07-26-2011, 11:06 AM
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Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum. Nice to have you with us.
Gravel will work fine for most substrate fish provided it is not rough/sharp edged. Run it through your fingers. If it feels smooth, it will work.
Some suitable substrate fish for a 29g would by Corydoras catfish, a group of 5-6. If one species, 5 is best; if 2 species, get 3 of each. Corys are shoaling fish that live together in groups of hundreds and they feel more secure when kept in groups.
Whiptail catfish is an interesting fish that is peaceful, and will eat some common algae. A Bristlenose Pleco is another, but algae should be present at first for this fish to settle, after which it will learn to accept prepared sinking foods. You could have one of the dwarf loach species, they also need a group of 5-6. We have two in our profiles, the Dwarf Loach and the Banded Dwarf Loach.
Fish profiles are second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top. When the common or scientific name is used the same in posts as it appears in the profile, it will be shaded and you can then click on the name to have the profile popup. Check out the above fish for info and photos. There are many species of Corydoras, these are under the "Catfish" section in the profiles.
You were wise to get rid of Serpae and Tigers, not good community fish with gourami. Some good shoaling mid-water fish would be the medium rasbora, such as the Harlequin Rasbora, Lambchop Rasbora or Hengels Rasbora; these are similar in appearance and very peaceful. Again, info and photos in the respective profile.
All of the afore-mentioned fish appreciate plants, especially floating. Gourami love cruising through floating vegetation, and the plants give security to the lower fish too.