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10 gallon stocking?


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Hey everyone! I recently got a 10 gallon tank (my first!) and wanted to make a planted blackwater set up. I am fairly new to the hobby and did a lot of research on stocking choices and beginner friendly set ups, along with how to cycle the tank and the basic care requirements. After a month of cycling I recently got a dwarf powder blue gourami, and I really enjoyed him. Then a week went by and I purchased 6 pygmy corries, and used the med trio on all of them in my display tank (realized I forgot to quarantine them). I find that my dwarf powder blue tries to eat the pymgy Cory's food and kind of chases them away from their food, so I was going to try to hide their food in a place where he cannot reach it. I reached out on another aquarium forum and mentioned I also eventually wanted to get neon tetras for this tank (5) but I was told this was over stocking. I used AQadvisor's peaceful 10g community set up as a base for this stocking and had also referenced the 10 gallon cookie cutter set up from aquarium coop's blog, so honestly I'm a bit confused lol. If it is overstocking is there a different type of fish I could add to the tank instead of neons? 

I've attached a picture of the tank for reference


TL;DR Is a dwarf powder blue gourami, 6 pygmy cories, and 5 neon tetras overstocking in a 10 gallon blackwater set up with driftwood, plants, and rocks? 

Screen Shot 2022-06-01 at 9.17.56 AM.png

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I have 70+ Otocinclus in a 20 gallon (previously had 50+ in a 10 gallon but moved them into the 20). I have 0 water parameter issues- the tank has 2 sponge filters and a HOB. The only reason I do water changes is to clean up after the messy little things, spot cleaning daily and 1x a week 2 gallon or so water swap (due to the vacuuming). Here is what I posted to answer an other members question when asked the same thing: 

This is a very loaded question. If you're using an online calculator the answer would inveritably be yes. (because mine would all but 1 be overstocked according to it). 

The question to me is: Are the fish able to move about freely and are healthy without disease and brilliantly (for them) colored and everyone getting along (any signs of aggression that is sometimes a sign of overcrowding)? Are the plants happy and growing? Do I have any regular or persistent water parameter issues that would cause either or both of the other things issues (consistently tests 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and a healthy ammount of Nitrate)? Is the maintenance of this (possibly overstocked) tank too much for me to handle or would it quickly go south if it had no maintenance for a day or two?

If the answers are all to the postive then, no, your tank is not overstocked. 

And in my opinion 5 or 6 Neons will not be an issue. 

****Also welcome to the forum!!**************

Edited by xXInkedPhoenixX
Typos are lame
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Beautiful tank! I love keeping heavily stocked tanks. I do strict weekly water changes, have lots of live plants and extra forms of filtration.

You could definitely keep neons in that tank. If you are worried about your parameters, you could do a nano schooling species such as chili rasboras instead. For 10 gallon tanks, I love nano species like your pygmy cories because you can have more fish in the school and get better schooling behavior than you would with a smaller number of bigger-sized fish. Food for thought! But you could totally keep neons in there if that's what you want 🙂 If your gourami is a bit aggressive towards your cories already, it might be better to stick with a nano species as well that can easily get out of it's way in that small of a space. You could end up with issues if your neons are too big to properly get out of your gourami's way. 

Edited by Hannah Parker
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You seem to have done your homework. The live plants will be helpful with filtering out some nitrates. Some people go by the "one gallon per fish" rule but that is not very accurate (example: 10 goldfish would not do well in 10 gallons vs. some breeders grow out 30+ angels in 10 gallons and do swimmingly). One idea is that "bigger tanks are always better" which is fare but not exactly scalable. "micro-fish" are exactly for the people who can't have big tanks. If you want that setup/stocking, go ahead and try it, it seems like you will be paying attention to make sure every one succeeds. You are already a step ahead by stocking pigmy cories instead of one of the bigger species.

With the gourami eating the pigmy food you could also try feeding them at the same time (if you don't already) or scatter it around the tank more.

Good luck and enjoy!

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