06-18-2011, 11:39 AM
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I agree that live or artificial plants to provide the cover. I also agree that the benefits of live plants are so great that it would be worth it to start off right by using live plants. It is not difficult; pants are easier than fish for me.
On the fish, I would caution about the red tailed shark. This species is nasty by nature, especially as it matures. It attains 5 inches and requires a 4-foot tank. It cannot tolerate other substrate fish, so once you have it in a larger tank, it is going to be it. You may not want to limit your fish community like this.
A group of 8 Tiger Barb in a 29g will be fine, on their own.
You can read more about the above issues in our profiles of the respective fish; click on the shaded fish name to see its profile. Profiles in general are under the second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page, and each includes information on number of fish needed, compatibility, tankmates, minimum tank size, special needs, etc.