08-13-2010, 07:49 PM
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On the cycling, if you have live plants they will handle the ammonia from fish, so there need be no wait. Don't add ammonia sources (fishless cycling, etc) with plants, that's a waste of time and effort. I'm assuming you may be heading down this road with ammonia at 8, it has to come from something unless it is in the source water.
If you have soft, slightly acidic water (as it seems you do) then you have a lot of choices. Course, I've no idea what may be available, but given the high level of activity in the aquarium hobby in Japan and your relative closeness to the breeders of SE Asia, I would think you should have a lot of opportunity.
From South America, Ember Tetra (Hyphessobrycon amandae) is ideal; a group of 5 would be very nice.
From SE Asia, even more choices. Any of the dwarf rasbora in the Boraras genus, we have Boraras brigittae in our profiles, but there are several other similar species and these seem to be very popular in SE Asia these days so should be readily available. A group of 5-6, maybe some shrimp for the bottom?
There are several species of Dario now available, we have Dario Dario in our profiles, this is the most common but there are several other species (13 if memory serves me) all near-identical in size and requirements. Only today I got word of a new import called Dario "Pajama", it has not yet been described and named but the pattern has led to the common name of Pajama. A quite a beautiful fish, and the females are also barred which is unique for this genus. Again shrimp for the bottom.
The lovely Galaxy Danio or Galaxy Rasbora or Celestial Pearl Danio [common names can be prolific], Danio margaritatus, is a very striking fish, a group of 5-6 ideal in a heavily-planted tank. Also in our profiles. Click on shaded names to see the profiles, or use the second tab in the blue bar at the top. Look under Cyprinids and Characins. Fish sizes and minimum tank sizes are included in the profiles.