My New 29 Gallon...

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Mollypop, Aug 14, 2015.

  1. MollypopNew MemberMember

    Hi everybody! I'm new. I just spend like two hours typing out a wonderful introduction about my tank and then I went to post it and it logged me out and I lost it all so I'm gonna silently weep and type it out again in a highly summarized form.

    Size: 29 gal
    Current Fish: 1 angelfish, 1 pictus catfish, 1 otocinclus
    Food: tropical flakes, shrimp pellets, bloodworms
    Decor: gravel, amazon swords, wooden structure/cave
    Equipment: power filter 30, 100 watt heater, led lights+hood
    Water quality: 0ppm ammonia/nitrite, ~10ppm nitrate, 10-20% weekly water changes

    I would like to add more fish if it seems doable. I need help finding the right combination between more angels, more pictus, more otos, mollies, danios, and/or tetras for my tank. Conflicting information online and from stores has me very confused about what I should and shouldn't add so I wanted to ask some experts directly, as well as get some general advice for my setup... thankyou:)

  2. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    Hmm where to begin...

    First off, you will need to rehome the pictus and angelfish. They both get too big for your tank size, the angel will get to 6" and the pictus will be 5". The pictus is also a schooling fish that should be in a group of six or more.

    The otocinclus is alright size-wise but should be in a group of six or more so they don't act as skittish.
    Your heater should have at least 5 watts per gallon and so you should upgrade.

    10-20% weekly water changes is not enough. You should try for at least 25% weekly.

    Let me review your post to see if I missed anything.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum

  3. mikerox29Well Known MemberMember

    I agree with what has been said already. An idea for that tank might be a school of otocinclus and 1 large schoool of tetras or 2 smaller schools of small tetras. One big school would look better though. I like rummynose tetras with cardinals.

    With a medium school of tetras you could perhaps have a molly or two but they have quite high bioloads

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2015
  4. MollypopNew MemberMember

    Can you explain why exactly these fish are too big? I have seen others saying they would be fine in this size tank... I can understand the pictus since he needs friends, but... a lone angelfish, which I read people keep multiples in minimum 20 gal, is too big for a 29? I get that bigger is better and I would LOVE to save up and get a 55+ gal someday, if I can find the space and convince my loved ones. Is it reasonable to have them in the 29 temporarily while they're small? How long do they take to grow?
  5. DrSahlValued MemberMember

    Hi and welcome to Fishlore

    Let me first say, I am a novice myself and no expert, I do however have some opinions that I wanna share with you.

    Its a big discussion about what tank size fish needs. But it all depends on their size, agression level etc. Also if you overstock you will hav a problem with keeping good water quality.

    My advice is to read about the fish you have and want to get. On my pages there is a recommended minimum tank size (sometimes you can easily have the fish if the tank is just a little smaller, sometimes not) and thats where you can ask on the forum. have been a ok help for me as well.. atleast it will give you a good estimate before you go deeper in.

    You could have some of the fish in your tank even if they needed a bigger tank, but then maybe in a year you have to restock it all. Personaly that would make me sad.. to just give away or dispose of your fish. So I would never recommend that.

    Here on fishlore you can look up the fish and what they need (I use more than one site)


    Size : Up to 6 inches (15 cm)
    Aquarium Size : 20 gallon minimum, prefer tall aquariums

    Thats what the site says, if you go other places it might say 50 gallon.. They get rather high, not just long.

    I didnt get Angels in my 50 gallon because I think its to small for them when they grow up. But again, it all depends on how many fish you stock etc.

    My suggestions is to read about your current fish and see if you can keep some or if you have to restock. Also alot of fish needs to be in groups, I am getting 6 otocinclus myself :D because they need to group.
  6. alirayFishlore VIPMember

    Welcome to the forum. IMO one angel fish in a 29 gal is fine. Alison
  7. SnyperToddValued MemberMember

    Welcome to Fishlore! I agree with Aliray, a single angelfish will be ok in a 29. The Pictus- he's gonna need a bigger tank. People on this forum get too hung up on the number 6 for some reason. Pictus cats don't seem to need big schools to be happy, 2 or 3 will get them out and active. On the other hand you'll need considerably more than 6 Otos to see good, natural behavior from them.
  8. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    An angelfish is not ok in a 29g because that really limits what else you can put in the tank. They grow up to 6" and it's just not roof room for them to move around. The other thing is the tank mates. If you have a school of six or more of tetras, danios, rasboras, whatever, you can only do 2-3" fish comfortably. Then the problem becomes if the angel might think of these as food.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  9. Bob EllisValued MemberMember

    Just because an angelfish limits what else you can put in doesn't mean it can't live in that tank. Most mass-bred angels I've seen stay closer to 4-5" anyhow.

    Have I kept angelfish myself? Not yet. Have I witnessed angelfish living long lives in a 29? Yes. Has the internet told me this wasn't possible? Yes. And No.
  10. ShortfuuzzeValued MemberMember

    I'm going to add my opinion here being that I currently have a 5" veiled marble angel in a 26bow (tall) tank.

    Does my fish look healthy? Yes
    Has my fish slowed down growing? Nope
    Does my angel swim as much as he used to 5 months ago when he was smaller? Absolutely Not!

    I've watched him everyday, love coming home to drink a beer in front of my tank.

    It is easy for me to see that he needs more space. He has plenty of height in the tank for his long flowing tendrils/fins/whatever they are called but he doesn't have much room to actually swim and stretch.

    So in closing I would say that an angel is fine in a 29g.....for now, when he's smaller then 4"(top to bottom) but any bigger then that and he will start to look cramped.

    I just recently bought a new 55g and will be moving Laser (angelfish) into his new home next week sometime......he knows it's coming cuz he stares at the new tank haha

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
  11. Bob EllisValued MemberMember

    As to the 5 watts per gallon rule, this is a generalization as well. Without knowing the ambient room temperature it could lead to problems. Most good heater packaging will have a chart that takes into account the size of the tank and how much the temperature needs to be raised above ambient room temperature. If the tank is in a cold room (office lobby or underground basement) then 5 watts per gallon wont be enough. If the tank is in a room that stays warmer (Miami without AC for example) it may be overkill.

    I prefer to take each tank as an individual case instead of propagating generalizations as advice.
  12. SnyperToddValued MemberMember

    I know the internet says angelfish can reach lengths of 6", but in my experience (which is what all of my replies are based on) the generic pet-store angels rarely get close to that size. I still maintain that there's no reason for the OP to get rid of the Angel in this case.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
  13. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    A 4-5" fish is still too big imo for a 29 gallon, especially when it's capable of eating 2" tankmates. Angelfish are cichlids and some of them are more aggressive than other cichlids.
  14. Bob EllisValued MemberMember

    But again, being able to eat small tankmates does not mean it isn't okay on its own in the tank. Some of the bigger, less elongate and less nippy tetras like Head-and-Taillights are often quoted by angelfish keepers as safe tankmates.

    They would eat neons in a 55 but that doesnt mean they can't have any tankmates at all.
  15. Dante123New MemberMember

    You will see convicting opinion on certain fish and tank sizes. For you Angel in a 29g, sure it will live in there. It gets 6" long and tall(er), but I can also put someone is a 5x5 jail cell and have them life.
    For me at the end of the day having a tank is meant to be a window into the aquatic world, to see fish is a recreated habitat. Putting a big fish in a small tank might look nice or be cool but it's the equivalent of getting a dog and keeping him in a small cage its entire life.

    Again you can do what you want. It's all just opinion
  16. BDpupsWell Known MemberMember

    It's not like an angel is going to be consuming tank mates. Even neons. Which don't belong in an angel tank because of the temperature differences they need. If you have an angel that is chasing after smaller fish you obviously have an issue. But with the size of even a large angels mouth, it won't be swallowing smaller tetra whole. This is of course talking about domestic tank bred fish. Wild altums can be very large. Large enough to eat other small fish. And if you had one of those you would probably know it by the price you paid for it.

    Breeders of domestic angels will put them in a 20 high to breed. They are often kept in there as singles as
    well. If you ask me, a 29 is still on the small side for one. But certainly doable for the life of a domestically breed fish.

    Pictus are shoaling fish. Not schooling fish. There is a difference. So they do not have to be kept with at least 6. Singles can be kept just fine. But, they are so active, a 29 is too small for them in my opinion.

    If you get yourself 6 to 10 otos, keep your angel as a single, rehome the pictus, you should be fine.
  17. MollypopNew MemberMember

    Thank you all for so many informative replies.

    I looked at the dimensions of the tank and it's really a 35 gallon, despite being sold as a 29, which is... odd? It sounds like swapping the pictus for more otos is the best plan. I don't want to get crazy with what I put in there as it's my first real tank, so I think the angelfish with the otos is good for now. When I get something bigger I can get a few pictus because they're adooorable. :D

    For the heater, my room temp is 78-80 this time of year..
  18. ChristyFishMomValued MemberMember

    What is a shoaling fish?
  19. BDpupsWell Known MemberMember

    Shoaling fish are social, prefer being in groups, and stay in the same area. Some barbs, some cichlids, some catfish, show shoaling behavior. Schooling fish will stay in tight packs and move as one. Tetra for example. Although when kept in an aquarium not many fish will show schooling behavior unless in a very large tank and there are larger possibly threatening fish around. There are always exceptions though.
  20. CatahoolaValued MemberMember

    Did you happen to buy your tank from PetSmart? I bought mine (supposedly a 29 gallon), but plugged in measurements and sure enough, it is a 35 gallon.

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