Starting New Tank; So many QUESTIONS!

11 posts • Page 1 of 2

Discuss all topics related to freshwater and planted tanks.

Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 3:51 am

Starting New Tank; So many QUESTIONS!

by reverence13

My "X" and I had a 55 gallon tank which I new nothing about, I just picked fish out, stuck'em in and feed them. He was experienced. I am not. I was givin a tank for my birthday-
I have...
- 10 gallon tank ( hasnt been cleaned from previous use, were all fish died!)
- Aqua-Tec filter
- Some kind of adjustable heater
- Lava rock
- Water conditioner (top fin maybe)
- handled glass scrapper
1. I have a filter that hangs on the side of the tank, I was wondering (reading/researching) about UGF. is it better for a ten gallon tank?
2. I want easy, colorful fish and a variety (I love dojo loaches or any loaches of any kind)
3. Planted (real) plants or fake? I hear that planted are harder to maintain; thats ok as long as they make the fish happy
4. gravel? I was looking at crushed coral substrate and gravel combination- I wanted a nice natural look (I like the orange/rust colored/white stuff). Hard to clean? ok to use with UGFs?
5. Light? I previously had light bulbs in the hood, cant switch out to flourescent... how do I get a really natural luminated look?
6. Placement? I have huge windows in my room (thats where I want it) I dont want to cuase an algae problem... I have a huge walk in closet that has a door that leads to my bathroom with a huge window in it, not enough light? too much light?
7. Air pumps or powerheads?

So thats my jist... I am lost- (I killed all my fish when I tried to do it from the people at petsmarts advice... no offence)

Ugg... I miss my fishtank-

Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 2:34 am

by bacrosslin

I am not an expert on aquariums but I do know a little bit from trial and error andreading alot of reading lol. First off the smaller the tank the harder it will be to proper keep the amonia, ph levels etc... properly maintained. Me personally I use 10 Gal. for sick tank or for bettas or for a childs tank. My advise would be to grab up a 30 gal. tank mininum. As far as UGf's are concerned they are pretty much obsolete now due to imprved filters and gravel vaccums. IF you are going to keep the 10 it will be fine for a planted tank but let it cycle first before investing in the fishies and research the type of fish u want aswell. My 55 Gal is Cichlids, any and all live plants i put in are destroyed and dug up lol so i keep silk plants. If you do buy fake plants go to a hobby store like Michaels and buy them 90% cheaper but be sure to almost boil them first to remove any polutants. I would avoid putting your tank where it will recieve alot of light rule of thumb i use is 12-14hrs a day including the tank light. Sunlight from the window can heat up your tank pretty quickly depending on the intensity. You dont need a powerhead for a 10 gallon bt i definatly would use an airstone to keep oxygen in the water there isnt alot of water surface so everybit will help. :) GL
P.S. becarefull with persmart when i first started they costed me over $300 b/c of their and my lack of knowledge.

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Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 2:30 am

by dizzcat

#1 If I was you I would just go with the filter you have. They are easier to maintain.

#3. Fish really don't care if the plants are fake or real. If you do buy fake plants from the hobby store, make sure to pull all wires out before adding to your tank or they will rust.

For #4 Coral would not be a good mix at all unless you are keeping fish that need a high pH. The coral substrate will raise the pH way above what most freshwater fish need. It keeps the pH around 8.0 and most freshwater need it about 6.8-7.2. People will mix coral in their gravel to get this effect. I have coral mixed in with my sand in my African cichlid tank because they need high pH, between 7.8-8.6.

If you want that white look you can get white gravel. :-)

#6, If you put a tank by a big window you will have a hard time keeping the algae in check. I bet it would look beautiful by a huge window, but the algae would love it too.

#7 for a 10 gallon a small air pump with a small stone will be fine. A power head would be way too strong for that small a tank.

Hope that helped.

Posts: 66
Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 11:47 pm

by spraky1413

I had a 10gal and i used a 20gal filter. To start out, fake plants are just fine. Not only are real plants harder to maintain, somefish will dig them up or eat them. Gouramis are usually pretty easy to keep, just be sure you add them at the same time so they can establish territory at the same time, otherwise they will fight. Plecos are good starter algae eaters. My pink gourami also helps keep the algae in check. I used to have all white gravel, but i found that my fish looked and acted more stressed out (i.e. hiding all the time) so i switched back to a natural gravel and they are happy as clams. Whatever fish you get, just be sure they are compatible. I made that mistake and my dwarf puffer munched most of the tail off of one of my bichirs (he's all better now though) so i had to get rid of the puffer.

Im no expert, but I hope I was of some help =)

Posts: 1306
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 1:24 pm

by yasherkoach

the above posts speak for themselves, and should help you out

I agree, a 10 gallon tank is much harder for a beginner to get going. The larger a tank, say 40 gallons and up, give you much more room for trial and error plus your fish will enjoy a much larger tank

I use a 10 gallon tank only as a hospital tank

so I hate to burst your bubble as well, but if you plan to be serious about this hobby, my advice is, go out and get a 40 gallon, preferably a 55 gallon and above, and go from there. YOu will find that the hobby is much more meaningful if you do

Posts: 1306
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 1:24 pm

by yasherkoach

one other thing:


you can purchase gravel, tanks, filters etc from Petsmart or Petco ONLY

Dr Fosters & Smith, Aquatic Plant Depot (both online) are two great sources to purchase live fish etc from

The only thing I can guarantee about Petsmart and Petco on is if you plan to purchase live fish from these stores, your fish will introduce disease to kill the other fish in the tank and also kill the host fish too.


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Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2008 4:01 pm

by blueshoes2208

haha alight dude im dealin with salt shit right now and its a lil diff but when i had my freshwater tank, i jus bought the set up you find at petsmart and stuff and didnt do water tests, had my temp fluctuating up to 8 degrees, standard filter, standard heater, nothing special and i kept sharks, a peacock eel, rafael catfish and barbs and they did jus fine without me buying expensive stuff... had NO fish ever look sick, die or anything and i had that particualr tank for a year or so

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Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 8:33 pm

by Tmercier834747

I'm afraid I'll be begging to differ with you yasher. Out of the 60 some odd fish I have, the one I love the most came from Petsmart. A dwarf puffer that's been with me over a year and came back from the brink of death.
They no longer carry them probably due to the massive deaths on shipments of DP's likely because they were trying to sustain them with completely the wrong food. Anyway, he was the last DP to come out of my local petsmart, and easily the most entertaining and smart fish I own.

If your reasons of boycotting big-chain livestock are the possibility of disease, invest in a hospital/quarantine tank and monitor the fish for two weeks before letting him join the rest of the crowd..

Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 1:35 am

by ZooTycoonMaster5393

1. Nope, UGF do practically nothing for a fish tank. Just stick to the power filter that you already have.
2. How about Dwarf Chain Loaches? Botia Sidthimunki? Or a pair of Apistos, German Blue/bolivian Rams, Checkerboard Cichlid, Clown Killifish, Furcata Rainbowfish...
3. I'd go with real, but if you just can't seem to keep them alive, go with fake.
4. Get black gravel. It makes the fish's colors stand out more, plus its easier to see where food lands.
5. Do you have a screw-in hood? If so, get screw-in compact fluorescent bulbs with a rating of at least 5500K.
6. Place it in a room that doesn't have alot of traffic, doesn't have any doors around, and has access to a power outlet.
7. Air pumps are't entirely necessary unless you want to power an airstone. A powerhead can be useful to providing some extra circulation, so I'd get one.

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Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 8:33 pm

by Tmercier834747

Haha I love sidthmunki loaches...I was at my not so local LFS earlier this week and they had like 20 of them ($12/pc) I wanted 6 so room. :( They're so fun.

Starting New Tank; So many QUESTIONS!

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