Even though I like plants, I do like something moving among them. The 5 existing Black Molly fry and the snails did not satisfy my desire for more fins. That started my predictable search for the additional occupants.
Over the following 2 weeks I jerked around many people and single-handedly propelled the hit count on anything fishy to the new heights on Google. Given that I only had 10g to play with, I concentrated on 'nano' fish: CPD, badis, ember tetras, rasboras of different stripes and colors, Microdevario kubotai, and even glow light tetras were on my list.
Predictably, I ended up with something different: C. pygmaeus and Sparkling Gourami. Even this effort did no go without snafus. The first shipment of fish arrived with some DOAs (for which I was given prompt, no questions asked credit). The subsequent order was screwed up by me as I went long on the previous DOAs and the seller run out of corys.
First Fish Order
(recieved 2 weeks ago):
13 C. pygmaeus (including 1 'extra')
2 Sparkling Gourami (+4 DOA)
After 15 mins of acclimation, all fish promptly went into the tank.
Even if you know that the fish is tiny, you are still unprepared to how tiny. Very tiny indeed. Hard to believe that you can 'loose' 15 fish in a 10g.
After watching the fish for about a week I decided that more is better and that I'm missing that all-elusive 'center fish'. That lead me on another chaise that was not without it's own set of issues.
The sale at PetSmart was my downfall: against my better judgement and experience I decided that saving a $1 per fish was too hard to resist. I was going to get 4 German Blue Rams but after examining the PetSmart's stock I took home just 1 pair as they did not have another male to my liking. Back I went the next day (when they receive new fish) and home I went with 1 more.
Why 1 M + 1 F were not good enough for me? First off, the rams are max 1", even when wet. Second, my experience with a single pair of cichlids or with 1 M + 2 F are not that great: either the pair does not like each other and fight for the rest of their lives or one F kills the rival F. Blah... So, the common wisdom is to get around 6 juvies and let them sort things out. Right, it's all logical but no one told that to the rams.
Initially, my 1 M + 2 F decided to make the other 1 M's life difficult. Like chasing him around and pushing him in the side. Once that game got stale, 1 M + 1 F decided that there will be more romance in their future. Now the previously persecuted M is left alone, but one F is chasing the other F. Reminds me of the HS. The only good news here is that if the current state of likes/dislikes holds, the 10g will be left to the lover birds and the other M+F will get moved to another tank. IF I can catch them... and if I do ... the right ones.
The Subsequent Fish Order
7 C. pygmaeus (ordered 12 but the seller run out)
4 Sparkling Gourami
All alive. The 7 corys promptly went into the tank and do what corys do the first 1/2 hour: swimming all over the place
Now, everything is well but do I really want/can have 6 Gourami in a 10g? Scratch head here, scratch head there. Damn if you, do damn if you don't. My mistake - gotta find a solution. After some fuzzy soul searching and self-lynching I add 1 new Gourami to the 10g and (gasp) add the other 3 to my 17g.
What's wrong with that brilliant solution? The new Gourami is being chased by the other 2. Crossing my fingers that they will work things out, helpd out by me moving some plants around. Gotta watch that now and hope for no dead bodies.
The 17g for the other 3 new Gourami was a panic-driven compromise. It's a great, established, over-planted and under-stocked tank:
It houses 12 ottos and 2 and a half Black Mollies. BUT it is also home to 4 Dwarf Puffers... Oh my. Did I just fed some young, innocent fish to them? It's not even the $$. It's that feeling of dread when your stupid actions are likely to result in something bad and irreversible. 15 mins after my 'dinner served' action I brave a peek into the 17g: one Sparkling Grourami is calmly swimming right between 2 DPs that are an inch apart. Um, I have no idea what is going through the DPs murderous brains... They have been leaving Black Molly fry alone for the last couple of months but this!?! Another tank that needs close watching and some prayers.
As they say: "The worst enemy of Good, is Better".