I have a 65g tank that I'm slowly building into a 'backwater' tank. What I mean by that is a mimicry of the areas you find under the overhangs of streambanks, off in quiet areas where nobody goes. Little water movement, not terribly much plant life, sticks and dead leaves everywhere, no large or hyper fish. My current stock plan is:
4 pearl gouramis
15-18 glowlight tetras
15-18 Beckford's pencils or similarly sized fish
5 checkerboard cichlids
Some variety of suckermouth, perhaps a twig catfish
One darter (Johnny? Might be swamp) who may get some swamp darter friends at some point
The only ones I have so far are the glowlights and the one darter. For those who aren't familiar with them, pearl gouramis are 5-6" long at full size, usually stay near the surface, have small mouths, and are peaceful.
The checkerboards are a very peaceful, gentle variety of cichlid. I'll probably skip them anyway.
I'm aware that pencilfish are small and skinny and easily eaten, they may be negotiable.
I've been looking around this site, and now I've decided that I might replace the checkerboards with some variety of sunfish. My problems with this are twofold: firstly, most sunfish are aggressive, and I don't want that. Secondly, most sunfish will eat the glowlights. The glowlights are about the only non-negotiable part of this setup, though the pearls are a big favorite of mine.
Basically, I need something that won't chase everything else and won't eat my glowlights. I'm not fussy on color. I don't care if it would attack other sunnies, I can just keep one so long as it leaves everybody else alone.
I've seen profiles of species, like orangespotted sunnies, who only get about 4" long. Do any of those sunnies have small enough mouths to be trusted?
I saw a couple of profiles saying bantam sunfish only get about 3" long, but there are a couple of profiles saying they get more like 6". Which is accurate?
I know there are those Florida pygmy sunfish things, the Elassomas, but those are teeny and specialized and not good for this tank.
Where's a good source for little sunfish?