Well I haven't been on here in a while.
After a few days of double 0s at 1ppm ammonia I stocked the tank! Nearly 12 weeks I spent cycling the tank.
Not everything went to plan. I got 2 sick Harlequins from the shop, nasty large bacterial legions on their rear bodies. These 2 of course died. However I lost a tetra within hours to some respitory ailment and then another 2 harlequins and a further tetra before Melafix and water changes got everything under control. Suspected colunmaris outbreak.
I bought 3 shrimp, one vanished when it went into the tank, never seen again. A second, the largest, managed to jam himself behind the filter bracket and expire. The third still lives.
So current stock is:
8 Harlequin Rasbora
8 Black Tetra
4 Cory Trilinetus
1 Rili Red Shrimp
I bought an APS 1400EF+ filter and have successfully transfered the media over a period of days and water tests are okay.
I still get the odd nitrite spike of up to 1ppm, especially after a large feeding day, but it clears by the next day.
Plan to increase stock in stages over the next few weeks to:
10 Black tetra
6 Cory Trilinetus
6 Assorted Shrimp
Did those fish appear sick when you bought them?
Unfortunately, there are those who feel the need to "rescue" fish that don't look well - that's not a good idea if that's the case - they could infect other fish & give you a lot of work to do - plus cost you a lot in meds - it's not worth it IMO. It's important to check fish very carefully to make sure they appear healthy.
Also, I would wait before getting anymore shrimp - best to add them after your tank has been established for a few months to build up nutrients in the water column or grow a little algae depending upon what they will eat.
Also what do you mean by a "large feeding day"? How often are you feeding?
I didn't check the fish that closely TBH. The Harlequins where the last 12 in the tank in the shop, so I might have got the ones nobody else wanted. The tetra that couldn't breath I can't explain. Water params where 0:0.
The tank has been running since mid March and planted since like May! It's just that the cycle took ages because my original ammonia was somehow wrong. Chemistry grade ammonia hydroxide that was 35%, but didn't seem to work at all for whatever reason. So there should be plenty for the shrimp to find, the current one seems healthy, growing rapidly and always cleaning the plants and moss. Does a good job too which is why I want more :) He's also probably lonely and needs a pose.
Feeding, as you might expect for a newbie I fed them almost everyday for a week or two, I have cut this back to every other day now. They did have a 4 day fast when I was away last weekend.
Small amount of flake for the mid/top shoalers, some high protein catfish pellets for the Cory, an algae wafer for the bristle nose if the last one had vanished.
Once a week half a cube of frozen blood worm, defrosted on a spoon first. A slice of cucumber once a week for BN as he only recently seemed to bother with the algae wafer and I was worried about him. I'm stopping adding for the BN as he has allowed a small amount of algae to accumulate on the drift wood that he needs to get to. Asides that I feed them a few frozen peeled and crushed peas once a week.
I did try the left over ooranda pellets, but they don't seem to like them and I had to fish them back out.