12-13-2006, 01:34 AM
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Everyone has missed the most important word in the "stocking rule". It's 1 inche of ADULT fish... always figure adult size from the beginning so they have room to grow. Most healthy fish will grow fast, and that's where a lot of people run into problems. Most fish sold in LFS's are babies, so it's rare to see them at adult size (with a few exceptions) and its rare that anyone puts an adult size fish into a newer tank.
I agree about avoiding tiger barbs, but I've raised mollys and neons together a few times, and they did well so long as the tank was heavily planted. If you can find them, coral platys are good with your mix. They're a dwarf species of platy, bright orange, and active. They're livebearing like mollys, standard platys, swordtails and guppys, so be sure to keep the breeding under control and don't pair them with 1 male/1 female. In a tank of that size, I'd suggest all male, or 2 females for each male.
Dwarf neon rainbows would also thrive in that tank. White cloud and gold white clouds would also thrive, as would glowlite tetras and gold tetras, green fire tetras, or even badis badis (the scarlet badis are awesome and super colorful with the males).
You have a lot of small options available. I'd get a list from your local LFS to see what of these they have available, and then work on how many of what kind. I notice the price and availability changes according to location.