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10 gal tank

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  • 10 gal tank

    Hi all,

    Someone I know has asked for my help with a fish tank...

    Here are the facts

    1. They have a 10 gal fish tank and NOTHING else, except water I suppose. I assume std dims.
    2. They want fancy guppies.
    3. They know nothing about fish or plants.
    4. They want the tank to have plants.
    5. They want LOW maintenance. Not much time or expertise...
    6. They want the tank to look like one of my c02/EI tanks Especially the 220 that Tom scaped as they like that one the best, so I am unsure if Tom needs to come do it or not.. Perhaps I can ship to him and he can ship back scaped

    I will use flourite for substrate as the ADA will cause too much work for them. I can use water sprite and java fern/mosses for plants. I can cut them a tiny manzy branch as well I hope. They like the tree effect, so I will see what I can do for them...

    So, I need suggestions for a simple T8 or T12 light and a decent easy to maintain filter, I guess an HOB of some kind. Or I guess any new type of light, whether LED or whatever.

    They have zero money to spend so I will be supplying some of the hardware, but even the cost of replacement filter pads, etc must be considered.

    I am thinking even a large sponge filter driven by a whisper air pump. That way they can just rinse the sponge every few days.. Low fish load (at first lol ) and heavy planting will also help. Or, perhaps a large sponge over a whisper HOB intake. That will save the pads from getting dirty as quickly.

    Long time since I did such a low effort tank. Should be fun and I like these folks, so want to help them out with something half decent.

    Thanks in advance...
    Last edited by Gerryd; 03-03-2012, 12:04 AM.


    'When something's not right, it's wrong'. Bob Dylan

    Current 220 scape

  • #2
    Some people get the twin bulb incandescent hood. They toss the incandescents and get two 10w to 25w 6500K/6700K screw in compact fluorescents. These make a decent planted tank hood for minimal outlay.

    Most 10g fluorescent fixtures use 1 T8 bulb and it just isn't enough light.

    The AquaClear HOB's are good filters. They come with sponges that can be washed out in aquarium water and reused. You will need two foam filter pieces for this, so pick up a pack of them too. They come with carbon and bio-filtration media. After the carbon is used up, go to using 2 sponges and the bio-media. Then, no $ spent on media. Get one or two sizes larger than the recommended size. They have adjustable flow. The larger size has more media area and less maintenance. After priming, you can lower the flow rate and have a nice stream coming out.

    Pick up a 50mL bottle of Prime dechlor. It has a droplet cap. Use 2 drops per gallon. Easy to use.

    Eco-Complete is easier to set up that Flourite. It doesn't require washing. One bag of E-C is 350 cubic inches. A 10g tank has a 20" x 10" footprint. This will help you decide on the substrate depth that you want and how many bag(s) to get. One bag is 1.75" of substrate depth. This should be enough. If you go with Flourite. One bag is 400 cubic inches.

    There is a 15g aquarium that has the same footprint as a 10g, but it is 18" tall vs 12" tall for the 10g.

    That's all I can think of.


    • #3
      Uncle Gerry, I want a fish tank like that one.

      I can see it now. Include some RCS. I never lost too many to the fancy guppies. The Manzy branch and java fern would provide plenty of cover. Tom has some branches that will fit.

      Another filter option;
      In my 10gal I just started running an old ECCO Canister Filter and a Hydor InLine Heater - any canister filter design would work but the flow rate is close to 80gph when running it through the heater. $90 bucks for the filter. The price of inline heaters has gone up, but they're reliable and another option for down the road. I've had mine for three years now with no problems and the water temp for such a small volume of water stays very stable.

      The tank has been low maintenance for several years - neglected for over one. So, just this week I started preparing to use yeast for additional CO2. How fortunate, to be reminded of ye ole wind bag's breathing method for CO2. I will see if the plants do well/ improve. So far, one breath provides mist for quit some time. It's as easy a CO2 setup as I can think of.

      The light was a cast off, what an embarrassment, a Current Satellite Dual CP, mounted over only half of the tank. Using only one 18w PC with a screen directly under the light, above the tank keeps the light manageable. I guess I will need to find that camera. Because the light fixture only covers half the tank, the other half of the tank is easily accessible with considerably better/lower PAR then directly under the light. directly under the light I had to place the shade screen.
      :encouragement: Roll You're Own:
      Greater Washington Aquatic Plant Association
      Mixed with a sound of water's murmuring
      a sensitive plant in a garden growing.


      • #4
        A 10 gallon isn't much room for that type of aquascape that they want. Because of this, I don't think you'll do well going with the sponge filter. I would do an aqua clear 20. Maybe find a used one in the buckets at some lfs. You can make some 'tree' like structure from your spare wood. For light a dual T8 should be fine or maybe a t5NO under cabinet. Its a shallow tank and small and you're not going to have light demands.

        Depending on where they want it, you mount the light above and have the wood and plants come up out of the tank.



        • #5
          This is it, a brackish water 10 gal. setup. It is in a basement, so available light is only the one 18w pc. There are no more guppies. I decided just recently to focus on breeding the shrimp and providing the Goby a little more privacy.

          As you can see, there is too much light directly under the 18w pc, but the glass was only cleaned three weeks ago and stays pretty clean overall.

          Water changes have been every three months.
          The filter does have Chem-Pur, added three weeks ago.
          I have to dose more regularly.
          I don't know if thats going to happen in your tank.

          I hope some of this helps, if only to show you what an 18w pc can provide.

          :gw You might want to put in a ground fault circuit interrupter, (GFCI) for sure.
          :encouragement: Roll You're Own:
          Greater Washington Aquatic Plant Association
          Mixed with a sound of water's murmuring
          a sensitive plant in a garden growing.


          • #6
            Another good HOB filter is the Eheim Liberty series. There are 3 models, a 100, 150 and 200. All 3 have adjustable flow control and they are extremely easy to maintain. Instead of the carbon filter and the thin foam filter, there is a wide foam filter that can be removed and washed out. This is neat. I like these Eheim Liberty models. I have the 100 and the 200. If I were you, I would get either the 100 or the 150 for the 10g and then adjust the flow as needed.

            Eheim Liberty Series:

            washable foam filter cartridge

            carbon cartridge

            stock thin foam cartridge

            Eheim Liberty 100 and optional thick foam cartridge

            Eheim Liberty 100 with stock configuration



            • #7
              Hagen HOB filter, say 150 or a mini, then water sprite, and bunch of guppies.
              Cheap 15 W FL light, some plain old gravel 3-4mm, no heater, timer for light.