Hello all! :;hi2 I have a 45 gallon tall, planted,(low light/low tech) that was set up June 9. Substrate is smooth gravel, eco-complete, and a small section of sand for the kuhli loaches I hope to have some day. I have read extensively on cycling, and found many different opinions, particularly from folks who focus on plants. I did fish-in cycling with zebra danios: three to start, one of which died immediately. I acclimated them with the hanging bag/gradual addition of tank water method, and I kept the lfs water out of the tank. I test the water daily, using API kits, and use Seachem for water conditioner. I have two whisper 40 filters, one with just the bags and foam but no charcoal, and the other has charcoal and some peat. Heater, of course, and air stone. First mistake was the danios. Mea culpa. Second mistake was rushing the cycle. As soon as I got readings of .25, .25, 5ppm consistently I figured it was okay to add more plants and fish--this advice was from a lfs. Got 5 rummy nose tetras, who came with ich. Paraguard took care of that. Plants are: 1 ruffle sword, 5 java ferns, java moss, 6 crypts, an apogoneton, 3 anubias, one on driftwood,2 tiger lotus, 5 grassy-looking plants, maybe vals, maybe swords, and a clump of floating hygrophila, all doing well. I added some more eco-complete (drained but not rinsed) and moved some plants around. BIG mistake...water chemistry took a nose dive, and it's only now that I'm reading 0 0 5. Phew. Other newbies: get a little notebook to write down what you do and what happens, and record your water tests. If I had done this at the start I would not have rushed things. The tank was so heavily planted I thought I could get away with it. Nope. Now that things are stabilizing, how long to wait before adding more fish, and in what order should I add them? My ultimate goal is 6 each kuhlis and cory cats, some mts, a bristle nose pleco, and a male gourami, and maybe a couple more rummy noses. The danios seem happy to school with the tetras. Thanks for your patience.