Thank you all for the very helpful information! When I went back to Petco and explained the dilemma, the fishguy first tried to argue with me that the pleco & danio were perfectly suited to a 14 gallon tank. I finally cut him off with "Listen, I'd rather return them now and possibly come back for new ones and add them to my tank when it is stable, than run the risk of killing them. Take them out of this bowl and put them back in your tank, please." He stopped arguing at that point.
He tested the water from both tanks (alas, with a strip) and said the levels were fine in both.
I can credit him with being honest about the aquatic plants... He showed me where they were in the store, but recommended that I wait until the next shipment came in because they weren't 'the freshest bunch'...
Tomorrow I will bring home my 2.5 gal. and transfer Zippy (Zebra Danio
) into the home tank, along with his little filter and some gravel & his synthetic plant. He and Shimmer (the Diamond Tetra
) will be roomies until the tank is stable enough to add more fish. How long approximately do you think that will take?
I ordered the API Master Test Kit and it will hopefully arrive quickly. I also asked one of the pre-school parents who raises Ciclids and she was happy to share with me the name & location of a nearby LFS.
Thanks again Everyone! Any more I should know?