View Full Version : Getting Back into the Hobby

09-18-2013, 04:11 PM
After a 2 year + Hiatus, I have decided to get back into fish keeping. I used to own a 29G Biocube and ran it as a small salt water tank with a couple Clown Fish a nice CUC, and a few different Corals.

I would love to get back into saltwater but unfortunately I do not have the room at home to do so. Currently my spare room has been turned into a "reptile room" and is kept in the low 80s which I am concerned would cause a huge algae build up if I put a tank in there.

Anyways, so after speaking with my boss, I was given the go ahead to put a fish tank in my office. I could probably go upwards of 12-15 Gallons, but probably not much more than that. I have chosen Fresh water as it is a bit less maintenance than saltwater tanks.

I do however have a few concerns, as I have never run a fish tank outside of my own home before. I work the typical 5 days a week 8-9 hours a day during the week, and usually have the weekends off. Sometimes I do come in over the weekends for an hour or two just to catch up on some work, but that's probably only once or twice a month. With that in mind does that pose an issue to the health of the fish? Also are there any fish that would be ok with back to back days without any sort of attention?

Thankfully I work for a SaaS company which runs numerous servers and supplies vital services to the city and other high priority clients... which means that the risk of a power failure over the weekend is pretty much non-existent as we have backup generators that can power the entire office for up to 72 hours.

I should also mention I do not work in a cubicle as I do have my own office. So I would either use my spare desk to hold the weight of the tank, or possibly purchase a dedicated stand for the aquarium depending on which one I went with.

My other question is what sort of fish would be happy in a small tank in that 12-15G range? I would love a small schooling fish to watch all day, but I just don't think I would have nearly enough room for any schooling species. I have owned a fresh water tank in the past, however I have never owned anything smaller than a 29G and I guess that is what concerns me. Going to something this small seems like I have pretty much no options for acceptable fish.

Finally I was just hoping to get everyone's opinions on small tanks in that range. Are there any tanks in that range that people have had good experience with? I like the Fluval Edge tanks, however I can only find them in the 6-12G range... and the 12G tanks do not look like they have much swimming room for the fish.

Anyways thanks everyone for your feedback.


09-18-2013, 04:29 PM
Welcome back! I suggest investing in a auto-feeder :-) I sometimes go days while on vacation without attention to my tank.

09-18-2013, 04:43 PM
I have a bunch of rummy nose tetras in with my Discus. They stay fairly close to each other and are only about 1-1/4" long.
I'm sure you could sustain 5+ of them in a 10 gallon.
Once your up and stable I'd get a bunch of shrimp to liven up the sand bed.

Fish can easily got days without food. People tend to over feed far too much.
I wouldn't even worry about an auto feeder on it since it is such a small tank.
I'd want to take a break and feed them anyways.


09-18-2013, 05:01 PM
I have a FW 2g tank on my desk at work and it is very well looked after. Something about having it a couple feet away from me all day every day and a touch of OCD. I don't arrange for feeding on the weekends and if I go away for vacation I ask a co-worker to add a pinch of food daily. Usually I have a few volunteers wanting to look after my fish and snails :)

09-18-2013, 05:47 PM
I suggest a shrimp tank, lots of fun to look at. Put some hearty lower light plants like java fern, anubias, and/or an interesting moss like a flame moss or willow moss and a nice piece of driftwood. You avoid some of the algae issues that come with running higher intensity lights and can run all of those off some quite small leds. Add a nerite snail (they cannot breed in FW, so no snail bloom) to help with clean up. If you like some fish to watch, the small galaxy rasbora (aka celestial pearl danio) are a beautiful small fish, and they don't interfere with the shrimp. Just my 2 cents. :)

- Ian

09-18-2013, 05:55 PM
Add a nerite snail (they cannot breed in FW, so no snail bloom) to help with clean up.
- Ian

And yet they lay eggs everywhere... How ironic.

09-18-2013, 06:11 PM
Thanks Everyone for the advice.

I really like the idea of doing some tetras, but I always thought they needed a bigger tank (20G +).

I would probably avoid running a fully planted tank as I have had really bad luck with them in the past. Preferably something simple, with maybe one or two smaller aquatic plants at most.

Magickiwi: I am the same way, I will probably obsess over the tank during the week making sure everything is doing ok. I thought it was acceptable for fish to go more than a day without food, but wasn't completely sure. I figure I would feed them right before I leave Friday night, and then as soon as I get in Monday morning.

Are there any other Cleaner fish that would do well in a 15G aquarium? I love bottom dwellers, but I don't know if any would be ok in such a small space.

Thanks again everyone for the help!


09-18-2013, 07:14 PM
Are there any other Cleaner fish that would do well in a 15G aquarium? I love bottom dwellers, but I don't know if any would be ok in such a small space.

I've had Hillstream loaches in my 77 gallon for 3 years now, and they are not any bigger than 2". They like the bottom and the glass. They move around a lot unlike a pleco that just sits there.
Plus they look different than most fish.