04-09-2007, 06:03 PM
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grats on your tank! first of all, let the tank cycle for a couple weeks from when you first added the water and started the filter.
after the tank has cycled a couple weeks you can start adding fish, a school of 3 or 4 peppered corys or 5 or 6 small corys (like panda corys), would go nicely on the bottom of the tank. after you get some corys, wait a week then add another fish. I would reccomend a DG(dwarf gourami). these stay right around the 2" to 3" mark, are relatively friendly to smaller fish, spend most of their time at the surface, and are entertaining to watch. betas are similar to a DG as far as to where they hang out in the tank, but they may bully tetras as they are fairly territorial. it's hit and miss with betas as some are sweet and others will kill tetras. now, for the middle of the tank, ember tetras if you can get them! if not, neon or cardinal tetras or another small variety that stays around 1" are good. buy a school of 5 and you are good to go!
as far as carbon goes, its only usefull if your tap water is so bad that Aquasafe(tm) or another tap water cleaning agent wont take all the junk out. its also usefull for removing medicine after treating the fish if one gets sick. otherwise, if your tank is well balanced, you shouldnt need it.
dont forget to change 25% of the water a week! buy yourself a 5 gallon bucket and a gravel vacuum!