View Full Version : 10g Rebuild

05-29-2010, 12:08 AM
Just for personal records I'm going to be posting updates on a ten gallon aquarium. I picked it up today, May 28th and pay $20. I had posted a wanted ad on craigslist and a woman responded. I really had no idea what to expect, but I got a 10 gallon tank, a filter, an under gravel heater, a hang on heater, and a hood with lighting. It is dirty, full of leaves, and I have no idea if it even runs. While I was out I went and got some parts, including some new filter sponges, bio media, carbon, thermometer, plant food, water conditioner, a drift wood stump and a few plants. For the time being the plants are living in my 3g.

Now that I'm home I started to see what I had to work with. Already I know the lights wont work, but I'll be able to get those later. Not sure if the filter or heater works, or if the tank doesn't leak. It is now time to scrub, scrub, scrub.

I'll also be posting my plans, and see how they change over time. Currently I want this tank to be a peaceful community tank, black sand substrate, two pieces of drift wood and a variety of low-light plants. Plants eventually included will be anubias, crypts, anacharids, vals and a moss wall. For stocking, I'm considering a school of pygmy cories or glass cats, a centerpiece fish (betta, gourami, etc) and a school of a micro schooling fish.

05-29-2010, 01:09 AM
Good luck! I'm excited to hear your progress as you set up this tank :)

05-29-2010, 03:55 AM
That will make for great before and after pics!lol
Great deal.Looking forward to seeing the progress you make with it.
Make sure you water test it for a few days if the silicone looks rough.

05-29-2010, 04:15 AM
So far I've only had bad luck with this thing. I'm dedicated, though! I got to look at the lights, and they are unfortunately incandescent, two 15W bulbs, both burned out. Fortunately they're cheap, but I'd rather get a florescent set-up eventually. The heater turns on, but I'm a little wary of it. It might get too hot and fry my fish. The filter is a whole ordeal in and of itself. It's some ancient brand, and I plugged it in and it runs, and I got some bio media, carbon and custom cut sponges, so I got it all filled up, but when I put it in a bucket to run it was purring and whirling away, but it can't suck up the water. And last but not least, I cracked the tank. the undergravel heater's plug in chord got under it when I set it down to hose off and crack! I'm hoping that because the cracks are clean, and it's on the bottom so it doesn't need to be pretty, I can just get some aquarium silicone and line the crap out of it. So... my cheap little project has turned into quite the expensive fix.

06-02-2010, 02:12 AM
With the filter problems I've been having, I'm thinking about just investing in a 10 gallon kit, and using the cracked tank as part of a rat cage by installing another level or two on top of it. If I can get the filter working I'll just buy a tank+lighting set up, if I can't, I'll get the whole shin-dig. Depending on the price different I might just do that, since in the long run it would probably save me money. Unfortuantely I'll have to wait to do that until after I'm employed.

06-02-2010, 03:45 AM
sorry to hear about your misfortune :(

fyi there are 10 gallon tanks at petsmart and the like for only about 15 bucks a piece, so you could scoop one of them up

and with your filter have you checked the impeller to see if it's damaged/spinning the right way? i know with the older filters (i had one about 4 years ago) and if i unplugged it sometimes the impeller would spin the wrong way so you have to stop it while plugged in and spin it the other way so that it suck water up as opposed to trying to push it out

best of luck getting things together and working!

06-04-2010, 07:00 PM
Thanks for the positive notes. I was having serious trouble getting the filter to run, and I was worried even if I could finally get it going, I'd only get problems with it, so I bought a cheap Aqueon filter. I also got a new 10g.

And a new betta. I was just applying for a job and going with my friend and saw the most stunning male crowntail. He's an extremely dark color, hard to tell what exactly, with bright, but subtle turquoise, white and a deep red. Impulse buy to the max, I bought the tank and filter just to make sure I got him.

I'm going to be posting pictures as soon as I get him all settled in. Unfortunately, the impulse means I'll have to do a fish-in cycle, but I'm hoping that shouldn't be too stressful on him, since I'm going to seed it with my other tank.

06-05-2010, 08:30 PM
I got it all set up, sans lighting. I need to pick up some incandescent bulbs for the set up I have now until I can indulge in a florescent hood. It's still cloudy, so once it clears up I'll post some pictures.

Current plants:
Java moss
Anubias nana

Current stock:
Crowntail male betta

Planned stock:
School of corries

06-07-2010, 10:59 PM
I got a few pictures, but without the tank lighting they didn't turn out too amazingly. You can still see what it's doing, though.

On the left side of the aquarium I'm going to add a big hunk of african root wood that I got, but is still soaking. The anubias will be fixed onto that. Other plans I have will probably be to make a moss wall for the back, and add more plants as I go. I'd love to get a big amazon sword eventually, but all with time.

I'm getting a little more settled with my stocking plans. I'm probably going to go with 7-9 c.habrosus, and then a school of microrasbora. Depending on how stocking goes, I might also like to find another sort of centerpiece type fish.

06-12-2010, 03:15 AM
No major changes yet. I'm having some trouble finding lights that will fit my hood, and I can't yet afford a new set-up.

I did make plans for a background, though. My folk's are re-doing the front stairs to our house, so I stole a few slate tiles, broke those up and will be putting them on the back with a good deal of open space for me to put in a moss wall.

Oh, there is an addition to my tank: a bubble nest! Vincent is working on quite the masterpiece. He doesn't quite have it down to a science just yet, some of his bubbles are still a little too small to stay long enough, and he doesn't understand the guarding concept, but it's a pretty little nest, and I believe his first one.


Stocking plans have changed a bit. Instead of the chili rasboras, I'm going to get a school of lampeye killifish. I might also get a akysis catfish, if it won't make things too crowded.

06-12-2010, 03:17 AM
Tank looks real nice. Is that a fine black gravel or is it regular gravel; I like the looks of it.

06-12-2010, 03:46 AM
It's black sand from CaribSea. I had it left over from when I did my 3g, since the only size available was for a 20 gallon. It's a pretty nice substrate, but not the easiest to keep looking sharp.

06-12-2010, 04:27 AM
Looks nice so far. I'd unpot that anubias and strap it to the driftwood or to a rock. You can use the incandescent hood, just swap out the incandescent bulbs for cfls.

06-12-2010, 06:59 AM
I have plans to move the anubias to another piece of drift wood. I have it soaking at the moment, and I don't want it to root to the other one while I wait. It should be fully logged in a day, but either way, tomorrow I'll attach it and use a piece of slate to keep it down until it's done soaking.

06-13-2010, 02:24 AM
Today was the big move and I re-located both my tanks to my mother's house for the next few months. As far as decorating goes, I think I'm done with the hardscape, and I got part of the background up. I finally got some working lights over it, and added a little cave system. Once the water clears up a bit I'll take some pictures and share them.

Oh, and I got my anubias fixed onto a piece of driftwood.

06-13-2010, 06:00 AM
Here are some pictures now that the dust has settled. Pardon the weird colored light and phone quality.

The first one is my 3 gallon, and the other two are the ten gallon I've been reporting on. I'm pretty glad that Vincent seems to really like that new chunk of wood I put in there. You can't see from the pictures, but it's got a few little holes and a little shelf that he hunkers down in. It's pretty cute.

06-13-2010, 02:27 PM
Nice looking tank! The aqueon filters do a pretty good job, I always liked them because they seemed to be virtually silent.

07-01-2010, 01:54 AM
No pictures for this update. I will once I get something new added to the tank. I'm hoping to get some swords and vals.

I've been having some stocking decision issues as I started to lean away from the idea of a community tank. However, I've cove to the conclusion that I will stick with the community idea.

I'm hoping I can stock it with 3-4 akysis vespa, a school of chili rasbora and a betta. The betta may move into my three gallon to be replaced with another "centerpiece" fish.

07-08-2010, 05:25 AM
I did a little bit of tank re-arrangement the other day. I re-did the cave and threw in a piece of wood from my 3g, mostly to keep it somewhere out of the way. I'll update with a picture tomorrow. I ordered 4 java ferns, one to go in the rockwork and three more to go on the driftwood. I'm also going to get some more moss to soften the look of the slate. So here's a list of my plans:

Plant java ferns on wood/rocks
Buy java moss for rock cave
Buy vals and swords for background plants
Buy foreground plants
Create moss wall background (?)
Stock with akysis vespa
Stock with chili rasbora

07-13-2010, 11:53 PM
Wooo! I finally got paid, a lot more than I was expecting, so I'm going to go ahead and indulge a little. I'm finally going to order myself some A.vespas from Ms. Jinkzd. I'll be sure to post lots and lots of pictures of them once they arrive. I'm planning on getting 5 of the little guys.

07-19-2010, 12:12 AM
Mini update:
The rest of my stock will be shipped out Monday and should arrive sometime next week. There will be 5 akysis vespa, and 12 ember tetras. I will of course have to document the whole acclimation procedure, from opening of the box, to introducing them to their new home!

07-22-2010, 07:30 AM
The fish arrived today!

I was at work and my dad called to let me know I got a package. (I had told him to keep an eye out for one, and when it came to let me know as soon as possible.) As soon as I got off work I drove home and opened the box to find every fish alive and well. I even received an extra a.vespa, and two extra embers. Once I was sure they were all well, I took them on another trip to my mom's house where I am keeping my aquarium. I drip acclimated them while I did a water change and total tank redecoration. Vincent was removed, the new fish added, and Vincent replaced.

It took him a while to notice the new fish, and once he did he seemed rather fond of chasing the tetras around and flaring at them. I didn't see any nipping, though he had been given the opportunity to nip. He was sort of like a dog chasing cars, and it was pretty cute. I'm hoping that there's no murderous rampage tonight and when I go back to my mom's I find 6 little cats and 14 tiny tetras.

Instantly I fell in love with the cats (fondly referred to now as The Inmates) and how they shuffle about madly, only to flop down in the sand and bury themselves. The tetras had the most amazing schooling instinct I'd ever seen, undoubtedly from the stress of a new environment.

Below I've attached a few pictures. The first is the school of the new embers, and the last two are the cats. The last one is one with just its nose sticking out of the sand.

07-22-2010, 08:06 AM
Awesome! Your embers will soon start to colorup, the ones I received a few days ago are already a nice peach color. How large are you vespas?

07-22-2010, 08:17 AM
I'm glad to hear they will get more color. Even if this was the color they were, I'd still love it. I'm pleased with how transparent they look, since I've been dying to get a transparent fish. The vespas vary, the smallest probably being an inch, or just a little under, and the largest probably about a full grown inch and a half.

07-22-2010, 08:25 AM
Awesome, they are shipping larger than I expected them to be. Feed the embers some frozen/live enriched baby brine shrimp, and good quality staple foods and they will take on a nice transparent red color :22:

07-23-2010, 03:42 AM
They are already coloring up nicely.

So far after 24 hours, everyone is doing well. All the embers are still schooling really tight, but they are less hide-y and more content to swim around the open areas of the tank. The cats are adorable, and I see a lot more of them than I was expecting. Even they have gotten a nice color boost and instead of being a pale, creamy orange, they are a brighter more true tangerine color.

Vincent is a little huffy still, but nothing I'm too concerned about. He'll swim down and look at the tetras, get over it, and go back to patrolling the top area of the tank.

07-23-2010, 07:33 AM
Here are some better pictures of my tank. I'm going to get in the habit of getting pics once a week to show the progress. For some reason I couldn't get the flash to go off on the camera, so I had to edit the pictures. No hope getting a picture of an a.vespa, though I made drop a few bloodworms in there to try again tonight. I won't be able to get pictures of Vincent until I can get the lighting issue sorted out.





07-23-2010, 04:41 PM
This is going to be a silly update, but today I got my cats to eat Hikari micro wafers. As soon as I dropped them in the tank for the embers they went nuts! It was as violent a reaction as putting bloodworms in the water.

07-27-2010, 05:24 AM
Update: The background has been painted black. Will update with photos later.

Plans (in no particular order):
1. Build diffuser for filter
2. Find background plant(s)
3. Build moss wall
4. Buy new heater
5. Buy/build moonlights
6. Buy aquarium light timer

08-01-2010, 09:44 PM
My betta, Vincent, passed the other day. Unfortunately I wasn't there and my mom had to deal with it.

My past two bettas I haven't had very good luck with them... maybe I should stop naming them after artists. I'm going to give it another go with a betta, though. I may go pick one up tonight or tomorrow since I have to go to the shop to buy some rat food anyways.

08-07-2010, 02:51 AM
I finally got around to updating this.

I got a new betta last week. He is a white halfmoon plaket. He was named Carcharias, the species name of the Great White.



08-07-2010, 03:07 AM
he is pretty thumbs2:

02-28-2011, 07:54 AM
Just some pictures. The tank has been rearranged a bit and obviously grown in a lot. In some time it may change again, but this is it for now.





03-13-2011, 07:12 PM
I got some new stock in here, 3 lophiobagrus catfish. They are still babies, about an inch and a half long. I'm hoping they might breed, so I'm also hoping I got mixed genders. Because these guys like rock I changed things around. Took out a piece of drift wood and put that in my 3g, and put in some slate caves. No pics of the cats, but some tank shots.

FTS, I think I finally like this layout and will stop messing with it. You can also see in the bottom left cave where the cats are, from all the muck stirred up.


03-29-2011, 09:17 PM
The new lophiobagrus cats are doing well. They are still shy, but are eating well. I'm hoping that once I get my moonlight hooked up I'll get to see them browsing the tank at night. For a while I was concerned they weren't eating and that one had passed away. I got them some new sinking wafers they are quite happy about, and I saw all three of them snuffling about for more. The two caves in the front each have a cat in them, and not sure where the other one hides but it's somewhere in the back of the tank. I have not noticed much size increase since I've had them.

03-29-2011, 09:22 PM
Fish is pretty...tanks are gorgeous! Way to go!

04-14-2011, 05:00 AM
Finally got an outlet converter for my moonlights. They look amazing, and I was able to hook it up so that the switch is by my bed so it can easily be turned on and off before I go to sleep. I'd like to get it on a timer so that it runs two hours before the lights go on and after they go off, but for now it will be treated as a night-light. My camera wouldn't get any decent pictures of it, so I'll have some of those soon.

06-23-2011, 03:55 AM
I was gone for an unexpected month (I knew I'd be gone, but I thought I'd get a chance to stop by the house. Oops. Not so.) Basically,t he tank was only fed for a month, no water changes or anything.

And guess what? Everything was fine. My catfish had grown, all my tetras were bright and happy, my Carcharias was looking quite smug and content, as usual with him.

I did a quick water change on it, and then the next day or two did a full tank clean. I took out the slate and wood, put the fish in a bowl and stirred up the gravel and did a 100% water change, then did a rinse to get as much debris as possible out of the tank. I rinsed the filter media in the bucket, scrubbed out the filter, then I re-arranged the hard-scape. I think it's better this way, more natural with the wood-rock blending, and I can now see it better from my bed. The catfish have better access to their caves, and I cleaned-up and trimmed back the vals. (They had started almost all the way around the edges of the tank, with only about 9 inches between the newest shoots in the front)

Of course, while in the bowl Carcharias ate one of the tetras, reducing that number to 4. Unable to get more of that species (I got the embers from Ms Jinkzd(sp?) online, and she doesn't carry them anymore) I got 5 blood-fin tetras, two females and three males. The embers actually school with them slightly, and Carcharius pays them no mind.

Yeah, it's an overstocked 10g, but I've got it dialed in pretty well, I think. The amount of plants and water changes help a lot.

Carcharias is bloated, but lively. I fed him (and apparently the tetras) some pea last night and again this afternoon, so fingers crossed his bloating is gone tomorrow. I'll keep up the pea routine until it is. Next post will contain pictures.

06-23-2011, 02:41 PM
Glad it's going so well!thumbs2:

06-23-2011, 05:55 PM
Your inability to perform WC's has been helped largely by the vast overgrowth of plants. Some people use only a mass of plants as their only source of filtration.

06-23-2011, 08:33 PM
Yep, that's why I went with a planted tank. Since my schedule is a little erratic, I wanted that extra cushion room in case I had to skip water changes. And obviously my plan worked well. And as I promised but did not deliver last night, I bring you... pictures!

Two full tank shots, and a close-up of the cave system. It doesn't look like much, but the catfish can get to multiple levels in the wood, and have several tunnels connecting all the caves together. The Lophies seem to approve of it.