Centerpiece fish for 29 gallon

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Jul 23, 2021
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So I’ve moved away from breeding guppies, a bit much to handle tbh and am looking for a nice centerpiece fish to add to the tank. It’s in the same room as my 55g and is quite a bit boring in comparison

Right now the 29 gallon at approximately 17 or so male guppies, 1 clown pleco, and I don’t know how many trap door snails. (They reproduced)

If the guppies are too many, I wouldn’t mind thinning the numbers.

I have angels and Pearl gourami already for a year (all healthy!) so I was hoping for something a smudge different.

My first thought was getting a trio of honey gourami, but I was curious to see if any of y’all would recommend a small cichlid or something different than a gourami (or just perhaps more unique colorizations/species of gourami) since I technically already have a pair . The tank currently only has an itty bitty hiding space for the pleco, but getting a bigger hiding cave would be no issue at all.

I tried having German rams- but they developed sinking tummies and died within a few months. I don’t know if the water parameters didn’t match up or if they were sick or what.

I’ve always been interested in Kribs… but elected for the rams rather than the kribs. I’ve had the pleco for two years (one of my first fish ever) so I’d prefer not to get a territorial bottom tank fish that could hurt him.

I’ve never cared for how Molly’s and swordtails look, and I don’t really want as prolific of a breeder.
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Most of the 'centerpiece' fishes you mentioned are softwater fishes while guppies and mollies are hardwater fishes. There is a rainbow cichild from central america that is a hardwater fish that is not too large. One thing about a 'center' piece fish is where you expect it to stay in the water column - a lot of dwarf cichild will hang near the bottom while in general gourami will hang near the top (which is where guppies spend most of their time). German rams require rather warm water (82ish) and incompatible in all ways with guppies. Also outside of wild caught German rams they are likely to have weak genes due to heavy inbreeding for their fine colours.

Kribs are robust and hang near the bottom - again strongly prefer soft water - if a pair they will breed non-stop and are proficient parents so you will end up with many off springs for which you will need to seek a solution to remove. Also (imho) they are not that interesting or attractive unless kept as a pair. They are extremely territorial and might cause issues with the clown pleco though if the pleco has an adequate 'home' (mine has a nuck in a piece of drift wood); they can co-exist but make no mistake if the pleco enter the kribs territory they will double team it and attack it likely doing a fair amount of fin damage if it doesn't skittle away.
Excellent advice above :) I'd just add to work out your waters hardness and then pick accordingly, with Guppies being a harder water species though I'd be tempted to stick with that side of things - Guppies are hard to keep with centrepiece fish as their tails are so tempting for so many bigger fish to nip and they slow them down if the centrepiece is territorial.


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