I believe that is true actually of the males, although I'm not certain what is considered to be the minimum number if in a group. "Need" was the wrong word and I get used to saying that when I see loaches being kept alone. Still probably not the best choice for a 29g but you could still give it a go.
Yeah, I'm not sure what to do with it. It was the only one in the store so getting more was not an option. So far he is minding his own business. Hiding during the day, coming out at night and none of the fish appear bothered by him. If it comes down to it I'll either try him in one of my other tanks or take him back to a fish store.