last second advice on flora
This is my first planted tank and have bought a fluval flora. I have read conflicting advice on whether to cycle the tank first or to plant first and stock fish last. I am cycling first, with 3 danios, its only been a week but my plants are arriving in 3 days along with 6 Black forest, 6 amano, and 9 cherry shrimp, 3 otos, and some nerite snails. 7 neon tetras are the fish I will eventually stock. Sounds like overload? Iknow the cycling is not nearly complete and ordered some safestart, but here are h20 parameters after one week: PH went from 7.2 to 6.6 with tap water at 8.2 i assume because of the substrate included with flora and the mopani bogwood. Ammonia has not gone above0.3mg/L. Nitrite went from0.7 to 0 mg/L and nitrate went from 10ppm on day 3 to 1.5ppm. Tap water KH is 6deg and tank is 1-3 deg(good for neons). Tap GH is 179ppm and tank is 107.4ppm. I have read about carbon in filter adding phosphates to tank. should I use ammonia remover as a medium or is carbon not a big deal? Will the Kent Black Water Expert help to reduce addition of hard water at water changes? Is ther danger of getting too soft of water in this small tank? The substrate that came with the kit only added up to an inch of depth so I "built up" with turface which I use for bonsai soils and layered fluvall on top. Is this backward or should I mix the two? Can I get away with liquid CO2 instead of the injector? And should I plan on increasing the wattage of the 13W lamp that came with it. Plants are Sagitaria tall, anubias nana petite, acicularis, riccia, and Taiwan moss(taxiphylum) for the bogwood which will hopefully grow to shade the anubias at the base. Lots of questions and very excited! Thanks for any input.