Hummm...you're right, the *calming* effect on the fish and the
way the colors would *pop* on the fish is why I wanted
black sand in the first place.
For stocking I'm leaning towards (but going to consider all
opinions here on the forum :) ):
cories: Sterba, false Julii, skunk or adolfoi (or whatever *fits*)
cats: Pictus (already have 1) total of 3
loaches: Sidthimunki, redtail, tiger, angelicus or striata (or whatever *fits*)
pleco: something(s) that stays smaller, relatively.
-how many smaller plecos can you house together? big bio loads, I know... :( )
I'd select from the list above according to how well they look against black sand and how the individuals would do
with each other, adult size, etc., etc.
Schooling fish: have not even really thought about that yet.
I'd really like a school of Denison barbs (beautiful fish, IMO) but
may not be able to get away with it due to the pictus cats.
Perhaps if the pictus start out very small and the barbs very large??
I was going to give myself a budget before I put the stock list together but I've completely thrown that out