So many fish, so few tanks! (a stocking dilemma)
I've known for a while that I wanted cardinal tetra in my 29 gallon softwater community. I'm just waiting to get the plants in and the tank to mature again (removed the substrate). The substrate fish have also been decided on for a while. I love kuhli loach. I also know I want a gourami in there and have settled on a male thick lip gourami.
But while doing some fun research for a potential future amazon biotope, I discovered the lovely black neon tetra. I love that silver stripe and how tightly they seem to shoal. So I decided to amend my original plan and do 9 cardinals and 9 black neons (or 11 of each).
As I've never had schooling fish or done a tank like this, I'm worried it might be too crowded with this many fish. The total number of fish in the tank would be either 29 or 33. I have no frame of reference for this. So does two schools of tetra plus the gourami sound like it might look overcrowded? I'm going to be doing weekly 50% water changes plus the tank has floating plants, so I'm not worried about the bioload.
My next thought/concern/idea is that I really like the look of the farlowella and would like to eventually add one (if I can find one). Again, I come back to the overcrowding issue. I just don't have a frame of reference for this. How many fish would look good in a 29 gallon tank? Am I trying to cram too much in there?
So which stocking plan would look best?
(A) 10 kuhlies, 12 cardinals, and 1 gourami (w/ or w/out the farlowella)
(B) 10 kuhlies, 9 cardinals, 9 black neons, and 1 gourami (w/ or w/out the farlowella)
what fish are in the tank?
Currently just a few brown kuhli loaches and a Betta splendens that will be moving to another tank.
I have a 29 gallon that once planted with plan'ts and wood, rock decor, look's rather small to me .
I have a dozen cardinal's and loads of cherry shrimp and it seem's about right for me.
But it is your tank and once you get on to how much water you need to change to keep clean enviornment, a school of tetra's ,gourami,and farlowella could work. I might reduce number of khuli loaches to six.
In my expierience the black tetra's,kuhli's, and farlowella would not be too happy with temp's much above above 78 degree's F and this should suit the cardinal's and gourami as well.(although cardinal's and gourami can tolerate warmer temps fine)
I am assuming you have fairly soft water .
IME kuhlis, both black and striped, like a warmer tank, which is confirmed by many trusted sources including loaches.com and the tropicalfishkeeping profile. I try not keep them in much lower than 77-78 water.
The cardinals and black neons both will occupy the same space in the tank, and I think the 29 is only large enough to accommodate one school of upper level swimmers (especially at the nice school sizes you want). I would look at orange flame tetras as the second school - they will swim in the lower half of the tank, are very colorful and like a warmer tank.
I do have very soft water. It's almost too soft to grow plants well. That's the reason I'm able to have cardinals. (I'm also very excited about this fact.)
I follow the same recommendations, Jaysee. The tank is set to 78F, and all the choices were built around that as the loaches are my favorite fish in that tank.
I thought that the black neons tend to occupy to upper regions and cardinals the lower regions, but this is the kind of information I wanted. I just don't know how a 29 gal will look when it's filled with plants (I've also never seen black neons in person).
I think I am just going to go with cardinals and save the black neons for another tank (because there will be more ;-) ). If I can find a farlowella I will see about adding one, but I'm not going to seek them out. Thanks everyone!
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