04-23-2008, 04:37 PM
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Yes, mature filter media would be an advantage to getting things started, but in trying to find a natural balance, it will still take some time, and the extra filter media will not instantly cycle a tank... only help speed things up a bit.
I figured you had missed the part about them being sturdy... if you want bright, try gold white clouds... they can handle tropical temps and/or colder temps, they're sturdy, small, bright, and active... and they will school if there are a few together. Because they stay so small, it would be easy to fit 5 of them into the tank with enough plants to still find balance.
Killiefish are also very bright and colorful, and is why I suggested them.