04-24-2007, 10:41 PM
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Just the advise of a newbie....
I am pretty new to cichlids but I thought that I would put in my two cents. I started with about 4 cichlids in a 20G tank. The fish were Malawi and only about an inch or two....at first. They grow fast. I upgraded to a 55 G and I know that I will need to do so again. The problem with these fish is they are sold as a group and generally in my experience it is difficult to find someone to tell you about the different varieties. Do as much research as you can and stick with the varieties you pick. Listen to store personal only with half an ear. I have been lead wrong many times. I have a venestis hap and I had no idea it could get 11-12 inches long! I think that your 29 G is a better bet but be prepared to upgrade. When my fish got bigger I felt bad for them. I wish I would have gone bigger than 55G now but it will be fine for now and I plan to upgrade.
One other thing. No matter what anyone trys to tell you don't mix species. These critters are aggressive and just being chased around by them all the time would most likely be stressful. If your barbs are small they may end up as lunch. I would personally get maybe 4 or 5 malawi and your pleco and call it a day. Save your pennies for a bigger tank. Also, a few people mentioned planted tanks and it is not recommended (I think they were just talking about there noncichlid tanks). These fish like to redecorate! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. If you are not interested in breeding I really like my tank of males. They are so colorful and interesting to watch. Have fun!