I don't have pictures right now, sorry guys.
BUT--- Some guy was giving away a 30 gallon tank on craigslist, so I swooped in and picked it up. It had everything.... so ridiculous. I ended up buying a new filter and gravel. I had a bunch of plants, but I needed some taller ones so I picked up a few. I'm not switched over to real plants yet, I'm not ready for that kind of commitment at this point, and I dig fake plants.
Sooo I've got a heavily "planted" 30 gal. I knew I wanted to have a betta in my tank at some point. I've had really bad luck with my two 5 gallon tanks, and I've lost several fish. One tank had an undergravel filter and that was clearly a mistake I'll never make again. My other tank had such intensely changing levels that I could never get under control, even after I took out my fish, cycled it for 6 weeks, and started over. I had my water tested and even straight out of the tap it is super messed up.
This new tank, I decided to do a fish-in cycle with my three cories, two remaining zebra danios, and a fancy guppy. I let it cycle for several weeks, all was well, with minor spikes in ammonia. Around week 4 I added three platys. Monitored it for a week, and added three more fancy guppies. Still no changes. I added three more platys. Still no changes. Added 5 neon tetras. Still no changes. It has been about 9 weeks since I set it up and I'm confident I won't see any more changes and that I'm fully cycled.
Anyways, about two weeks ago I purchased the crowntail that I've had my eye on. I acclimated him to the tank by putting him in a breeder for a few days. He showed no signs of aggression in any way while in the breeder, so I let him go.
He swam around for a few days, and then took refuge in an ornament I have at the bottom of the tank. He'd been hiding out under there 24/7 for about a week, and today is the first day he's been out all day mingling with the other fish happily.
I highly suggest getting the biggest tank you can afford. Two five gallons, very hard to keep consistent even with daily water changes. This tank has been a breeze, I'm so happy to have found it. It is so much easier to care for everything. Much more of a joy to have in my home.
Here is my fish list again:
1 Male crowntail
5 platys (one died)
5 neon tetras
4 fancy male guppies (no, the betta doesn't pick on any of them)
I'll probably get a few more cories.