I have queen arabesque plecs in my planted tank. They are mainly carnivorous and only grow to about 4inches, so are perfect. I love them, although they are a shy, so do better with more than one. I have 2 and in an ideal world would have 5 or 6 (maybe an excuse for a species only tank one day!)
You could always get a group of pitbull plecs (or almost any other of the parotocinclus) I've got a Gold spot dwarf plec (parotocinclus spilisoma) who hasn't touched my plants in the 18 months I've had it. They're about the same size as otos but more plec like in appearance and behaviour. Ideal for many of the smaller planted tanks
Yeah I like the look of those but the main reason for me having those species is for the algae eating capabilities.
Heres a little update. Ive just put some backing onto the tank which I think looks a little better. It brings out the colour of the cardinals.
I think It looks darker as Ive adjusted the aperture on the the camera so thats why it looks darker. It was either the black or clue background...but the missus prefers the black...I thought it looked better too.
Im going to be taking the leap also into EI with dosing dry ferts into the tank, just need to find a cheap supplier, although Im going to be looking in the store cabinets in the labs this week to see what I can "aquire" !!