Due to size constraints in my living conditions/odd landlord rules on what constitutes a "pet", I'm restricted to a 29 gallon (or less, but that means I'm getting a 29 ). The only stock list I have is whatever loaches will fit, plus maybe some danios or barbs for variety (but the non-loaches aren't necessary). I'm planning on a sand substrate, rocks, driftwood, lightly planted with a little Java Fern, but very clean and river-ish looking. It's definitely going to be overfiltered with an appropriate sized cannister and a HOB (I have awful luck with filters, & I prefer having 2 so I can overfilter and have a backup in case I kill one), and I'd prefer it to be slightly understocked. The going plan is two 25% water changes a week and a 10% as often as I can get it in.
My question to all of you is what loaches should I get based on the following criteria?
1) I'd prefer deeper bodied botia style loaches (If I had my way, I'd have a giant tank of B. modesta), although I'm not opposed to other sorts.
2) Fits a decent school of at least 5-6 in a 29 gallon (36"x12"x16" aka standard size)
3) I understand loaches are nocturnal mostly, but I'd like some that came out in the day too
4) Friendly wet pet personality
5) Preferrably relatively common in the pet trade. I don't want to get fish shipped to me.
I've been thinking of Zebra or Skunk loaches, because I've seen them in local stores. I'd love either input on those two species as to how many I can have in a 29 gallon, or suggestions for other species that would work for me. I'm not opposed to Kuhli loaches either. Also, I'd love to hear what other tankmates I could get. I have a ton of experience with Zebra Danios (love them), so they're the more likely tankmates, but I might try my hand at Tiger Barbs or something (suggestions welcome here too).
Anyways, thanks in advance.
http://www.loaches.com/species-index/ya ... idthimunki
For most loaches youa lso need a school of dithers, aka the all clear fish. Loaches look for these fish. When those fish are out swimming calmly, the loaches know it is safe to come out. I have rainbows in my 55, but I think some nice danios would do the trick.
Finally I would have a small school 5-6 of Otocynclus (Oto Cats) for algae control. They must be in a group, and don't add them until the tank is well established. Don't forget to feed them too. If you don't want more fish get a few cool snails. I have xebra nerites. They lay eggs, but need brackish water to reproduce (so you're never over run). But your loaches may eat them. I also use mystery snails. They need a partner to reproduce, and they need to leave the water to lay eggs (keep the water up in the tank, and there's no where for eggs.
I was planning on having a school of dithers. I was thinking either Zebra Danios, Harlequin Rasboras, or Cherry Barbs. As for algae control, I'm not a big fan of Ottos. I was thinking a Rubberlip Pleco or a Bristlenose Pleco.
An adult Bristlenose is a bit much for a 29, I moved mine up to a larger tank when she reached about 3", which is only half grown for these guys. As much as you don't like Otos, I think they really are the best option, unless you have a dealer locally that can get some smaller Loricariads such as Paraotocinclus. Rhineloricariads are another possibility, they tend to be thinner than the Bristlenose. Farlowella is another option. Although long, it is very thin, so less bioload than the much heavier Bristlenose. May not be such a great glass cleaner, though.
Sids are a great idea for a 29. They are one of the few Loaches that are commonly found swimming in the mid regions of the tank. About 6-8 would be really good. Zebras will also fit, but they are more bottom oriented, and seem to hide more. They are slightly larger than Sids, so perhaps 6 is the most I would want, and still have room for other fish.
Other small Loaches are more of a specialized set up, but Schistura and their relatives are quite bold, and Hillstream Loaches are commonly out during the day. Read more about these, though. I do not think they meet your requirements.
Schooling fish such as Danios (cooler water fish), the smaller Barbs or Rasboras would be compatible with the Asian theme of the Loaches, Tetras (There are South American and African) are another group that have some possibilities, and the SA idea fits in with the Loricariad. Any of these, I am thinking fish that are pretty close to 1" long get 8-10 to make a nice school.
Some of the less common Danios, or maybe the long fin Zebras
Harlequin or Espei Rasboras
Any of the Dwarf Rasboras
There are several fish with the name 'Blue Eye' or similar that might work, and the blue eye is glowing and very showy.
Or slightly larger, fewer (no more than 6) fish something like the Bleeding Heart Tetra, or Ruby Barb, Black Phantom Tetras.
If it is a covered tank, Hatchet Fish.
Happy fish keeping!
Also, I may have found another apartment option in my price range that will let me have whatever I want, so I may be able to get a larger tank in the near-ish future instead of the 29. A friend said she was selling her 55gallon, and if it all works out (I'm so hoping for this, because it's a perfect apartment), I may just try something a bit different and larger.
If the GH and KH are anywhere from 5 German degrees of hardness to 9 degrees, this is a great range for these fish (sids, and most of the commonly available schooling fish)
Some of the more delicate schooling fish (Rummy nose Tetras, Cardinals...) would prefer much softer water, GH and KH closer to 3 degrees.
pH is not the same thing, and while it can be related (especially to KH) it is not always.
Happy fish keeping!
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