and I'm impatient... So a little about me, I grew up with fish in the house. My dad had a dozen or so tanks on good old angle-iron shelving in our basement as far back as I can remember. Great way to spend an afternoon, just watching the fish! My own experience with keeping a tank is much less ambitious. I started with a 29g, upgraded to a 55g and that was it for a number of years, until I shut it down. Fast forward about 12 years.... For my birthday this year, I decided to get going again. Expensive birthday present! I picked up a 55g which I've got set with gravel, a couple of nice looking rocks and a pair of resin driftwood pieces (should make for nice hidey spots for those that will appreciate them) and started cycling. It's only been up for a couple of days, so no surprise that I can't read any ammonia or nitrite or nitrate. But but but I wanna stock it now!! ;-) What I've done so far was to use SafeStart, hoping it'll kick start things (I've never done a fishless cycle before), adding a pinch of flakes morning and night so there's a source of ammonia to help the bacteria establish... and did I mention I'm not the most patient person in the world? I've been reading voraciously, and I'm considering helping things along with straight ammonia. I want this tank to be ready before I start adding anything, fish or plants, but I'll be the first to admit I'm struggling seeing the tank all empty and lonely. In all seriousness, I do plan to go slow and be careful when and how I start stocking. I want a nice collection with plants that will thrive. We're going on a short road trip this coming weekend, so there's absolutely no chance my patience will crack and I rush out to get some danios "just to help the cycling along". The weekend following that... uh... no promises :-D What I'm planning on is a moderately planted tank, with a handful of different species. Zebra danios, guppies, Cories, maybe some Mollies, a couple of snails.... not sure beyond that, and also not sure if that's already enough/too much. Any suggestions/advise would be greatly appreciated, pretend I'm a noobie because I'm definitely feeling like one! Cheers! Bruce. P.S.: No pics yet, but soon!