Hi everyone, I've been reading the forums and must admit the amount of info is a bit overwhelming, but I appreciate how helpful everyone seems to be here! I've had fish tanks for 20 years but place myself in the category of complete beginner who's been winging it (badly) and would like to do up my new tank the right way. I've decided to try live plants for the first time, have read about cycling, and bought a real water testing kit.
This is my new tank so far:
1 Java Fern bunch on a mat
2 Chain Sword (I think, forgot to write it down at the lfs so I've got to check when I go back)
3 Dwarf Chain Sword (same as above)
3 planted Wisteria
3 small floating Wisteria
I'd like to have some Water Sprite to float but have yet to find it around here.
I've decided to cycle with the raw shrimp method because with my schedule and distraction level fiddling with ammonia (or even finding the correct version) was not up my alley. I started the tank 2 days ago and added some gravel that the lfs gave me to jump-start it. Today my first water readings are thus:
KH 100 ppm (both GH and KH from strips, my liquid test kit didn't have these)
Ammonia 1.0 ppm
Nitrate 5 ppm
Keep in mind I'm just learning about these numbers and although I've read a lot of the articles, too much info starts boggling the mind.
So now I'll hit you with the questions
Do I have enough plants to support my preferred future fish happily, which would be two schools of small community fish such as Rasboras, Danios, or Tetras (haven't made up my mind) and if I can find them, some higher temp Corys. I say higher temp because my house gets pretty warm in the summer here in MD and the tank is around 81 degrees (as is my house). I didn't want to jump right in and plant a heavily planted tank with zero experience so far with plants.
Also, given my water parameters, are there any Rasboras or Tetras you would recommend that would be fairly colorful (at least not just silvery) and would compliment each other as far as tank level swimming?
Thanks for indulging a returning beginner with information overload!