I did toy with the idea of keeping some 'larger' fish along with a catfish or two. Nothing on the scale of a red tail, just fish which grow to about 18" in length.
However... as time went on (spent 3 weeks looking for the right tank + accessories deal I could get) I became more attracted to the idea of doing a community tropical tank.
This is what Im fully addicated to doing now
There will be 80 - 90% normal tropical fish with about 4 or 5 'special fish'. General rule for the tank is that nothing should have a max size of more than 15cm when fully grown. This is a tank in which I want to give the inhabitants the best chance of behaving as naturally as they can. When I set out to pick our fish I made an excel spreadsheet so that I could compare ph / temp / feeding needs etc.
Large shoal of Tetras. Quite what ones yet is open to debate between my wife and I
Current fav's are black neon tetras, cardinal tetras or lemon tetras. Whichever one comes out top in the end will have a lot of friends to swim around with
2 x Plec's. Im a big big catfish fan and as a consequence I didnt have any problems at all thinking of bottom feeders. Bristlenose and a Golden Nugget plec are my current picks as they do not get to huge sizes and look pretty cute
Cory's. Probably going to get a few peppered corys. These were in my fathers tank and I can remember the one peppered cory we had back then.
Khuli Loach. Such a neat fish, and for the same reason as the Corys.
Glass catfish. My sons pick. He thinks they are really neat, so Ive promised he can put some in once the tank is ready.
Guppys. My daughters pick.
After this point.. I honestly dont know. Its going to take a long time to get to the point where everything is in so I will probably have found a new "must have!" by then
The only 'fish' that wont make it is the amazingly good looking (no not in that sense...) blue crayfish. Looks fantastic, would be a great 'special' but from what Ive read on here, they are not compatible with a community tank.
Thanks again for the info & support. Once its all up n running (and I can grab someones camera) I'll post a few pictures.