Stocking And Set-up Advice

Discussion in 'Aquarium Stocking Questions' started by Foxyfish, Apr 17, 2018.

  1. Foxyfish

    FoxyfishNew MemberMember

    Hello! I'm new to Fishlore but I've been researching on this site for a long time.

    I just bought a 10 gal and made sure it didn't leak - now I'm researching the best stocking choices. So far we have made a few decisions about the tank (my friend and I are running it together, since he got me into fish)
    I can't go above 10 gal (which sucks because I wanted to start at 30. . .) because my university doesn't allow more gallons. . . but we're making do with a 10 gal in terms of stocking.
    (and frequent water changes aren't an issue! we're willing to put as much time in as possible)

    Decisions so far:
    It's going to be a so-so blackwater tank. So-so because the fish aren't all indigenous to the same region. I did make sure that I chose species that all favor the same conditions - low current, subdued lighting, soft water with acidic - neutral pH. Basically blackwater conditions. The plants will be mostly native plants as well, and I'm a huge aqua-sculpting buff so it will be heavily planted.

    Lighting: I'm going to do a pretty dim light throughout the tank, but I want to create some spotlights that shine on specific areas where there can be denser plant-life. This way I can grow a little forest of plants and keep the overall lighting subdued.

    Substrate: I'm doing very fine sand over this volcano rich rainforest substrate for the plants. I'm trying to find dark sand if possible

    Filters: I haven't looked into specific filters yet so any recommendations are appreciated!​

    (sorry I know this is a lot, but my friend and I are pretty obsessive and we want to be thorough)

    Stocking choices:
    So far we have decided on 4-5 cory habrosus/dainty cories (i love cories so much) and 2 peacock gudgeons (my friend insists on these). I have heard that gudgeons do better in a m/f pair so that's why we're doing two
    They're both bottom dwellers but I've researched and have heard that people can keep them together without an issue (obviously the tank will have a lid so jumping won't be a problem)
    But we wanted something in the top/middle of the water level so the tank doesn't look too messy
    We've come up with either 3-4 clown killifish or 3 sparkling gourami. (which we heard do best in trios)
    Add 2 amano shrimp to this, since peacocks eat dwarf shrimp; and 1 or 2 nerite snails, and that's the stocking we're looking at.

    For either killifish or sparkling gourami, aq advisor says we're overstocked - I know that site isn't reliable but i was wondering if it would still be possible to do either species, if we need to move numbers around, or if there is a better rec. for top dwellers that don't need large schools. (we were going to do endlers but apparently they're hard water fish so that was thrown out)

    ((also i'm pretty sure its impossible since theyre huge waste producers, but would it at all be possible to house one mystery snail instead of a nerite?))

    Sorry for the long post, and thank you for any advice or suggestions!
  2. NavyChief20

    NavyChief20Well Known MemberMember

    So a few questions,
    Does your school say no larger than "a" ten gallon tank or you can only have one ten gallon tank?

    If you can have two and you have a stand that you can fit another underneath it then i would suggest making a nice home made sump for your 10 gallon display tank. You can also do this really inexpensively with a storage container from walmart.

    The sump will do several things:

    1. Increase your water volume which is crucial fora 10 gallon as the water chemistry is difficult to maintain
    2. Hides your heater and any filter pieces.
    3. Much more effective filtration and aeriation if you use a trickle tower style
    4. You could potentially still have success if overstocked.
    5. Water changes are ridiculously easy
  3. OP

    FoxyfishNew MemberMember

    Unfortunately they only allow a single tank, up to 10 gallons. . .
    I plan on potentially getting around this for a 5 gal quarantine tank i can say belongs to my roomie, but i could not squeeze a second 10 gal in there. However, if i used a different container I might be able to DIY a sump if you guys think it's necessary!
  4. NavyChief20

    NavyChief20Well Known MemberMember

    ahh they thought of those of us who bend rules lol. You can make a sump with a sterilite container and one of those sterilite drawer towers. UaruJoey has it on his youtube channel. All of my tanks have sumps. Super low maintenance and crystal clear water. My only problem is my water conditions are exactly right encouraging spawning. Now i have 300 Green Terror fry and 200 Jack Dempsey fry in two of my tanks.

    Pumps are cheap on Amazon, maybe 20 bucks. The container and drawer another 20, lava rock from lowes 5 bucks, polyfil matting from walmart 8 bucks, clear tubing a few dollars, PVC and fittings 15 bucks.

    However, you do the sump route and you will no longer be buying filter cartridges and you will have great water turnover and increased water volume which reduces stress and makes your chemistry plan easier to maintain
  5. OP

    FoxyfishNew MemberMember

    Thanks so much for all the information! So do sumps negate the need for filters or do you use a sump as well as a filter?
  6. NavyChief20

    NavyChief20Well Known MemberMember

    so the sump is your filter. It is all the filter you will need. Very efficient and cheap to build and maintain. Depending on where you have your tank sitting there are many ways you can arrange it. Are you using a stand or how is your tanks sitting?
  7. OP

    FoxyfishNew MemberMember

    Funny, I was actually wondering about this today.
    I either have to keep the tank on the desk if it fits (and if the desk supports the weight) or the tank's gonna be on the floor. Unfortunatley there really isn't room for it anywhere else, nor a stand (even if i could afford one)
    Would that be a problem?
  8. NavyChief20

    NavyChief20Well Known MemberMember

    a 10 gallon has a fairly small footprint so you can probably go with the desk. How sturdy is the desk? if you cant put a sump under the desk then its just a matter of coming up with a solution. Fortunately i solve unique problems for a living!
  9. OP

    FoxyfishNew MemberMember

    I've picked out my room but haven't moved in for the new year yet, so I can't say for sure. I heard to test if it held my weight, since a filled 10 gal was only 111 pounds. So if it supports me, it would support the tank. And hiding the sump underneath is a great idea!
    You wouldn't happen to have any good links to sumps, especially DIY ones, would you? If not its okay, I'm willing to research!
    Just for clarification, you say that I could overstock if i put in a sump? (aq advisor puts me at 114%, and i'm a couple of inches over the one inch per gallon rule)
  10. NavyChief20

    NavyChief20Well Known MemberMember

    the inch per gallon is meh. Overstocking depending on the species is sometimes necessary. The sump hcan handle a massive bioload.

    Here is Joeys filter tutorials. My advice is watch the sumps videos. It will give you a good idea. Then you will probably watch all his videos cause he is pretty good.

    my sumps are similar to some of his
  11. OP

    FoxyfishNew MemberMember

    Oh sweet thank you!
  12. NavyChief20

    NavyChief20Well Known MemberMember

    yes ma'am. let me know if you need help.