Sorry to hear about your losses. Have you considered the place you are buying your fish might not have healthy fish to begin with? It's hard to say, but look at all the tanks closely and look for fish that are unhealthy or already dead. I won't buy from one store in town here as there are always dying fish in at least one tank.
I have indeed. I typically buy from Petco because I love their 30 day return policy and I know the aquatics guys there which means they treat me well, put in special orders whenever I ask and allow me to return no questions ask. However, there are 2 major problems with Petco. First is that their stock sells out quick, so unless I go in and either pick up what I want the day it comes in or I ask my guys to set aside what I want, it's gone pretty quickly. Which means that the fish don't have time to settle in and destress from the shipping. That is a PITA. The second thing is that they order from the cheapest possible breeder and this does in turn affect the quality of their livestock sometimes. Certain breeders who are giving the lowest price are cutting corners and/or have inferior "products".
So sometimes I will go to my other LFS, which has a better variety of fish and I have yet to buy a fish that died shortly after "adoption". However, there are 2 downsides with them too. One, they don't offer any sort of warranty. And two, they are more expensive.
So it's a tossup. My guys at Petco really try to help me out and go the extra mile for me, so I like to give them my business and support. But my guard is definitely up with them.
add more plants that will help water quality and remember small weekly water changes (10-20%)
Absolutely. Will probably do about 20-25% weekly.
crypt wendtii is fun. More java fern I guess. Anubias is also a good addition.
So far I've got some Java, 1 anubias, 1 banana plant and this unidentifiable fern tied to coconut husk (see pics on first post). I didn't want to add any more plants until the tank was humming along nicely. Would it be bad to add some now that all of the levels are evened out or should I wait until after I have added some fish? I do have some Crypt in my other tank. Could I just pinch off a little and add it to this tank (at least I know it's coming from another healthy tank haha)?