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So SWMBO got me a Tiki aquarium that is all of about 3.5 Gallons (9 in diameter and 15 in tall)
http://www.amazon.com/Ocean-Treasure...7129646&sr=1-1

for our basement bar. It has a 10 or 11 Watt coral life bulb, a duetto 100 and I put a small heater in the gravel. I'm looking to plant it heavily (low tech, ferts only, no CO2) and populate it. I have some ideas but wanted to bounce them off of some other folks. I'm thinking of 5-6 fish at most, depending on their sizes.

Fish options: zebra danios, pseudomugil sp.'s, dwarf emerald rasboras, galaxy rasboras, harlequin rasboras, a scarlet gem badis, a dwarf gourami, a betta, or a pearl gourami.

Shrimp: 4 to 5 cherries or zebras

Plants: A. nana, java fern, vals for the background.

Any ideas on any other fish that would do well in a small set up like this? Would you AVOID any of these fish? Why? I'd probably go with 4-6 of the smaller fish or just 1 of the larger ones?

What would be your choice for a nice tall background plants? Foreground/ bottom(keeping in mind there isn't that much)?
 

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For the background val nana could work as it's easy to trim the leaves shorter. I'd confine it somehow as it likes to send out runners all over. I've used a plastic strip cut from a 2 liter pop bottle with good results. Java ferns tend to get very large once they're happy. Narrow leaf java fern or lace leaf java fern might fit in the tank better. You might try marsilea for the foreground or one of the small crypts like parva. If you do get shrimp they really seem to like moss, so you might try a moss carpet.

The smaller the size of the fish in the school the better so you can have a minimum of 6 fish in the school (schooling fish really don't show natural behavior with less than six in the school). I think a dwarf schooling fish would give the best show in the tank. If I'm not mistaken a pearl gourami is quite large, about 5" or so, and that would be much too big for the tank. A single betta would be fine but not if you want shrimp as the shrimp would most likely be harassed or eaten. I've never had good luck finding healthy dwarf gourami, but I think they'd also be hard to keep with shrimp without a lot of hiding places for the shrimp.
 
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