So for background: we had a house fire in December and while the fire itself wasn't bad, the smoke damage was really severe and we ended up having to disassemble our 29 gallon tank (containing 2 rescue goldfish) and move out for a month or so. We should be moving back at the end of January, if all things go well. Unfortunately, the one rescue fish didn't make it (he was already sick and was having good days and bad days, but he died shortly after the fire - may have been smoke in the tank?? or just stress, I'm not sure), and we had to rehome the other fish because we have no place to have the tank set up at our temporary place, and we didn't want to deal with moving the tank back and forth.
When we get moved back in and the tank gets cycled again we will have a few different options. One option would be to adopt 2 more goldfish and just stick with having a goldfish tank. I absolutely adore goldfish, but I'm not really sure if I want to do this just because it's hard for me to find goldfish around us that aren't sickly. And I don't think I want to try to get our surviving fish back, just because I feel like it'd be too much stress for him to keep moving and he was a bit sick, as well, still (he had made progress, but I could tell that the smoke/soot and moving stressed him out again, and I don't want to push him so hard that he gets worse).
The second option, which is my preferred, is to instead use the 29 gallon tank as a community tank. If we do that, I want the centerpiece fish to be a male betta - I do have a few back up betta tanks that could be used if it starts going wrong - but aside from that I'm not sure what to stock with. I've seen a lot of ideas (tetras, rasboras, corydoras, etc) but since I'm not familiar with fish other than Bettas and goldfish, it's hard for me to judge which fish are best and how many. I know that I want to have 1 school at the mid level, and probably a school of corys as well.
How many of the schooling fish should I get, and what type would be best for my tank? How many corys would go well with that? And would it be possible to also get a bristlenose pleco, or would that not work with corys/be overstocking?
I thought about just putting a betta in the tank because I love bettas and miss having them, but I feel like it'd feel really empty with just a betta, and I've never had a nice community tank. Either way I'm going to put something in it, just because the tank set up was my early Christmas gift from my family, and I feel like it'd be a waste to only use it for a month.
Ideas For 29 Gallon Community Tank?
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If you do a betta, bottom dwellers would work best. BN Plecos aren't temp compatible with bettas.
If you wanted a Betta, a good mid schooler would be cardinal tetras, or perhaps rummy nose tetras.
Then on the bottom you could do Kuhli loaches or corydoras - sterbai, aeneus, brochis or Adolfoi would all be good species that like it warmer like Betta do.
I wouldn't put a BN with cories in a 29 unless I had a lot of vertical driftwood for the BN to hang out on, and over filtered the tank. Wild BN don't like Betta temps, this is true, but most BN nowadays have been tank raised and many of them at warmer temps. They adapt very well to the warmer temps Betta like. A well known angelfish site, for example, raises BN plecos at 82 degrees alongside all their angelfish just fine.
Bn plecos aren’t temperature compatible with bettas like @Katie13 said if you want pleco clown pleco is a better option. 29 gallon is a good tank size for community tank with betta just provide lots of hiding places and be ready for anything
As for stocking options for bottom you can have clown pleco(must have a wood) or kuhli loaches(school)or sterbai/bronze cory(school). For middle schooling fish with betta it is kind of depends on betta personality some of the good options are cardinal tetras, harlequin rasbora or espei rasbora and ember tetras they are small schooling fishes with a peaceful nature also they aren’t very colorful to attract betta
Unfortunately a lot of fish are not temp compatible with a betta. And some fish that are tend to be aggressive or nippy. I personally would change the centerpiece fish to something else, Maybe rams, gourami, etc. Much more options that way. Then you can do a betta tank on the side.
I definitely want to do corydoras, as I've had them in the past and I think they're adorable. I do have driftwood, and my filter is the Marineland Penguin 350. If I did a clown pleco, could he be okay alongside a school of corydoras or do I need to choose one or the other?
And then, depending on which mid schooler I choose what is a good number for my mid school and my school of corydoras?
If this doesn't work out then I'm just going to dedicate the tank to a betta, most likely, but I know I've seen many people talk about doing this successfully, so I know that it's possible depending on the Betta's temperament. Thanks!
Cherry barbs can exist happily at 80, I've done it before. Not sure on the black neons as I haven't kept them, but thinking probably not as actual neons like it considerably cooler.
You could do a stocking of
1x clown pleco
6x corydoras (pick one of the above mentioned species)
8x cherry barb
And that would fully stock your tank.
Or, if you exclude the clown pleco you could bump the corydoras up to 8-10, and the cherries up to 10.
Thanks for your help, everyone. I'm excited to start planning for when we finally get moved back in and can start cycling and stuff. Although I'm going to have to invest in some more decor and a heater, since going from goldfish to a tropical community tank is a bit of a switch lol :)
FishL:)) Well Known Member Member
I'm so sorry about your house!! Hope everything goes well!
If you end up going the route of getting a Betta I'm sure you will love it. Bettas are one of my favorite tropical fish, and also gorgeous.
You probably would want to go with bottom dwellers( that are okay with Betta )if you decide to have the Bettas with tank mates, but you can still go with others.
Also, have you thought of maybe a female Betta sorority?
VenomousTiger Member Member
Ember, neon, cardinal, or rummynose tetras would be the best species of tetra. I would do ember or cardinal tetras, because the temperature would be better. I have ember tetras, and they are the funniest and cutest little things. Cherry barbs would like cooler water, but if you kept the temperature a little under 80 it could work. Juli cories or maybe albino cories would work. Sterbai cories would probably be best, as they like the temperature to be about 80, like bettas. Keep us posted about what you choose!
I have tried/done a betta sorority before and I decided it really wasn't for me. There was too much that could go wrong and it ended up just frustrating me - plus I just prefer keeping male bettas. Thanks for the suggestion, though!
For harlequin rasbora I think you can do 8 but if you switch to espei rasbora you can do 10 they are just like harlequin but smaller
Im not a cory expert but I know sterbai corys are different from albino ones if im not mistaken albino corys are same with bronze corys(but not sure) and bronze corys are temperature compatible with betta
(Check this with someone else)
Sterbai cories have a sort of maze-like design on them while the albino cories are just white. Personally, I absolutely adore panda cories. They are white with a black splotch on their heads and in the middle of their bodies. SO CUTE. Look them up. You will not regret it.
Alright, cool, that's what I thought I was seeing? But the fact that all of the corys have different names is confusing to me because their coloring seems to be the only difference. But if it's indeed possible for me to have albinos then I'll probably do them. For corys is it ok to mix different kinds (like, say, 4 sterbai and 2 albinos or something) ?
Thanks again, everyone.
No panda corys prefer cooler water than bettas they aren’t temperature compatible with them
Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member
Good advice there @tokiodreamy. There are albino versions of Sterbai and Bronze cories AFAIK but other than that the colour variations are more than skin deep! They actually are different species with different requirements. Sterbais are temperature compatible but pandas are not. If you can find out which species of albino cory your store has then you'll know whether to get any. It really is better to have all the same species. For their sakes if nothing else.
I do take issue with the statement that no pleco can work in a 29g tank. That's more than adequate floor space for the smaller species and with adequate filtration you should be fine! I also keep Sterbai cories with mine and have had no issues. Also both catfish stay near the bottom while bettas stay near the top so they don't really bother each other.
Just be careful about the substrate if you go with cories. Sand is better because they can damage their barbels on rougher gravel.
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