thanks for all that Wallywest...
I'm leaving him tank-mate-less for now...might be searching for a mariomo...maybe order some nanos from ebay...for now I'm letting him get used to his tank.
I did order a bit of filter sponge for the intake...right now a regular sponge is covering it but i learned those will mold so for now i'm keeping a close eye on it and waiting for the filter sponge.
i may eventually do real plants but for now he has two silk plants and one soft plastic one...the bigger silk one is beneath the outflow of the filter, so its redirecting it and baffling it enough that Marbles has absolutely no issue swimming about freely now...he even occasionally goes over and nudges at the plant.
my tank, over all, with the exception of the marbles and two smaller plants (i had those)...cost about $54...the 2gal w.filter and hood/light was $32...my dad purchased it for me, and the decor+bloodworms were a little over $20...not a bad deal and hes quite a happy guy =D