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Wow. What a roller coaster this holiday season. On December 23rd I saw the Marineland led kit 20g for $86.00 at petsmart and decided that I liked the LED look and I'm unable to really invest in lighting I thought the kit might be cool with some fake plants and colorful looking neons and tetras and corys swimming around and it will be great. So I bring the everything home and I'm doing some research over the next few days and heard about this sale. 1$ per gallon sale.
The stand I bought happens to support both 20g or 29g. It's the Aqua Culture Deluxe Aquarium Stand 20/23/29. So of course this gets me thinking....
Long story short, I heard about this sale and picked up this 29g for 29 bucks and the sticker on the aquarium is $58.99 Aqueon tank.
BTW Gravel is also on sale. 20lb bags are $13.50. I picked up 2 20lb bags of black.

Then finished the rest on Drs Forsters site. It's a huge price difference if you have the patience for shipping.

I thought building my tank myself took longer to plan but will have much better components then the original kit I was going with.

For example the same marineland kit led 29g included a 200 watt heater but most accepted charts indicate a 100 watt is the correct size. I ended up choosing the visi therm 150watt.
for the filter I was debating between the Fluval c3 or a canister. I finally opted for the Filstar xps canister. It's 250 gph and rated up to 45 gallons so I hope it's enough. I also added a tetra whisper air pump 40 with 12' bubble wand.
For comparison, the price of the c3 is $40 and the XPS is $75 so I upgraded for the sake of the fish (and myself)

I was thinking of initially starting with some hardy barbs or tetras...any good suggestions? I'm hoping my tank will have the following eventually:
1 snail but unsure of which perhaps mystery? or nerite?
6-8 barbs neons
6-8 tetras glow light
3-4 fancy guppies
6-8 corys (maybe the emerald green ones)
1 bushy nose pleco (perhaps albino)
perhaps 3-4 Siamese Algae eaters
with either 1 of the following choices below:
1 angel
or
1 dwarf gourami or pearl gourami
or
2 kribs
or
1 male betta

For décor (all aquarium grade), I have about 20 fake plants (large, medium and small) I also have 1 large skull, 1 large tree stump with multiple caves leading in and out of it, one tree log cave, and 1 small piece of Mopani wood.

any thoughts and advice is much appreciated. Tanks! :D
 

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i replied in the $1 a gallon thread, but now that i'm not on my phone i'll make a better effort.

I would fishless cycle if I were you. Though I fish in cycled, it's not a great idea. It causes unnecessary stress, and ammonia is going to hurt the critters. Definitely read about fishless cycling!

as for your stock, if you're not going to plant it, it looks a little overstocked. i'd do the pleco, one shoal of small to mediumish sized bottom feeders, 7-10, one shoal of midswimmers, about 7-10. and as for your centerpiece type fish, i'd skip the angel, because they really do better with a mate (which you wouldn't get your other shoals in 29 gallons with, bad idea) or a school, in a much larger tank. i'd do the single gourami or betta, or the kribs.

and take lots of time to add the fish after it's cycled! i would probably add a midswimming school of tetras first, wait a month or two, add a pleco, wait another month, the centerpiece fish, then after my tank is 4-6 months old, add a bottom feeding group (especially if you're looking at cories, those guys are sensitive.)

your nonfish choices for your tank sound good to me. i'd still recommend easy, low light plants, just because they're beautiful and they help the entire system in your tank.
 
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