My boss gave me a tank that she was done using. She told me it was a 20 gallon with all of the stuff to go along with it. When I went to pick it up, I measured it and found out it was a 29 gallon! Yay! But the filter is pretty old and icky looking so I'm going to get a new one.
So I have never had a tank this large (I know it's not huge, but I'm used to 5 or 10 gallon tanks!). I don't even know where to start. Should I do a fishless cycle? I plan on getting some kuhli loaches, corycats, platys, harlequin rasboras, neon tetras, some ghost shrimp, and maybe a female betta. Does that sound like a group that would be ok? Anything else I could put in there or would that be overstocking?
What size heater do I need? 100watt? Any brands you would recommend? I have the Elite 25 and 50 in my 5 and 10 gallon tanks right now and love them. What about a filter? What size would I need? Brands you would recommend? Do I need to baffle it for these type of fish?
I know I need sand substrate for the loaches and corycats. Is sand hard to work with? I know you have to stir it occasionally to prevent gas bubbles and it can be a pain to rinse when you first get it. Is there a brand anyone would recommend? How much would I need for 29 gallons? Can you plant live plants in sand?
I know that is a lot of questions, but I feel overwhelmed right now! What source of ammonia can I use if I do a fishless cycle? How long does it usually take to cycle with no fish? Thank you so much if you have made it this far!!!