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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Pet Care Library > Ask An Expert > Answered Questions > I Just Got A 10 Gallon Fish Tank I Am Wanting To Start A Tr

I just got a 10 gallon fish tank. I am wanting to start a tropical community. I ...

kk037

Question: 
I just got a 10 gallon fish tank. I am wanting to start a tropical community. I was wondering if I had a Algae Control formula would it still be necessary to have an algae eating fish? Would it be most beneficial to have both? Also, can those fish live in a tropical community?
Answer: 

A 10-gallon aquarium is an easy size to start with for keeping tropical fish, but be sure you don't overcrowd the aquarium. The general rule is one inch of adult fish size per gallon of water. So for example, you could have ten 1-inch long fish in your aquarium, or five 2-inch long fish. You need to be sure you don't get fish that will grow too big for your aquarium size.

For example, if you wanted to get a Plecostomus for your aquarium to eat algae, they will grow to be 12 or more inches long - and that is way too big for a 10-gallon aquarium. You could get an Otocinclus algae eater, though, as they only grow to 2-inches in length. They do a good job controlling algae, as long as you keep the water quality good.

With proper water quality, you should not need any algae control chemicals.
You should do a 10% water change every week, or 25% per month. Use a gravel vacuum to remove waste from the aquarium gravel and then replace the water with dechlorinated tap water. Doing this regularly will prevent wastes accumulating that otherwise will contribute to algae growth.

See the free Care Guides at your local PetSmart store on setting up an aquarium and on aquarium care for more information on water quality in an aquarium.
That will keep you from getting algae growing.

Comments

23 Jan 2011 5:07 pm

BeavisMom62 said:

That 1" per gal rule doesn't apply across the board. It applies to fish like guppies and tetras and other streamlined, small fish. Like the Pleco example above, you couldn't keep a 10 inch fish in a ten gal tank!

Also, some fish need to be kept in schools, so you need to take this into consideration. With the otos as mentioned above, you should have at least 4 preferably more. Tetras, guppies, platys, need to be kept in schools of 6. As far as eating algae, otos are good, however they should only be introduced to a cycled, well established tank. Not only are they sensitive to water conditions, but there isn't enough algae in a new tank to sustain them. Nerite snails are great at controlling algae as well. As mentioned above you should never need to add algae chemicals or any chemicals with the exception of dechlorinator in a well cared for tank. Also, before you get any fish, make sure that you have a test kit and a gravel vac so that you can test your water and do water changes weekly. I prefer to do closer to a 50% change in all of my tanks (I have five, from a 10 up to a 65 gal) every week. That way the toxins and wastes in the water are reduced by 50% rather than a smaller amount. Freshwater fish need fresh clean water. Always.

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