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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off, I am new to this website and this is my first post! I just got a 29 gallon tank and started cycling it with 3 clown loaches on Tuesday (April 16) (I already know they will get way too big and i plan on trading them in to my LFS in about a year or less. I got them before I read enough about them lol). Anyways, once the tank is cycled I want to get about 3-4 glass catfish. Other than that I like Black Skirt Tetras, Neon Tetras, Veil Angelfish, Red Wag Swordtails, etc. I LOVE the Tiger Barbs but I dont think i can get many other types of these fish with them. I like the schooling fish and dont necessarily need a centerpiece fish but I do like the Angelfish. My concern is overstocking since its a 29 gallon tank. (30x13x18). Any advice as to how I can maximize the amount of the above mentioned species in the tank would be appreciated. (I would be ok with 1 or 2 mollies or some guppies also, but not a big fan of Gourami's.). Extra considerations, I am trying live plants. Low light plants with a 6700K 20 watt life-glo bulb. Java Ferns, Sword plant and i'm open to suggestions for more. Not looking to heavily plant but a good amount would be nice.
 

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Welcome to the hobby and the forum! Quick tidbit about the forum: when you see a name (plant or fish) highlighted, you can click on that to take you to our profiles. It'll bring up things like pictures, size, tank info, and the like.

Glad you recognize the clown loaches will outgrow your tank. There are some species of loaches that don't if you'd be interested in them.

As for the tank size, it does limit you (and angelfish are out unless they are a proven pair), but I'm glad you like shoaling fish because they are perfect for a tank like that. In my 29 I have a single shoal of cardinal tetra, but two shoals is possible if you don't have a centerpiece fish like I do. If you do go with glass catfish, you'll want to increase their numbers a bit to 7 or 8. Six is the bare minimum that shoaling fish should be in. The more of their species around, the more colorful the fish will be!

Before we suggest fish for your tank, we need to know a bit more about your tap water. Not all fish can live in all water and some fish like the swordtails and glass cats have opposite needs. We need to know pH, GH and KH. You can test for pH yourself but will need to find your GH and KH elsewhere. Sometimes your local pet store will know, and other times you will need to call your water treatment plant or look the information up online in a local water quality report.
 

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Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.:wave:

On the GH and KH, just contact your municipal water supply folks; they likely have a website, and this information may be posted. Or if not, they can tell you. Knowing the GH is important, and the KH too as it will tell us if the pH is likely to lower or not. Some fish have very specific requirements in GH and pH, as the profiles will point out.

Glass Catfish is one, as the profile will tell you. As for the Clown Loach, my advice is to return these now before they get settled and develop problems. Fish grow continually, and this species will attain 12-18 inches, but when they are growing in too small a space, they do not develop properly. Internally they can be stunted, or at the very least stressed which causes other health problems. Much better to return them now, as later may be too late for them.

Your light is fine for plants. Below is an old photo of my 29g with this same single T8 Life-Glo tube. The plants are all low and moderate light requiring, they are in our profiles too.

Byron.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Byron. I am thinking about returning the Loaches. Also, I posted a report of the water near me and hopefully someone on here can make sense of it. The planted tank looks great! Can you tell me some of the plants in there?
 

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On the water numbers, it seems to vary depending where your water comes from. But generally speaking, the GH seems to be in the soft to moderately hard range. The Alkalinity (KH) is comparable, which means the pH will not likely lower much if at all in the fish tank.

As for the plants, there is chain sword (planted in the sand), Java Fern on the wood at the left, and Water Sprite floating. Click the shaded names for the profiles with photos.

Byron.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for both explaining the water quality report and the plants Byron. That was a bigger help to a beginner like me than you probably realize. I am now curious what Izzy and others think about stocking my tank.
 

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It's sometimes hard to decipher those reports. They don't make them user friendly. The only thing of use they have posted there is your carbonate hardness or KH which is about 6. Generally speaking GH is close to that so we'll assume you have decently soft water. If you are on a well system, the company that maintains it should have a water quality report which would be able to give you more accurate results. But for the time being we'll assume you have moderately soft water.

This is perfect for your plan. Glass cats like soft water. So I'd certainly say go with 7 or 8 glass catfish. These guys will occupy the middle upper portion of your tank. For the lower portion of your tank, I'd go with 12 neon tetras. Black skirts would work in your tank but not with the glass cats, tho. Black skirts are active and boisterous fish while the glass cats aren't.

If you still want a loach in your tank, you should look at the kuhli loaches. They are have similar colors to the clown loach but don't get nearly as large.
 

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What other species would go wll with the Glass Cats? I would like to maybe get 6 Neons and another small school of something else if possible.
I would up the neons, say 8-9. "Six" is the usual minimum number mentioned for tetra, but if space allows then having more will always be better for the fish and you. The more there are, the more "relaxed" and normal the fish will feel/behave, and that means you will see them as nature intended, interacting, brightly coloured, etc.

Can't remember if it was mentioned earlier, but make sure there are floating plants, lots of them, over these fish (Glass Cats and neons, and other forest fish). Water Sprite is ideal for this. Fish love its dangling roots, it is attractive, and a good source of microscopic food.

If you read the data in the Glass Catfish profile, it mentions slow-flowing shaded streams as the habitat, so suitable fish will be those preferring a similar environment. The neons fit this. Others might be rasbora such as Lambchop Rasbora or Hengels Rasbora, even the slightly larger closely-related Harlequin Rasbora; Lemon Tetra would add a bit of different colour to the tank. Loreto Tetra. Marble Hatchetfish or Black-Winged Hatchetfish--these two in the Carnegiella genus are smaller and quieter than the larger Silver so a better choice. You mentioned the Black Widow earlier, and as Izzy noted it is a bit boisterous, but something along similar lines in appearance is the Black Phantom Tetra.

I don't think the tetra I've mentioned are likely to fin nip the Glass cats, provided the tetra are in a decent-sized group, 8 or so of each species selected.

Byron.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If I got 7 Glass Catsfish and 7-8 Cardinal Tetra, A) would that work out ok? & B) Is there room for 1 more species of fish? Even if it is a single fish?

Also, The water Sprite wont block my other plants from getting enough light will it? What size should I keep it trimmed too?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
One other question about the water sprite. I have my tank filled to the bottom of the trim right now, leaving about an inch from the water to the light. Do I need to empty some water out to accomodate these plants? How far do they stick out of the water?
 

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Water Sprite will be fine wityh the water at the tank frame level. And you thin it weekly by removing the daughter plants from the leaves after they form, and discarding the largest plant(s). Once you get into the habit, this keeps approximately the same amount of coverage. Obviously any floating plant will lessen the light getting to the lower plants, but given the benefit of floating plants to all forest fish, you select lower light lower plants, like Java Fern (and mosses on wood, etc), chain sword or pygmy chain sword, crypts, Anubias.

You've room for groups of perhaps 3, 4 or even 5 fish, depending what the species are. If you don't get the Glass cats, your options open a bit. Profile explains this.

Byron.
 

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If I got 7 Glass Catsfish and 7-8 Cardinal Tetra, A) would that work out ok? & B) Is there room for 1 more species of fish? Even if it is a single fish?

Also, The water Sprite wont block my other plants from getting enough light will it? What size should I keep it trimmed too?
Byron mentioned some good fishes for your tank. Personally I like the look of a single large shoal of fish, but others like a bit more variety. If you got rid of the glass cats (reason to set up another tank lol) then the black skirts would be a possibility, but tiger barbs would still not be a possibility because while they are also boisterous they need more room than a 29 if you want to keep them with other fish.

Since you are planning to return the clown loaches, have you thought any more about fishes for the substrate? Have a school of interesting fish like kuhli loaches or corydoras on the substrate give the whole tank movement instead of just the water column. These guys don't bother plants at all.

I have a moderately planted 29 with a canopy of water sprite. It doesn't affect the plants below at all because I chose low-light plants like anubias, crypts, and java ferns. I've attached a picture of my tank. Those long roots dangling down are the water sprite. My gourami like to pick at the roots for food.
 

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