Suggestions for small community tank

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Waz

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I'm going to start off by saying I've already read the beginner articles ^^. I'm going to explain my situation and then write a list of questions, just to make it easier.

I have never owned fish before, but I've decided I want to try my hand at the hobby. Fish are one of the only critters I have never owned, or even taken care of. Due to lack of space, I'll only be able to have a 10-20 gallon tank (Lets say 10 for the purpose of discussion).

Ideally, I'd like to have a variety of very calm fish, with at least one ghost shrimp (A personal favourite - I hope this won't be an issue as I don't want big/agressive fish that might eat it), and, if I can find one, an Inca snail (I have more questions about snails, too). I have also been thinking of getting a betta to hang out at the top of the tank, but I'm worried about it picking on it's tankmates. A Dwarf gourami or a cory cat would also be really neat, but I would like to have a small shoal of tetras or guppies.

As I understand it, the rule of thumb is 1 gallon per 1" of fish, which is easy enough for me as I prefer small fish (under 2" at adult size). However, while reading through the descriptions of fish on this website, I noticed that many of the small fish I like do best when in groups of 5 or more, so what kind of small fish do well in singles or groups of 2-3?

I was also wondering if anyone had suggestions about live plants that would suit the environment of the fish, as well as substrates to grow them in.

If I got a single snail, would I run into problems with infestations? How easy is it to breed ghost shrimp, and is there any easy way of determining gender?
 

bbfeckawitts

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Waz said:
I'm going to start off by saying I've already read the beginner articles ^^.  I'm going to explain my situation and then write a list of questions, just to make it easier.

I have never owned fish before, but I've decided I want to try my hand at the hobby.  Fish are one of the only critters I have never owned, or even taken care of.  Due to lack of space, I'll only be able to have a 10-20 gallon tank (Lets say 10 for the purpose of discussion).

Ideally, I'd like to have a variety of very calm fish, with at least one ghost shrimp (A personal favourite - I hope this won't be an issue as I don't want big/agressive fish that might eat it), and, if I can find one, an Inca snail (I have more questions about snails, too).  I have also been thinking of getting a betta to hang out at the top of the tank, but I'm worried about it picking on it's tankmates.  A Dwarf gourami or a cory cat would also be really neat, but I would like to have a small shoal of tetras or guppies.

As I understand it, the rule of thumb is 1 gallon per 1" of fish, which is easy enough for me as I prefer small fish (under 2" at adult size).  However, while reading through the descriptions of fish on this website, I noticed that many of the small fish I like do best when in groups of 5 or more, so what kind of small fish do well in singles or groups of 2-3?

I was also wondering if anyone had suggestions about live plants that would suit the environment of the fish, as well as substrates to grow them in.

If I got a single snail, would I run into problems with infestations?  How easy is it to breed ghost shrimp, and is there any easy way of determining gender?
Hi, A couple small shoals of Tetras would be fine. Neons would be perfect. In a 10-gal you could easily fit 5. If you had really good filter and maintinance habitats you could add a couple dwarf gouramis. You can get plenty of Ghost Shrimp, they have a very tiny bio-load. Usually the females will carry eggs on their stomachs. One snail should be OK. Corys would be good to clean up leftovers, 2-3 for a tank would be good. Best of Luck, Brianna
 

Wolfman

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Hate to tell you but even small fish will eat ghost shrimp I cant keep enough of them with my guppies. but for 27 cents each buy 10-12 and plan on buying every month.
 

Isabella

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Waz, if you want live plants that root in the substrate (gravel), then get a nutrient-rich gravel like Carib-Sea's Eco-Complete or Seachem's Fluorite. Eco-Complete is black and Fluorite is reddish-brown. Also, the grains of Eco-Complete are round while the grains of Fluorite are rather sharp (which is not exactly good for bottom dwellers and fish with fancy finnage). If you will have plants that attach to decor, driftwood, or rocks, you don't need any nutrient-rich gravel.

I am assuming you'll have standard lighting over your tank (the one that usually comes with your tank). Standard lighting is considered low-light for plants. Not all plants will survive under this lighting. So you will need to get either low-light plants for the standard lighting bulb, or a higher-wattage bulb if you want moderate- to high- light plants. Moderate- to high- light plants usually root in the substrate and they need nutrient-rich substrate. Low-light plants are usually attached to decor / driftwood / rocks and some may be rooted in regular gravel (but not many).

So if you'll have regular lighting, get only low-light plants. Best known low-light plants are Anubias, Java Fern, and Java Moss (all attach to surfaces in a tank). In my personal experience, Water Sprite grew very well in regular gravel. It can also float.

As for the fish, if you get a 20 gallon tank, 2 Dwarf Gouramis (they grow to about 2" - 2.5") would look nice in it; plus a school of some small fish. If you get a 10 gallon tank, in my opinion: even Dwarf Gouramis would be too large for it. So for a 10 gallon tank get just a school of smaller fish. There are a lot of small, peaceful, schooling and beautiful fish to choose from. Cherry barbs, Harlequin Rasboras, Neon Tetras, and many other small tetras are just a few examples.
 
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Waz

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I've been considering getting two lights with differnt spectrums to simulate day/night cycles. I've asked several people and have heard that doing so is really effective.

What kind of wattage would be best for a broad range of plants?
Will the wattage of the light interfere with the tanks heater?
As a beginner, would it be better to start with silk plants and upgrade to real plants later, or would that stress my fishies and throw off the tanks cycle?

Thanks to everyone for the help ^_^
 
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