Don't crucify me for this post. I know what I'm doing wrong and I'll try to make a note of it as I mention it. This isn't a question or dilemma type post, its actually the opposite. I'm super happy with how my tank is doing and want it to be encouragement for those just starting out. I also want to put this here because I don't really have ANYONE else to talk about fish with. I don't know any other fish keepers and none of my friends/family really care. My kids get super excited when Whale Shark the Pleco comes out, and that makes me happy, but otherwise, I can't talk about tanks or fish stuff with anyone but on here. I've been reading a LOT about this hobby since I started, approximately 2 months ago. Originally I stressed about overstocking and cycling, but I've been taking a more relaxed approach to it and I've been enjoying it even more than ever. I've lost some fish and shrimp over the past two months, but I know why for most of them. Originally, I lost a total of 6 White Cloud Minnows (3 and then 3 replacements) to a mystery that could have possibly been as simple as the wrong temperature for them. Then I got my Dwarf Gourami, Balthazar, and he's still going strong as the center piece of my 10g tank. Every decision I've made since getting him has been molded around him. Mostly. **I know that he would be better off in at least 20g** After much self-confliction, I took a chance and got a baby bristlenose pleco, Whale Shark. Named by my shark-infatuated son because its brown with white spots, and I know that he should be in a larger tank because of its potential size and bio-load. Then I added a dozen ghost shrimp...before the tank had cycled. ...3 were dead before I put them in the water (from travel or just a weak batch), so technically I only put in 9. Within the next week or two I'd lost several more. Yesterday, the last one died. I know now that they shouldn't have been added till much later after cycling the tank. Next, I added a Golden Mystery Snail. Then, later, I added 3 endlers. Balthazar kept them terrified, so I returned them and added 2 cory cats. A pepper and an albino. **I know that they need a longer tank** Then I added an amano shrimp. He has apparently climbed out the open back of the tank. The other day, I added 2 more pepper cory cats. When they scooped up the corys, they apparently accidentally added a tiny baby endler which wasn't noticed till I was acclimating them. I thought it would be a nice little snack for Balthazar, but alas, he has survived several days so far. My current stock is: 1 dwarf gourami 1 bristlenose pleco 4 cory cats 1 gold mystery snail several several several snails 1 tiny tiny little baby endler (for now) I thought that I was going to hate myself and that I would have to hide all of this information from you guys because I know that its currently overstocked, but I did it anyway. The point of this is that anytime someone has the wrong sized fish in the wrong sized tank, there are at least 8 comments that don't address the issue, but rather scold the fish keeper for overstocking. I'm putting this out here because 1. its important for future questions for you guys to know whats happening in my tank and hiding vital information is like sneaking snack cakes during a diet and complaining that you aren't losing weight. 2. there IS a little leeway to keep fish happy (with proper water changes and filtration). 3. Newbies, don't let fish keeper anxiety keep you from making your own mistakes, it takes time and experience. A little more on my 2nd point there is that all of my fish are behaving normally and showing great color. There haven't been any altercations other than the DG nipping curiously at the snail, and when food is involved the pleco will chase off the cory cats. The whole "thrive, not just survive" thing was really scaring me away from making any decisions, but my fish have been excelling, with the exception of shrimp. Apparently, I'm not good with shrimp, and I can accept that and learn from it. That being said...my tank has 3 decent sized chunks of driftwood and at least 7-9 types of plants of varying sizes, as well as rocks that divide up the tank and add layers because its important to have lot and lots places for alone time. I do 30-50% water changes at least once a week, sometimes twice, and usually always closer to 50%. I dose with flourish and Prime regularly and I feed every other day, sometimes more, sometimes less if necessary. These fish will not be cramped into this tiny tank forever, I am also most definitely getting a larger tank in late August. At least 30 gallons, but I'm looking for a 45 tall. Pretty much anything that is at least 36" long but not much larger. Once I get the bigger tank everything will be transferred to it over time, with the exception of the substrate. I'll probably use sand this time, or a nutrient rich soil. I'll be bumping up the number of cory cats and another schooling fish that pairs well with the DG. Once things get cycled and settled, I'll probably add more amano or red cherry shrimp and see how it works out. Those of you that made it this far, please know that I highly value the information I receive on here and I heed it for the most part. Currently, if I were to notice any duress or distress from any of my fish I would make appropriate changes, and I hope that any newbie would. But as long as I see the progress that I've been seeing, I stand by my decisions to "overstock" my tank! Of course, we'll see what tune I'm singing if something goes wrong, but I'm proactive, not reactive, so I hope that it doesn't come to that. Thanks for reading and I hope some of you newbies and veterans, alike, acknowledge that every tank and fish is a little different and what works for you doesn't mean that it works for everyone, and vice verse. **Note that I'm not recommending disregarding general consensus on important topics.** Its hard to see but there is a fair amount of java moss around the middle driftwood in the shadows. The driftwood to the far right has large enough holes for shrimp and the pleco to hideout and the hornwort runs along the back and provides some excellent cover and traps food. In all honesty, the picture makes it look more open than it actually is, they have plenty of room to mosey around, but enough to keep them distracted from each other.