisfying results I was planning on starting a community tank. The topic of overstocking is a gray area among fish enthusiasts which is why I would like to ask people who have more knowledge than me. As of now I am planning on purchasing 1 neon dwarf gourami, 3 albino corydora catfish and 5-6 harlequin rasbora. The temperature is constant at 80 F and the filter can do 90 gallons an hour. It is also a non-planted tank. I am willing to do as many water changes necessary, I would just like to know if this was enough space to not get fish stressed and let them live somewhat comfortably. Thank you for your time, and I hope you have a great rest of the day!
 

Theulli

You can overstock your tank and get away with it, water quality wise, to an extent by using a high quality filter with a lot of space to pack in bio media, and being regular about water changes. I think that's a lot in a 10G but not unachievable.

Do keep in mind that if it is a new tank you shouldn't put all those in at once if you can avoid it
 

BiologicalNerd

Thank you for the quick response! So as long as I establish proper growth of the bacterial colonies by gradually adding more organisms into the tank, as time passes it will eventually be able to support the amount of fish I desire as long as it’s somewhat reasonable? What do you think I should do, add maybe one species at a time, or add one fish at a time?
 

Theulli

Thank you for the quick response! So as long as I establish proper growth of the bacterial colonies by gradually adding more organisms into the tank, as time passes it will eventually be able to support the amount of fish I desire as long as it’s somewhat reasonable? What do you think I should do, add maybe one species at a time, or add one fish at a time?

There are some other ways to lower the bio load too - Purigen for example will suck up organics before they turn to ammonia. A bit of that in a 10G would go a long way.

Others may have opinions on the actual fish compatibility - I am not too familiar with the needs & temperament of Rasboras and Gouramis. Corys are great - I'd put them in first, they like to be in a group and will help keep the substrate clean of food the other fish miss.
 

EllsAquarium

I agree that I think it’s achievable, just watch for any nipping and aggressive or stressed behavior. I’m always an advocate for live plants though! They add O2 and can absorb ammonia which can build up in an ‘overstocked’ tank. Good luck. Your fish will tell/show you how they are feeling!
 

BiologicalNerd

There are some other ways to lower the bio load too - Purigen for example will suck up organics before they turn to ammonia. A bit of that in a 10G would go a long way.

Others may have opinions on the actual fish compatibility - I am not too familiar with the needs & temperament of Rasboras and Gouramis. Corys are great - I'd put them in first, they like to be in a group and will help keep the substrate clean of food the other fish miss.
Thank you so much, I just finished putting in an order of seachem purigen. Since you said to, I will add the cory first. I have watched numerous informational documentaries on them and they are quite interesting creatures to say the very least. I am looking forward to add them in a few days, thank you again!
I agree that I think it’s achievable, just watch for any nipping and aggressive or stressed behavior. I’m always an advocate for live plants though! They add O2 and can absorb ammonia which can build up in an ‘overstocked’ tank. Good luck. Your fish will tell/show you how they are feeling!
I appreciate it very much, I was looking for live plants as I’m extremely interested in the cycle of bacteria and the biological ecosystem in general. I was just concerned about lighting and algae growth. I was planning on buying duckweed but then I didn’t go through because I did some research and realized how meticulous one had to be in order to be successful with a planted aquarium
 

EllsAquarium

Thank you so much, I just finished putting in an order of seachem purigen. Since you said to, I will add the cory first. I have watched numerous informational documentaries on them and they are quite interesting creatures to say the very least. I am looking forward to add them in a few days, thank you again!

I appreciate it very much, I was looking for live plants as I’m extremely interested in the cycle of bacteria and the biological ecosystem in general. I was just concerned about lighting and algae growth. I was planning on buying duckweed but then I didn’t go through because I did some research and realized how meticulous one had to be in order to be successful with a planted aquarium
In my experience the more I read (about plants) the more discouraged I get. I think the lighting and technical factor you see about having a planted tank creates a lot of unnecessary anxiety. I have only the LED that came with my tank which I turn off at night and turn on in the morning, and some residual window light. I’ve never messed with fertilizers or co2. I’m not saying my experience with plants it typical! But I think if you don’t over think it you’d be successful.
 

BiologicalNerd

In my experience the more I read (about plants) the more discouraged I get. I think the lighting and technical factor you see about having a planted tank creates a lot of unnecessary anxiety. I have only the LED that came with my tank which I turn off at night and turn on in the morning, and some residual window light. I’ve never messed with fertilizers or co2. I’m not saying my experience with plants it typical! But I think if you don’t over think it you’d be successful.
First off, I must say that you have quite the breathtaking tank. The contrast between the dark wood and green leaves throws my focal point out of balance and is very aesthetically appealing. Also, i’m heading to a local shop tomorrow and now that you’ve said a quite convincing statement i’m genuinely considering purchasing one or two beginner plants. I’ll watch some videos and documentaries now, but if you’re not already asleep could you let me know what some simple plant species are that I could purchase?
 

Theulli

In my experience the more I read (about plants) the more discouraged I get. I think the lighting and technical factor you see about having a planted tank creates a lot of unnecessary anxiety. I have only the LED that came with my tank which I turn off at night and turn on in the morning, and some residual window light. I’ve never messed with fertilizers or co2. I’m not saying my experience with plants it typical! But I think if you don’t over think it you’d be successful.
[/QUOTE]

100% agree. I avoided putting plants in my tank for a long time because I kept reading about proper substrates, C02, fertilizers, root tabs, watts per gallon, etc.

Then I started putting in plants just to see how they did and now I have about 10 different species and it looks like a jungle. I wish I had done this years before, it looks so much better than even high quality silk fake plants. All I did extra was add lighting. It is not nearly as complicated and high maintenance as it seems - if anything it makes your tank lower maintenance because if you get too many nitrates, for example, your plants just grow more!

What I have in there are types of anubias, sword, bucephelandra, cardinalis, temple compacta, elodea, java moss, moss balls, dwarf hairgrass and a couple spieces I should post on the forums about because I don't remember their names. I would not describe any as high maintenance. The only stress is making sure you don't get hitchhikers.
 

The_fishy

A planted tank can be less work depending on what species are selected. I agree with the species that others listed above and would like to suggest getting a timer (usually some cheap ones at walmart, lowe’s, etc) to regulate the duration of light. For a planted light that doesn’t break the bank, I’d check out the NICREWs on amazon.
 

BiologicalNerd

In my experience the more I read (about plants) the more discouraged I get. I think the lighting and technical factor you see about having a planted tank creates a lot of unnecessary anxiety. I have only the LED that came with my tank which I turn off at night and turn on in the morning, and some residual window light. I’ve never messed with fertilizers or co2. I’m not saying my experience with plants it typical! But I think if you don’t over think it you’d be successful.

100% agree. I avoided putting plants in my tank for a long time because I kept reading about proper substrates, C02, fertilizers, root tabs, watts per gallon, etc.

Then I started putting in plants just to see how they did and now I have about 10 different species and it looks like a jungle. I wish I had done this years before, it looks so much better than even high quality silk fake plants. All I did extra was add lighting. It is not nearly as complicated and high maintenance as it seems - if anything it makes your tank lower maintenance because if you get too many nitrates, for example, your plants just grow more!

What I have in there are types of anubias, sword, bucephelandra, cardinalis, temple compacta, elodea, java moss, moss balls, dwarf hairgrass and a couple spieces I should post on the forums about because I don't remember their names. I would not describe any as high maintenance. The only stress is making sure you don't get hitchhikers.
[/QUOTE]
A planted tank can be less work depending on what species are selected. I agree with the species that others listed above and would like to suggest getting a timer (usually some cheap ones at walmart, lowe’s, etc) to regulate the duration of light. For a planted light that doesn’t break the bank, I’d check out the NICREWs on amazon.
I am planning on buying plants now and i’m trying to decide between which ones. My substrate is going to be a black sand with maybe a piece of small spider wood. I’m going for a dark theme that will help make my gourami and cory stand out in the tank. What are some plants that could be used to match this theme? I either want very short and small bush-like plants or single stemmed long ones such as the money wort or elodea. Any recommendations?
 

Theulli

There are some variants of Bucephelandra that have a very dark green coloration to them. Mine have been super slow growers, so they aren't a risk to get too big.
 

BiologicalNerd

There are some variants of Bucephelandra that have a very dark green coloration to them. Mine have been super slow growers, so they aren't a risk to get too big.
Got it, I’ll look into them and if they seem easy enough to handle I will purchase them. I’ve heard that buying species of plants or living organisms in general online isn’t very trustworthy. However I do have tons of local fish stores so I’ll drive around and figure it out. I can’t thank all of you enough for this advice, it’s appreciated beyond what you can imagine. This hobby is so vast that one could easily get lost into it which is why it’s always good to have people that can guide you. Thanks once again!
 

Theulli

Got it, I’ll look into them and if they seem easy enough to handle I will purchase them. I’ve heard that buying species of plants or living organisms in general online isn’t very trustworthy. However I do have tons of local fish stores so I’ll drive around and figure it out. I can’t thank all of you enough for this advice, it’s appreciated beyond what you can imagine. This hobby is so vast that one could easily get lost into it which is why it’s always good to have people that can guide you. Thanks once again!

Happy to help! I for one have actually not done badly with plants from Petsmart or Petco, as long as they are in the little containers advertised as snail free and not in an actual tank, and you pass on any plants that look rotting or crispy. I have ordered a couple times from Aquarium Plants Factory with no issues. Anything that comes out of a tank, even at a nice little LFS, needs to be treated warily or you're rolling the dice on pest snails.
 

BiologicalNerd

Understood, I will set the plant in a separate container and examine the growth as well as any irregularities that form. I will do this for the entire time that the tank is cycling and will be adding water from the tank into the bucket where the vallisneria (plant i decided to purchase) is. Also one last question I had was about substrate. Is it necessary to purchase planted substrate, or will regular substrate do the job?
 

The_fishy

100% agree. I avoided putting plants in my tank for a long time because I kept reading about proper substrates, C02, fertilizers, root tabs, watts per gallon, etc.

Then I started putting in plants just to see how they did and now I have about 10 different species and it looks like a jungle. I wish I had done this years before, it looks so much better than even high quality silk fake plants. All I did extra was add lighting. It is not nearly as complicated and high maintenance as it seems - if anything it makes your tank lower maintenance because if you get too many nitrates, for example, your plants just grow more!

What I have in there are types of anubias, sword, bucephelandra, cardinalis, temple compacta, elodea, java moss, moss balls, dwarf hairgrass and a couple spieces I should post on the forums about because I don't remember their names. I would not describe any as high maintenance. The only stress is making sure you don't get hitchhikers.

I am planning on buying plants now and i’m trying to decide between which ones. My substrate is going to be a black sand with maybe a piece of small spider wood. I’m going for a dark theme that will help make my gourami and cory stand out in the tank. What are some plants that could be used to match this theme? I either want very short and small bush-like plants or single stemmed long ones such as the money wort or elodea. Any recommendations?
[/QUOTE]
Could do a bunch of anubias nana or petite for easy bush plants. Crypts are also nice.
 

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