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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a 10 gallon aquarium that currently contains two guppies (male), two glofish, and three neon tetras. I've had the tank since June. The tank seems somewhat "empty" when I look at it but I keep hearing that you should only have one inch of fish per gallon. I've looked up how big all the fish I have will grow and got that the tetras will (together) equal about three inches, the glofish (together) four inches and the guppies (together) three inches, which adds up to exactly ten inches. The tank still looks empty to me though and I'd really like a few more fish, especially some sort of algae eaters or ghost shrimp (Even though they're not fish). Would a few more be absolutely out of the question? And if not, would a certain kind be best?

If it's needed:
The tank has no live plants, only plastic. (Which leads me to another little question: are live plants better or is it just personal preference?)
I have an Aqua-tech 5-15 gallon filter.
The tank is usually kept between 78-80°F.
I have Aquarium Salt added to the tank.
I usually change about 1/3 of the water at least twice a week.
If I forgot something you need to know, just ask.
 

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If you're not overstocked, you're close. You should test for ammonia. It should read zero, but I doubt it will. You have a pretty heavy load for a small tank, especially with the goldfish. They are a pretty messy fish.

Live plants are a bit better than plastic ones. Not only will some fish feed on them, but they help improve water conditions by using excess nutrients.

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Editing: Sorry, I read the initial post quickly and mistook "glofish" for "goldfish." Even with the adjustment I don't think more fish should be added to the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you're not overstocked, you're close. You should test for ammonia. It should read zero, but I doubt it will. You have a pretty heavy load for a small tank, especially with the goldfish. They are a pretty messy fish.

Live plants are a bit better than plastic ones. Not only will some fish feed on them, but they help improve water conditions by using excess nutrients.
They're Glofish, not Goldfish. They're basically Zebra Danios.
 

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Pleco n bn breeder n BOSS
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If you put in some stem plants that are fast growers and some others like anubia the tank will not only look better but they will help maintain your levels in your tank by taking up nitrates and such. THen keep a good weekly water change schedule you could possible add a few more neons and some ghost shrimp. IMO the glofish just like any danio needs to be in a tank with a longer footprint and they do like to swim across the tank and swim fast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If you put in some stem plants that are fast growers and some others like anubia the tank will not only look better but they will help maintain your levels in your tank by taking up nitrates and such. THen keep a good weekly water change schedule you could possible add a few more neons and some ghost shrimp. IMO the glofish just like any danio needs to be in a tank with a longer footprint and they do like to swim across the tank and swim fast.
I'm a total noob to planted tanks. I've found I absolutely love how they look though, I've lately been looking at pictures of some tanks that have real plants and look more "natural" than mine (Mine is mostly vibrant/neon colors and the plants look obviously fake, though I liked them originally). What are some good, easy to find, and relatively inexpensive plants? Also, do they need special care/gravel/etc.? There aren't too many fish places around here, the only real aquarium store is really small and doesn't sell plants. I've seen a small tank of live plants at our Petsmart but it's pretty small, so I'd probably be limited in what I could really find.
I'm usually very on top of changing the water. I change about 1/3 of it at least two times a week and occasionally take everything out to scrub it all really well (like today). I got a remark from someone earlier that I'm "always cleaning it" when I was about done, lol.
 

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Pleco n bn breeder n BOSS
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Some easy to grow stem plants would be like hornwort, anacharis (sp) most green stem plants. You could also add some slow growers like java fern, anubia and crypts. Java and anubia would need to be tied to either a rock or wood as you don't plant those in the substrate.
 

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An inch per gal is the a good rule of thumb, unless you know the bio-load of each fish some are larger that other who have very samll loads. Tha being seid I would say you are not over stocked but you have no room to add. If you want more fish I think you may want to look at a larger tank.... Christmas is comming soon and you could put in on your wish list to him. a 20 gal long should run you under $40.00, if you don't want to want for santa
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Some easy to grow stem plants would be like hornwort, anacharis (sp) most green stem plants. You could also add some slow growers like java fern, anubia and crypts. Java and anubia would need to be tied to either a rock or wood as you don't plant those in the substrate.
Thanks, when I can actually get to Petsmart I'll have a look though I don't think I'll really be able to totally redo my tank at the moment (money and all) I would really love to eventually. But you mention substrate, what exactly do you plant the normal ones in?


An inch per gal is the a good rule of thumb, unless you know the bio-load of each fish some are larger that other who have very samll loads. Tha being seid I would say you are not over stocked but you have no room to add. If you want more fish I think you may want to look at a larger tank.... Christmas is comming soon and you could put in on your wish list to him. a 20 gal long should run you under $40.00, if you don't want to want for santa
I'd love a larger tank but I don't really have room for one. I'd also have to get a larger filter, a larger hood, etc. which would add on to the cost of everything else even if I could find room for one. I'm not exactly sure how large it is, but I have an old tank (It was my grandma's) that I think is either 20 or 25 gallons, but it has no hood or anything else and is also longer much longer than it is deep, so I don't think I could really find room for it. The 10 gallon I have now fits perfectly on a little table that a bigger tank wouldn't. Trust me, I've went around my house trying to look for possible places to put a larger tank and the only place I'd ever have room would probably be the bathroom, lol. Doesn't seem like a good place for a tank though.
 

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I've went around my house trying to look for possible places to put a larger tank and the only place I'd ever have room would probably be the bathroom, lol. Doesn't seem like a good place for a tank though.
Watching the fish would stop you from getting your reading done...
 

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If you can find the space, look around online flyer yard sales look for a local fish club, most of us have tanks with extras sitting around.... I do like the bathroom ideal something to add to the relaxation
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If you can find the space, look around online flyer yard sales look for a local fish club, most of us have tanks with extras sitting around.... I do like the bathroom ideal something to add to the relaxation
Wouldn't the steam and everything be harmful to the fish/tank though?
 

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Thats a good question... As long as you don't get soap and toothpaste in it.. the steam shouldn't hurt anything.....maybe have to watch the lighting fixtures for rust. the filter is generally a sealed motor.... can anyone think of reasons why not... other than space
 

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Personally, I hate the one inch per gallon rule. The main problem to worry about is keeping the clean. If you can manage changing 10% of the water, or for you, 10 gallons,and change/clean the filter cartrige once a month, you could get by with 20 inches of fish.

I have a 10g with 5 swordtails-(already overstocked)15in, 4 balloon mollies-8in, and a ton of livebearer fry. Not including the fry, there's 23 in. I clean the tank regularly, and never lose any fish. I would go quite that extensive because it can be risky. But I think you could manage in three or four more fish.

Remember one thing. You are going according to adult size. How many of these fish will reach that max size? Neon tets are especially touchy, and can get sick and die quite easily. The less you feed them, the slower they will grow, ultimately giving more room for a few more fish.
 

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Pleco n bn breeder n BOSS
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On your maint. schedule you can go a few more of the smaller fish. Not many though. It would look better if you were to remove either the glofish or the neons and up the ones you keep, but that is my own opinion.

The statement above saying the less they get fed the slower they grow is a misleading statement. What is happening is with the kind of stocking levels with fry the fish are being stunted. They don't have room to grow, no matter how many water changes they get. A 10 gal isn't big enough for that many livebearers unless you plan on moving the fry to a growout tank.

For plant substrate, any type will do, just some are better than others, for something cheap like the fired clay you can even use the walmart brand cat litter that has no perfumes or dye. Its the same stuff that is sold as latrite.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Personally, I hate the one inch per gallon rule. The main problem to worry about is keeping the clean. If you can manage changing 10% of the water, or for you, 10 gallons,and change/clean the filter cartrige once a month, you could get by with 20 inches of fish.

I have a 10g with 5 swordtails-(already overstocked)15in, 4 balloon mollies-8in, and a ton of livebearer fry. Not including the fry, there's 23 in. I clean the tank regularly, and never lose any fish. I would go quite that extensive because it can be risky. But I think you could manage in three or four more fish.

Remember one thing. You are going according to adult size. How many of these fish will reach that max size? Neon tets are especially touchy, and can get sick and die quite easily. The less you feed them, the slower they will grow, ultimately giving more room for a few more fish.
I wouldn't want that many. I really was only thinking about getting about two ghost shrimp and another neon tetra if that.
As I've said, I keep the tank really clean and usually scrub the glass and plants/ornaments about once a week to once every other week and totally clean basically everything once a month in addition to changing about 1/3 of the water at least twice a week. I get a bit of algae in it but not anything major.

I think two of my neon tetras are about as large as they're going to get, the other is relatively tiny. One Glofish (Zebra Danio) is about as big as he'll get, the other is pretty tiny. And the two guppies I'm pretty sure are as big as they're going to get.

Now that I've been thinking about it though, I think the tank would look less "empty" if I had more plants rather than more fish, and not the silly plastic plants I have now. I'm definitely going to look at getting some live plants as soon as I can get down to Petsmart.


On your maint. schedule you can go a few more of the smaller fish. Not many though. It would look better if you were to remove either the glofish or the neons and up the ones you keep, but that is my own opinion.

The statement above saying the less they get fed the slower they grow is a misleading statement. What is happening is with the kind of stocking levels with fry the fish are being stunted. They don't have room to grow, no matter how many water changes they get. A 10 gal isn't big enough for that many livebearers unless you plan on moving the fry to a growout tank.

For plant substrate, any type will do, just some are better than others, for something cheap like the fired clay you can even use the walmart brand cat litter that has no perfumes or dye. Its the same stuff that is sold as latrite.
I haven't had any of my fish become pregnant that I'm aware of. If they were to, I definitely wouldn't be able to keep the fry in the same tank and would probably have to set something else up or find a way to give them away.

Can you cover the substrate with other things like regular gravel? Sorry to ask so many questions.
 

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Pleco n bn breeder n BOSS
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No problem on the questions thats what we are here for, to help when ever we can.

On the substrate matter, the gravel is considered substrate and will work. What kind of lighting do you have on the tank? If it is low light, I would just do some java ferns, some moss and/or anubia which can be tied to rock or wood and you won't have to worry about the many different substrates.

Depending on what you want in a planted tank and how far you want to go with lights and co2 and such, The above choices can make for a beautiful tank. You can look at pictures all over the internet on different scapes to get ideas, but it basically boils down to what you like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
No problem on the questions thats what we are here for, to help when ever we can.

On the substrate matter, the gravel is considered substrate and will work. What kind of lighting do you have on the tank? If it is low light, I would just do some java ferns, some moss and/or anubia which can be tied to rock or wood and you won't have to worry about the many different substrates.

Depending on what you want in a planted tank and how far you want to go with lights and co2 and such, The above choices can make for a beautiful tank. You can look at pictures all over the internet on different scapes to get ideas, but it basically boils down to what you like.

I'm not exactly sure what sort of light I have in it. I have two little screw in bulbs (like this) in the hood. I went to a little aquarium store a while back and we were told by the guy that this kind of "blue light" would bring out the color in the fish more, so I have those but I'm not entirely sure about watts or anything. The tank is in a room with a big window, though it's not directly in front of it, so it gets some sunlight as well. I don't have the box for the bulbs anymore but I remember I got them at WalMart (They are for fish though, they were over in the tiny fish department), so I'm thinking they're just a really common blue light? It doesn't necessarily make the tank look blue though.
 

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IMO your cleaning the tank to much... I feel like I'm listening to my mother in the 70's cleaning the 20 gal tank in the family room. You are killing the all good bactria, by scrubbing the tank and breaking it down. As this hobby has grown with knowlegde about fish care they have found that you need to have a good bio colony in the tank. if you just do a weekly water change( WC) of 20% thats 2 gal a week and once a month replace the filter floss, scrap the the glass with a scraper or just a float than you will have a cleaner tank. If you add ghost shrimp, the tetra will make a nice snack out of them, maybe not right awazy but they will find them and eat them. I have ghost shrimp in my tanks and evenutally they all get eaten, not a problem for me because they cost me nothing I can catch them in the local waters. When we talk about the number of fish one can have in a tank, one inch per squaure inch is just a guide line, what you really need to learn is the bio load that your fish add to the tank. By cleanning the tank by basicly breaking it down you cause your tank to going into a continous state of cycling. Cycling is basicly the build up of bio colony in the tank that is able to break down the deadly amminion and nitrates, into a less deadly chemical to the fish that you can remove when you do a 20% water change. Not sure what type of filter you have I will assume some tyoe of Hang on the back (HOB) filter, if that the case you can add a small amount of ceramic ring to it in a litllle net bag and increase the bio colony, and increase the amount of fish your can house in the tank, by maybe one or three fish. When you vacume the gravel you have do it in four sections, and vacume a different section each week with the 20% WC, over a month time you will have vacumed the complete gravel footprint and still have a very strong bio-colony. Plants will also increase the bio-colony for you, and you can get some low light required plant java ferns java moss to name just a couple. the Java moss will also provide hideing places for fry and produce micro food for them.
 

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If you clean the tank every 2 weeks (up to 1 fifth of the water) and keep it really REALLY REALLY clean you might be able to add two tetras per gallon because of there slim shape. Also add a bubble stick and a tetra/wisper air pump if you plan to do this.
 
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