A REALLY New Newbie 29 Gallon Tank

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by NewbieGirl, Mar 28, 2010.

  1. NewbieGirlValued MemberMember

    Sorry long but wanted to introduce where I am:
    When I say newbie, I mean it. I have never owned a fish in my 40 years. However, my two nearly 3 year old is absolutely in love with fish of all shapes and sizes. This started over a year ago and has only grown. We are giving her an aquarium for her Birthday and want to do it right. I love all animals and have been an avid dog owner for years. I have no problem with work to care for an animal but have been intimidated by fish (not certain why except the unknown). So, given my desire to give these animals the best life I have been researching. We plan to set up in May as her birthday is June and I want if fully ready stocked etc by the birthday.

    This is where I am and where I am not.
    Plan to spend around $350 or so.
    I bought a child friendly stand with canopy for a 29 gallon tank.
    I think I have decided on a glass tank after reading comparisons with acrylic.

    I think the best for us would be types of tetras. I would rather under stock the aquarium vs overstock but don't want to be too understocked that the fish would be upset. Ideas of good combinations appreciated (she likes colors so thought neons and some others) NO LIVE BREADERS!!!

    I am thinking larger filter than for a 29 gallon after reading this forum, possible canister but don't know best type) and until read this forum thought undergravel filter now want to know about undergravel sponge filter??? do these have to be changed and how if under gravel?

    OK main thing. If you had $350 (not counting stand), with above information what would you buy (as specific as possible would be great!!!)
    Thanks for any response!

  2. LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Welcome to FishLore!!!
    Congrats on doing research before jumping in!
    Others are more knowledgeable when it comes to equipment, so I'll leave most of your questions for them to answer.

    I'd steer away from under ground filters. To clean under the plate, you'd have to tear the tank down.

    Personally, I like the Marineland visi-therm stealth heaters. They're fully submersible, unbreakable, have an auto shut-off and are guaranteed for life.
    The down side is they don't have an indicator light.
    Marineland has recently come out with a visi-therm pro (I think that's what it's called)
    that has an indicator light.
    I don't have experience with them, but other members like them.
    If I have to replace mine, I'm switching to the pro.

    I have Cardinals and Glowlights, both are very active and colorful. Maybe a Thick Lipped Gouarmi as a centerpiece and come Cories for the bottom.
    Thick Lipped Gourami's are a little larger than dwarfs but supposed to be hardier.
    ;) I really like mine.

    The one thing I'd like to address is that you don't know about the Nitrogen Cycle
    Please take the time to read and learn about it, then consider cycling without fish. Here are https://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/aquarium-nitrogen-cycle/48446-four-methods-fish-less-cycling.html

    Good luck!

  3. NewbieGirlValued MemberMember


    I have been reading about this. I will get the tank way ahead of time to do this. I want to really have something my child can enjoy for years and that are healthy and happy. I will get the tank earlier than I thought as well as adding the fish when the water is ready a few at a time. Something I had not read about. I also just learned that I will have a API liquid test kit before I even think about beginning this. I have over a month to learn so I am crashing. I have written down the heater you suggested. The pro.
    Thanks again. Any ideas are welcomed.

  4. LucyModeratorModerator Member

    You'll be very glad you're doing research now :)
    The API Master kit is a great test kit. It's fun, makes you feel like a scientist. lol

    I've never done it before, but if I had to cycle another tank, I think I'd use the raw shrimp method. Put it in the tank and forget it until the cycle is done.
  5. CharlemagneValued MemberMember

    Hi there, and welcome to Fish Lore! I have a 29 gal. tank, and love it! Tetras are a good choice. I would suggest maybe a platy? Oh, no live breeders. Are platies live breeders? I think they are, so that wouldn't work for you then.:( Maybe a fiddler crab? My 4 YO brother has one, and he LOVES it. The only thing is, they have to be allowed access to the surface, which might not look as good as you want your tank to look. You're doing a wonderful job of researching! Keep up the good work! I know your daughter will be delighted with the tank! A gourami would make a lovely centerpiece for the tank! Good luck!
  6. LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Fiddler crabs are cool, but might eat the fish.
  7. CharlemagneValued MemberMember

    Really? I didn't know that! My brother's is in my 29 gal. with my betta platy and black skirt tetra(there's a cool looking tetra you might want to get Newbiegirl) and we've never had a problem with him. He would pinch our goldfish(he outgrew the tank) when the goldfish would try to take his food away, but that's it.
  8. rae64Well Known MemberMember

    Just remember with the tetras that they have to have schools of 6 or more to be happy. You will not be able to have as large as a variety, but tetras are still beautiful. I would suggest heading over to the petstore and taking your daughter. Let her tell you what fish she likes, and what she likes about them. Write it down(ex. Neon Tetra, they all swim together) and then post your results here. That way we have a little more to start with, and we can help you choose fish that she likes AND that are compatible.
  9. NewbieGirlValued MemberMember

    Appreicate the help

    First thanks to all of you. I have been taking her to the pet store. Well, to be honest, she is making me take her often. She will say, Mommy I want to see the fishies today, we go, right? I have not written what she likes for everything so I will do that when we go and post soon. I do know she likes gold fish because of the color and neons because they all follow her finger. I do not want to get gold fish because of the mess I keep hearing about.
    As for the cycle stuff, that is kinda scary. I was just reading about the ammonia which sounds good if it can be found. I will start looking. IF not, I will do the shrimp but for want of a better word, sounds kind of "yucky" while in the process. I was reading a post that was about the growth on the shrimp as it was working doing its duty.
    I looked up the Gouarmi and they are lovely. It says as centerpiece would that mean I would only get one?
    Again you guys are great and this site is already a stress reducer!!!!
  10. LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Yes, centerpiece, meaning just one, then you'd have your tetras for some schooling fish.
    I don't have experience keeping Gourami's together (except for Sparkling Gourami's but they're way small)
    From what I understand, in your size tank, more than one could be a hit or miss situation.
    My Sparklers got aggressive when they spawned and I had to separate them.
  11. Goldwing_DonWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to fishlore !!!!! :;hi2..this is a fun place to learn about the hobby from people that care about it.. good luck with your tank and ask lots of ?'s..oh there is one more thing....Lots of pictures .. we love pictures...lol
  12. NewbieGirlValued MemberMember

    Just had to say

    Just had to say that I love the picture of the cat in the fish tank!!:;thx
    Reminds me of mine I lost after 18 years. She was incredible.
  13. michael68Valued MemberMember

    I like lucys idea of schooling tetras possibly 7 or eight for your size tank.I have two dwarf gouramis in my tank and they do great together.I would also ad live plants to my tank(anacharis and wisteria)They will help with your cycle and make your tank more eco sound.By the way i have 4 boys and the fish tank was the best thing i could have ever gotten for them.WE all now want a bigger tank and more fish!!!!
  14. NewbieGirlValued MemberMember

    Took Alexa to Petsmart. She liked the "glofish" (are they the same as neon tetras they looked the same? Maybe the other store had them misnamed?) because they swim together and the pink and orange ones "matches". She liked again the gold fish for the color. She kept saying she wants one that looks like Nemo (shocker there). She did like the Gouramis and so I think we will get it. She liked it's eyes. Go figure. She picked out a house with a spinning wheel that has an air hose. I know we need hiding places any problem with the spinning wheel? The Petsmart lady tried to talk me out of live plants but I see many recommend it throughout the forum.
    they showed me several filters but I am not certain. Well off to put my baby to bed and since we saw the fish it will be another nemo or little mermaid night.
    Thanks again all
  15. ElodeaWell Known MemberMember

    Glofish are actually genetically engineered zebra danios...completely different fish from neon tetras.

    I wouldn't really recommend goldfish, as you can only have a maximum of 2 in your tank, and no other fish. They grow pretty big.

    I think that the honey gourami Cholisa chuna will be a good choice, as it is a beautiful color, stays small, and is immune to the Dwarf Gourami Indovirus (fatal disease).
  16. RhanWell Known MemberMember

    I vote honey gourami as the centrepiece fish!! Then again, I'm biased, I love my honey gourami so much, it's hard not to play favourites ;) It's so peaceful and sweet :)

    Kudos for doing your research first. Everyone is great here, they're more than willing to help :)
  17. NewbieGirlValued MemberMember

    Stores Urrrggg

    I get more information on line than from stores. I guess I should say some stores. Now that I know the other store had the fish listed wrong (walmart), I want to scream GIVE ME A BREAK I AM NEW!! She clearly wants the glofish so we will get that and the gouarmis. I agree about the goldfish, no matter how much she likes, just reading all the issues is going to keep me far away. I am going to look at the filters forum next to get ideas but if any one can recommend numbers for these two types for my 29 gallon remembering I would rather have too few than too many and any problems or another type I should consider great. And thanks for the information, I am thankful I found you. these next few months til I get this thing up and running with a good cycle (then add the fish slowly) are going to be frustrating ones I can see. My problem is I want to really do this right. I would hate myself for killing a fish due to my ignorance or that of the pet store employee (won't be Walmart but have no choice with petsmart only other place). I mean before this the cycle was something the pet store told me I could do in a week with no problem. Now I read it can take much longer and needs to be clearly established before I start adding my fish. they also said I could get all my fish then, but have read on line that I will need to add a few at a time. (except the school fish).

    Also, the glofish label said something about black light (I think???) what is that?
  18. ElodeaWell Known MemberMember

    Ah, black light, also known as UV light, makes glofish glow in the dark. You know, just the perks of genetic engineering. Personally, I like the natural zebra danios better, but...
  19. rae64Well Known MemberMember

    You may also want to look into pearl gouramis. Males are spectacular, and such sweethearts. I have mine in my 29 gallon and he makes the perfect centerpiece fish. A male pearl with a school of some kind of tetra, perhaps neons, would look great.

    There are some kinds of gouramis that I would be wary around though. The Dwarf Gouramis have had problems with a terminal disease lately, and it is something to keep and eye out for. Personally, especially with a larger tank, I think a larger gourami would be a wise choice, such as pearls. (Elodea touched on this)

    The honeys are great too, but make sure that it is not the "honey sunset" color version of dwarf gouramis, as they can get the disease too. Sometimes they are mislabeled.Their scientific name is colasias laila, while true honeys are colasias chuna.

    I also approve of thick-lipped gouramis... they look a lot like honeys. Immune the the disease, they stay small and are cute little things.

    Hope this helps!
  20. NewbieGirlValued MemberMember

    IF it were for me...

    I think I would agree about the natural danos if it were me but Glow in the Dark for a 2 year old and it is in her room, she might just bust something with excitement.
    If it were for me, I would chose a few larger fish and a much larger tank I think, but for her variety and color I think will nurture this previously unnurtured love of hers. I mean despite my not even trying to encourage this, she makes me stop of shows with fish, visit the fish section of walmart every time we go, and ask to go to pet smart to see the fishes weekly. I think it must be a natural affinity for animals especially fish. she has me excited about this new adventure and into learning all I can to do it right.
    I will look into this black light.

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