Hi all, thanks for the ideas.
Low Tech Tank...
Here is a post I made months back, showing this 29g and a 20g high. @Clemsons2k, the 20g high may be of interest. Those were long-fin white clouds I purchased from MsJinkz (I spelled her name wrong but she's a popular power seller), kept with some RCS. It was a lovely coldwater tank and the white clouds never touched the shrimp.
@wicca27, I did upgrade the bulb in the hood/light that came with this tank and I grew beautiful crypts and dwarf sag with it. You can't see the crypts well in the post I linked above, but they did wonderfully. My jungle vals, however, never really grew... That project really proved to me that with the lowest of low tech, crypts and anubias do well! My java ferns always look dreadful however (maybe it's my super hard super alkaline water?). And anubias were pricey!
Since this 29g will be the focal point of my new TINY (and dark) studio apartment, I'm leaning towards the idea of using nano fish and shrimp. It will make this tank look larger, but also make it look peaceful and be very low maintenance...cichlids are my favorite fish to keep (I'm addicted to kribs), but they excite me and distract me with the possibility of breeding and raising fry
I think what I'll need as a real adult, entering the real work force for the real first time, is peace rather than potential breeding projects. And I don't have space for breeding projects anymore
Shrimp of any kind are in high demand where I am; there are very few breeders selling their stock. I made grocery money off my 5g RCS colony last year, maybe starting a larger shrimp colony will be a good investment?