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Stocking A 29 Freshwater Tank

Discussion in 'Beginner Questions' started by nixie_myth, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. nixie_myth

    nixie_myth New Member

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    I have a Cycled 29 Gallon Aquarium, I'm looking for something to put in it. My original idea was Loaches but my local supply is not very healthy. Doesn't really matter if its a schooling fish or a show. Just want something pretty that is relatively easy to care for.
     

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  2. Byron

    Byron Member

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    Welcome to TFF.

    You don't indicate which loaches you were intending, so I will just mention that many species wold be much too large for this 29g tank. There are some, but basically not those commonly available. They also need a group of at least five, which you may already realize, but that means more impact on the space.

    Before suggesting suitable fish, could you provide us with your source water parameters? GH (general or total hardness) and pH particularly, and also KH (carbonate hardness or Alkalinity) is useful to know. This data may be posted on your municipal water authority's site.

    I should also mention that anything you can do to darken the substrate will benefit any fish. Dried leaves, chunks of wood (dark brown), floating plants all help. Is the gravel calcareous by any chance? White often is, and that will increase GH and pH so something we need to know.
     
  3. nixie_myth

    nixie_myth New Member

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    Yoyo Loaches, But I have not been able to find a healthy supply. Pet Smart (being the only Aquatics store in my area) seems to only carry very small babies and after my second failed attempt at adding Yoyos I contacted the chain and they advised me that the most recent supplies have all been sickly and very small and there has been an increase in returns I'm guessing due to sick babies.. I'm heartbroken, to be honest, I love how they look and act but for now it just doesn't seem to be an option for me..

    According to my city website
    Alkalinity 91.1 mg/l
    Hardness 98.2 mg/l
    PH 6.85

    My tank reading is
    gh- between 75 and 150
    alkalinity 120
    PH 7.8
    2 small guppies are currently calling this tank home as I'm making sure the water is good but they will be going back into my daughters 10 Gal with their friends. I would like to shy away from guppies.

    As for the gravel the bag just says, TopFin Aquarium Gravel Colour listed is bright white. No other information is provided on the bag, I didn't realize the gravel could change my levels. But I can definitely add more plants if needed, I do have two more decor rock houses to add into the tank.

    Hope this all helps Thank you for taking the time to help me.
     
    #3 nixie_myth, Jul 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  4. Fishmanic

    Fishmanic Moderator
    Staff Member Moderator Global Moderator Tank of the Month Winner!

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    In my 29 gallon tank, I stock it with 6 tiger barbs (striped), 5 pepper cory, 1 bolivian ram, and one full grown bushynose pleco...tiger barbs are very active and interesting to watch...

    [​IMG]
     
    #4 Fishmanic, Jul 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  5. nixie_myth

    nixie_myth New Member

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    That is a Beautiful tank! I have two Green cory in my daughters 10 gal with 4 guppies I'm thinking that's where I'm headed for the bottom of the 29, Tigar barbs are beautiful as well its so hard to pick.
     
  6. IHaveADogToo

    IHaveADogToo Fish Crazy
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    Since you're kind of restricted to shopping at a chain pet store, corys might end up being your best bet for a bottom dweller. But keep in mind, most corys like soft, acidic water. And in most urban areas, tap water is hard and alkaline. This is why @Byron asked about your water parameters. We don't want to suggest fish that aren't suited for your local water.
     
  7. Byron

    Byron Member

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    This is soft slightly acidic water, excellent for just about any soft water fish species. Just so you know, when considering fish avoid all livebearers (guppy, Endler, molly, platy, swordtail) as these must have harder water. Most fish from South America, SE Asia will be soft water.

    mg/l is the same as ppm, so 98 ppm equates to 5 dGH; these two units are used in the hobby so it is nice to know the equivalent.

    The TopFin website has this:
    Note: Gravel may contain minerals that affect water pH. Monitor your water pH after adding gravel and adjust as necessary to avoid sudden pH changes.

    As your tank water tests indicate the pH is much higher than the tap water, and the GH and KH are a bit higher, ity might be that this gravel is calcareous. Calcareous means the gravel is composed of a rock that contains calcium and magnesium (either or both, calcium is the most common) and this is something you should avoid with softy water fish as it can create issues over time. Cories have also been mentioned, and they need sand. And the bright white is an issue for fish.

    At this juncture, you might want to consider replacing the gravel. I use regular play sand which is very inexpensive, realistic, fish and plants do well...there really is no detriment to darker sand. Your call, but in my view you will be happier with a darker sand after the fish are in, and now is the time to change this.

    This tank is too small for a group of YoYo Loaches. As I mentioned previously, loaches are shoaling fish and must have a group of five (or more, depending upon tank space). This species grows to six inches which means a 4-foot length tank minimum.
     
  8. nixie_myth

    nixie_myth New Member

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    I definitely appreciate all advise I'm learning still and every bit helps. I went in today and grabbed 2 red wag platy and 2 Starburst Mickey mouse platy to get things started. He pointed them out and my daughter loved them, he said they would help with my nitrates and are a good fish to get started with..
    My water was all tested again before I brought them home. They said everything looks good. So now I guess my question is what else will I be able to stock with these platy. I have a pretty decent in store credit because of all the issues.
     
  9. Byron

    Byron Member

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    Please take these fish back. They are livebearers that must have harder water, so they will be unhealthy, weaken, and slowly die over a few months (or sooner for the mollies). You didn't see my last post #7 before this, I understand, but you need to check any fish with us before acquiring.
     
  10. nixie_myth

    nixie_myth New Member

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    Oh boy. So the platy he just sold me won't do well, he sexed them all and they are all female, he said they are a little heartier so we should have a better outcome. I can definitely change my gravel, not a big deal there. But is there a way to soften the water? I'm pretty frustrated with petsmart to be honest. They don't seem to know anything. , Its amazing how much work fish are.
     
  11. nixie_myth

    nixie_myth New Member

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    If I bring them back right now what would be a better fit? I just want healthy fish. Im floating as we speak.
     
  12. Byron

    Byron Member

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    First thing, don't listen to advice from the store help. This is unfortunately true for many stores, especially the chain stores.

    Second, you need to work out what you want in the end, and then build that slowly. Not all fish work together, not all will live healthy in your water.

    You do not want to be adjusting water parameters, this is complicated indeed. And it would be even more so if you start with soft water (which you have), then make it harder with the gravel (which will continue to occur as long as the gravel is present, it lasts years), then try somehow to soften it again.

    If you have no problem with a darker sand substrate, that should be your effort before any fish. You will then be able to select fish like tetras, rasbora, most catfish like cories. Not all tetras will work, due to their size or behaviours, but the species within these general categories are what suits your water so see if you like any of these. But please do not buy any until you have asked us; we want to help you.

    There is a lot to keeping fish. They are living creatures, and they live in a natural aquatic environment which has its own set of natural laws that we must work within rather than against. Many fail with dead fish and leave the hobby, but this can be avoided with planning. You are on a good start here, just don't be quick to get fish. :fish:
     
  13. nixie_myth

    nixie_myth New Member

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    I brought the fish back and went to buy sand, however, they were out (such is my luck this week). new shipments will not be in until Tuesday. How long should I wait before trying to stock? Would black rocks be okay if I cant get sand.
     
    #13 nixie_myth, Jul 12, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  14. Byron

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    Please do not be in a hurry; I know it is tempting to get the tank with fish in it, but taking time now will save a lot of grief later, and the fish will be better for it.

    What sand are you considering? Some of this is calcareous too. I use regular play sand, you get a bag of it at places like Home Depot or Lowe's.

    I don't know what "black rocks" might be, but we are talking substrate and this should be a safe sand as you will then have no issues with fish or plants whatever you decide on. You can add chunks of wood or rock (again, rock that is not calcareous)...wood is best here as it is natural to the habitat of almost every soft water fish species. Wood meant for the aquarium, from a fish store.
     
  15. nixie_myth

    nixie_myth New Member

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    I'll go to Lowes tomorrow and grab some, is there a brand that you personally stick to?
    It's not so much that I am in a rush rather I'm trying to better understand my timeline.
    When I set up the tank last week, I used 50% of the water from my 10 gal (so about 5gal of cycled water) and the old filter media bag, as well as treated the water with conditioner and some Bio Supplement, nitrate and ammonia level is 0.
    In order to swap out the white rubble with sand will I have to drain the aquarium or can I just pour it in? I really don't want to start over with the water.
     
    #15 nixie_myth, Jul 12, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018

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