Alright, so I'm only in the planning stages of my 5 gallon planted nano tank. I hope I don't overwhelm anyone with my mass of questions but I refuse to build a tank without doing my homework first and creating the best possible environment for the plants and fish. Just for reference, I'm considering Otocinclus catfish, sparkling gourami, rili red shrimp, and gold ring danio for the tank, because everything I've read about these fish/invertebrates claims that they are peaceful and none of them surpass 2". Also, all of these fish are available at my local fish store. Okay, that being said, here are the things I'm wondering about:
What is considered maximum bioload for a 5 gallon? I've been researching for a while and can't really get a straight answer since it differs based on waste and size of the fish. How many (or few) of the fish I listed can I keep without crowding or putting stress on the animals?
I know that all of the fish I listed are better in groups, so which one, if any, of the species I listed should I eliminate from my plans in order to adhere to the maximum bioload? (If I can't do all of them I'd probably just stick with the rili red shrimp as a single species tank).
Final question. Is there any specific order (once the plants take root and I allow the planted tank to mature a bit) that I should introduce the shrimp/fish to allow them to better acclimate to their new environment? I read that the shrimp shouldn't be introduced until the plants have been in the tank for at least 6 months. Is this accurate? Does it matter?
Sorry for the long post. Just trying to do this right with the fish's best interest in mind.