Take some of the bio-media from the filter in your other tank and put it into the filter in your new tank. That will cycle your tank in a day. Then, when the NH3 drops you can put fish in. change 20% of your water every week and keep the filter clean but never throw out the bio-media.
Concerning the plants: light, CO2 and nutrients are needed.
- Light: Can't speak to your light source, but you can find info on this forum about lighting. Wattage was never a meaningful parameter and is useless with LEDs. PAR is the most important value. Make sure the PAR value is no higher than 30 or 40 (tops). If it's higher, you will have trouble with plants (they will be starved for CO2) and algae (will grow like wildfire).
- CO2: Your plants will not have much CO2 since your plants are dependent upon how much dissolves into the tank ...and it isn't much. Don't put bubbles (aerators) into the tank. They don't add oxygen and they will drive off some of the little CO2 that you have. There is an excellent product called Flourish Excel (by Seachem). It will provide quite a bit of carbon that is normally provided by CO2, but keep your kids away from it. It will also inhibit algae. Unfortunately, it will also melt anacharis.
- Nutrients: You need a certain, minimum level of nitrate, phoshpate and potassium. Once you get some fish in there, you may find that they will provide all the nitrate and phoshate that you need. That leaves potassium and trace elements. Again, I would point you to Seachem. Get a bottle of their Flourish (for the micros). Also, small bottles of Flourish Nitrogen, Flourish Phosphorus and Flourish Potassium. Then monitor your nitrates and phosphates. If you find them to be high (above 15 and 3, respectively), that may mean that your fish are providing enough and you can cut/reduce the Flourish Nitrogen and Flourish Phosphorus. You will always have to add the potassium and Flourish (traces). Do everything according to Seachem's directions. There are other fertilizer suppliers as well, that you can investigate if you don't want Seachem products.
Food: Your son is going to want to put a lot of food in there to keep the fishies from starving. I suggest that you get a cheap pill case (they have daily compartments with each day marked). Fill each day with the correct amount of fish food for the week, then you won't have to worry about him overfeeding.
Last edited by Deanna; 10-05-2017 at 01:47 AM.