This 10 gallon tank has a short but sordid past. The history - sorry it may be long, but I don't know if any of this information may be useful in determining future success.
In September I purchased a ten gallon tank. It was a box set-up, I think by Aqua Fin? Over head light, filter box hangs in back (a 5-10-15?). I think it's just your basic tank-in-a-box arrangement, nothing fancy.
I filled it up with blue gravel my son picked out. Realized it wasn't enough gravel in the tank and then added a bunch of gravel I had saved from a tank from several years ago. The old gravel was a hideous brown and the blue and brown together looked awful, in my opinion. Sooo... we go the the large chain store after letting the tank sit with the filter on for a couple days and picked out a few fish ( have no idea what they were - one was a little sucker fish), a couple snails and an African Dwarf Frog. This didn't go over well, as I'm sure many of you are not surprised to read. The sucker fish was the first to go after just a couple days. The snails died after a couple weeks. The other fish (there were 3 of them, small and silver) died after that. The frog was doing just fine.
Since everything was dead anyway I decided it would be a great time to change out that ugly gravel situation before getting new fish. The new gravel is large - most stones are the size of a small gumball to a nickle size, with the smallest pieces being the size of a lima bean.
With the new gravel I "knew" that the tank would basically have to start over again. To "help it along" I got a couple little cheap goldfish. I realize this was a dumb thing to do now, but I was very ignorant.
After a few weeks the goldfish started nipping at the frog so we took them back to the store and got a couple new fish. Again, I don't know what they were - I think looking at the pics on here they might have been danios. At the same time I bought two live plants and another snail. So at this time we had the 3 little fish, snail, frog, 2 plants. Again, the little fish died, one right away, another a week or so later and then the last one died a couple weeks after that. The snail died. We were back to just the frog and plants. Until one morning I saw a teeny tiny snail on the glass. And another. And another. And another. They were everywhere.
At the petstore the guy said I had a few options to get rid of the snails - tear down the tank and start over (I did not want to do this), use snail poison to kill them (I didn't think all the dead decaying snails would be good for the tank) or get a fish that would eat the snails. He recommeded goldfish. Back to the stinkin' goldfish again!!! So we went home with two goldfish and sure enough, within moments they were chomping down on all the snails. They continued to dine on them for several days. And then I guess they got sick of them because they never ate anymore despite there still being plenty in there and new ones showing up every day!
Once those fish started picking at the frog I sent them back to the store too. I used the snail poison. My froggie started freaking out (the petstore guy said it wouldn't bother the frog) so I scooped him in a jar. It took several days of treating and retreating the water for the snails to finally pass. I changed out about 90% of the water, removing every snail body I saw. It has been about 3 weeks since this mess and I haven't seen anymore snails.
The frog is doing just great. It has been very active, swimming all around. He seems happy.
Yesterday (waiting for my membership to be approved here) I did a lot of reading. I have never tested the water. I sent my husband out to bring home a kit and he came home with a ph tester instead.
For what it's worth the ph is 7.6.
Right now the tank is bear. Just the gravel and a small cave/bridge decoration that serves as a grotto for the frog. I purged all the plants during the snail fiasco if fear that they were contaminated.
So. I need to stock the tank. I know my options are limited because of the frog. That's unfortunate, but I have to be loyal to the frog. He has been such a trooper! And my kids love him.
I think my options are further limited because I have that big rock gravel in there. ??? It seems there were a few varieties of fish that like to burrow in the substrate and I guess those fish are not an option for me now.
From what I read yesterday - using the compatibility function from this site too - I had decided to see about adding a betta and some zebra danios. Both are compatible tank mates for the frog, and with each other. But then I read later that the danios wouldn't be happy in a 10 gallon because they need more swimming space than that? Is that true?
I'd also like a couple cherry shrimp.
Despite the infestation that occurred, I really do like snails. Not those teeny nasty brown ones I had abound, but a single larger snail I find interesting. However, they seem to die so quickly. Also, I'd like to have some live plants and I don't want the snail to devour those, so that's why I thought I'd try the shrimp. I've never had shrimp before.
And about that snail infestation - where did it come from? I had assummed they came from the plants I had bought, but the store was adament their plants do not have snails. And I did look in the plant tanks thuroughly and have to admit I didn't see any either. But where on earth could they have come from? The large snails I had in there at the time - an ivory and a gold snail - coudn't have spawned a gazillion brown pond snails, right? I'm worried about this happening again.
Wow. I've written a novel!
Sorry about that.
Sooooo, with all the nonsense life story I've given you, would you think my plan for a betta and some zebra danios (like 4?) and a couple shrimp sound okay? Please advise.