Got the fish bug again!

Dart

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So, after an 8 year hiatus, I have the aquarium bug again. Nothing too crazy this time, as I now show horses on a national level and am very busy during the spring/summer/fall months. Of course, now that winter is coming, my brain is bored and wants something to do. :) I do have a 30 gal palludarium I'm working on, but it has a ways to go.

Right now, I'm just looking to set up a nice generic aquarium that will keep me satisfied and not be ridiculous financially. I see there are some good deals at Petsmart and Petco for tank kits on Black Friday so I'm considering them. I've always considered a 29 gal to be the "perfect" mix between a small tank and a bigger tank, so that's been my focus...but I also am loving what some of the smaller, live planted tanks look like (altho I'm pretty aware that come the busy time of year, I probably will not have the time required for a tank like that). So my options are get the 29, have the hubby build a stand and just do a generic gravel (easier to clean for me), fake plants and generic fish (stocked at Petsmart, most likely...which is still a 4 hour drive one way for me), or to get a smaller tank that would fit in our house much easier, and build more of an aquascape with live plants, CO2, etc. So that's the first thing I'm going to have to decide...the size. Any opinions?

Second, stocking options? If I go with generic Petsmart, I am looking at platies (or platys?? Hmm..not sure how that is when plural), cories, a female betta and a school of either bloodfin tetras, glowlight tetras, harlequin rasboras or cherry barbs. Back in the day, I was very successful keeping betta sororities, but after researching a bit, that seems to not be recommended much anymore? I really loved my female bettas! If it matters at all, I have well water that is very hard with about an 8.5 pH. I know this is perfect for cichlids, and I would consider some as a centerpiece, but I like the look of an active, busy tank.

So, I'll take any and all thoughts. With all my $$ wrapped up in horses currently, it has to be financially smart, but would like to still have a nice smaller-ish aquarium that I can enjoy.
 

FinalFins

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Could you spring for a 33 long or 30 breeder? Pretty much same volume as 29 but more surface area.

You could do shellies, intstead of a community tank. They are cute african shell dweller cichlids. They would LOVE your pH.

Or a female betta, glowlight tetras and a large school of pygmy cories.

Betta sororites are usually not recommended for beginners. If you had success before I see no reason why not to do another one.
 
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Dart

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I'm pretty limited with whatever stock tanks the big brand pet stores sell. There isn't much in my area for CL or on FB....I looked.

I have considered shellies...if you're talking about julies and such. I am really still trying to figure out what I want. Right now a 10 gallon heavily planted with a female betta and a small school of glowlight tetras with a few cories sounds quite nice as well, but man I remember how much work live plants were. But it looks SO nice!!

But yes I have been successful with betta sororities in the past...never really ever had an issue actually. Is there anyone here who still keeps them?

At this point I'm thinking smaller tank that's planted with a centerpiece betta, or get the 29 with a betta sorority. One of the few freshwater "common" fish that I've never tried are angelfish...so they're on my radar a little too.
 

FinalFins

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@david1978 keeps betta harems. He has 3 males and 16 females in a 55g tank.

Shellies, when I refer to them I mean Neolamprologus multifasciatus . But julies are a great fish also. The golden julie is a good canidate.
 

CrazedHoosier

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I love 29 gallon tanks as well. They’re great display tanks! Sort of like the flat screen of aquariums. People tend not to recommend female betta sororities anymore because there are so many variables that play into being successful, and even if no one kills each other, it doesn’t mean they aren’t stressed. Bettas are intelligent fish, and can speak easily through body language. More dominant females can be very threatening and stressful to less dominant females just through body language. That then invites disease to come for the stressed bettas and the cycle continues. That’s what I’ve read anyway. I’ve only attempted a sorority a few times, but all ended in disaster.

A 29 gallon is now considered too small for angelfish, but I could definitely suggest gouramis in their place. Pearl, thick-lipped, and honey, are all fantastic and beautiful fish. They actually like to be kept in at least trios of 1 male to 2 females. You could potentially do dwarf cichlids like Bolivian rams, kribensis, apistogramma, or curviceps as well.
 

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  1. I really like my 40 gallon breeder, but if you don't have room for that a 29 should be good.
  2. If you've had good luck with female bettas in the past I don't see any reason not to try again if you want.
  3. Your stocking choices sound okay to me (especially the tetra options; I like tetras, as you can see if you click on "Aquarium Details" near my user name). A small school of corys would be nice too.
 
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Dart

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CrazedHoosier said:
I love 29 gallon tanks as well. They’re great display tanks! Sort of like the flat screen of aquariums. People tend not to recommend female betta sororities anymore because there are so many variables that play into being successful, and even if no one kills each other, it doesn’t mean they aren’t stressed. Bettas are intelligent fish, and can speak easily through body language. More dominant females can be very threatening and stressful to less dominant females just through body language. That then invites disease to come for the stressed bettas and the cycle continues. That’s what I’ve read anyway. I’ve only attempted a sorority a few times, but all ended in disaster.

A 29 gallon is now considered too small for angelfish, but I could definitely suggest gouramis in their place. Pearl, thick-lipped, and honey, are all fantastic and beautiful fish. They actually like to be kept in at least trios of 1 male to 2 females. You could potentially do dwarf cichlids like Bolivian rams, kribensis, apistogramma, or curviceps as well.
Thanks! Yeah, that's kind of what I've read today about the sororities. I never had any issues with mine (5 in a 29 gallon community tank) but maybe I just got lucky and maybe they were more stressed than they showed, but I don't recall them getting sick.

I love gouramis! I've had pearls...they are gorgeous! I've also bred kribs and have had blue rams (unsuccessfully). I'll have to look up curviceps...those are unfamiliar to me. Apistos tho....I should definitely look into them!! They are beautiful!

The more and more research I do today, the more I'm leaning towards the 29 with fake plants, but making it as aquascaped as possible (driftwood, sand, etc.). Thank you for the recommendations!
It's so nice talking "fish" with like minded people again!!
 

CrazedHoosier

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Dart said:
Thanks! Yeah, that's kind of what I've read today about the sororities. I never had any issues with mine (5 in a 29 gallon community tank) but maybe I just got lucky and maybe they were more stressed than they showed, but I don't recall them getting sick.

I love gouramis! I've had pearls...they are gorgeous! I've also bred kribs and have had blue rams (unsuccessfully). I'll have to look up curviceps...those are unfamiliar to me. Apistos tho....I should definitely look into them!! They are beautiful!

The more and more research I do today, the more I'm leaning towards the 29 with fake plants, but making it as aquascaped as possible (driftwood, sand, etc.). Thank you for the recommendations!
It's so nice talking "fish" with like minded people again!!
As with all intelligent fish, their personalities vary greatly. There’s crazy stories of people keeping two male dwarf gouramis together in a 10 gallon successfully. I definitely wouldn’t put a dwarf gourami in a 10 gallon, but then adding another male is like asking for death. I think that’s mostly the reason people don’t recommend sororities anymore - it’s just not worth the risk.

Mikrogeophagus ramirezi (German blue rams, gold, electric blue), are known to be quite sensitive in comparison to other dwarf cichlids. I currently have a Bolivian ram with two curviceps, and they’re all amazing dwarf cichlids. The curvs won’t mess with anyone, but will hold their own if another fish messes with them. Their colors are also quite beautiful.

I had only java fern as the live plant in my 29 gallon. I went heavy on the plastic plants, and everyone seemed to get along fine. I’m just now getting into a proper aquascape now that I’ve upgraded to the 40 gallon. My fish do seem to appreciate the live plants more, but I think fake are fine.
 

JettsPapa

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If you want fake plants I won't judge, but I get almost as much enjoyment from watching the plants progress as I do watching the fish.
 
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Dart

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JettsPapa said:
If you want fake plants I won't judge, but I get almost as much enjoyment from watching the plants progress as I do watching the fish.
I know :( I've done the live plants route and loved them and the DIY Co2 was pretty easy. But I think financially and time wise, I will have to just stick with fake.
 

JettsPapa

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Dart said:
I know :( I've done the live plants route and loved them and the DIY Co2 was pretty easy. But I think financially and time wise, I will have to just stick with fake.
Buy one water wisteria. It can turn into dozens before you know it.
 

CrazedHoosier

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My problems in the past with live plants consisted of me getting to busy to care for them, and then forgetting to turn on the light sometimes. I’ve actually tried a lot of plants, but killed all except java fern and anubias nana. Right now I have java fern, wendelov java fern, anubias nana, water wisteria, water sprite, amazon sword, and duckweed. That said, I’ve only gotten the last 5 in the last month. We’ll see how it goes this time around. If they keep dying like they did before, I’ll probably switch to some nice fake plants.
 

CrazedHoosier

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JettsPapa said:
Buy one water wisteria. It can turn into dozens before you know it.
I’ve killed it! I can’t remember exactly how I killed it, but it was huge when I did.
 
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Dart

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So....because the Petsmart deal for that 60 gallon on black friday is SO good, I think we are going to get that. Yes, spacewise it's going to suck but I can't turn down a good deal!!!
 
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