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NTD is specific to neon tetras, however... there are a few other diseases that are very similar and those will hit guppys, white clouds, and a few other species of fish. The symptoms are all similar, and the cause/effect is also similar.

As Blue said, it is highly contageous, and the only way to get rid of it is to euthanize the fish afflicted, and to do so as soon as possible. There is no cure or even treatment for NTD.
 

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Hi Dana,
I will agree about the "shark" not being suitable for your tank. They average 6 - 8 inches long when full grown, and can be VERY aggressive, especially in a smaller tank such as yours. I have one right now that is approaching the 5 inch mark, and he has a 40 gallon tank all to himself. Eventually he'll go into the 180, but for now, he's alone because he's fond of eating and harrassing his tank mates. This is normal behavior.

The same thing is going to apply with any of the gouramis if you choose to add neon or cardinal tetras to the tank. Keep in mind that neons are more tolerant of higher pH, cardinals can be tricky. All of the gouramis, even the "peaceful" ones will be too aggressive to keep with fish like neons.

Gold Nugget plecos are awesome, but will get way too big for a 29 gallon. The last one I had was about 10 inches and still growing. There wouldn't be enough space or food supply in a 20 gallon for a gold nugget.

The bulldog pleco, aka rubbernose pleco... another of my favorites. These guys stay smaller, but I have seen them up to 5 inches already. Two things to note about these: they are very sensitive to water quality and they eat A LOT! If you have live plants, expect these guys to devour the plants in a short period of time.

The pitbull pleco would be a better option, but I would make that the only pleco in that size of a tank because of their impressive eating habits.

If you want multiple "plecos" in the tank, even tho its not a pleco, what about otocinclus? These top out at 4 inches, are slow growing, eat A LOT, and won't bother your live plants or fish? The otos are cool, peaceful, and pretty tolerant of water conditions if acclimated properly. Otos would be the first I'd suggest in a smaller tank with something like neons.

As for rummynose tetras, again you're talking about a "difficult" fish to keep. IF you can get them to settle in, they tend to thrive, but the hard part is getting them to settle in to begin with. Rummynose will be less tolerant of condition changes, much more prone to stress, and need extremely passive tank mates, such as the neons. I'm not sure I'd mix the rummynose with fiesty danios, as the stress of the chasing would be a bit much for them.

May I make some suggestions for you to consider? I am considering the size of your tank, the idea that you want bright and colorful fish, peaceful enough for neons and still able to hold their own with danios (watch the danios with the neons, too).
coral platys
scarlet badis or badis badis
marble hatchet fish (specifically the marbles due to aggression levels)
glolite tetras
green fire tetras
cory catfish
botia loach (lots of types of botia to choose from)
rasbora het
gold tetras
ghost shrimp


Now, my other suggestion would be to skip the neons and/or caradinals, and work with fish that are better able to hold their own with those danios. Here is a list of what I'd suggest based on your dainos and the size of the tank:
cherry barb
gold barb
neon rosy barb
odessa barb (the males are extremely bright and colorful)
dwarf gourami (like the thicklips that you mentioned)
diamond tetras
blue tetras
neon dwarf rainbows
botia loaches
cory cats

These are only SOME of the possibilities out there for you, but I hope this helps a little. These are all "easier" fish to keep than some of what you had named, but still colorful and active, compatible with the danios you have currently. I would suggest watching stocking limits, as 29 gallons still won't hold "a lot" of fish. Best to choose just a few species, and if you need more ideas, I can give those, too. If you have more questions, please feel free to ask. I will watch this thread to try to keep up on it faster. Sorry for my delay in getting here.
 

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First let me say that I've kept the freshwater clams, and that is very difficult to do. They don't eat nitrates, they are a filter feeder, so garbage and algae in the water are their food source. They also eat A LOT. The longest I was ever able to keep one alive was 2 yrs, and that was such a challenge.

Clams will need a sand substrate because they need to be able to bury down into it and room enough to move around. I have found that if the tank is large enough (55 gal or more), you can use a tub of sand on one end of the tank, but it's difficult to keep clean.

High nitrates will kill clams fast, as will any ammonia, or nitrite, or pH fluctuations. When a clam dies in the tank, it pollutes the water horribly and ammonia levels tend to spike very high, which tends to kill a lot of fish.
I really don't suggest keeping clams in a community tank... if you want to venture into clams, maybe try offering a smaller tank to just them, learn enough about them, and then consider keeping them with fish.

As for Dana's comments, and Blue's, too...
I'd avoid the threadfin rainbows because the danios would likely chew them to bits quickly.

Neon dwarf rainbows are a definite possiblity, and the list you came up with was a pretty good one. Just remember not to choose too many fish... overstocking will cause every problem you can imagine and then some.

The pristella tetras are nice, very peaceful, but get a little larger than most of the others you have mentioned so far. They need peaceful tankmates, and are prone to ick from stress. With the danios in the tank, I'd shy away from the pristellas.

As for plecos, I'd say choose 1 for that size of a tank. Food supply and territory will say a lot, and the smaller species that have been mentioned will each eat a lot.

Now, to approach the differences between corys & plecos:
The easy way to distinguish between the two is their function in the tank... pleco = algae eater and cory = bottom feeder. This will not apply with ALL plecos, as some will eat wood, but the funtion in the tank is different, and it is safe to keep both so long as everyone is fed properly and the tank is not overstocked or crowded. Do not rely on a cory cat to eat algae, they won't. Corys need "meaty" foods, such as black worms, tubifex worms, and various others, and they will also eat flake food if your other fish miss it.

For loaches, that's fine if they don't interest you, there are plenty of other people to love them. You mentioned you didn't see any that interested you, so let me just share my favorite with you, see if that peaks any interest?
botia angelicus
http://www.aquariumfish.net/images_01/loach_angelicus_w240.jpg

With kuhli loaches, be sure the grave is fine grade gravel, as they spend most of their time burried in it. If the gravel is too coarse, it can cause damage to their bodies. Loaches are scaleless, so any species will require really good water quality all the time. They are affected quickly by ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels.
 

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If you are working with the standard size gravel, found in most LFS's in a wide range of colors, the botia loach should be fine, but may eat the shrimp. The botias tend to stay above the gravel and hide more in cave settings and under the edges of rocks and drift wood, in plants, etc.

The angelicus botia will get about 5 inches long full grown, so if you wish to keep the shrimp with the loach, I would suggest A LOT of java moss and other dense plants down low along the gravel line, spread over as much of the bottom of the tank as possible. I've seen it done, (keeping both together), but it's not an easy task.

The same thing will apply with the corys, but they are less aggressive than the loach, so the chances of making the shrimp work with one or the other, I'd choose the corys, personally.

With the shrimp, I agree about the slow stocking, especially in a newer tank. Shrimp are extremely sensitive to water quality and it doesn't take much to kill them... just a small ammonia or nitrite spike would do it. I usually advise waiting until the end of stocking before adding shrimp and/or bottom feeders. This avoids the problems that can come with spikes in water parms due to new additions to the tank, and it also allows a natural food supply to begin building in the tank, ensuring that these animals are getting plenty of food without having to increase feedings (and thus, fluctuate water quality).
 

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Dana,
Yes, otos can be put into the tank in groups, but they don't NEED groups. While some of the loaches do better in groups, not all of them NEED groups, either. I have kept single loaches in tanks, and never had a problem other than they hide a bit more often, tending to come out more at night (they do this in a group, too).

Otos and loaches can mix just fine. In that tank, I wouldn't put more than 3 - 4 otos, and for the loaches, sizes/species of them will determine how many can go in safely. With the botia angelicus, one loach is fine.
 

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I'm going to elaborate again, sorry my posts are so long.

For starters, I agree with the loach choice, stick with the botia angelicus. They are not as aggressive as some of the others can be, and if planning to keep corys with the loach, you're going to need A LOT of territory down low in the tank, so everyone has plenty of territory.

For plecos, the only really "small" pleco for that size of a tank is the pit bull pleco, and again, I would only add 1 pleco. If you want multiple algae eaters then stick to the otos. The otos are much slower growing, and they do eat a lot without bothering the plants. Otos are known to eat some of the hair types of algaes that other "algae eaters" won't touch. Their more varied diet accomplishes two things: healthier fish and a much cleaner tank.
The last tank I kept otos in was a 30 gallon. I had 3 of them in there for many yrs (at least 6), and I never had to scrape the glass. That was my 30 gallon show tank, and they shared it with algae eating shrimp, 1 clown loach, a few mollies and white clouds, a single diamond tetra, and 2 black tetras (all the fish were orphans). The tank was fully planted, and I had to pull/trim java moss every two weeks to keep it from taking over the entire tank. I had rock structures along the entire tank, built quite high in places, and everything thrived. My maintenance level was nil... I did a water change about once/month and my nitrates were always below 20. The fish ate every other day. It was my easiest and best tank until I found homes for all of the fish, eventually.
Anyways, the point is, I never had to scrape glass with those guys, they did all the work for me. I have only had 2 types of pleco that did such a thorough job, and only one of those was somewhat plant safe, and neither small enough to keep in your tank.

As for your current list:
3 cory cats
a couple dwarf chain loaches OR 1 botia angelicus
otocinclus (amount?)
1 blue coral platy
1 gold twinbar platy
cardinal tetras
If only going with 1 of each of the platys, go with both males. Then you will avoid breeding issues (unless you intend to set up another tank for fry and have an outlet for them within a few - 6 months) this would be the best choice. If you intend to breed, please do this much research about the breeding habits, too. They breed ALOT!!! Thus, with habits as they have, 2 females for each male is the ratio to keep. There is a thread here somewhere that I posted a picture into to help identify male from female. Maybe Blue can help to find it for us?

Watch the cardinals with the platys, and with the water params. With cardinals you'll need softer water, (the otos and pit bull pleco will also thrive in softer water... pH about 6.5 is good) but you may need to acclimate them a bit longer, depending on what conditions they are coming from. Many LFS's don't provide softer water for them, and the survival rate is low. For the fish that do go home, the change from low pH to high pH and back to low is usually too much for them, and they die within a few days. If its the color you're after, the neons would be your better choice, and the neons should be fine with the platys and softer water, too.

3 cory cats is a good number, it sounds as if you're narrowing things down. Keep in mind that with corys and loach in the same tank, they will compete for food, you'll need to make sure everyone gets enough without making a mess of your tank.
 

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Blue, did you make a typo? :roll:
Dana's tank is not yet cycled, not only 1 wk into the process. She said there were nitrate levels showing in her tap water, which would explain why she is showing low nitrates and they are dropping in the tank as the plants are consuming them.

This is always the hardest part for anyone, because its so tempting to add more fish. Please don't. The readings you have posted thus far tell me that your tank hasn't really begun to cycle yet, and it needs time. I am curious about the test kits you are using? (name brand and type <liquid, strips, dry tabs) Also, I think I am unclear about how often you are doing water changes and how much water at a time? Are you doing any gravel cleaning with the water changes?

As for your stocking, I think the move from neons or cardinals to green fire tetras would be an excellent one. The green fire tetras are a lot sturdier than either neons or cardinals, and better able to defend themselves with those danios if needed. At the same time, they are very peaceful, and very bright and colorful once they've settled in.
I also found another tetra that I had overlooked on my prior lists...
The von rio tetra, aka, flame tetra:
http://images.google.com/imgres?img...firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&sa=N

This is not a very good pic, I couldn't find a good pic of them online. When they settle in, the body is a bright olive green and sparkles when the light hits it right, and the back and lower fins are a bright ruby red. This is one of the most colorful of all of the tetras I've seen, while still being sturdy and staying small. These are awesome fish! They mix with the platys, the danios, the otos, the corys, the botia loach, and the green fire tetras.

Mush, your tank sounds like it's on the final swing... almost there, congrats!!! 4 - 6 wks is the average tank for cycling, give or take a bit depending on the individual tank/circumstances.
 

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tinymitymo said:
so it seems like even with established stuff added to the tank it's taking a while.
Yes, even with established media involved, it will still "take a while" to cycle. There are a few important things to note about cycling any tank:

If there is any chlorine present (which can happen if someone rinses stuff under the tap water, or forgets to add water conditioner), the chlorine will destroy/kill any current bacteria.

The bacteria involved are of different types, and not ALL of them eat ammonia. One type feeds on ammonia, another on nitrites. The process of breakdown thus, goes something like this:

Ammonia added/present, bacteria feeds on it, the waste product of the bacteria is then nitrite. Another bacteria then grows and feeds on the nitrites, and it's waste product is nitrates.

The bacteria needs time to feed on the ammonia to produce the waste product of nitrite, and enough of that has to happen before it will appear visible on a test kit. During the beginning phase of ammonia breakdown, the nitrite feeding bacteria colony will reduce because of lack of food, thus it will also need time to build back up.

Also, the bacteria culture going into the new tank needs time to populate enough and take hold to manage to feed on all of the ammonia present. This is where patience is needed more than anything else.

Some tanks will cycle faster than others, there are many many factors involved. Each tank responds as an individual, just as in people, twins still have their differences... no to are EXACTLY alike in every way.

I hope this helps to simplify the process a little more for anyone who has wondered or been struggling to understand it.
 

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mush, you may want to watch lemon tetras with danios. The lemons tend to stress easy which usually causes ick. They're one of the more sensitive of the tetras. Is it the color or shape that you like so much about them? There are so many options available...
 

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Any fish going through a LFS tank is exposed to ick while there. Because of the way store systems are set up, it is very difficult to control the spread of it at the store. If 1 fish in 1 tank has ick, then at least 1/2 of the other tanks are all exposed. The filtration systems are typically set up to run many tanks on one "system", thus, the water circulates through all of the tanks. Walmart and Petco are good examples of this. So, when you see fancy goldfish with ick, fancy guppys with fin rot, and floating fish in various tanks, the other tanks that appear healthy are all being exposed to all of these things at once.

The store where I worked, when it was built, it was with filtration problems in mind, and they individualized all of the freshwater tanks, and brackish water tanks and the filtration. Each tank was it's own seperate system, thus the exposure to these illnesses was minimal.
 

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von rio tetras
glowlight tetras
green fire tetras
These are going to be the best options in small tetras to mix with danios.
 

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Pristella tetras are NOT a brackish water fish, they are a South American river dwelling fish. While some of them may be able to tolerate brackish conditions for a short period of time, this is not somthing I would suggest trying. Too long in brackish conditions would mean sure death.
 
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