Originally Posted by 60oz
Thanks for all the replies! I ended up getting three white cloud minnows, and might add a mystery snail as well.
That works right? I'd feel horrible if I was overstocking.
White clouds are a very active schooling fish so they generally do better in a larger tank with lots of room (such as a 20gal) and preferably at least 6 of them together. Bioload-wise three of them are ok in a 5.5 gal
but they won't truly be happy unless in an adequate group and a tank with a larger footprint. Maybe you can try returning them for something else? Unfortunately there aren't a ton of fish that work in a tank that small but you could check these out:
Betta (just one)
Celestial Pearl Danios (schooling fish, so 6)
Ember tetras (schooling fish, 6)
Chili rasboras (schooling fish, 6)
Dwarf puffer - Not a beginner fish like you already pointed out but not terribly hard either. Just make you sure you have good filtration, great water params, and stay on top of your PWCs. Live plants are recommended with lots of places for the DP to explore. Live or frozen foods are necessary (mine did fine on things like frozen blood worms, pond snails, etc).
Another option you have is to do a really nice planted shrimp tank with a hardy type like red cherry shrimp. They breed easily and are surprisingly fun to watch.