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Discussion Starter #1
Today is my first day as a member and I while I'm sure my questions are not new, I wasn't sure the best way to find answers. I've spent a few hours trying to navigate around and have more knowledge than when I started, but still not quite what I need.

1. I think I have too many fish. It was sort of accidental and I do plan to address this soon by either moving some to an empty 10 gallon that I have, or eventually getting a bigger tank. Do I need to utilize the 10 gallon right away, or will they be ok for say 6 months? If I need to move some, what split would you recommend.
I currently have the following in a 29 gallon:
1 iridescent shark - he's not even 2" now, but see #4
4 neon tetras
1 male betta- 2"
4 bronze cories - 1-1.5" each
5 black fin cories - 0.5-1" each
4 three line cories - 1-1.5" each

2. As you can see from the list and my name, I love the cories. Do I need more variety or is this ok?

3. My ph is HIGH, like 8.0 to 8.2. Based upon what I've already read, I checked my tap and it is the same. My water hardness is CH 100, TH 186. Also based upon what I've read, I'm hesitant to add chemicals, but I want a ph that is best for my current fish too. I have a small piece of driftwood in now, but I also have a large piece (12" X 6" ish) that I can add. Would this help? Would it overcrowd my fish? I can take some artificial plants out if that would help with crowding.

4. I bought the shark from a LFS that said he would be just fine, but afterwards have read that they need at least 1000 gallon tanks. Obviously at under 2" he is ok for now, but what should I do with him? I feel bad about this purchase and have learned to not trust the store employees, but to research your fish before hand. As much as I love the striped Raphael, pictus, and glass catfish, I will not be buying them unless I were to greatly increase my aquarium size.

I know this was a long post and I appreciate everyone's time and any advice.
 

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Everyone should do just fine together aside from the iridescent shark for the reasons already mentioned. The betta’s personality will determine how well the tetras fare. You have plenty of each species of cory cat for them to shoal, so they should be fine.

That pH is too high. Driftwood, peat moss or almond leaves can help you to lower your pH naturally. Ammonia is more toxic in lower quantities when the pH is high.

Is this tank cycled yet? If not, it will be crucial that you keep your pH down and do frequent 50% water changes. Here is a guide to cycling your tank, but take into account that your tank cycling fully stocked. You will need to test daily to make sure ammonia does not reach dangerous levels.
CYCLING: the two-sentence tutorial
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If I'm understanding "cycled" correctly, then yes it WAS, but as I'm reading here I see I screwed up by throwing out my dirty filter and replacing it with a new one. They come in what I'd describe as a sealed spongy envelope of carbon. Do I cut out the back part that is all nasty looking and brown and somehow leave that part with a new filter u till the new one also gets all that stuff on it?
I do have an API master test kit though and I've checked the levels.
pH 8.0
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 5
 

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Torileanne above is correct, you need to get your nitrates down fast so 50% water changes would help. When you rinse out your filter always do it in a bucket of water that you have taken from the tank, no need to change it unless it is tatally clogged up. Im fond of Corydoras myself and plan to get maybe 3 Panda Cories soon, I love the markings on those.
 

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I would return the shark to the shop. They have sold you something which is way too large for your tank plus will eat up the small fish. Just return it, otherwise you will be in trouble!
 
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