29 Gallon Update #1

Today was the day to start the process of getting this tank to my likings. The tank was at my wife’s school in Tampa, so I left early so I could hit one of the few fish shops I like: the Marine Warehouse.

I was at the Marine Warehouse for about an hour, talking myself in and out of spending way too much money. This is a really good fish store, both for saltwater and freshwater. They have your common tropicals and American and African cichlids. They also usually have some “odd” fish that I believe people have traded in. Today I saw a 12″ ish long Giraffe catfish and a 10″ long Flagtail, a fish I was looking for when I had my 180 gallon up and running. Of course it shows up right when I don’t have it anymore. Sometimes, life is cruel.

Anyway, after some looking around and thinking, I decided to buy more fish instead of one fish and the new substrate I need for this set up to strive. There were a lot of Tangs to choose from, but I picked up (click on names to get linked to a species profile):

1- Neolamprolongus leleupi
1- Lamprolongus helianthus
3- Julidochromis marlieri

All 5 of them are small juveniles. I need to get at least two more Julies to spread aggression in case two of them pair off.

Next I went to my wife’s school to tear down her tank, which didn’t take long. Just threw the fish in a bucket, drained it, and carried it out. When moving tanks, I find it best to leave the substrate wet and to throw the filter media on top of the substrate to keep it wet as well. That way none of the beneficial bacteria dies off in the move which should prevent a mini-cycle from happening.

I then went home (after a food pit stop) and threw the tank back together. Since I have no plants and no rocks, I kept all the decorations so the cichlids can have someplace to hide and fight over. The decorations that were in there actually aren’t bad for cichlids as it has lots of nooks and crannies to hide in. I didn’t clean it or anything as I didn’t want to stress the fish anymore than I have too. The current location is most likely temporary anyway, as is the towel underneath the tank to protect the book stand. The fish my wife had are also temporary one way or another. She had seven fish left, including two female swordtails, one emerald cory cat, three guppies, and one gold barb. If the barb gets nippy like they tend to do, it will be culled in the blink of an eye.

View from the computer. 

The next steps involve mostly cleaning the outside of the tank, fixing the background, and putting in a bigger filter from my old tank.

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