please help us complete our tank

Discussion in 'Aquarium Stocking Questions' started by sgdgolf, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. sgdgolfNew MemberMember

    First of all thank you to everyone contributing on this forum. I have spent countless hours here over the last few weeks soaking up as much information as I can.

    Santa Claus brought my daughter a 29 gallon tank for xmas. We cycled with tetra safestart and our values are 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 5-10 nitrates, ph 7.8, temp 75f, some silk plants and fake rock in the tank. Substrate is mostly pool filter sand with a little fine gravel at the back underneath the filters, plenty of hiding places.

    We do 30% water changes every sunday with seachem prime and have two filters, one hob and one canister, giving us about 300g/h filtration. Water is crystal clear, all fish seem healthy and playing with each other.

    Right now we have 5 female platys and 4 male guppies, which we added slowly over the last 2 weeks, all according to the tetra q&a instruction page. They all get along great.
    To complete our tank we were thinking about maybe neon tetras or some juli cories and another platy. What do you think we should do? Naturally we are also open to other peaceful species.
    Thank you everyone for your help and advice.
  2. NikitaWell Known MemberMember

    I think you should add the Julii Cories (Maybe around 5 - 6), the Platy, and Dwarf or Pearl Gourami (As your centre piece fish).

  3. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    Welcome to FishLore! :;toast

    You have a lot of action in the middle and at the top, but not a lot at the bottom. I agree about adding a school of cories, it's so fun to watch their antics, I think your daughter would enjoy them. :)

    Personally I think a pearl would get a bit too big for a 29 - I think it's technically the minimum recommended tank size, but I wouldn't do it myself. A dwarf gourami is another type of gourami that stays smaller than the pearls; they're very striking with blue and orange stripes (the fish in my avatar, is name is Igor ;)). Additionally you could look at a trio of honey gouramis or sparkling gouramis (one male, two females). Definitely don't add two male gouramis of any sort; they're anabantoids like bettas and males will fight.

  4. sgdgolfNew MemberMember

    Thanks for your quick reply nikita. Is the pearl gourami not a little big for a 29g? Also would that amount of fish be ok or would we be overstocked? I know the rule of thumb is one inch of fish for every gallon of water. Since we have good filtration we might be able to go a little over, but I also want our fish to have plenty of space so they stay happy.
    Thanks for any input. The plan right now was either 6 tetras or 4 julii cories and one female platy.

    thanks kinezumi89. Would you add one dwarf gourami or several? How many julii cories? Also do the cories need a lot of space? About half of the space on the bottom is taken up by fake rock with hiding spaces.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2013
  5. NikitaWell Known MemberMember

    Personally I've kept a Pearl in a 29g and it did just fine. It's your choice on what you want to choose.

    The "one - inch" rule is way too inaccurate, don't ever use it. I'm sure it's not overstocked.

    What type of filter do you have?

    Not multiple Dwarf Gouramis, as mentioned they will fight.
  6. GrumpyguppyNew MemberMember

    I would reccomend a female betta and/or some freshwater clams.
    Also, some snails and maybe some algae eaters to help with the algae.
  7. sgdgolfNew MemberMember

  8. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    Unfortunately I must strongly disagree.

    A) Female bettas, while often a better choice than male bettas for community set-ups, are still risky. With so many fish that look like female bettas (namely the platies) I think aggression may be an issue.
    B) People often make threads about clams (myself included, when I first joined) and the replies are always resounding "no"s. They bury themselves in the sand/gravel, so if they die you won't know and they'll foul up your water - both literally with gunk and by creating an ammonia spike.
    C) You wouldn't want too many snails and algae eaters because firstly, some do not eat processed foods as readily (otos and nerites, for example) and secondly, most have fairly considerable bioload contributions (plecos and mystery snails, for example). Really only clown and BN plecos are suitable for a 29, and I wouldn't keep one in there personally. I have a BN in my 55 and she's getting pretty big, poops a ton, and uses all the space.

    As for the cories, I would do six - don't want to overcrowd the bottom layer, but they are a schooling fish, so you want the group to be large enough that they feel comfortable. Most cories would be fine in a group of six - corydoras aeneus (bronze and albino cories), agassizi cories (sp?), panda cories, peppered cories, etc. Another idea would be to get pygmy cories (corydoras pygmaeus) so that you could get a larger group, maybe eight. They don't get as large. Stay away from "emerald catfish," which aren't cory cats, as they get pretty big.

    As Nikita said, just one Dwarf gourami. Igor is so personable; I come in the room and once he sees I'm there he zips right to the front and swims back and forth. I say he's saying hello, though he's probably saying "hey big food fish, give me more of that food" ;)
  9. Skysong87Valued MemberMember

    I would add 1 more female platy, 6 Julii cories (they're schooling fish and 6 is the minimum recommended number) as well as a centrepiece fish. You could go with 1 dwarf gourami which would be a top dweller or you could go with a German blue ram which is more of a bottom dweller. There are also colour morphs of the GBR such as the gold ram and the electric blue ram :)
  10. sgdgolfNew MemberMember

    Thank you kinezumi89. So i guess 5-6 julii cories would be ok then and maybe a dwarf gourami.
    Just out of curiosity, nobody has commented on the neon tetras. My daughter (10 years) really likes their colors, but i understand that the cories would occupy an area of the tank that is not taken yet.

    Thanks skysong87. I have looked at the GBR at our lfs and it is a very striking fish. I am little conerned though regarding our ph level for this fish as well as our experience level, because i have read so many posts of GBR dying rather quickly especially in new tanks. I do love its looks though.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2013
  11. Skysong87Valued MemberMember

    You could definitely do the neon tetras instead of the cories if your daughter likes those more. I would probably get 8 neons though since they're smaller than the cories and probably have less of a bioload, they'll also feel more secure that way.

    I think a GBR should be fine in a ph of 7.8 as long as you take a little longer to acclimate it to the tank. But yes you are correct that it needs a more mature tank. You'd probably have to wait 6 months to add it, so the dwarf gourami may be a better fit.
  12. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    Personally I wouldn't do the tetras, just because you already have quite a few fish swimming about the water column. But they don't contribute much bioload-wise, so if you want to get 8 I think it would work. :) I just think it would seem like a lot going on in one area of the tank. I still vote cories...hey, maybe Santa could bring another tank that he "forgot" and you could put the neons there ;) ;) (You'll see that us here at FishLore are big proponents of MTS, which is Multiple Tank Syndrome...I started with a tiny bowl, and now I have a 5.5, two 10s, a 20, and a 55.. :p)

    I have two GBRs and my water is 7.8-8.2 and they're just fine. As long as you acclimate them very slowly - I use drip acclimation - then pretty much any fish can get used to any pH, within reason of course. I don't think they necessarily need a mature tank per se, but they can be more finicky in that they don't like high nitrates, so they aren't as forgiving if you forget to change the water.
  13. sgdgolfNew MemberMember

    Thanks kinezumi89. Well the water changes won't be a problem as we have made that part of our sunday chores and a prerequisite for asking Santa for the tank (yes she is 10 but still believes in Santa, adorable.
    Unfortunately Santa is broke right after xmas and we also want to get some more experience before getting another tank, but i am sure at some point we will "catch" MTS too.
    I am really intrigued by the GBR. Does an electric blue have the same requirements or are they different?
    So would 6 cories and a GBR work. We are at like 32 inches then. Do the cories usually stick to themselves or do they interact with platys and guppies? And how about the GBR's social behavior?

    One other question. Do you add the 6 cories at once or would it be better to add like two at a time, so we don't get any ammonia spikes.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2013
  14. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    LOL that's great! I honestly think (as an adult on my own, but young enough to remember my childhood) that caring for animals that are YOURS (not like a family dog or cat) is a great experience. I had fish when I was a kid; obviously I didn't know what I was doing, but I still did water changes and dechlorinated the water and such. I remember getting my first hamster for Christmas and having distinct thoughts of "This is a critter...he has a brain, and little hamster thoughts and feelings just like me...and it's my job to make sure he's happy in his little hamster home." Not quite on the mark, but you get the point ;) I think being responsible for another living being is a great learning experience, so long as adults are there to remind them of their duties sometimes ;)

    An EBR (electric blue ram) is just a color morph of the GBR, same as how you can have black labs and yellow labs and chocolate labs. (Yellow labs as in the dog, not the fish ;)) They do have the same requirements.

    Get that "inch per gallon" thinking out of your head :;smack It's a good rough guideline, but it doesn't take SO many aspects into consideration. A few examples: you'd never keep a 10 inch fish in a 10 gallon tank; you'd never keep a BN pleco in a 10 gallon tank, even though they don't get to be much pas 5 or 6 inches long; you wouldn't keep a goldfish in a 10 gallon for the same reason. A few things, in addition to size, that you have to keep in mind:

    1. Activity level. Zebra danios stay pretty small, around guppy size, but they're very active little fish, and 20 gallon is the recommended minimum.
    2. Waste production. Plecos and goldfish, for example, are known to produce a lot of waste, so they need seemingly disproportionately large tanks to dilute their waste.
    3. Aggression. As we said, you wouldn't keep two males gouramis together, because they would fight. You wouldn't keep nippy tiger barbs with a veiltail angelfish, because the barbs would be too tempted by the long flowing fins, and would nip them.
    4. Area inhabited. A 20 tall is not large enough for a school of average-sized cories (IE not pygmy cories), but a 20 long is. They're both 20 gallons, but a 20 long is long and skinny, and a 20 tall is box-like.

    Hope this makes sense! :) The "inch-per-gallon" rule is a good rough estimate, but I always make a thread and ask the trustworthy FishLore members before buying any new fish.

    Cories definitely interact with each other, but not so much with other fish. Of course there are always stories of "my cory thinks he's a platy and swims with them," but I think that's usually due to cories not being kept in schools, and their strong schooling instincts causes them to swim with other fish. Mine seem to keep to themselves for the most part, bowling right over other fish as if they don't even notice them :p

    I've always added cories three at a time, so you don't get any ammonia spikes. Good thinking, you're getting your fish brain sea legs, I guess ;)

    I think 6 cories and a GBR would work. Might be a wee bit overstocked, you can see what other members think. :) If anything, you could use it as an incentive to keep up with water changes. ;) "We can get all this fish, but they'll only stay healthy if you be sure to change their water once a week..." Really not too far from the truth, though.

    So you would have, in the end:

    1 GBR
    5 platies
    3 guppies
    6 cories

    Doesn't seem too bad to me, though to be on the safe side you could always consider pygmy cories; that would free up a little bioload and ground space :) Most stores don't have them though, so you'd have to order them.
  15. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    Welcome to FishLore!

    Sounds like your getting some good advice although I do respectfully disagree wth adding a female Betta to the mix.

    Let us know if we can be of anymore help and of course we will need pictures when everything is up and going ;)
  16. SugarJunkeeValued MemberMember

    One thing to remember, if you're taken by the German Blue Ram, don't say no! That's the great thing about having a stocking plan. You don't need to add them now, so you have time to get used to things, let the tank settle in a bit, and then add one in a few months. It also helps avoid spontaneous fishy love, ie going to the store and seeing a gorgeous platy or two and then say 'nope, we're saving that space for the ram!'.

    You could also consider the laser cory. They have a really bright line down their body, and if your store doesn't have any now you can ask if they would order some. I also admit, just looking with 'cory' in mind you may see some that tickle your fancy at the store. If you have them in mind as your bottom dwellers, you can stop in the shop every few days or week or so depending on when they get new fish in, and not rush yourself.

    I've also got to toss this idea out, and some others may be able to give it a yea or nay. We have 3 loaches (2 angelicus botia/botia kubotai, and one yoyo loach). They are SO fun! They're good at cleanup along the bottom and even chase food as it drifts through the tank. Especially funny to watch them chase bloodworms or daphnia when I thaw out a cube. They usually wander around the bottom all hours of the day and night, but often cruise through the entire tank, swimming laps around the heater's suction cups or aimlessly following each other and the other fish.

    About the gourami, I believe the honey is also a dwarf, correct? Depending on the colors you already have (which is fun since platys and swordtails are compatible and come in such a variety) you may want to lean towards the honey for a golden glow or the 'standard' dwarf for the red and blue stripes to pop. They're fun fish and very sociable.

    I'm sure you guys will love your fish, they all have such great qualities and personalities, so it isn't always a 'best choice' since they all are awesome in their own way!
  17. cichlidmanWell Known MemberMember

    My german blue rams are tough as nails. They lived in a bucket for a week while I moved and survived a tank re cycle ( lost a ton of tetras )
  18. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    Since Loaches should be in groups I personally don't feel they are an option at this time. A larger tank and you would love just watching them cavort like children LOL
  19. sgdgolfNew MemberMember

    The laser cories actually look really cool. They add a little splash of color too. They seem to get to around 2". My daughter will definitely appreciate that. I have not decided on the dwarf gourami or GBR yet. It probably depends on what i can get locally.

    Is a single GBR going to be happy or is a m/f pair better?
  20. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    A single GBR would be just fine. :)

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