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Thread: 10g Help?

  1. Default 10g Help?

    0 Not allowed!

    I started a 10 gallon tank about a year ago. As a first time fish keeper, I didn't put too much thought into my stocking prior to purchasing fish. My current tank consists of the following:

    4 BA Tetras
    3 Khuli Loaches
    1 Dwarf Gourami
    1 Otto

    After purchasing the fish, I found out more and realized that the species weren't best suited for my current setup. With frequent water changes, however, the fish all seem to be doing well. I am now in college though, and therefore have been unable to put much effort into my tank. With Christmas on the way, I was wondering what changes I should make to make the tank easier to maintain and better for the fish, as the quality has taken a bit of a downturn under the care of my younger brother. I was considering upgrading to a 20 gallon, getting a larger filter and changing substrate.

    The current substrate is a combination of black gravel and white sand and doesn't look very good.... I want to have a planted tank, but I realized with research that the only plants compatible with my tetras were java ferns. I have a couple java ferns now, but their growth has been slow.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2


    0 Not allowed!
    A 20g would be a nice size and would allow you to bring up the tetras to a shoal. If you want a low tech planted tank then perhaps go for a good clay substrate like a manado? Water sprite grows fast as does elodo, bacope. Vallis should be safe as well.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2011

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    Have another tetra just because ;-) - steeler58 Thanks for the plants! - Slaphppy7 Thanks for the rep ;-) - steeler58 Get well soon! - RiversGirl Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! - Plecos 
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    1 Not allowed!
    If you go with a 20 gal, make it a 20 gal long as opposed to 20 gal high. More length for the fish to swim, and shorter, which will make it easier to light for plant growth.

  4. #4


    1 Not allowed!
    +1 with all the above advice - if you are able to get a 20gal long tank, you can take the media from your current filter and put it into the new filter to "seed' the new media with good bacteria - make sure your new filter is sufficient for double the size of the tank.

  5. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks for the tips! I'll definitely keep my eye out for a 20gal long.

    talldutchie- Do you think the plants you suggested will be compatible with the BA's? I've heard they eat almost everything.

    If I moved up to a bigger tank I'd probably add a couple more loaches and a couple more tetras. Could I add more, or would that be about the limit of my stocking?

  6. #6


    1 Not allowed!
    I hate to go against the advice of the well-respected members here but I really do not agree with keeping Buenos Aires Tetra in such a small tank. These are what I would describe as super-charged tetra - they are very fast swimmers and very active in the right conditions. I had a school of around 20 in a six foot tank, years ago, and they used the full space to their advantage. They are boisterous shoalers that really deserve more room than you can provide.

    Why not return them to your LFS or rehome them and find something more suitable? If you switch to a more placid tetra you will have free choice on planting without the fear that they will eat it all (which they will).

    After you have upgraded, why not consider black neon tetra? Glowlight tetra are also nice and stay reasonably small. Blue tetra are worth looking out for, although very rare in my area. Silvertip tetra are also really pretty in a nice school, and underated in my opinion.
    "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." Carl Sagan

    ~ 350 Litre Tank Journal ~ ~ 30 Litre Tank Journal ~

  7. #7


    0 Not allowed!
    Some good advice there - those fish sound very similar to danios which also need a lot of length/space to swim - wouldn't recommend them for 10gal either.

    A 10gal tank should be stocked with fish that are docile and don't need so much swimming space as well as staying very small - that's why tiny tetras, shrimp, snails, are generally recommended.

  8. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    I'm fairly new here but i have some experience with plants-
    Mine have done well with a little bit of fertilizer. What I did was I bought these small pots from the dollarama, sterilized them, and planted some Wisteria and Rotala in different pots- taking care to cover the fertilizer well with my aquarium substrate which is actually simple pool filter sand.
    I don't know what kind of lights you have, but when you purchase your new tank, perhaps inquire as to the lighting. I turn my aquarium lights on most of the day and off at night to simulate a day & night for my fish. This seems to really benefit my plants.
    I also have java moss in my tank- and you can get moss balls at the local PetsMart or aquarium store.
    I used Fluval Strata for plants as my fertilizer.
    Good luck!
    Who Rescued Who?

    Don't shop; Adopt!

  9. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Yeah.. I realize now that they aren't well suited for a small tank. I didn't at the time of purchase. Unfortunately, I think at my LFS you can only return within 30 days. As I said before, they seem to be doing pretty well. So I'm sort of in a tough spot. I wish I had known earlier that I would have been better off with smaller tetras.

  10. #10


    1 Not allowed!
    Well since you are stuck, the bigger tank you get, the better. Always look for one that is longer than tall...more room to swim. Fish don't seem to care too much if they have a low ceiling. :)

    When you get a bigger tank, you could start a school of more appropriate fish in addition to the BAs. As long as they aren't nippy by nature (haven't read up on them much), they should be fine to mix species with. Eventually, those BAs will die off (sad, but true with all pets).
    20 gallon with a male betta, neons, glowlights, and red cherry shrimp. (work in progess) Recently added a few LIVE plants and driftwood, Woooohoooo!

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