Freshwater Aquarium/New Tank

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Question
Hi Richard,

I recently asked you a question about what fish I should put in a 10 gallon tank.
Thanks for the answer.
I am putting 5 neon tetras, 2 male guppies, and a cory cat in it,
and I would like some more advice:

How long will I need to cycle the tank before adding any fish?

When the tank has finished cycling, in what order should I add the breeds of fish, and how many at a time?

What is the right PH balance for those fish?

And what kind of live plants and decor should I get?

Answer
Hi Miriam

I apologize for the delay in answering your question, we've had some weather issues here.

How long will I need to cycle the tank before adding any fish?

I would cycle the tank with the Cory Cat. They are very hardy and will cycle the tank better than fishless cycling. After setting up your tank, let everything run for about 24-48 hours, then it will be safe to add the Cory.

When the tank has finished cycling, in what order should I add the breeds of fish, and how many at a time?

As mentioned above, start with the Cory. Let him cycle the tank for about 4 weeks and check your water chemistry. If all is good, add the 2 Guppies. Wait about a week and check your water again. Then add 2 Neons, and a week later add the 3 Neons. Always do a 25% water change and check your water before adding new fish.

What is the right PH balance for those fish?

7.0 is best for these fish, but they will do fine in 6.5 - 7.5. Most fish will adapt to the pH regardless. It's when it constantly fluctuates that they have a problem. So as long as it is stable, they should be fine.

And what kind of live plants and decor should I get?

Decor is really your preference, just make sure you have rocks and caves and other hiding places for the fish. As far as plants, I like Amazon sword, Java Fern and Anubias as these are easy to grow and low maintenance.

Hope this helps you, good luck!

Richard

Freshwater Aquarium

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Richard Hight

Expertise

I own and maintain several freshwater aquariums from 2 to 180 gallon. I can answer most questions about freshwater aquariums, including setup, cycling, maintenance, compatible tank mates, feeding. Moving? I've moved fish both across town and across the country and can help you get your little aquatic friends to their new home safely. I know and have experience with most freshwater community fish, South American Cichlids and African Cichlids. I don't answer questions about Goldfish or keeping Goldfish with Tropical Fish. I also don't answer questions about keeping crustaceans (shrimp, snails, crabs etc) with Tropical Fish, nor questions about saltwater fish or aquariums. I'm not available to answer questions on weekends, this is when I do maintenance on my own tanks.

Experience

Many years of personal experience with community tank fish, semi-aggressive fish (Barbs, Tetras, etc), Angels, South American Cichlids and African Cichlids.

Education/Credentials
HSG 2010-2011 prof

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