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Old 04-03-2004, 12:08 PM   #1
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Brand new aquarium enthusiast needs suggestions...

Hello all...

A friend of mine who's really into saltwater aquariums and things recently convinced me to get into aquariums. My wife and I have wanted to do this for a while, and recently moved into a house with some room to have one. I got an Eclipse combo with a 29 gallon tank. Last night I set the tank up, adding the gravel, some lava rocks, a few silk plants, and the water. I also added 4 capfuls each of NovAqua and AmQuel as recommended by the store owner my friend took me to. I've got a packet of BioSpira in the fridge just waiting to be used. I've also purchased an Aquarium Pharm. Master Test Kit. I want to make sure I've got things in order before adding fish, and I'm eager to start adding fish. I am a brand new user.

The questions I have are these, and I certainly appreciate any advice in advance...

- Do I need to test my water prior to adding the BioSpira and fish or wait until after?

- I'm hoping to get some neon tetras, a pleco, and I'm hoping I can keep bala sharks as well. Can these coexist? Can I add them all together?

- We're really looking to keep more colorful fish as well. Any suggestions?

As I said, I'm brand new, and know very little about all of this. I'm working from what my friend told me, and he's been very helpful. I've browsed these forums this morning, and it seems like a very knowledgeable group of people, so I'm hopeful I can get some guidance here. I plan on sticking around for a while, especially as I get more and more hooked on this hobby!

BD
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Old 04-03-2004, 12:33 PM   #2
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Bala sharks are inappropriate for your tank (and for most tanks). They get far too large and are active schooling fish.
Depending on what kind of plecostomus you get it will also outgrow your tank.
Neon tetras are better put into mature tanks, though how far along Bio-Spira will get you I can't say (I'll wait for someone who has actually used it to come along ).

Colorful fish suitable for a 29g (I'll group these by organisms that operate in the same general area):

1 paradise fish (Macropodus opercularis)
or
1 male betta (Betta splendens, usually)
or
3+ female bettas (Betta splendens again-- make sure the tank is full of various "obstacles" like driftwood and plants and rocks, etc.)
or
2-3 dwarf gouramis (Colisa lalia)

1 Bolivian ram (Microgeophagus altispinosa)
or
1 kribensis (Pelvichromis pulcher)

4 khuli loaches (Acanthophthalmus kuhli)
or
4 African dwarf frogs (Hymenochirus boettgeri)
or
4 corydoras (various Corydoras sp.)

4 congo tetras (Phenacogrammus interruptus)
or
10 harlequin rasboras (Rasbora heteromorpha)
or
10 glo-lite tetras (Hemigrammus erythrozonus)
[Going with 10 of the smaller fish is the better choice, IMO.]

4-5 marbled hatchetfish (Carnigiella strigata)


Note that I'm not recommending you put all of these fish together. But you could have, for example, 3 dwarf gouramis, 10 glo-lites, and a Bolivian ram (you could probably throw in some hatchetfish for that set-up too). Provided your tank is nicely decorated and has plenty of places for everyone to set up their own refuge, you will be all set.
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Old 04-03-2004, 01:08 PM   #3
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Thanks so much for your help! Exactly why I'm here before I go buy fish.

I've got a book that shows all these fish, so I've been looking up your suggestions since I'm not quite familiar enough with them. So far I'm thinking about this:

1 paradise fish
1 krib
2 khuli loaches
10 glo-lite tetras

Would this be a good mix? I assume I should get a few at a time, rather than adding all of them at the same time. Any particular order I should buy/add them? Thanks again for your help! Once I get this thing going, I'll post pics to my gallery.

BD
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Old 04-03-2004, 03:11 PM   #4
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I haven't used Bio-Spira beofre, but I think I remember reading that you should add your complete load of fish with the Bio-Spira. You should wait for someone to come along and very that. If you want a pleco that will not get massively huge in your tank, go with either a Rubberlip, or a Bristlenose. Both of these breeds max out at around 4 inches. Welcome to AA barrettd!!
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Old 04-03-2004, 06:20 PM   #5
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In case you can't find a rubberlip or a bristlenose...

If your local fish store will accomodate you, you can do what I do. I get a small plecostomus (hypostomus) that is about 2.5 inches long. They are very good cleaners at this size which is a bonus. When it starts to outgrow my tank, I trade it in for a smaller one.
-Mark
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Old 04-03-2004, 06:39 PM   #6
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If it were me, i would reduce the number of Tetras and put in a male betta. But thats just me.
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Old 04-03-2004, 07:00 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the suggestions and help. I got 10 neon tetras and 4 gouramis (1 blue, 1 red, 2 gold). I figured I'd see how it goes with this group for a while and get more creative later. They seem to be happy so far, darting around the tank and such, but one of the tetras is AWOL, and the other nine seem a little apprehensive about a search and rescue mission just now.

Hopefully they'll do well and I can explore more. I definitely know where to come if things go wrong...

BD
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Old 04-03-2004, 07:50 PM   #8
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Intensity, you can't keep a betta and a paradise fish in the same tank. You also cannot keep them with other labyrinth fish unless the tank is very large and they are of particular temperments.

And Mark, you should get fish that fit your size tank. Plecos can grow *very* quickly-- I have one that went from 4" to 9" in 6 months.

Barret, my main cause for concern with your group are the different gouramis. Is the blue a dwarf gourami? "Red" and "gold" gouramis may become bullies, but it depends. I suggested the dwarves because they tend to be very peaceful fish that are appropriately sized. There are other peaceful gouramis (ex. pearl, snakeskin), but they get too large for your tank.
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Old 04-03-2004, 08:06 PM   #9
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Hypostomus-

The blue and red gouramis are dwarf gouramis. Hopefully I'll be okay? The tenth neon has been located and they've brought him back into the fold...

One of the gold gouramis is spending a lot of time at the top of the tank. He swims back and forth, but tends to stay close to the top. Normal?

BD
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Old 04-03-2004, 09:40 PM   #10
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If the gold gourami is "gasping," or swims with its head pointed up (tilted), then you should be worried. If it is simply cruising back and forth, it is fine. I had a gold that would do that all the time. Keep in mind that the gold gourami is not a dwarf and will grow to 5". You may want to bring it back in exchange for another dwarf.

For reference, gold gouramis are a color variation of the three-spot gourami, Trichogaster trichopterus. You can find more information on them by doing a simple Google search before you make your final decision.
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