10 Gallon Tank Planning A 10 Gallon Tank

My Betta Moonstone

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I’ve kept two bettas before, separately, and some nerite snails, so I have a little experience.

I’m planning to keep 3 female platies and 4 Otocinclus in my 10 gallon tank. I’m probably going to add the platies in two weeks, since I’m waiting for the driftwood to come and I need to clean it. I’ve attached a picture of the tank so far, and I’m planning to add the 10” driftwood in the center. I know there isn’t a lot of algae for the Otocinclus yet, but there’s some growing and it should be ready by the time I get the Otos.

The tank has been cycling for over a month now. I’m going to drip-acclimate and add the platies in two weeks, (after testing the water quality) and I was wondering if they needed to be quarantined. There are no other fish in the tank. Also, can I add all three platies in at once? Or would that cause an ammonia spike?

As for the Otocinclus, I’ve heard they are delicate and hard to keep alive, so I’m going to slowly drip-acclimate and add them awhile after the platies. But how long should I wait? Just until the water quality is good? Should I quarantine them, or would that be too stressful? And should I add them all at once?

Sorry about all the questions!

(I know the bright blue gravel is not ideal, but it’s the only type I have. I’m going to try to cover it as much as I can in case it stresses the fish)E415FF09-46D6-45BC-8268-D056E17AEC3E.jpeg

Thank you!
 
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BetaBeFresh

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I have done 3 10 gallons so I have a good idea on most stuff XD. The ottos need a mature tank because they will eat the algae. The platies can get a little big for a 10g but I tried them and all it is that you have to do 40% water changes every week as they are a bit messy. So far it all looks good but don't worry about the gravel if you cover it enough it will be fine. I would suggest instead of the ottos that you use some nice ghost or cherry shrimp. They really add some character to the tank. I also find that guppies work well in 10g. But that is up to you. Have fun!
 

Faytaya

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I'd stock some harlequin rasboras in there, or some guppies/endlers with bee shrimp! They'd pop against that gravel and a black background.
 

My Betta Moonstone

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I have done 3 10 gallons so I have a good idea on most stuff XD. The ottos need a mature tank because they will eat the algae. The platies can get a little big for a 10g but I tried them and all it is that you have to do 40% water changes every week as they are a bit messy. So far it all looks good but don't worry about the gravel if you cover it enough it will be fine. I would suggest instead of the ottos that you use some nice ghost or cherry shrimp. They really add some character to the tank. I also find that guppies work well in 10g. But that is up to you. Have fun!
Thanks for the quick reply! I did consider guppies, I’m just worried they’d get fin rot. And I’m using Osmocote fertilizer, so I’m not sure if I should add shrimp. So I should just wait until the water quality is good after the platies and until there’s enough algae?
 

Leafydragon

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Otos don’t necessarily need to be kept in large groups, but it is recommended to keep them in a group of 6 in 20g or more. One of the reasons they are so difficult is that they are always eating, and can be quite picky about man made food. I’ve also heard that platies should be kept in 20g as well. I may be wrong, but from all the research I did for my 10g tank platies and Otos are not the best options for a 10g. I’d suggest future research
 

My Betta Moonstone

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Otos don’t necessarily need to be kept in large groups, but it is recommended to keep them in a group of 6 in 20g or more. One of the reasons they are so difficult is that they are always eating, and can be quite picky about man made food. I’ve also heard that platies should be kept in 20g as well. I may be wrong, but from all the research I did for my 10g tank platies and Otos are not the best options for a 10g. I’d suggest future research
Hi, thanks for the advice! I used aqadvisor.com to help get ideas to stock my tank... I’ve heard it’s reliable according to several sources. And when I did research it shows that both fish can thrive in a 10 gallon. I’m not adding a lot of platies, just 3.

As for the algae, if there isn’t enough, I’m going to blanch spinach and cucumber for them because I’ve heard they’ll eat it. But there should be plenty of algae by the time I get them.

Do you recommend quarantining the otos? Or is that too stressful?

Thanks again!
 

Leafydragon

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Hi, thanks for the advice! I used aqadvisor.com to help get ideas to stock my tank... I’ve heard it’s reliable according to several sources. And when I did research it shows that both fish can thrive in a 10 gallon. I’m not adding a lot of platies, just 3.

As for the algae, if there isn’t enough, I’m going to blanch spinach and cucumber for them because I’ve heard they’ll eat it. But there should be plenty of algae by the time I get them.

Do you recommend quarantining the otos? Or is that too stressful?

Thanks again!
I’m not too sure about quarantining since I don’t own Otos. I’d recommend running any stocking ideas by this forum first before getting too excited (I was disappointed when some of my stocking ideas couldn’t pan out). Also, while some Otos may be fine in a small group/tank, it’s definitely recommended to keep them in a large group in a bigger tank. They won’t necessarily thrive, but they would be okay in a 10g. Also, if you even have any doubts about an idea, I’d say to let it go and try to find a different idea. Sorry if this wasn’t very helpful, I’m a beginner too and I wanted to find the best possible stocking solution for myself and I found this forum was very helpful.
 

My Betta Moonstone

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I’m not too sure about quarantining since I don’t own Otos. I’d recommend running any stocking ideas by this forum first before getting too excited (I was disappointed when some of my stocking ideas couldn’t pan out). Also, while some Otos may be fine in a small group/tank, it’s definitely recommended to keep them in a large group in a bigger tank. They won’t necessarily thrive, but they would be okay in a 10g. Also, if you even have any doubts about an idea, I’d say to let it go and try to find a different idea. Sorry if this wasn’t very helpful, I’m a beginner too and I wanted to find the best possible stocking solution for myself and I found this forum was very helpful.
Okay thanks! Now that I think of it I probably shouldn’t add Otocinclus unless there’s a big algae problem, which I haven’t had in awhile. And I don’t want to stress them out too much, so my tank probably isn’t ideal.
 

My Betta Moonstone

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Hi, so I added the driftwood and rocks, but I haven’t added the fish yet due to a pH problem. I boiled the driftwood for 30 min. and soaked it for days until the water was clear, and there are no signs of tannins in the tank. Before adding the rocks to the tank, I did the vinegar test, poured boiling water over them, and then left them in a container of water for about a week to make sure they didn’t change the pH (and they didn’t).

Before, my tank pH was 7.5, and now it’s 6.0. My tap water pH is about 8.0. I’ve added two teaspoons of baking soda, but I know this will not stabilize the pH and it’s not good to add it often. If I continue to do 1/3 water changes weekly with the dechlorinated tap water, will this bring the pH back up?
 

Mollieworld

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Hi, so I added the driftwood and rocks, but I haven’t added the fish yet due to a pH problem. I boiled the driftwood for 30 min. and soaked it for days until the water was clear, and there are no signs of tannins in the tank. Before adding the rocks to the tank, I did the vinegar test, poured boiling water over them, and then left them in a container of water for about a week to make sure they didn’t change the pH (and they didn’t).

Before, my tank pH was 7.5, and now it’s 6.0. My tap water pH is about 8.0. I’ve added two teaspoons of baking soda, but I know this will not stabilize the pH and it’s not good to add it often. If I continue to do 1/3 water changes weekly with the dechlorinated tap water, will this bring the pH back up?
If your doing platys then ph really isn't a big deal. They are livebearers so it's more of the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate you need to stress over. P.S. NEVER boil rocks, they have so many minerals that is good for the tank and fish but what's done is done. The tannins won't hurt the fish either if you don't like tea colored water then you do what you did. I say as long as your tank is fully cycled then your good to add fish.
 

My Betta Moonstone

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If your doing platys then ph really isn't a big deal. They are livebearers so it's more of the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate you need to stress over. P.S. NEVER boil rocks, they have so many minerals that is good for the tank and fish but what's done is done. The tannins won't hurt the fish either if you don't like tea colored water then you do what you did. I say as long as your tank is fully cycled then your good to add fish.
Thanks! I know the tannins won’t harm the fish, but I didn’t see any tea colored water, so I was wondering why the pH lowered. I did not boil the rocks, I only poured boiling water over them in a strainer. I’ve heard if the pH is below 6.0 then the beneficial bacteria that helps the nitrate cycle wouldn’t be able to grow.
 

Mollieworld

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Ideally yes your pH should be 7 and 8 for both bacteria and live plants to thrive and do best in. I found a thread discussing a sudden drop in pH (I'm not very well versed in pH lvls) so I hope this helps you a bit....in this link there is also another thread that talks about how to increase it the "right" way.
WHY is my pH dropping??? HELP!
 

My Betta Moonstone

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Because of the low pH, the ammonia is at about 0.1 ppm and the nitrates are at about 10 ppm. The nitrites are at 0.0 ppm, though! I’ve got the pH back up to 7.4. We’re going to get the platys.

Update: we got one panda platy, and I’m planning to get the other two later today. So far, she’s been doing nothing but chasing her reflection, and she doesn’t notice the food I put in. The lights aren’t on yet. Is this normal?
 
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My Betta Moonstone

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All of the platys are in! For now at least, there is no more reflection-chasing. They’ve gotten along surprisingly well! The blue wag was nipping at the panda at first, but now they’ve got it sorted out. I believe the blue wag is dominant. I have a blue wag (she was called a blue wag at the pet store, but I believe she may be a rainbow wag), a panda, and a marigold. The marigold one taught the others how to eat the algae wafer. So far, everything is working out. We still haven’t named them! We’re open to suggestions.
 
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