I haven't mentioned your water parameters, this has a significance too. The SA dwarf species generally need soft slightly acidic water, some are OK in slightly basic. If you water is hard and alkaline, rift lake cichlids would be ideal, but in a 29g one has to select carefully.
My pH is 7.0-7.2. Unfortunately our local store didn't have the master test kit.. so I ended up getting only the pH tester. So, thats really all the info I have on that.
I'm working on getting everything setup and ready, but the prices are killing me! I'm starting to regret getting rid of everything I used to have... its going to cost a fortune getting it ready for fish...
Not necessarily. It is amazing how little "equipment" one really needs for a successful tank. A few ideas.
Filter, a simple sponge with a small air pump is more than adequate. All the fish I previously named come from very still waters, slow streams, flooded forest, pools, etc. A sponge filter gently circulates the water. Plants are necessary to do the filtration part. But plain small-grain gravel or sand (for relatively new aquarists I suggest gravel over sand) and these can be bought in bulk. The light is important, but over 29g a single T8 fixture the length of the tank will be fine. A good daylight full spectrum tube with a Kelvin rating of around 6500K can be bought at hardware stores for a couple dollars. A heater will be needed, the most costly item of the lot--get a good one, and for a 29g I would suggest a 150w minimum or a 200w, they last longer and are more reliable. I have a 200w in my 33g, and a 150w in my 20g. Heaters are worth the money for a good one; I have lost fish when a cheap heater malfunctioned overnight.
You pH is quite good; you're in Seattle so the water is soft. This means the pH will acidify and lower into the 6's once the tank is established, and that is absolutely perfect for forest fish.Any of the fish I mentioned earlier will do well in this.
You can see the photo of my 10g Sand tank, an experiment in very low-tech. Only a heater. No light (it sits in front of a window), no filter, play sand substrate, chuck of wood. Thick with plants. This has been running for a couple months now, fish are doing very well. On a 29g I would get a light and sponge filter.