About two weeks passed of low level cycling (using food and quick start chem). Finally, our water looked to be nice and stable, so we started adding our fish.
We started out with 10 Serpae Tetra ("The Red Devils"), 2 Powder Blue Dwarf Gourami ("Goober and Goonie") (from PetSmart) and an old Sailfin Pleco ("Agent P") we transplanted from a Cichlid tank. We also added on one of those canister CO2 things, but it seemed to make my PH screwy to we are briefly unplugging it. The plants seem to be doing fine with out it as all plants have grown and bulbs are sprouting. (We have two VHO's on it, one 110W AquaGro and one 110W Actinic Blue left over from the SW tank. I know it serve no real purpose being blue for the plants, but it makes my fish look pretty!)
We also got some Fissidens Fontanus from EBay a few days ago and I have to say it's rather beautiful!
Tested water Daily and continued the every-three-days water change.
About two weeks later - we added a small school of Zebra Danio (6 - "The Martys"), a Flame Dwarf Gourami ("Zatarain"), and three Sunburst Platys ("Curly, Larry and Moe"). We learned quickly that the Serpae are not as polite as we originally thought when they ganged up the two blue Gouramis (they liked the top of the tank, where as the flame likes to hide so was safe) and then on a Danio that was the slow one and killed all three the first day. Since then, however, they have significantly chilled out and I have not seen them chase or nip anyone else... not even the Sunburst (who I thought would have been their first choice?!?).
Today, as a late Mother's Day Present, my husband surprised me with a large piece of driftwood he scored from our friend, the lovely LFS owner. It's exactly what I wanted and is even covered in some moss already (although I have *no idea* what kind) and even apparently has a clam or something hidden in it although I can't seem to see it. (My DH had better eyes than I do!)
Tank today: (please ignore the ugly background with crazy amounts of bubbles.)
and close ups of driftwood: