29 gallon tank?

PheonixKingZ

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Hello TFF! So long story short, I went to Petco today and I saw that the $ per gallon sale was running. It ends on Feb. 2nd. I have the funds to purchase it, but.....I have 3 other tanks. 2 with bettas and 1 with a zebra danio. If I get it, I plan to move my rescue danio to the 29g tank and get him some friends. The only problem is, I need his tank light for the 29g. Can he go without a light for a few days? Also, should I spend $9 more and get the 29g? Or just spend $20 and get a 20g long. I'm leaning towards the 29g though. I might get it Thursday btw. @Byron or @seangee: How do I run a filter less tank? I have a heater for it already.
 
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PheonixKingZ

PheonixKingZ

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Ok, thanks. It definitely wont take over my room. Would a 29g be enough room for a school of zebra danios? (P.S. The zebra danio I have is a long finned zebra danio, do they have different requirements?)
 

Deanasue

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Same requirements. Why no filter?
 
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PheonixKingZ

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I don't need one. I will probably put a small filter in there just for water flow. But @Byron says that you don't need a filter in your tank. I figured i'd try it, it also expensive.
 

seangee

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SF recommends a 3' tank for this species. AFAIK a 29G is 2 1/2' (sorry they don't sell tanks that way in the UK.

As for a filter I would always put one in a new tank. A simple sponge filter will do - so will an inexpensive HOB and the danios are ok with the flow. If you want to experiment by all means, but let the bacteria establish on the substrate and surfaces first. Also remember that for low filtration you need a lot of plants and only a few fish. Another factor may be the so called mechanical filtration. Even a sponge filter will help get the organic waste out of the tank, otherwise it will be all down to you.
 
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PheonixKingZ

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Ok. Ill look into getting a cheap HOB filter. What is the plant all the way to the left in your sig pic?
 

Byron

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Lots to comment on. First, on the tank size...when I was considering a 20g long, I decided on the 29g because it is the same footprint but you have the extra height. Most of us lean toward overstocking, or always want more fish anyway, so the 29g is probably the better option of the two. However, it you had definite purpose in mind, say a group of Corydoras or a tank devoted to a pair of dwarf neotropic cichlids plus some upper dither fish, a 20g long might work. Though I would still go with the 29g. In a fish room with multiple tanks, a bank of 20g long tanks for breeding this or that species makes sense, but for most home aquarists the 29g is likely going to be more servicable. I have two of these, I really like them; they provide good options. My other favourite is the 40g breeder which gives you the additional length (36 inches/90 cm) but also the additional width (18 inches/45 cm).

Zebra danios should be in a 3-foot (90 cm) length tank, they are very active swimmers.

To the no-filter tank. Obviously this is possible, but keep in mind there are some mandatory factors. First, a sand substrate is better than gravel because it provides more surface area for bacteria. Second, live plants must be included, both substrate rooted and floating. Third, don't push the bioload with more fish than the system can handle; it is taken for granted that weekly partial water changes of 60-75% of the tank volume will be carried out. I had a 10g set up like this as an experiment for over a year. I had no light (it was in front of a west-facing window in my fish room then) so the plants grew to the back of the tank, and it was frankly difficult to really observe the fish with no overhead light. I would now and then place the overhead light on the tank, and discovered that the water was never crystal clear but always faintly hazy. After the year, I moved the tank back into the room, added a light and a single sponge filter; it was frankly better that way. But understand this is only "better" from my perspective of observing my fish; there was nothing biologically wrong with the system or the fish without a filter. Filters primarily keep the water clear, which is not the same as clean (how often have AbbeysDad and myself made this point?) and there is no reason for a filter other than clearer water, provided the tank is biologically balanced to begin with--and every tank should be or you are always living on the edge of a possible disaster. When my power goes out (very rare, fortunately) I never worry about the filter beecause I know it is not "mandatory" to begin with, but I worry about the heat as a rapid cooling can harm fish and even kill them.

It is often suggested that Zebra Danio must have a decent current from the filter. But this is in error. Engeszer's 2007 survey of the habitat indicates this fish inhabits calm, shaded areas in streams and smaller rivers, moving into seasonal tributaries and pools to spawn during the monsoon season. The water flow in small streams and rivers is not a raging torrent.
 
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PheonixKingZ

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Thanks to both of you, that helped a lot. I plan to pickup the 29g tank at my local Petco (because they have the $ per gallon sale going on) and see if I can find some black play sand at the hardware store right next to it. I will look for a cheap HOB or sponge filter at Petco as well. Any other pieces of equipment I might be missing? I have the following..
  • Room for the tank
  • lights
  • some decor
  • most of the plants I will need
  • water conditioner
Do I need a lid? I have never heard of ZD jumping, but I don't want to take the chance.
 

Byron

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Do I need a lid? I have never heard of ZD jumping, but I don't want to take the chance.

Zebra danio will indeed jump. Most fish will. Cories have even been found on the floor having jumped out overnight. When many fish get startled, as they often do during darkness, their natural instinct is to escape, and leaping out is common.

There are other reasons for a tank cover. Water evaporation not only loses water (leaving behind all the bad stuff in it) it gets into the walls/ceiling and shold be avoided. Dust and any number of things will get on the surface of the water. And heat will be more quickly lost without a cover; aside from just heat loss from the water, anabantids and other fish that take in air should have it warm.

A glass cover set is one option, or a hood fixture.
 

Stan510

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No sand!..stay away from sand unless you've been at it for years. Sand packs down..so no room for bacteria,and it hard for plant roots to grow into. If you use ordinary aquarium gravel the HOB filters return over that gravel will help filter even more. This whole sand thing is bad aquarium keeping. I always have to point out that Amano's pretty white sands..were for show only in front of the tank..the plants in back were in his own brand of gravel..ALWAYS!
 

Deanasue

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You can purchase sponge filters on EBay for about $5. Most filterless tanks are packed with pants and it takes time to establish the ecosystem. You can’t just set one up and go.
 
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