Newbie With A 29g

Shawn3210

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hey guys,
Just started on my aquatic adventure today by getting a 29 gallon aqueon tank at Petco. It was a $1 a gallon special. Wanted something bigger but figure this isn’t a bad start for someone that never had fishes before.

I did a decent amount of research but still kinda confused on some stuff. But let me tell you guys my plan first and see what suggestions you have for me. I want to use live plants and drift wood. Not too much plants. Don’t want the tank to seem overcrowded. Looking for some beginner plants that are easy to manage

This is the setup I’m going to go with
Tank: aqueon 29 gallon 30lx12wx18h
Filter: aqua clear 70
Heater: aqueon pro adjustable heater 200w
Lights: nicrew classic led
Test kit: apI fresh water master test kit
Substrate: Carbisea eco-complete.

Stocking wise.....I really want my main piece to be an angelfish and have a pleco. Not sure what to stock the rest with. Want something colorful.

Plant wise I’m open to suggestions.

To start the cycle I plan on using dr TI'm bacteria with ammonia. Also SeaChem prime for my tap water. I also want to add a drift wood. I heard soaking is the best method? Would I be able to soak in the tank during cycling with plants? I plan to Fill with the aquarium with tap water. Use SeaChem prime then add dr TI'm bacteria then add the drift wood at the same time, or would I be better off soaking the drift wood separately? Sorry for all the questions, I want to do things right the first time. Thanks for any help and suggestions.
 

YesI'mCycled

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It depends if you are worried about tannins in you tank. I would boil the drift wood first / give it a very hot bath if you can’t boil. And guage how much colour is seeping out. Then you can make a decision whether you want it in the tank or some extra time soaking.
 

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I wouldn’t suggest the nicrew light, any moisture in the light voids the warranty! Also an aquaclear 70 is a lot for a 29 gallon I would go with the aquaclear 50! And soak the driftwood separately so your water doesn’t turn yellow or brownish.
 

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IMO, Aquaclear is the best HOB filter. Good choice there. And yeah, I use a LOT of driftwood and I always boil it, AND then also allow it to soak for about 15 hours at least. Seems like you have a really great preliminary set-up planned--as well as initiative! And that's very very wise. Planning and patience is key and mandatory as well. Yeah, but NICREW's ARE very good and cheaper lights; about 30-32 PAR in a 29-30 gallon too! That's all he'll likely need with "only a few plants" anyway. Yeah, I also concur with Frozen_One: An AquaClear 70 is a bit much, especially if you were to get an Angel. Something colorful eh? Well, perhaps something that won't harass the angel too much! And also be advised, it says you don't have to rinse the Eco Complete, and I did NOT. And since I did not, it clouded up my tank for a few days! Your call on that, because technically, the Eco Complete is wet and saturated with liquid ferts and heterotrophic bacteria. Good substrate though! Let us know if you have any further questions sir.
 

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Post back here with updates please, it’s always exciting starting a new aquarium!
I recommend annubias, java fern and java moss, my favourite starters and very low maintenance. Your pleco will love the driftwood, angels will benefit from a planted tank to provide more room for territory and reduce aggression towards tank mates.
 

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Frozen One said:
Also an aquaclear 70 is a lot for a 29 gallon I would go with the aquaclear 50!
Since the aquaclear 70 does 300 GPH and it's a 29 gallon tank, I think the 70 is perfect. I currently have two aquaclear 50s on my 29, I don't think one would be sufficient.

Edit: you can't have too much filtration, it's the flow/current that would matter.
 

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Welcome to the World of Aquariums!

Not too long ago I was in the same boat as you. I have made mistakes and learned along the way. The filter is a little too strong from your tank maybe a aquaclear 50 would do.

Neon or Cardinal Tetras would be a nice Colorful addition to the tank. or Cherry Barbs (Highly recommend these guys for starting out still have mine from when I first started out and they have taken a beating from Overstocking my tank to Mouth Fungus outbreaks and they are very pretty and neat to watch when they are spawning). I wouldn't do Harlequin Rasboras yet. I can't keep them alive for more than 6 months.
 

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The filter is good for when you want to upgrade also and you would be good with a 100w-150w heater unless you know your going to upgrade in the future. I have a 100w in my 38g and it heats it perfectly
 

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I think that the Aquaclear 70 would work the best like Kyleena696 stated. It will provide you with 300 gph, the perfect amount of filtration for most 29-gallon tanks.
 
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Shawn3210

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YesI'mCycled said:
It depends if you are worried about tannins in you tank. I would boil the drift wood first / give it a very hot bath if you can’t boil. And guage how much colour is seeping out. Then you can make a decision whether you want it in the tank or some extra time soaking.
Gotcha, make sense. I think my LFS has drift wood already soaking or that's what it looks like from the pictures online lol. They have bonsaI driftwood.

Frozen One said:
I wouldn’t suggest the nicrew light, any moisture in the light voids the warranty! Also an aquaclear 70 is a lot for a 29 gallon I would go with the aquaclear 50! And soak the driftwood separately so your water doesn’t turn yellow or brownish.
SFGiantsGuy said:
IMO, Aquaclear is the best HOB filter. Good choice there. And yeah, I use a LOT of driftwood and I always boil it, AND then also allow it to soak for about 15 hours at least. Seems like you have a really great preliminary set-up planned--as well as initiative! And that's very very wise. Planning and patience is key and mandatory as well. Yeah, but NICREW's ARE very good and cheaper lights; about 30-32 PAR in a 29-30 gallon too! That's all he'll likely need with "only a few plants" anyway. Yeah, I also concur with Frozen_One: An AquaClear 70 is a bit much, especially if you were to get an Angel. Something colorful eh? Well, perhaps something that won't harass the angel too much! And also be advised, it says you don't have to rinse the Eco Complete, and I did NOT. And since I did not, it clouded up my tank for a few days! Your call on that, because technically, the Eco Complete is wet and saturated with liquid ferts and heterotrophic bacteria. Good substrate though! Let us know if you have any further questions sir.
I'm debating going with the finer 24/7 as I heard good things. I also heard really good things about the ebay lights as well.

Professor Catfish said:
Post back here with updates please, it’s always exciting starting a new aquarium!
I recommend annubias, java fern and java moss, my favourite starters and very low maintenance. Your pleco will love the driftwood, angels will benefit from a planted tank to provide more room for territory and reduce aggression towards tank mates.
Thank you. Definitely looking for something low maintenance haha, especially for my first tank.

shutterbug13 said:
Welcome to Fishlore!
For stocking you could do something like this:
1x angelfish
8x harlequin rasboras OR silvertip tetras OR rummynose tetras
6x sterbaI corys
1x clown pleco
Thank you for the suggestions!

Kyleena696 said:
Since the aquaclear 70 does 300 GPH and it's a 29 gallon tank, I think the 70 is perfect. I currently have two aquaclear 50s on my 29, I don't think one would be sufficient.

Edit: you can't have too much filtration, it's the flow/current that would matter.
That's what I figured, more filtration the better haha. Price difference isn't huge.

Colt47 said:
Welcome to the World of Aquariums!

Not too long ago I was in the same boat as you. I have made mistakes and learned along the way. The filter is a little too strong from your tank maybe a aquaclear 50 would do.

Neon or Cardinal Tetras would be a nice Colorful addition to the tank. or Cherry Barbs (Highly recommend these guys for starting out still have mine from when I first started out and they have taken a beating from Overstocking my tank to Mouth Fungus outbreaks and they are very pretty and neat to watch when they are spawning). I wouldn't do Harlequin Rasboras yet. I can't keep them alive for more than 6 months.
Thank you, I'm definitely excited nervous to tart my journey. Cherry barbs wouldn't nip at the angelfish? I'm debating 1 angel fish, 4-6 cherry barbs, 1 pleco, 6 Cory cats.

Onlyashes said:
The filter is good for when you want to upgrade also and you would be good with a 100w-150w heater unless you know your going to upgrade in the future. I have a 100w in my 38g and it heats it perfectly
Not going upgrade anytime for now haha, thank you for the suggestion.

Aureus said:
I think that the Aquaclear 70 would work the best like Kyleena696 stated. It will provide you with 300 gph, the perfect amount of filtration for most 29-gallon tanks.
Perfect, I'll keep the filter thanks~

So stocking wise I'm debating 1 angel fish, 4-6 cherry barbs, 6 corys, 1 pleco. Would that be too much? Also, what order would you introduce them and food wise what is recommended? Thank you all again
 

Colt47

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Shawn3210 said:
Gotcha, make sense. I think my LFS has drift wood already soaking or that's what it looks like from the pictures online lol. They have bonsaI driftwood.




I'm debating going with the finer 24/7 as I heard good things. I also heard really good things about the ebay lights as well.


Thank you. Definitely looking for something low maintenance haha, especially for my first tank.


Thank you for the suggestions!


That's what I figured, more filtration the better haha. Price difference isn't huge.


Thank you, I'm definitely excited nervous to tart my journey. Cherry barbs wouldn't nip at the angelfish? I'm debating 1 angel fish, 4-6 cherry barbs, 1 pleco, 6 Cory cats.


Not going upgrade anytime for now haha, thank you for the suggestion.


Perfect, I'll keep the filter thanks~
Tiger Barbs will. Cherry barbs are one of more peaceful fish of that species.

The Anglefish and the Pleco will take up most your stocking Capacity alone (The Angle fish will get up to 7 inches long don't be fooled if you got him small) This is tough one because you will have to choose the Corys or the barbs. Barbs might not be a bad idea since Anglefish are schooling fish from my understanding. The angelfish might be happier with them
 

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Just curious if you’re wanting the pleco because you love the fish or love what it does? (there might be better options if you’re looking for tank workers.)
 
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Colt47 said:
Tiger Barbs will. Cherry barbs are one of more peaceful fish of that species.

The Anglefish and the Pleco will take up most your stocking Capacity alone (The Angle fish will get up to 7 inches long don't be fooled if you got him small) This is tough one because you will have to choose the Corys or the barbs. Barbs might not be a bad idea since Anglefish are schooling fish from my understanding. The angelfish might be happier with them
Gotcha, how many barbs would you recommend?

Robjoco said:
Just curious if you’re wanting the pleco because you love the fish or love what it does? (there might be better options if you’re looking for tank workers.)
I love how it looks haha.
 
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Ok everybody. Planning on starting my tank this weekend. Ordered the black diamond sand as my substrate. Passing on soil for now. Figured tabs would be easier to grow plants and I don't plan on planting anything super difficult.

I ordered dr tI'm amonia, seachem stabiity and prime.
 

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Shawn3210 said:
How do I go about cycling with prime stability and the ammonia? Sorry for all the questions, want to make sure I do things right lol
Hey mate, welcome to fishlore!

I love engaging with someone who has done their research, so good on you!

you'll need to chose between Dr Tims and Stability. I have no experience with Dr Tims but many have. The other option is one of the Tetra Safe Start products. Again, I have no experience but there are experts on here who do have experience with Dr Tims and TSS.

my experience with Stability is this:

Assuming you're doing a fishless cycle, not a fish-in cycle, most people recommend dosing ammonia up to 4ppm and then following the instructions on the bottle of stability to kick start your cycle. Personally, I double the recommended doses, but that's because i'm impatient or i've had fish waiting/already in the tank.

you test your parameters daily (get the API freshwater master test kit). there are 2 methods from here. Some people just wait until all their ammonia is gone and then dose back up to 2ppm and see how long it takes to drop to 0ppm. some people keep dosing up to 2ppm from the beginning until their nitrites appear and start converting into nitrates. I'll post a link about these in an edit.

EDIT: Fast Fishless Cycle.
EDIT #2: the above link doses ammonia way higher than what i've written, but given your stocking plans, I feel you may want to consider the method in the link over mine.

keep in mind your beneficial bacteria need an ammonia source so you'll need to "feed" the tank within about 24 hours of it dropping to 0ppm regardless of where your nitrites are at.

once you have nitrites, they can sometimes get "stuck" at 2ppm or higher and we'll help if that's the case

be forewarned, there are people on here who are adamantly against using bottled bacteria and they make excellent points. you'll need to figure out which method you want - bottled or natural, and then which bottled product you use because the advice changes depending on which one.

I hope this is helpful. again, if there isn't a link when you read this, I'll edit this post to include it shortly
 

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Welcome to Fishlore!! If you find you want to baffle your filter's flow, you can attach a coarse filter sponge to the filter outflow ( the waterfall part). I used a rubber band to hold the sponge in place.
 
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Jenoli42 said:
Hey mate, welcome to fishlore!

I love engaging with someone who has done their research, so good on you!

you'll need to chose between Dr Tims and Stability. I have no experience with Dr Tims but many have. The other option is one of the Tetra Safe Start products. Again, I have no experience but there are experts on here who do have experience with Dr Tims and TSS.

my experience with Stability is this:

Assuming you're doing a fishless cycle, not a fish-in cycle, most people recommend dosing ammonia up to 4ppm and then following the instructions on the bottle of stability to kick start your cycle. Personally, I double the recommended doses, but that's because i'm impatient or i've had fish waiting/already in the tank.

you test your parameters daily (get the API freshwater master test kit). there are 2 methods from here. Some people just wait until all their ammonia is gone and then dose back up to 2ppm and see how long it takes to drop to 0ppm. some people keep dosing up to 2ppm from the beginning until their nitrites appear and start converting into nitrates. I'll post a link about these in an edit.

EDIT: Fast Fishless Cycle.
EDIT #2: the above link doses ammonia way higher than what i've written, but given your stocking plans, I feel you may want to consider the method in the link over mine.

keep in mind your beneficial bacteria need an ammonia source so you'll need to "feed" the tank within about 24 hours of it dropping to 0ppm regardless of where your nitrites are at.

once you have nitrites, they can sometimes get "stuck" at 2ppm or higher and we'll help if that's the case

be forewarned, there are people on here who are adamantly against using bottled bacteria and they make excellent points. you'll need to figure out which method you want - bottled or natural, and then which bottled product you use because the advice changes depending on which one.

I hope this is helpful. again, if there isn't a link when you read this, I'll edit this post to include it shortly
Thank you! I’m just using stability and plan to do fishless cycle.
 

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Shawn3210 said:
Thank you! I’m just using stability and plan to do fishless cycle.
Excellent choice! the link I posted has worked for many on fishlore thanks to Thunder... we'll deal with any issues as you test and discover them. some people it's smooth sailing. others find issues. patience is key.

I used stability for both fish in and fishless. I never dosed that high with ammonia because you can't get it in my country unless your a commercial cleaner or something. so that simply meant I need to watch for cycle blips as my bacteria catch up whenever I add fish.
 
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Thanks for the help everyone. I tested my tap water last night and here are the readings.
Ph 7.6
Hr ph 8.2
Ammonia 0 ppm
Nitrite 0 ppm
Nitrate 0 ppm

I also had a question about the filter, what do I replace in their for maintenance and how often? Do I ever change out the carbon, foam, or biomax? And I heard of people modifying the aqua clear filter? But not sure for what? And heard about filter floss?
 

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Shawn3210 said:
I also had a question about the filter, what do I replace in their for maintenance and how often? Do I ever change out the carbon, foam, or biomax? And I heard of people modifying the aqua clear filter? But not sure for what? And heard about filter floss?
Welcome!

I don;t use any carbon on my filter, HOB or Cannister, unless I need to medicate the tank.
Here's how my HOB are setup.

Top - Bio Rings
Middle - Filter Floss
Bottom - Sponge

I also add Sponge on my intake to reduce Filter maintance, I just clean the sponge on the intake with old tank water when ever I do Water Change
 

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My only recommendation is that you under stock. I stocked my 30 like 90% and regretted it, the maintenance and watching for aggression it’s just not worth it, IME.
 

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You don’t change out filter material unless it is falling apart. And then you want to add the new filter material to the old for about a month. TexasDomer may be able to help with ideas on adapting the AC filters - or try YouTube. You are looking for a combination of mechanical & biological filtration. Your starting water parameters certainly look good!
 

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You can modify the media, but if you don't need to, then don't worry about it
 

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You only need to use Stability when cycling (added daily then). When the tank is fully cycled, you don't need to use it anymore.
 
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Tested this morning and added stability to the tank again.
Readings are:
Ph: 7.8
Nitirite: 0 ppm
Ammonia: 2 ppm
Nitrate: 5 ppm

Also ordered a finnex 24/7 planted led
 

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The AquaClear filters are the easiest to modify, and that's why it's a popular topic. Just replacing all of the media with enough sponge to fill the compartment and adding an intake sponge is usually all that's done (and the difference is noticeable). I also lightly pack the intake tube with filter floss on my show tanks for water polishing (lightly, you should still be able to breathe through it when it's packed) though this requires a screen and a small chunk of foam on the pump side, mine are held in place with a small ring of silicone on the inside of the tube about 1/2" up from the end). That part isn't really required, and I don't recommend you do it if you're not comfortable with it (I wrecked 4 or 5 pumps getting it right).
 
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Thank you for the information. I’ll just leave it alone for now haha.
 
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So 24 hours ago I dosed ammonia to about 4 ppm maybe a little over. Today here is where I’m at. Haven’t used stability in two days. What should I do next? Water change? Or keep dosing ammonia

29F472AC-9D29-4EF1-AC13-FDFE064B75A2.jpeg 082EEFAA-5158-4949-A75C-1EC4736273A5.jpeg AE00C0CE-EAD8-477D-9282-0040C8B36A9F.jpeg

Here’s my nitrate
9CBF2B0F-7E6C-4722-882F-7DD28EADA9DD.jpeg
 

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You need to keep adding ammonia to keep the bacteria which convert ammonia to nitrites from dying. Keep dosing ammonia until you are doing your final water change prior to adding your fish.
Your nitrites look super high. You can just let it go (no fish are at risk) and wait for the bacteria which covert Nitrite to nitrate to catch up. However, anecdotal reports here on Fishlore suggest nitrites higher than 4.0 can stall the cycle. So you might want to do a water change to decrease nitrites.
 
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Thank you! I just dosed a little more ammonia. I'll let the bacteria do it's job and recheck tomorrow and possibly do a water change. Would you recommend 50-75%?
 

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BucePlant.com has beginner packs for plants that are pretty reasonably priced. They have care sheets online & they also have a section of beginner plants to shop. Mine came super nice, vacuum packed and didn't have any snails.
 

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I wouldn't bother with a water change unless nitrites get above 4 ppm (yours look like 2 ppm to me, but I may be off on reading the colors). If that happens, 50-75% would be fine!
 

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