Yep, it's true, we are new to fish keeping and thankfully (?) I'm completely spastic about taking care of animals properly. So we are in the process of doing a fishless cycle on our new 10 gallon freshwater tank (the marineland kit tank + a small airstone, some gravel and a few fake plants for now) using Ace Ammonia and API test kits. We're currently on day 5 of "forever," but I know we'll get there. The tank lives in my daughter's room and the fish will be hers (with her calculating/water testing/food moderating/tank cleaning mom looking over her shoulder).
Telling a 5 year old about the nitrogen cycle and why we can't get fish NOW is certainly a test of patience and repetitive conversation. Thankfully, she is very understanding of the need to give our pets the most proper care and we spend our time talking about what kind of fish we want to stock when the time is right.
Aq Advisor fish/tank calculator has been a fun tool to play with to figure out what kind of fish we want to gradually put in our tank. We're going to start small and work our way up as we learn and make sure we keep healthy fish all along the way.
I've been lurking around for a few weeks using the search to answer my questions so I feel pretty confident we're doing ok right now, but I figure I'm going to have some questions eventually that the search won't adequately answer so here we are.
We're in North East Houston if anyone knows of any private LFS
that would be nice to visit. Pretty much the only place I know to get fish is Petco and Petsmart.