Hi Lindsay, I am three months new to the hobby. It began when I was given a Betta to take care of for the winter. I immediately upgraded him from a .5" bowl. He is now in a 2 gal Fluval Spec. The owners said that he won't want to leave, so he is now a permanent guest!! I also have a Fluval Spec V 5.6 gal with Neon Tetras, Harlequin Rasporas, and Zebra Danios. A Marineland 2 gal with 3 Blue Velvet Shrimp. All tanks were picked because of their narrow footprint as they fit on my window sill, southern exposure. I will have my shades down all summer for slight diffused light.The Spec V does have some green algae that I easily keep under control.
I since relocated my Dwarf Mud Crap to his(?) own one gal bowl time-out bowl, from the Spec V after he ate two Tetras discovered one morning. (I had him for a while with the Shrimp, but he kept eyeing them) All are heated and filtered except for the Crab's which is only heated. All have black aquarium gravel. I use some Seachem Ferts. My plants are:
Other type of Swords.
Something similar to Anubius (different leaves)
Asian Water Moss
Najas Grass. This came as a two inch piece with the shrimp.
All of my plants have been multiplying so much.
The Java Ferns gave off a dozen babies.
The water Lettuce is twice as much now, and the Najas Grass is at least ten times as much when started. Two Nerite Snails in the Spec V, one in the Spec 2. Once your plants get going they may not stop!!