11-09-2010, 01:34 AM
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If you get fish that like fast-running water, they won't mind the disturbance from the air pump, but fish that like little current won't like it. For a 10-gallon tank, your options are limited, so read up on the fish you might want to get to see what conditions they prefer. My fish don't swim much at the surface anyway, so if your setup isn't producing a current lower down in the tank, it may not worry your fish too much.
To start the nitrogen cycle, you need a source of ammonia, either fish (their waste produces ammonia), ammonia itself (fishless cycle), or a dead prawn or something (fishless cycle). If you are going to cycle with fish, your cycle won't start until you get a fish or two. The plants help by helping to process the ammonia that the fish produce, so you shouldn't get as high ammonia spikes as you would if you had no plants. Your plants are quite small, so I don't think they'll be processing much waste for you until they grow. You need to decide if you'll cycle with fish or without. If you want to do a fishless cycle, read up on it. If you want to cycle with fish, buy a fish or two after researching what fish can be kept in a 10-gallon tank and whether those fish will suit your setup and water parameters.
Whichever you choose, it is a good idea to buy a test kit to test ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Although the fish shop might test your water for you, it is helpful to be able to find out what's happening straight away at home so that you can do any necessary water changes straight away and know when the cycle has finished.
Good luck and welcome to the forum.