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@Dreamroper @somewhatshocked do you have any suggestions for smaller suface dwellers?
In a tank that small, there aren't really going to be many fish that stay in one particular area of the tank other than Corys - with the exception of Corydoras pygmaeus, which swim all over the place and don't spend all their time near the substrate like Corydoras habrosus.

Pretty much any of the small species mentioned or suggested here will explore all over the tank. There's not really much that will spend all its time near the surface other than a Betta. Several other possibilities would open up if your tank was 5x larger. Pantodon buchholzi is an option for more experienced planted tankers who can provide the proper habitat and care they need. Definitely not a beginner fish.

One thing that will help you see how tiny/nano fish behave is to spend a lot of time going through journals in the Tank Journals section. Write down the names of any fish you find interesting and then search the forum for them one by one to get more specifics. Though, many times you'll learn a ton just from the journals. YouTube is also a good place to search for videos to see how fish look and behave once you know they're something you're interested in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Endlers are very colorful and hardy. They spend a lot of time swimming at the top of the tank, but really they're all over the place. I have some that I bought online and I'm really happy with their colors. Is that what you mean by "surface dwellers"?
In a tank that small, there aren't really going to be many fish that stay in one particular area of the tank other than Corys - with the exception of Corydoras pygmaeus, which swim all over the place and don't spend all their time near the substrate like Corydoras habrosus.

Pretty much any of the small species mentioned or suggested here will explore all over the tank. There's not really much that will spend all its time near the surface other than a Betta. Several other possibilities would open up if your tank was 5x larger. Pantodon buchholzi is an option for more experienced planted tankers who can provide the proper habitat and care they need. Definitely not a beginner fish.

One thing that will help you see how tiny/nano fish behave is to spend a lot of time going through journals in the Tank Journals section. Write down the names of any fish you find interesting and then search the forum for them one by one to get more specifics. Though, many times you'll learn a ton just from the journals. YouTube is also a good place to search for videos to see how fish look and behave once you know they're something you're interested in.
so im going to get some pepper corydoras and some harlequin Rasboras, what are you suggestions for a "show stopper"
 

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so im going to get some pepper corydoras and some harlequin Rasboras, what are you suggestions for a "show stopper"
Personally, I think you already have the the stars of the show. Corydoras habrosus are wildly entertaining. Their coloration may be bland but their little personalities are comical and non-stop fun. They're one of my absolute favorites even after 20 years of keeping them. Way more fun than larger cories. I liken their antics to those of my little Dachshund mix.

Harlequins are a showstopper in their own right. Compared to C. habrosus, Trigonostigma heteromorpha are really flashy. Plenty of color and activity for a planted tank.

I'm betting you'll love your tank with just those two species at first. I'd go with more cories than the other - maybe start with 11-15 of them. Depending upon your tank's dimensions and how much room you'll have for them at substrate level, of course. They're really that much fun. If you run into budget issues or just want to take your time, I promise your tank won't be boring with just the cories.
 
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