I came across this site a few time while Googling specific topics so I decided to register.
My background is with small freshwater tanks growing up and a 55g saltwater tank in my mid 20's.
Back then, if you can even image a time, we didn't have Google and the internet to read and research online so I'm sure I had no idea what I was doing even though my only dead fish either jumped out a crack or got sucked into the filter somehow.
So fast forward and I am 44 with an 8yo daughter that won a goldfish at school and wants an aquarium.
We are starting with a 36 gallon Aqueon bow front and stand from PetSmart. I ordered a 150w Jager Aquarium Heater and a Fluval C4 filter.
Almost 6 weeks ago we bought a 4g Aquaon all in one kit tank to keep the goldfish in and now we have 2 small goldfish and 2 Cory Cats. The water looks clear but goes toxic so we do 25%-50% daily water changes and everyone seems happy enough until we set up the new aquarium.
My question is about doing the cycle with those 4 fish in the bigger tank. Should I do it with only the 2 goldfish and leave the cats in the smaller tank or since it is so much bigger, can I do it with all of them?
Also, we would like a natural gravel substrate look with some driftwood pieces. Fake plants to start with the intent of adding live stuff later.
Should I use a mixture of substates on the initial set up or wait until I actually add live plants?
With the exception of the goldfish that hopefully will find a new home one day soon, we imagine an Amazon River theme with schools of smaller fish instead of anything too large.
Any ideas of thoughts would be welcome.