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Using API Quick Start likely helped you deal with the initial ammonia spike, along with the bit of established media/substrate you added. Should you start a new tank in the future, though, you may want to consider a fishless cycle so you don't risk your livestock.

One thing to keep in mind: You likely won't be able to keep shrimp, snails or other invertebrates in your aquarium (maybe never) because of the use of copper. You'll need to make sure you don't add anything but fish.

I don't keep anything in my quarantine tanks that can't be discarded. Many of the pathogens and critters that impact planted tanks can, unfortunately, thrive without fish and live much longer than 30 days. Vorticella, many bacteria, many fungi, problematic flat worms like planaria, hydra and many parasites. So it's usually a good idea to go substrate-free in a QT tank. That way you can see anything that falls to the bottom of the tank because it can't hide in substrate. Some people paint the bottom of their QT systems black.

You don't even have to keep a QT tank running in order to use it when you need it - especially for fish. Frequent water changes and Prime are usually enough. But I like to keep a spare sponge filter running on an existing tank so I can stick it in a QT tank when needed. When I move a sponge to a QT tank, I add a clean one to the main tank so it can be populated with bacteria for the next time I need a sponge. When I finish with a QT tank, I remove the sponge, clean it extremely well and let it sit for a few months until it's needed again. Nuking a QT tank with bleach after it's been used never hurts.

3.5gal should be plenty as long as you aren't keeping a ton of fish in it or anything that's too large. It's small, so it'll be easy to store when not in use.
This was extremely helpful thanks
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