07-21-2012, 06:25 AM
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I would suggest to not get caught up in what looks good at the pet shop. Most fish will look drastically different after 2 or 3 months at home. Here are a few of my personal favorites that will look great after they settle in, but look a bit "blah" at the pet shop:
Bleeding Heart Tetras, Checkered Barbs, Brilliant Rasboras, Gold Pristella Tetra, Harlequin Rasbora.
I have used the Prisella's as a starter fish in countless aquariums, because they are capable of mixing with almost any community. The Bleeding Hearts, Pristellas, and Harlequins are a mid water swimmer. The Checkered Barbs generally school near the bottom, and the Brillian Rasboras prefer the upper portion of the water column. Selecting fish which occupy different parts of the tank will help you maximum the stocking levels of the tank.
For what it's worth, I'm strongly considering a school of 12-15 Checkered Barbs as the starting fish in the 180 live plant tank I'm setting up this weekend.