What Interesting Fish for 29 gallon tank?

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MuddyWaters

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All,

I am stumped. I usually don't like the "tell me what to do" posts, but now I get it. I don't know what fish to put in my 29 gallon tank. There are so many possibilities. Also plants- what to do?

I knew what I wanted before, but now I want everything, so it's hard to narrow it down. The size of the tank does that to some extent. I could do a lot with a 29 gallon tank, though. Some things I've thought about:

  • Dwarf cichlids of some sort
  • barbs (I loved tiger barbs as a kid)
  • zebra danio with something else (maybe barbs?) (same love from when I was a kid- both these and barbs are very active- I love it)
  • Killifish (I think I have to keep them in smaller tanks and only pairs, though?)
  • swordtails & other livebearers
  • ...something very unique
the fish above are pretty common, but I've seen a bunch of you post fish here that were fascinating- I need to go back through some of the posts to find some.

If you were starting a 29 gallon tank tomorrow, what would YOU want to put in it?
 
also was thinking of some combination of gouramis?
Then was also thinking of some kind of fish I could breed for fun- I'd just take the offspring to the local club auctions. I've never had fish breed on purpose- guppies, etc. but never actually tried to make it happen.
 
What are the tank dimensions (length x width x height)?

What is the GH (general hardness), KH (carbonate hardness) and pH of your water supply?
This information can usually be obtained from your water supply company's website (Water Analysis Report) or by telephoning them. If they can't help you, take a glass full of tap water to the local pet shop and get them to test it for you. Write the results down (in numbers) when they do the tests. And ask them what the results are in (eg: ppm, dGH, or something else).
 
First, for narrowing choices, remember the tank must fit the fish and not the other way around.

The most important question - what is your water hardness?

Do you like aggressive fish?

Do you like social groups of fish or larger individual ones?

Do you like crowded tanks, or tanks where you have to watch for the fish to appear?

How important is 'natural' decor to you?

How do you intend to filter - for slow moving water, or quick?

If you could wade in a creek right now, what continent would you want it to be on?

What's your favourite colour combination?

How strong a lighting system do you want?

Are you prepared to do regular as clockwork water changes?

What temperature will your tank be at?

They may seem like random questions, but they will help you narrow down. I used to be a teacher. You have 20 minutes for this test....
 
First, for narrowing choices, remember the tank must fit the fish and not the other way around.

The most important question - what is your water hardness? dunno

Do you like aggressive fish? no

Do you like social groups of fish or larger individual ones? social

Do you like crowded tanks, or tanks where you have to watch for the fish to appear? both

How important is 'natural' decor to you? errr pass

How do you intend to filter - for slow moving water, or quick? turbocharged and calm

If you could wade in a creek right now, what continent would you want it to be on? New Guinea but there's chocodiles :(

What's your favourite colour combination? blue and blue

How strong a lighting system do you want? 126000 lumens

Are you prepared to do regular as clockwork water changes? no

What temperature will your tank be at? 10-50C

They may seem like random questions, but they will help you narrow down. I used to be a teacher. You have 20 minutes for this test....
Ah Miss, Miss. I finished the test Miss
 
What are the tank dimensions (length x width x height)?

What is the GH (general hardness), KH (carbonate hardness) and pH of your water supply?
This information can usually be obtained from your water supply company's website (Water Analysis Report) or by telephoning them. If they can't help you, take a glass full of tap water to the local pet shop and get them to test it for you. Write the results down (in numbers) when they do the tests. And ask them what the results are in (eg: ppm, dGH, or something else).
76cm x 30cm x 46cm
GH is about 1dGH (API test) TDS in my tap water is about 80.

I also found this:
  • Chlorine: 2.10 ppm
  • Chlorite: 0.38 ppm
  • Fluoride: 0.93 ppm
  • Haloacetic Acids (HAAs): 14.4–38 ppb
  • Nitrate + Nitrite: 0.29–0.59 ppm
  • Total Organic Carbon (TT): 1.0–2.10 ppm
  • Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs): 611 ppb
  • Turbidity: 0.12 NTU
The water is soft because the Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority (CCMWA) gets its water from surface sources and not groundwater. CCMWA water typically has about 38 mg/L of calcium carbonate, which is considered soft water. Water with 100 mg/L or more of calcium carbonate is considered hard water.

It's pretty soft water and I think I should probably stick to soft water fishes. I'm finally having some success with the shrimp & endlers I have, but I have to raise the GH considerably when I change the water.

Would love any suggestions you have for fish that might be interesting to keep. I'll have a lot of plants too, btw if that helps narrow the field of suggestions.

Thanks, Colin_T!
 
A big nano fish tank could be cool - I'd go for a South Asian theme rather than South American (because I can't think of enough South American fish!). Something like a school of Chilli Rasbora, school of Neon Green Rasboras, group of Clown Rasboras, some small loaches for the bottom like a Hovering Zebra Loach - though other options here and maybe some Dwarf Anchor Catfish. Some Sparkling or Croaking Gourami would be cool and some of the Badis species - Black Tigers are a personal favourite.

Plant wise I'd go for lots of different crypts some of the bigger ones like Balansae the mid ones like Nevellii and Wendetti (spelling might not be right on them) and then go all the way down to Alibida Brown and Parva. You might need some stems in there to get started but once the crypts have settled could look really cool :)

Wills
 
Or if you wanted a solo oddball Red Potato Puffer :)
 
First, for narrowing choices, remember the tank must fit the fish and not the other way around.
- yes- I've already thought about severums, but it just ain't gonna work... plus I love plants...
The most important question - what is your water hardness?
GHd is about 1. TDS is about 80 out of the tap
Do you like aggressive fish?
I would, I think- I've never kept them because I've always had community tanks, but I'm wouldn't rule out some
Do you like social groups of fish or larger individual ones?
That's a good question- I think I like social groups- I tend to overstock a bit and love to see them all swimming around, but on the other hand I have never kept a larger individual. The idea of something like an Oscar (too big for my tank, I know) that is the sole inhabitant, but kind of like your buddy is interesting
Do you like crowded tanks, or tanks where you have to watch for the fish to appear?
crowded
How important is 'natural' decor to you?
Ha! Another great question. I love plants- and I love natural look- but I swear, I love those goofy aquarium decorations- the clam, the diver, the spongebob house, etc. I have half convinced myself to combine a few of those with some really nice (hard to keep) plants....still churning though...
How do you intend to filter - for slow moving water, or quick?
Probably slow to medium- quick is not out of the question, but plants are a consideration. I bought a Fluval 407, so it can produce quick flow, but unless I find a balance with fish need and plants I'll likely scatter it with spraybar or something
If you could wade in a creek right now, what continent would you want it to be on?
oh wow- that's hard to answer- my first answer would be S America, but it's because I'm more familiar. Asia would be a very close second
What's your favourite colour combination?
Is "yes" an answer to this? The more the better as far as I'm concerned. I have noticed that, in addition to bright, in your face colors I have found subtle coloring and patterns to be quite interesting- my silver hatchets have such cool patterns and subtle coloring- love to stare at them. ....not much of an answer I guess LOL
How strong a lighting system do you want?
strong- I want to have to work at keeping the plants, but I can balance with cover and floaters (maybe?)
Are you prepared to do regular as clockwork water changes?
yep- I change my 75 gallon 50%+ once a week and about 25% once a week also. I feed plants with EI fertilization - love doing that stuff.
What temperature will your tank be at?
haven't thought about it- whatever the fish demand I reckon. It's hot here in summer, but the room is the coldest in the house and we keep it about 72 in the summer anyway.
They may seem like random questions, but they will help you narrow down. I used to be a teacher. You have 20 minutes for this test.... LOL! It's fun thinking through this stuff- thanks GaryE!!
 
A big nano fish tank could be cool - I'd go for a South Asian theme rather than South American (because I can't think of enough South American fish!). Something like a school of Chilli Rasbora, school of Neon Green Rasboras, group of Clown Rasboras, some small loaches for the bottom like a Hovering Zebra Loach - though other options here and maybe some Dwarf Anchor Catfish. Some Sparkling or Croaking Gourami would be cool and some of the Badis species - Black Tigers are a personal favourite.

Plant wise I'd go for lots of different crypts some of the bigger ones like Balansae the mid ones like Nevellii and Wendetti (spelling might not be right on them) and then go all the way down to Alibida Brown and Parva. You might need some stems in there to get started but once the crypts have settled could look really cool :)

Wills
ooh good ideas, Wills! I have not thought of the rasboras- my mind tends to go right to South America, but it would be nice to balance out- I have another tank that's all South America. Good ideas on the plants too- I don't have any crypts, so that would be fun!
 
I'm always stuck when I see a post like yours. You spotted the problem, there are sooo many fish species. I have no Asian fish, but I want that tank @Wills just suggested.
I have a dislike of loaches, but that's just me. But I love Crypts.
 
If you don’t like loaches you could go for gobies like bumblebees or stiphodons
 

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