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Well, here is what I have so far...5.5 gallon tank, a sword, a crypt that's probably going to have to go because it's roots get too long, 2 pieces of wood, and the beginnings of a moss wall made up of scavenged java/xmas moss that the store had in various tanks and was willing to part with. I think if the moss wall grows out it will make things look a little better.

I also have 8 pygmy cories and an orange shrimp (not visible in the pic, alas) so I am likely overstocked, at least from what I have read on other forums but I'm planning on losing a couple, from what I have read, they are tough to keep alive. Funny how I can be overstocked yet you can't see any of my fish :icon_conf

Anyways, I need all the water I can get for the fish, so I am probably limited to 1" of substrate, and the crypt has roots that will probably start growing out of the gravel, so it might have to go...wish they would have told me that before I paid $5 for it.

I was thinking about going online and ordering one of those 3"x5" java fern mats when I can, and cutting it in half lengthwise and putting one half next to each wall of the tank. Would that work? Anyone have any good ideas for low light shallow gravel plants?

Thanks so much!
 

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Honestly, I don't think you're overstocked as far as bioload goes. Cories arent that big of waste producers. Just keep up with water changes and filtration. They may be a little cramped in there with a limited floor area, but considering I cant even see them, they're probably fine. :)

I'm not a fan of java moss. Your moss wall is going to look pretty messy, imho. I'd go with peacock, xmas, or some other moss that has a more structured form.
 

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Nice pieces of driftwood, You could try to attach sometype of Java fern of Anubias to them. To make the tank more interesting, you could get trade some of the corys to a LFS for some Neons or something. Good luck!
 

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i would definitely go with the java fern they are great easy plants. i also agree an anubias plany of some sort would look great tied to one of those pieces of driftwood. i would also lose the sword it is going to get incredibly large way to large for a 5.5g tank i would replace with with maybe a tropica sword if you can find one they stay small around 6-8in tall from what i have heard. i would also look for some kind of foreground plant i cant think of any off the top of my head right now for some reason though but there will be others here that will be able to give you some ideas.

and as for stocking id get some more shrimp. they cory wont mess with them at all so they would be a nice addition to the tank and have an incredibly small bioload. as for fish if you want anythign else once the tank is more stable i might add a male guppy or 2 just to have something swimming around in the upper levels of the water
 
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