<Ammonia is barely registering right now but it is still a new set up and not established yet and I am keeping an eye on it.>
Your tank is still cycling if you have any ammonia or nitrite readings. I do a fishless cycle with all of my tanks absolutely fully planted. NO algae.
<Kinda figuring I'm close to capacity as far as stocking but with the neons being so small I don't think they are impacting water quality that much. >
If you are talking about the same tank, it has not cycled and is not safe for fish.
<Snails I'm steering away from(rapid take over of tank by slime creatures I do not want)>
Nerite snails do not reproduce in fresh water and are needed in a planted tank. They clean glass, plant leaves and the wood.
<Full spectrum florescent that does a nice job of lighting all the way to the bottom and anything brighter would just encourage rapid multiplication of algae which I want to delay as long as possible and the temperature is holding at 74 with a heater.>
74 is way too cool for tropical fish. 78 degrees or better especially for the fish that you are stating that you want to keep. Yes, betta females are great, but only one or more than five. They should be introduced all at the same time or they will fight to the end. I have a large betta sorority tank with 16 females. They get along great, but they were added all at the same time. If I added another or any others now, the chances are excellent that there would be deaths....most likely the new fish. Bettas like temps closer to 80 degrees.
<Alternanthera reineckii would look pretty awesome too. >
This plant requires lots of light, as do most / all plants to maintain red coloring. Especially for a deep tank. Needs iron and supplements as well not to get leggy and lose its color. I have those as well. They have to be trimmed and the tops replanted regularly.
<<Meanwhile over the next few days I will be monitering parameters closely seeing as to how I just added new fish and the tank is still getting established. oh yeah, NO3 is under 40 and NO2 is under 0.5. A slight increase and expected when adding new fish with an environment still building.>>
My advice is not to add anything else until your ammonia and nitrites are reading ZERO. Then do a partial water change to reduce your nitrates and add a few more fish........a fully planted tank that has adequate lighting for the plants in it will absorb and utilize the ammonia. There is absolutely no reason not to fully plant it from the beginning from a tank parameter point of view. The algae blooms (not counting diatoms -- brown algae) are caused in good part from not enough plants to outcompete the algae for nutrients. I have set tanks up fully planted, let them cycle (fishless), did a water change when they were fully cycled and had no algae problems of any sort. Not even brown diatoms.
Wait until this tank has cycled to add anything else. Read up on the requirements of the plants you want to keep and the fish as well. It will eliminate many, many problems and make your planted tank a resounding success.
Read more: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...#ixzz1eHyTzrYW