get some frogbit or something similar to help diffuse the light
I'm on top of it! I was planning to transfer some from my 33 gallon, but a bunch came with the aponogeton natans that I picked up today
I agree that I might lose my gamble with the hatchets. I'm hoping that floating plants will be enough deterrent but if they are dead set on carpet-surfing, I do have two fitting hinged glass tops that I can use. I might go that route anyways, just to cut down on evaporation.
I also picked up 6 Habrosus cories today and they are settling in nicely.
Thanks for all of the positive feedback!