Seeking Advice For Stocking New 29 Gallon Tank

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ChristopherM33

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Hello! I recently acquired a 29 gallon acrylic tank, and I am hoping to receive some ideas/help/criticisms for how to stock it. This is not my first fish tank, but this is the first one I doing completely on my own (unless you count my betta tank), and I'd like to increase my odds of it going well. So I guess form here I'll say what I was thinking/wanting to do, and let me know what you think!

My ideal setup would have a "centerpiece" fish or two. I would very much like to have angelfish, but I've read conflicting information on how they would do in a 29 gallon tank. Along with these, I would like to primarily have a couple different types of schooling fish, something colorful and small enough so I can have quite a few of them fitting comfortably in the tank. (I have also read that the angelfish may see fish that are too small as "snackage", so whether or not I get any angelfish my have a large effect on what schools are chosen. Aside from this, the main thing I would like to have in the tank is a crab, or crayfish, or shrimps, something that'll be on the ground crawling around and scavenging. I do believe that these typically need harder water, whereas the angelfish need softer water. I don't know for certain that this is correct, so please correct me if I'm wrong.

That pretty much covers the basics of what I'm hoping to do, but I realize that not all of these things will go together (or may not even fit!), so let me know what you think, or if you have any suggestions! I'm open to any ideas you may have, I would definitely like to know my options! As one last side note, I like having a planted tank, but due to not wanting to deal with snail infestations like I have in the past, I'm considering going back to fake silk plants/decor. Once again, thank you very much, and if I'm missing any important info please let me know!
 

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I have not personally kept Angels but have also heard conflicting info so I'll leave that bit for those with experience.

In the meantime my best suggestion is use the search bar to look at what has been recommended to 29 gals before to see if anything peaks your interest.

In my 29 I have
Lemon tetra
Cherry barbs
Kuhli loaches
Bamboo shrimp
Mystery snail
And would add a honey gourami if i wasn't upgrading soon..
I tried amano shrimp but they were still too small so my lemon tetra ate them.

Most crabs and crays are too mean for community tanks except for sometimes a cpo (dwarf cray) but depending on where you live they may be illegal. Crabs thats are supposedly community friendly are micro thai and freshwater pom pom crabs but I've read that micros hide and pom poms are finnicky.

Edit to add* pest snail populations are more easily controlled if you dont over feed, they dont bother me personally because i end up with so few and they give me a gauge when im feeding too much
 
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ChristopherM33

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I have not personally kept Angels but have also heard conflicting info so I'll leave that bit for those with experience.

In the meantime my best suggestion is use the search bar to look at what has been recommended to 29 gals before to see if anything peaks your interest.

In my 29 I have
Lemon tetra
Cherry barbs
Kuhli loaches
Bamboo shrimp
Mystery snail
And would add a honey gourami if i wasn't upgrading soon..
I tried amano shrimp but they were still too small so my lemon tetra ate them.

Most crabs and crays are too mean for community tanks except for sometimes a cpo (dwarf cray) but depending on where you live they may be illegal. Crabs thats are supposedly community friendly are micro thai and freshwater pom pom crabs but I've read that micros hide and pom poms are finnicky.

Edit to add* pest snail populations are more easily controlled if you dont over feed, they dont bother me personally because i end up with so few and they give me a gauge when im feeding too much
Thank you very much for your input. I have been looking through a few of the setups people have, still just looking for one that's a bit closer to what I mentioned. But maybe that combination just isn't a good one, and I'll never come across it anyways! I do like the cherry barbs but I was told they don't mix well with a lot of fish. Maybe I was misinformed. I'll continue doing my own research as well though, thank you again!
 

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In a 29 gallon i would stick to one school of mid/top dwelling fish unless they are tiny.

I don't think shrimp or crabs would work with angels. Angels would harrass or eat them.

I think a 29 is a little cramped for an adult angel imo. Good schoolers with angels are harlequin rasboras, rummynose tetras, cherry barbs and cardinal tetras.

You could do a nano community if you want more than one school. How about
10-12 gold ring danios
10-12 celestial pearl danios
4 peacock gobies
10 panda cories
8 amano shrimp
5 ghost shrimp
1 mystery snail

Or
10-12 ember tetras
10-12 chili rasboras
4 sparkling gouramis
10 kuhli loaches
1 mystery snail
1 nerite snail
 

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My advice: get what you're going to be most happy with.

By all means, use wisdom in your stocking so that you don't overstock or put incompatible fish together (which I think the fact you're here asking us for advice shows that this is your intention) but at the same time, if you settle for fish you're not excited about just because it's what we, the internet, say we like then it kind of defeats the point.

That said, if your heart is set on an angelfish, get yourself an angelfish.
A single angel will be fine in a 29 gallon. In fact, many breeders will keep their breeding angel pairs in a 20 tall or a 29 gallon.
With one angel in a 29, you could even still fit a small school of tetras (maybe not the smallest tetras like embers or neons...more like cardinals or skirt tetras) and/or a small school of panda cories.

Shrimp will be a quick snack for angels. A large amano shrimp may be an exception to that but it depends on the personality of your angel.
I kept Mexican Dwarf Orange Crayfish with my angel and they were fine but I can't say that another angel wouldn't have gone after them.
You may not be as interested in the standard sized crayfish the more you learn about them. They're fish eaters (maybe not the angel but tetras for sure), plant eaters and they will absolutely redecorate your tank, digging, moving the gravel and generally tearing everything up. They're also adept escape artists.

Hope this helps!!
 

BottomDweller

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Angels need 78-82f
Neons need 68-75f (with around 72-73f being ideal)
Skirt tetras need 68-76f (with around 72-74f being ideal)
Panda cories need 67-75f (with around 71-73f being ideal)
 

The Fish Nerd

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Angels need 78-82f
Neons need 68-75f (with around 72-73f being ideal)
Skirt tetras need 68-76f (with around 72-74f being ideal)
Panda cories need 67-75f (with around 71-73f being ideal)
Agree to disagree.
Angels -
Skirts - 75-80F
Panda Cories -

That said, if you wanted to keep the temps at 78-79 instead of 76-77 for the sake of the angels, the panda cories would not be a good option.
Another cory species or loaches would be better.

For the neons, I listed them as a tetra that wouldn't work.
 
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ChristopherM33

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Thank you so much everybody for all of the feedback! Im at my LFS right now, and am seeing wha catxhes my eye, and I will probably just build my tank around whichever it is i like the most. Not getting anything today, but I figured I should know the selection available to me. Again, thank you, and any additonal input would still be appreciated!
 
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ChristopherM33

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In a 29 gallon i would stick to one school of mid/top dwelling fish unless they are tiny.

I don't think shrimp or crabs would work with angels. Angels would harrass or eat them.

I think a 29 is a little cramped for an adult angel imo. Good schoolers with angels are harlequin rasboras, rummynose tetras, cherry barbs and cardinal tetras.

You could do a nano community if you want more than one school. How about
10-12 gold ring danios
10-12 celestial pearl danios
4 peacock gobies
10 panda cories
8 amano shrimp
5 ghost shrimp
1 mystery snail

Or
10-12 ember tetras
10-12 chili rasboras
4 sparkling gouramis
10 kuhli loaches
1 mystery snail
1 nerite snail
My advice: get what you're going to be most happy with.

By all means, use wisdom in your stocking so that you don't overstock or put incompatible fish together (which I think the fact you're here asking us for advice shows that this is your intention) but at the same time, if you settle for fish you're not excited about just because it's what we, the internet, say we like then it kind of defeats the point.

That said, if your heart is set on an angelfish, get yourself an angelfish.
A single angel will be fine in a 29 gallon. In fact, many breeders will keep their breeding angel pairs in a 20 tall or a 29 gallon.
With one angel in a 29, you could even still fit a small school of tetras (maybe not the smallest tetras like embers or neons...more like cardinals or skirt tetras) and/or a small school of panda cories.

Shrimp will be a quick snack for angels. A large amano shrimp may be an exception to that but it depends on the personality of your angel.
I kept Mexican Dwarf Orange Crayfish with my angel and they were fine but I can't say that another angel wouldn't have gone after them.
You may not be as interested in the standard sized crayfish the more you learn about them. They're fish eaters (maybe not the angel but tetras for sure), plant eaters and they will absolutely redecorate your tank, digging, moving the gravel and generally tearing everything up. They're also adept escape artists.

Hope this helps!!
After seeing what was available at my LFS and doing some research, I currently have the following in mind:

  • 1 blue angelfish (they actually have these at a young age available)
  • 8 leopard danios
  • 3 pearl gouramis
  • 6 cherry barbs
  • 6 corydoras catfish
  • possibly a handful of ghost shrimp
From what I can tell there shouldn't be any problems with this combination for a community tank, but what do you think? Am I missing something here that won't get along? Would that end up being over or understocked? Thanks!
 

BottomDweller

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After seeing what was available at my LFS and doing some research, I currently have the following in mind:

  • 1 blue angelfish (they actually have these at a young age available)
  • 8 leopard danios
  • 3 pearl gouramis
  • 6 cherry barbs
  • 6 corydoras catfish
  • possibly a handful of ghost shrimp
From what I can tell there shouldn't be any problems with this combination for a community tank, but what do you think? Am I missing something here that won't get along? Would that end up being over or understocked? Thanks!
I think that would be overstocked.

Leopard danios need 66-75f (with their ideal being around 70-72f) while pearl gouramis and angelfish need water around 78-82f.

Pearl gouramis need a bigger tank.

Angels would not work well with shrimp.

You could do this at 80f
1 angel
8-10 cherry barbs
1 or 2 german blue rams
8-10 sterbai cories or bronze cories

Or this at 73f
10 leopard danios
3 honey gouramis
1 or 2 bolivian rams
10 panda cories
Some ghost shrimp
 
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ChristopherM33

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I think that would be overstocked.

Leopard danios need 66-75f (with their ideal being around 70-72f) while pearl gouramis and angelfish need water around 78-82f.

Pearl gouramis need a bigger tank.

Angels would not work well with shrimp.

You could do this at 80f
1 angel
8-10 cherry barbs
1 or 2 german blue rams
8-10 sterbai cories or bronze cories

Or this at 73f
10 leopard danios
3 honey gouramis
1 or 2 bolivian rams
10 panda cories
Some ghost shrimp
Thank you for your response. I thought the leopard danios would be fine according to this (Leopard Danio – Danio Rario Variety Frankei | Tropical Fish Site) but maybe it was misinformation. I did not see any of the blue german rams at my LFS, or those specific cories (although I wasn't looking specifically for the cories). I do want to have the angel fish, so for now I'll work with one angel, the school of cherry barbs, and I'll do a little more research on what I have available to me that will play nice with those conditions. With how transparent the ghost shrimps are I was under the impression the angel would not be able to see them, or at least not clearly enough to go after them.
 

The Fish Nerd

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I agree that it sounds like overstocking. Honestly, once the angel grows out, that and a school of cherry barbs is going to look and feel like a good amount of fish in a 29 gallon.
If you did a school of something like kuhli loaches for the bottom, you’d have a full active tank all around.

And yeah, I’ve witnessed angels snacking on ghost shrimp.
 
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