Hello, I'm from South Texas and I've got the bug. After helping my girlfriend build a diy background aquarium for a turtle I decided to do something similar. YouTube was my teacher. I bought all I needed to start building. I went out to PetSmart and bought a Top Fin 29 gallon starter kit.
I started on my custom background already and just waiting on Lowes to receive my quikcrete drywall so I can start the cementing process. I'll be using drylok with cement coloring to add color to my background pictures below.
The lady at the PetSmart seemed like she know what she was talking about. I told her I wanted Cichlids, but she recommended community fish due to them being less aggressive. She pointed out to me that certain fish require there to be about 3-4 of the same type. For example she said for every 1 male guppy I need 3 females because male guppies are very sexually active and will stress out females if only 1 female is in the tank.
She also said different fish live or spend more time on different levels of the tank. The three levels being top, mid, and bottom.
Is what she told me true? Do you think I can trust her helping me pick out fish? She said I could have about 15 different community fish in a 29 gallon tank. She also said I have to be mindful that some fish grow larger than others.
Oh, do I really need a water heater for the aquarium?
What do you think sand, gravel, or small rocks at the bottom of that tank? (I know sand will require to buy a filter 2-3 larger than my tank)
Where can I get good safe sand, should I mix it with something?
I don't think I'm doing live plants but that could change.
Sorry, I'm being such a newb.