Brand New 29 Gallon Tank - What to do? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-27-2013, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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Brand New 29 Gallon Tank - What to do?

Yesterday I bought a 29 gallon tank on sale at Petco. I won't be able to buy the hood, equipment, and stand for quite some time, as we are low on funds. I have plenty of time to plan until then, but I'm not sure what to do with it all. I know we'd like an LED light hood but I don't know how strong I need it to be.

I've only ever had five gallon tanks with bettas and ten gallon tanks with one or two small species in them. I don't know what to do. Bigger fish? More of them? A wider variety? What kind of plants? I can have background, middle, and foreground plants now. There doesn't seem to be a huge variety available at my local fish shop, but I could probably order some.

What about filters, heaters, etc? I've used those whisper 10 gallon power filters in the past, but I might have more options now that I have a bigger tank.

Any ideas? It's also been a long time since I've kept fish. About four years.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-27-2013, 11:44 PM
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I just bought the 29 gallon from Petco too!

I have a 38 gallon tank, and I have one fish that is about 4.5 inches. That is a lot bigger than my other fish. I like the look of all of the different fish, but it is pretty cool when I see the bigger one swimming around. (As a side note, if you decide to get a bigger fish, be careful that it is a kind that will not eat smaller fish.)

I can't advice you on the plants, because that is an area that I am going to explore more with my new tank in the future.

Good luck!
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-28-2013, 05:30 AM
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the 12" width of standard 29s doesnt give tons of room for aquascaping, but you should be able to a lot more than you could in a 5g or 10g! you willl be able to grow lots of low/mid light plants with many of the more modestly priced LEDs. Anubias, java fern, cryptocoryne, heterophylla, and blyxa just to name a few.

personally i'd go for a school of smaller fish for a 29 (1-3" tetra or rasbora maybe), a few otocinclus cats, and either a group of cory cats or a bunch of amano shrimp. you could do some bigger fish, just make sure to think long term (how big will this fish eventually grow to be?!) ....Dont buy an oscar or something lool :P
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-28-2013, 05:46 AM
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oh yeah and dollar per gallon rocks! \m/
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-29-2013, 03:51 AM
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I too got a 29 earlier this month!

You definitely don't have as much room to aquascape as some other tanks (30 or 40 breeder) but you can definitely make it work. For stock mine will have 3 GBRs, some cory and about 15 spotted blue eye. I would definitely get a large school if i were you. Here's a list of fish you could consider:

Dwarf Puffer species tank

school of 6-15 Ember tetra or other schooling fish (CPDs, Congo tetra, etc...)
3 Apistos
school of Otos or cory.

I would get a canister filter if I were you but that's just my opinion. I prefer Ehiem Classics.

As for plants it depends heavily on your lighting and if you add CO2 ad dose
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-29-2013, 02:34 PM
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Yellow fin tuna :-) I have a 29 that has been sitting in a storage unit for a few years I will be setting up shortly. There are a ton of possibilities but the one determining factor on all tanks is how much do you want to work on it. Daily fert, weekly, monthly, never? High tech or low tech. Figure out those and it will start you the right way.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-29-2013, 03:32 PM
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i really like my 29. i have two, and they are a great tank. the shallow depth is a little bit of a PITA, but you can get some really nice looking scapes. and its large enough that it doesn't limit you on fish, theres not many you can't have in it. its got great height so you can keep taller plants, or do a lot of low growing plants with a large school to fill the open water.

check out my top link, its my 29g

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 03:48 AM Thread Starter
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The guy at my LFS seemed really keen on the Ancistrus, said it gobbles up all kinds of algae. Would a 29 gallon be big enough, or would it severely limit the other fish that I could put in there?

I really like the idea of a school of small tetras. Maybe 12 of them? I heard that you need at least 6 for them to be comfortable.

Or Tiger Barbs, I always thought they were pretty but my 10 gallon was too small. Might be aggressive, but I think if the school was big enough they would be okay.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clockworkmonkey View Post
The guy at my LFS seemed really keen on the Ancistrus, said it gobbles up all kinds of algae. Would a 29 gallon be big enough, or would it severely limit the other fish that I could put in there?
they max out at 6in. so yes they can, however they are not super active, so you could get a filter rated for a tank larger than your 29, and be okay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clockworkmonkey View Post
I really like the idea of a school of small tetras. Maybe 12 of them? I heard that you need at least 6 for them to be comfortable.
12 tetras would be great a school. personally i'm on a white cloud mountain minnow kick and would recomend them, or a Rasbora of some sort. i say that because everyone and their mother has tetras, or had them. i'm not saying you can't have them if you want them. just suggesting something else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clockworkmonkey View Post
Or Tiger Barbs, I always thought they were pretty but my 10 gallon was too small. Might be aggressive, but I think if the school was big enough they would be okay.
barbs are fun, but they are aggressive towards other fish. nipping fins, and harrasing other fish. at work i can't even have corys in the tank with them because they kill them.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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It's the opposite for me because I haven't really kept tetras. I've had cherry barbs, gold barbs, zebra danios, and white cloud mountain minnows. So tetras would be different, and some of them are very colorful.

I'd also really like to try keeping pearl gouramis. So maybe a couple of those, 12 tetras, and either an Ancistrus and a small group of corys. Is that too much?

I guess I'll stick to simple plants like crypts and java fern. They have some great looking java moss at the lfs. I might have to order the others.

Oh and I'm not sure that I want to bother with CO2 fertilization. It sounds kind of expensive and a pain, and if I'm only growing low light plants there isn't much reason to bother with it. I'm going to be operating on a pretty tight budget - we just moved and I have to find a job first.

Last edited by clockworkmonkey; 07-31-2013 at 04:37 PM. Reason: add more information
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 05:03 PM
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sounds like a great plan. i think that will be a very nice looking tank. what kind of tetras are you looking at doing? personally i like corys and a few ottos, i would avoid the pleco, but thats my personal preference.

Ludwigias and even a few hygros would also do well in that set up. i've never done CO2, no need in my eyes. i want to try it down the road but not now. all i do is plant substrate, and root tabs to suppliment.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 05:35 PM
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hey hows it goin

my main tank is a 29 gallon, it has been a learning experience for me. im in college and work on the side, so i cant always give time to my tank, which is why i went the low-light route.

the equipment i bought for this tank was: a coralife t5no fixture (wish i would have bought the fugeray and just dimmed it down), a glass lid, an eheim 2217 (2215 would probably be enough, but for only $20 more might as well go bigger), and an eheim jager heater. i would HIGHLY recommend waiting to get the right equipment you want for your setup before getting what "works" and having to replace it down the line. online prices are normally much better than LFS prices (even after shipping) and try to find coupons to get stuff even cheaper!

the ehiem filter is awesome imo. if you cant swing the price, and want to go with a HOB, the aquaclear is pretty well-liked around these forums. and personally i wouldnt buy any heater other than a jager. (except i may try a hydor inline heater sometime)

i used sand as my substrate, with a big honking piece of driftwood as my focal point. I used some root tabs for my crypts, and i dose fertilizer weekly. i dose the EI method, but only 1/3-1/2 of the days.

for fish stocking, i went with: 3x german blue rams, 10x rummynose tetra, 4x otos, and soon to be 8x marbled hatchetfish.
i would NOT go for a pleco. I had a bristlenose pleco in my 29 as the first inhabitant and he pooped SOOOOOOOOO much. my sand literally looked brown bc of how much he pooped. never getting another pleco again!
i really like having a large group of schooling fish and also having the gbrs as my showpiece fish. they are pretty interesting to watch. i would recommend buying fish from some of the highly-recomemded breeders on this site, or just from your cleanest LFS if you have any decent ones. i havent had much luck with online 'big-box" fish sellers.

for plant stocking, i went with: a bunch of different types of crpyts, some anubias, and java ferns. thinking about getting some hygros and cyperus. it all depends on what kind of lighting you are going to go with. if you do decide to go low-light, there is a great thread with a list of go-to plants to try.


aquariums are pretty expensive, especially the start up costs. above all that i listed, you still need to buy stuff like a master test kit, scaping tools, fish and plants, fish and plant foods, and all of the little stuff like nets and buckets. its a pretty hefty sum of money, but luckily the upkeep isnt too expensive..

keep us updated, and dont give up. you will have questions/problems but getting over them and watching your fish be happy makes it waaay worth it.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone! I think I'll avoid the pleco. I don't know what kind of tetras to get - I'm kind of limited to what I can find locally. It's probably more expensive to order them online. I think that ember tetras would be nice but I haven't seen them around. Or glo-lites. I think I used to have some of them.

The lfs had some great blue rams, maybe I could get those instead of the gouramis. I don't know much about rams, are they supposed to less aggressive?

I like lemon tetras too, but I guess it's mostly because of the name.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 07:10 PM
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Rams are more picky than most tetras when it comes to water quality so make sure you have good filtration. Also they will require a bit warmer water in the 81F range so make sure your other fish and inverts can handle that temp.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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Maybe I should avoid the rams until I have more experience, then. Apparently the water quality varies a lot when it rains. I don't want to have to fiddle with the pH and hardness all of the time.
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