Hi, all. I'm a freshman in college and I brought my practically-manages-itself planted 5gal Minibow to make sure I had the time (and space) for a plant tank. As it turns out I do, so I'm looking toward fudging the dorm rules a little for one of these (http://www.aquabotanic.com/4sale.htm
) lovely set-ups (imagine! Adequate lighting without retrofitting! There were plastic shards in my carpet for weeks after I put real lighting into the bowfront).
I pretty much know most of my plant plans, although I'm always open to suggestions. Obviously it's not riccia-level lighting or anything, although on small tanks I always like to point a desk lamp with a 28 watt cf replacement bulb at one side or the other, it helps a lot. My real query is fish-related. Assuming a very heavily planted species tank ... which species?
It's come down to three contenders, although one of them isn't really as high on the list in my mind as the other two.
Rocket Panchanx or Clown Killies, Epiplatys annulatus. I've read several articles about maintaining a self-sustaining group of these in ten and fifteen gallon tanks, so twelve should be fine. They're obviously gorgeous and unusual, but, I'd probably have to keep grindal worms and maybe rent space in someone's fridge for frozen foods.
Endler's Livebearers. Also gorgeous and unusual, and again pretty small and able to create a self-sustaining group. However, I worry that the parents won't be active enough fry-eaters and I'll end up with fish I can't exactly drive to the local fish store, it being back in my hometown with, you know, my main mode of transport.
White Cloud Mountain Minnows, gold variety. These I have, but removing them from the five would leave it empty. However, they do well or flake and freeze-dried foods and I know they eat enough eggs and fry for me not to worry terrible (especially in a tank with a power filter, although that sounds heartless ...)
Sorry for the long post, and thanks for your advice!