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So, I took a 5 year hiatus after a tragedy involving my last tank. However, I'm not a college student anymore, so I have a lot more time and patience now, so I'm getting back into it.

I just set up a 10 gallon tank with a tree made of java moss secured to spiderwood with aquarium glue, and some montecarlo to cover the ground. Its currently cycling with some zebra danios.

I used a fertilized substrate, and treated the water with a small amount of fertilizer. I filled it with RO water.

It is currently lit with two 6.5 watt Fluval LED lights. I'm using a glass top.

1. Is that too much light? Not enough? Originally I used a single but the left side of the tank was very dim.

2. I currently have my tree weighed down with quartz stones. How long will it have to be submerged before I can remove the stones? I did boil the wood before putting it in.

3. I need stocking options... I regularly take 4-5 day work trips, so something that doesn't need to be fed EXTREMELY regularly would be nice, or some suggestions for a budget friendly autofeeder

4. Any other suggestions would be great! Thank you all!
 

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2. Depends on the size of the tree. I'd say give it a month and see if it's properly wet enough, and check every month if not the case.

3. Check amazon for budget friendly autofeeders. I use the FishMate because I need to portion out very small amounts and it's the only auto fish feeder that actually feeds the portions I measure out (every other one is a barrel style one, which I execrate). Most are going to be fine unless you're operating the feeder above a sponge filter.

As for fish, a lot of nano species have come into the hobby in the 5 years you've been gone. I think the question, is if you're going to keep the zebra danios, or give them back when you're finished. I personally don't like danios in 10 gallons unless they're CPDs or goldrings based off of the sheer amount of activity they display. But we can build around the fish you have. Are there any ones you sorely miss (me with neon tetras a few months ago), or you read about and just are dying to try out (me with sparkling gouramis, pipefish, and chili rasboras right now).

4. Welcome back!!!!!!
 

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So sorry you had your tank disaster, but welcome back. Fully agree with what was already suggested, just a couple of questions- do you intend on using a heater? If so what are you planning for the temperature? Are you attached to the danios or are you getting rid of them? 10 gallons limits you to smaller aquaria but there has been a huge increase in available nano species that have opened up in the past few years. Happy scaping!!
 

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Step 1: Stop "cycling" your tank with live fish. It's beyond cruel. Rehome them immediately. There's no reason you can't use other methods in 2021. Harsh, I know, but not as harsh as what you're doing to your fish. Seriously. Just use a different ammonia source.

You say you're using RO water. How is it remineralized?

Which specific substrate?

Watts per gallon isn't really a thing, so could you tell us more about your lighting and the tank? How far from the substrate will the light be? Is there a tank lid?

As far as inhabitants that can go a week without being fed... you're looking at invertebrates. But since you want an autofeeder (they all have their pros and cons but some are great - I have an old Eheim that I still use), you should be able to keep most of the tiny fish available in the hobby today.
 
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