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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like to set up my 29G tank (30" L x 18" H x 12.5" D) with 4 yellow labs. I hope to get one male and three females, but I don't know if this will be possible if I buy the fish as juvies. There would be no other fish in the tank with the labs. I have an Aquaclear 50 power filter than provides 200 gph filtration as well as an Aquaclear 50 powerhead with a quick filter attachment modified to hold bio-media. My tap water has a pH of 7.8 and 127 ppm CaCO3.

I plan to set the tank up as a Tom Barr-style natural planted tank with many fast-growing hardy stem plants in flower pots to prevent uprooting. I would like a black substrate and am trying to decide between regular black fluorite or black fluorite sand. I plan to make caves by stacking layers of slate with other rocks in between and holding them together with silicone.

Would 4 yellow labs be a good stocking load for this tank? What would the bioload be like?
Would New Life Spectrum cichlid pellets or Hikari cichlid pellets be good food for them? How thick should the substrate be?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Yellow labs would be one of the few that do well in a 29G and I wouldn't put more than 4 or 5 in there.
Your filtration is fine, especially because yellow labs tend to take longer to get bigger (in my experience) so if you buy as juvies, it would be good.
I prefer NLS but its up to you.
The substrate depends on how many heavy rocks you will have and if you have any eggcrate in it. If you have eggcrate or not a lot of heavy rocks then an inch would be fine.
If no eggcrate and heavy rocks, make it a little more. Because a 29G is so tall it doesn't look bad either if you have it a little thick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. Is the pH and hardness of my water suitable for yellow labs, or will I need to use something to make it harder and more alkaline? I have SeaChem Equilibrium that I dose for my planted tanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'll definitely go with the NLS.

Are my water conditions suitable for yellow labs, or will I need to use a buffering product?
 

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I think your water will be fine as is. Don't bother with buffering, but do constantly check your parameters
 

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But I don't think labs are recommended in the long run for such a small tank. You can get away with it for a while, but eventually they will need a bigger tank. If you're interested in a planted tank (which is not really typical for an African cichlid) why don't you consider a South American tank with say apistos or blue/Bolivian rams. That is the perfect size tank for them.
 
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