Originally Posted by Bluek24a4
You have nothing to freak out about. The mistake I see people make on this forum is asking these questions after the tank is filled and has live stock in it. You didn't make that mistake. DSM offers you all the time you need to hammer out all these details.
I keep track of all my parameters for each of my three tanks in their own Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. I think its a great idea to do so.
As stated by Monster and pejerry, you should have test kits for the following: pH, GH, KH, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate and a TDS meter is helpful especially since they can be had for around $10. I went a little overboard and got those test kits, as well as Phosphate, Copper, and Calcium.
So what we need to know now is what are you looking to keep in this tank?
+1 to the stuff in bold. I did this for my 5 gallon when the nitrates were over 200 ppm. I kept a record of what I tested, when I tested, how much water I changed, and what I added to the tank. Took about a month or so to get the parameters in check but it was good having a record of what I started with and how I got to the present parameters. Good record keeping keeps the guesswork away from unknown parameters.