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Your set-up sounds good. I'd probably add some flowerpots for caves.

I use Buenos Aires tetras for dithers with my Gymnos and chanchitos. You can also use goodeids (like Xenoteca eiseni), although they're from Mexico.

I keep most of my southern South Americans on the bottom row (nearest the floor) of my fishroom, which probably gets down to the mid-60's in the winter. I turn off the heaters in the fall. These tanks also are the last to get the water from water changes (i.e. when the hot water runs out). In the spring I turn the heaters back on...and that's when they spawn...
 
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