TLDR: Nano tank advice?
Hello all, I joined so I could ask a couple questions for planning purposes. I don't have a tank at the moment but in the past I have successfully kept a male Betta in a bowl for years before he passed of old age.
The bowl was probably 1-2gal in capacity, and I had a couple of unnamed live plants from a pack of dried bulbs that I bought at Petco. I later added a few ramshorn snails (1/4 inch in size-- so cute!) to control the algae, and the bowl basically maintained itself. Snails kept it clean, and my sedentary betta only ate a little so didn't murky up the water too bad.
So that's my experience-- now for the advice. I'd like to create a Macquarium (fishtank inside a classic macintosh computer shell) and the plans for the glass tank state its nominal capacity is a little over 2 gallons. So I'm thinking about a betta and some snails, but I'm also fascinated with the idea of livebearer fish. I saw my aunt's guppy bowl, which is probably one gallon with a single plant for filtration. Somehow several adult and a whole mess of fry were able to thrive in those cramped conditions without even an air pump. So I'd like to know how sustainable that kind of setup would really be, compared to the betta/snails setup.
Honestly I really enjoyed the betta/snails setup because I only had to do 1/2 water changes every couple of months. I would assume that a full guppy breeder tank would get murky in a matter of weeks. I also would like to know about shrimp, and what combinations of plant and fish species, shrimp, and/or snails you would recommend for a nano tank like this to run relatively maintenance-free after the community is established. Again, I don't even have the tank built yet so there's no hurry. Just trying to envision it all