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Thread: Stocking 29g planted tank

  1. #1
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    Default Stocking 29g planted tank

    OK not sure how active this board has been lately, but I've got time lol I've decided to get back into the swing of things, but this time I'm trying my hand at a planted community tank. My biggest questions are: blue rams or triple red apistos for my centerpiece? Or can I do both? What about a betta? And any idea for tank mates? At the moment I've got like 8 Neons just to fill it. Now I've decided to let my nerdiness out and I'm going for a "Harry Potter black Lake" feel. I'm really up for any suggestions. So far the water is at a pH of 7.2, hard water, and I've got a heater coming Monday since the water like ls to stay at 72-74F. I've forgotten the little tricks to fix the water parameters and I'm more than willing to try it. I just want a new project and to try some new species (though I am missing my saulosi something fierce lol)

    I hope this image uploads right...


    EDIT: Ok had to link the pics instead. I just started with the plants >> I really have no patience for this whole "growing" aspect lol I'm still not happy with it but the whole lack of money has got me to slow down a bit lol

    Last edited by AmayaOkami; 08-27-2016 at 08:10 PM.
    ~Life's not about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning how to dance in the rain~

  2. #2
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    Well I ended up finding 2 pair of Apistogramma cacatuoides and was able to talk to the seller to change it from 2 males and 2 females to 1 male and 3 females. Still not sure if I could fit a duo of rams as well in the 29g. I'm working on getting even more plants when I can to fill it out more. I also found these cool neon shrimp online in blue, red, orange, or yellow I was looking into for cleaners since the smaller species of pleco are harder to come by in my area :/
    ~Life's not about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning how to dance in the rain~

  3. #3
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    Not sure about the Rams, if you can't do the rams, look at a small shoal of tetras or barbs, I'm thinking of going SA with my 75 with my center piece being a pair of Blue Acaras, there is some really beautiful barbs and tetras out there. just google them.

  4. #4
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    I am damn near ready to just give this up. I don't understand what it is in doing wrong. I had NO issues with the saulosi. I got 2 pair of the apistogramma cacatuoides and they said they would send 3f 1m, turned out 2 were males. My larger male died because I think he got caught on the filter intake, then last a female. I've lost 10 Neons over the course of 3wks and this morning after my water change last night my last male died... I'm really ready to just quit.

    The only issue I think I have is in Orlando I had city water, where here I have well water which is very hard and a pH of 8... I have no idea if this is the issue or not, but if it is there really isn't anything I can do about it without constantly micromanaging it. Just UGH! I'm stopping for now to just see what happens all I have left is a female apisto and 3 Neons...
    ~Life's not about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning how to dance in the rain~

  5. #5
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    If the apisto. are tank raised vs. wild caught I don't see the pH being an issue, not real certain though, I'm just learning about SA Cichlids as I'm switching my 75 over. Try to message Chromedome, he might have an idea about that.

    Usual questions, I know it's silly to ask, but you did cycle the tank right?????

  6. #6
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    Hello Amaya, long time...

    Apart from the usual concerns (cycling the tank, PH shock, as Robert mentioned above), do you know for fact that those ornaments are 'aquarium safe'? If you aren't sure, since you're having issues I'd remove them in case there is something toxic leaching from them. I realize they are key to the theme you were going for but while you are trying to sort out the problem I would eliminate risk factors. Are you treating the water? Since it's well water chlorine/chloramine wouldn't be an issue - not having experience with well water myself though I'd treat it just in case there is anything else unfriendly in it... Process of elimination - try to think of anything that could be harming the fish that you are in a position to do something about.

    From my limited experience with South American cichlids, I believe that many rams are very hardy, aspistos somewhat less. Chromedome would indeed be an excellent authority on them if he should drop by.

    Neon tetras are raised by the zillions in poor conditions in the far east. It isn't uncommon to have a high initial mortality rate with them. If your lfs has a large number of them at firesale prices (like 99 cents each) with the odd 'floater' in the tank it's a good sign this is a recent shipment from which die-off can be expected. I'd be more inclined to get stock from a tank consisting of more mature specimens only.

  7. #7
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    I'm pretty certain I did. At first I would lose a few fish every time I dosed with excel, so I quit thinking maybe I got a bad bottle, then I had a night the tank temp was in low 70s almost 60s (bf had the ac WAY down while I was at work and I was pissed) so I got a heater. I had gotten a bunch of plants from aquabid, but I lost about half from either dying in the tank or drying out. I hadn't lost about 4 Neons last weekend had a problem all week, even got a hand full of shrimp which are doing fine. The other night I did a 30% w/c and stirred up a bunch of crap in the substrate trying to vacuum it all out, the next morning my last male was dead, so I checked the parameters and nitrites were 0, nitrates were like in the 20s or 30s, but ammonia was a very very light positive for around 0.2ppms, so I dosed with prime (dosed before the wc as well) idk if it was from me stirring everything up or from losing the 4 Neons or if it is from my well water


    EDIT:

    Hey DW! Long time no chat! Yeah I took out all non-organic items from the tank. And I was pretty certain the Neons ate from crappy stock. I have actually never bought fish from there cuz it is a chain and 9 times out of 10 their tanks are crap. I even had the employee try to tell me that the floating Neons weren't "dead" but faking it and defense mechanism or not I'm not buying it and made them give me extra "just in case" the apistos were doing really well for a few weeks. My male loss was a freak accident and I still think most of my losses might be from a bad bottle of excel since I ALWAYS lost 3-4 EVERY TIME I dosed with it.

    I've tried checking everything I could think of and this is really pissing me off, so I've decided I'm not doing anything for a few weeks and just letting it set itself out... I've added fish, plants, and shrimp all within a few weeks of each other so maybe something was introduced or it's shock or something...
    Last edited by AmayaOkami; 09-11-2016 at 06:27 PM. Reason: Added for DW and spelling
    ~Life's not about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning how to dance in the rain~

  8. #8
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    Defense mechanism! Just omg! We may have just found a new low when it comes to lfs employee 'expertise' (or BS - either way this is a low!)

    I don't know if you're too young to be familiar with Monthy Python comedy, but I am reminded here of this one skit with a dead parrot...

    Anyhow good luck, please let us know how you make out with it.

  9. #9
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    Yeah... Welcome to my world. I don't think I'll be getting anything from there again. I'd rather pay extra shipping for Cardinals... Idk I'll give it a few weeks and see where it goes. I'm going to start looking up info for hard water high pH tolerant fish... I really don't like mollies though and it looks like they might be my only option... Or danios or guppies, but I like them better. I'd really like to stay with apistos as my center piece. I may have only had them for 2wks but I just can't give up my cichlids. They just have personality. Lol

    Oh, and yes the ex-parrot is just napping ;)
    ~Life's not about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning how to dance in the rain~

  10. #10
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    If you really want to keep the apistos, you do have a couple of options, by RO Water in gallons or use the drinking water machine and a 5 gallon bucket at your local publix, I live on a well and might have to go that route myself or invest in a ro/di, if you rent the unit would probably not work out for you. The Publix here by my house only charges .30 per gallon from the machine.

    DW, that truly is a new low for a lfs employee

  11. #11
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    I was actually thinking about this... Since it's only a 29g it won't be too much of a pain. I work am off shift in the hospital lab and we have a Di machine so I could always fill a couple of gallons a week and use that... I found a LFS that I used to use for the old SW tank my mom used to have and they told me they could order me in some. I told them I am OK with either a few double or triple reds (can't be too picky here) they are about an hour from me so I don't think their water would be too different... Never thought I'd be missing chlorinated city water lol
    ~Life's not about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning how to dance in the rain~

  12. #12
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    Even better, can't beat ro/di, it's pretty neutral so you should be good to go.

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    Name:  20160912_124138.jpg
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    Here's an updated photo, but no idea if it'll show. This site doesn't like my phone all that much lol. I'll look in to doing Di, it'll just be a real pain getting it lol
    ~Life's not about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning how to dance in the rain~

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    Pic doesn't show.

  15. #15
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    Hasn't been possible to upload photos directly to the forum for a couple of years now. I have asked about it, but got no response.

    If you can get DI water for "free", I would add some of that each water change. it actually won't help much with the pH, but that's not the important part; the hardness is. Neons and Apistos need softer water, if you can add natural means to acidify a bit, it would help. First you need to know the approximate hardness of your well water. I would also consider having it checked for toxic metals, from a personal health concern point of view. Wells have certain advantages over city water, but they also have a few problems that you don't get.

    I have a R/O filter, which we use for drinking water as well as for my fish tanks. The thing with that is, it's more than just the initial cost. The pre-filters have to be replaced regularly (mine are currently months overdue) and the membrane doesn't last forever. Replacing a membrane is definitely not cheap, even if you only do it every 4-5 years.

    I used to collect rainwater as well, and for breeding fish it seems to produce the best results. My location on the east side of Lake Michigan tends to produce cleaner rainwater than some other regions.
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