Hi guys, new to the forums and I've just started up an empty 10 gallon tank I've had laying around as a dirted aquarium. I've used Miracle-Gro Organic Choice Potting Mix (which I rinsed several times) mixed with some Amaco red clay before capping with gravel.
Here's the equipment I'm using:
Aqueon - Quiet Flow 10 Aquarium Power Filter
Tetra - HT10 50W Submersible Heater
Tetra - Whisper 10 Aquarium Air Pump (not on)
Zoo Med - Flora Sun Max Plant Growth (5000k) (15 watts T8)
So I got several plants from my local Pet Plus, such as wisteria, anubias nana, and what I believe was called creeping moss or something similar (they were out of java moss).
I've added no animals yet (figured I should wait, as I've heard that tannins being released early on, as well as spikes in ammonia and nitrates. When I do add, might start with some inverts first like shrimp and snails). I'm also not adding any chemicals/fertilizers, besides the necessary dechlorinater.
As one can see, the water is currently a slightly pinkish/whitish cloudy (camera makes it look a bit worse) and still some dirt stuck to the glass at the top of the water (will clean out when possible, and haven't performed any water changes yet as I've just set it up the other day).
Some questions I have as of now is how much and often should I do water changes for the first few weeks. I had planned 50%, but the staff who helped me said I should only do 25% every week. What do you guys suggest?
Also, should I turn my airstone on even if I don't have any fish/invertebrates in the tank?
Besides that, any tips and/or suggestions?