Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Bare bottom, or a light scattering of fine gravel. Easiest to clean. Put the tank on a dark surface so the fish feel safer.
A handful or double handful of plant trimmings. Just let them float. Good safe place for the fish, minor improvement to water quality. If the fish die, throw away the plants.
A rock or several rocks for the lower dwelling fish to hide in. Make sure you can still see the fish, though. Not an enclosed cave. Rocks can be boiled, baked, solarized or bleached to kill diseases or parasites, or can be thrown away.
Filter that suits the tank size, about 5-10x the tank volume per hour. Take some media from an established tank.
Light to see the fish, on a timer so the fish has a normal day/night schedule.
Heater per fish needs. With most tropical fish 5 watts per gallon is about right, though if your house is cooler than average a larger heater can help.
Separate tools used ONLY for Q-tank, then sterilized: Net, siphon, bucket.
As suggested above: The water in the Q-tank will match the water from the store at first, so the fish acclimate the easiest. Then, over the month or so the fish are in quarantine the water will be changed to match the display tank.