Would these fish like my tank?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by puppyduks, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. puppyduksNew MemberMember

    Hello, I am new here. I have been given a 10g tank by my neighbor. It came with a plecostemus that is 9 years old. I had to buy a new tank because it was cheaper to buy a whole new setup than to replace the light hood and heater on the old tank. So now I have a 9 year old common pleco in my new tank and I am cycling it fish-in with just the pleco in there. It has been a week and my tank shows signs of becoming populated by beneficial bacteria. Here are my thoughts that I would like feedback on:

    1) I am thinking the pleco is too big for this tank. Now that I have bought live plants (the old tank had no plants, just a little diver figurine) the pleco can't hardly turn around in it(10g). He/she is continually banging into the plants and uprooting them. So how do I find him/her a good home? None of my friends have tanks. He/she is almost the same length as the width of the tank.

    2) I found some river rocks that I collected from mountain streams. I brought them home and boiled them, can I put them in my tank?

    3) I would eventually like to have some cobra guppies (males), rasboras or maybe cherry barbs, along with a couple ghost shrimp and maybe a chinese algae eater? I REALLY want the guppies and ghost shrimp, then I am up in the air. I would like fish that would compliment the guppies, not eat the shrimp, colorful, and have a friendly disposition towards people. What is do-able in my 10g tank? I want to do this right, not fast. :) I have two sword plants and three plants with long bladed leaves in there right now. Thank you.

  2. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    Welcome to FishLore! :)

    Whoaa 9 years old? He must be huge! Common plecos get pretty big (over a foot I think, but don't quote me on that :)) so I'm sure he must be too big now (without seeing pictures of course). Speaking of which, could you upload a picture? I'd love to see him!

    As for rehoming him, you could try an ad on Craigslist, or a fish store. Some will take fish (though I think it's usually taking a fish back, not simply taking a fish..but it couldn't hurt to ask!).

    Also, unless the pleco also came with cycled filter material, I'm assuming your tank isn't cycled. Are you familiar with the nitrogen cycle? (The words should become a link you can click on to read about it, if you're not.) Obviously you already have a fish, so doing a fish-less cycle wouldn't work, but you can read about other ways to cycle your tank. In a nutshell, you need to build up a colony of beneficial bacteria to digest chemicals given off by decomposing waste (produced by the fish, of course...and plecos produce looots of waste!).

    Rocks are just fine to put in a tank. Many people also use driftwood they've found, but personally that makes me nervous :) If you boiled them (maybe a little scrub, too) then any critters living on them are surely taken care of.

    I haven't had many of those types of fish, so unfortunately I cannot comment on them. However, I believe barbs are known to be pretty nippy, so they may not work well with finned fish such as male guppies. As you mentioned of course, you will need to rehome your pleco friend before being able to add new fish (and have your tank cycled, too).

    Best of luck!

  3. Wendy LubianetskyWell Known MemberMember

    Chinese Algae Eater

    :;jkChinese Algae Eaters can also get very big and very aggressive over territory. You might want to get some ottos or something less aggressive.

  4. ShineWell Known MemberMember

    The two types you really want (the guppies and shrimp) will do fine in that tank together. There are various types of shrimp that could work so look around and see if there are any colours or types that really appeal to you. Ghosts, red cherry, blueberry shrimp, bamboo shrimp crystal red shrimp etc. Some being more expensive and sensitive then others of course... but plenty of options out there

    As Wendy said the CAEs can get pretty large and nasty as they age, but if you can find a true siamese algae eater that might work. Don't quote me on it though, because I have never seen them in the stores here, let alone owned one ;)
  5. e_watson09Well Known MemberMember

    The only thing in that list that would work in your tank would be the guppies and the shrimp. Everything else you listed needs a larrger tank.

    They get over 2ft ;)
  6. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    I know I've seen some coming up on two feet, but I didn't want to be TOO wrong... :) Though when they're that big, they don't clean the glass anymore, they just sit like a lump on the bottom and wait for their algae wafers :)
  7. puppyduksNew MemberMember

    Thank you everyone for taking the time to reply. I know that my questions have probably been asked a thousand times on here, and I really appreciate your advice. The pleco has been re-homed. He went into a 250 gallon tank with nothing other than large goldfish in it at our local (reputable) fish supply store. When he was released he immediately started swimming and sucking on the edges of the tank. He was really happy. That was probably the first time in many years he has been able to swim freely. I felt really good, but also sad to see my little friend go.

    The fish store also tested my water and said that it was in teh middle of a cycle. She gave me some stuff called right start or fresh start, or something like that (I call it the Super Special Stuff). I took out 75% of my water and put new in, put in the water conditioner and the bottle of that stuff. I am going to re-test the water on Monday and hopefully bring home one little fish to try out. I also have plants that I had planted in the tank a week ago. The plants are starting to fade in color and get yellow tinged. Could this be because of high nitrates/nitrites/ammonia levels in my uncycled tank? Will this straighten out now that the pleco is re-homed and the super special stuff was added to the tank? I don't want them to die.

    Have a wonderful Easter everyone! And a wonderful Sunday for those who don't celebrate the holiday. :)
  8. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    I'm not sure if you got Tetra Safe Start (sounds like it might be something else), but if so, you actually add the fish right away. The bottle is actually full of the beneficial bacteria your tank needs, but if there aren't any fish in the tank, then the bacteria won't have any food and will die :( There are other brands of "bottle of bacteria" type stuff though, and I'm not sure how they work. Can you find out what the name of the bottle is?
  9. mosaicguppyWell Known MemberMember

    What plants are they? They might be just getting used to the tank, plants will usually start growing and look green again after settled. Dwarf rasboras are a great choice for smaller tanks if you can find them,they are the cutest little fish I've seen. :)
  10. Wendy LubianetskyWell Known MemberMember


    :;a2I agree, a lot of times plants will start to look a little on the ill side as they adjust to your tank. Sometimes you lose a few leaves, but they will come back with a burst!:;bananagreen
  11. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    If it was Jungle Start Right that is just a standard water conditioner (i.e. removed chlorine, chloramines, heavy metals). But if you tank is mid cycle and you intend to put fish in there then you should really be using a water conditioner called Prime. It does everything the Start Right does, plus it detoxes ammonia and nitrites keeping your fish safe from exposure to those toxins until the tank cycles.

    So I'm not sure if you are aware of this, but when cycling a tank with fish, you should be doing daily partial water changes with the Prime. The daily water changes will keep the ammonia and nitrite levels low enough that the Prime will be able to fully detox them.
  12. puppyduksNew MemberMember

    I am pretty sure the label on the bottle was named Safe Start, don't know if it said Tetra or not though. It has worked well. I just tested my water and everything is in normal range safe for fish. I am going to get a fish or two tomorrow so the bacteria won't die. I will ask about the dwarf rasboras.
  13. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    Generally water out of the tap is safe for fish. It's after the fish get in the tank and start producing ammonia that it becomes unsafe.

    SafeStart is a great product, but needs to be used in a very specific way. SafeStart is a bottle of the bacteria that will form naturally in your filter media over time to cycle your tank. This bacteria is in a dormant state while in the bottle, but once poured into the tank, it "wakes up" and starts looking for food (i.e. ammonia & nitrites).

    You are supposed to add the fish and the SafeStart at the same time. This way as the bacteria "awakens" there is a steady stream of ammonia (food) that is being produced by the fish.

    But since you added the SafeStart but don't have any fish in the tank, there is a pretty good chance that the SafeStart bacteria has or will starve off causing the SafeStart to fail.
  14. puppyduksNew MemberMember

    Yikes, Ok. I guess that's 8 bucks chocked up to the learning curve. :)

    I will get another bottle of Safe Start when I get the fish.

    And I have been using a product called Aqueon Water Conditioner eery time I do a water change (every two days).

    Thanks everyone!
  15. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    When using SafeStart you are not supposed to do any water changes for at least 14 days or it can cause the SafeStart to fail.

    Here's the instructions for using SafeStart and should be followed exactly for the best chance of success:
    1. Fill tank with water that has beed conditioned with a water conditioner that does not detox/remove ammonia.
    2. Wait 24 hours.
    3. Add a few fish and the entire, well shaken bottle of SafeStart to the tank at the same time.
    4. Do nothing but feed your fish for the next 14 days (no water changes, no additives, no testing).
    5. On day 14 test your water and if all went well you will have a cycled tank.

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