Creative ideas for an empty fish tank?
March 6, 2006 11:13 AM   Subscribe

I need some creative ideas with regards to what to do with our little aquarium?

Our pet fish just died (after a full and happy life...for a fish) and I don't think we want another one. I do like having our little 10 gallon aquarium though - does anyone have any creative ideas for what to use the aquarium for that does not involve getting a new fish?

I'm not opposed to other types of pets as long as they don't smell or make noise. We already have 2 cats who take care of the making noise part anyway.
posted by catfood to Grab Bag (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Why not get a small animal, and a locking lid? We had a gerbil living happily in a 10gal aquarium for about 3 years.

If you want something a little more unique, get a Degu or a Hermit Crab.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 11:25 AM on March 6, 2006

"I'm not opposed to other types of pets as long as they don't smell or make noise."

All pets smell and make noise.

That aside, I second gerbils. A 10 gallon will house two of them just fine, especially if you add a few things for them to climb on.
posted by agregoli at 11:33 AM on March 6, 2006

posted by 27 at 11:33 AM on March 6, 2006

Best answer: How about a terrarium? A nice variety of plants would look great in aquarium.
posted by Alpenglow at 11:33 AM on March 6, 2006

Also, from what I understand, Degus are quite noisy, and in fact, sing.
posted by agregoli at 11:33 AM on March 6, 2006

Response by poster: Small mammals I think would have a tough life as my cats would stalk them endlessly. A hermit crab might work.

I *really* like the idea of having some plants in there ... maybe without an animal to keep them company.

I was originally thinking about a turtle but I think the aquarium might be too small (it's more tall than wide), and I've only ever seen turtles that get fairly large.
posted by catfood at 11:37 AM on March 6, 2006

i'm looking forward to setting up a paludarium.
posted by paradroid at 11:47 AM on March 6, 2006

I had not heard about singing Degus. Now I want one even more!
posted by WinnipegDragon at 12:25 PM on March 6, 2006

Degus are cute as heck, but any rodent will be smelly.

A friend keeps his aquarium full of water plants. That's it. (Oh, and water.) He decided trying to keep the fish alive wasn't worth it and figured out it was really the sound of the running water and the look of the plants that he enjoyed.
posted by wallaby at 12:54 PM on March 6, 2006

Hissing cockroaches?
posted by Pollomacho at 1:54 PM on March 6, 2006

Fire-bellied newts are fun; they're amphibians, so you can give them some puddles and a slope of gravel to climb up on.

They're cannibals, so mind you segregate their young, or you'll have newt-bellied newts.
posted by ikkyu2 at 2:14 PM on March 6, 2006

Ten gallons (20×10 inches, right?) is too small for turtles. Some other suggestions along those lines:

On the reptile side, maybe a small gecko or a very small snake (less than 2-3 feet adult size, e.g. a sand boa, variable kingsnake or garter snake). You'd find noise and cage maintenance to be quite low for reptiles: feces does and can accumulate (especially with garter snakes), but not at mammalian levels (we're talking weekly cage changes), so odours will be generally less than with mammals; snakes make very little noise other than movement and some male geckos call, but that's about it.

On the amphibian side, small frogs: mantellas, poison dart frogs, tree frogs, or even something as mundane as a couple of wood frogs or toads (not cane toads). Males will call, and surprisingly loudly for their size.

In my experience (a large reptile collection and two cats), cats will be curious but will lose interest eventually. Get a strong lid.
posted by mcwetboy at 2:46 PM on March 6, 2006

The Soul of the Koons Machine, only smaller?
posted by elderling at 3:10 PM on March 6, 2006

Good terrarium building advice here, regardless of whether or not you decide to have animals in with your plants.
You may need to get a new hood if yours does not have flourescents- and be sure to water with distilled water or rainwater to prevent mineral buildup in the soil. I create low areas in the wee terrariums I build where water can collect in the pebbles and I can occasionally syringe it out, helping to keep things from getting stagnant.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:10 PM on March 6, 2006

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