Glad to find this forum - you guys all seem great.
Purchased a 20g kit for the kids at petsmart for Xmas (after a week though I quickly realized they could care less about my fish and more about what they can sell me). Found a nice local place though who are very helpful where I will go from now on.
Here's my deal so far.
Got the full kit up and running with gravel bottom, heater and filter, a few fake plants and couple of rocks/castles etc. looks nice and kids love it. Left it running for a few days after adding some 'starter' goop that was supposed to start the bacteria cycle. Gave it another 2 days and went back to petsmart to buy some fish (they originally told me I could add fish after 24 hours!!).
The day I bought the fish (3 neon tetras, one dwarf gourami, red wag platy, silver Molly, black skirt tetra) I came home from a day of shopping with our new fish and the tank was very cloudy out of the blue (I guess a bacterial 'bloom'?)
Well, in about 4 hours the neons died and the black tetra died overnight. Kids crying etc. not a great start. The rest hung on over New Year's Day and I bought the liquid test kit this morning and added an air pump as well. Turns out I have high ph water (about 8.2). So I don't know if the fish died because of the bloom or the high ph (I have read now that the neons prefer a lower ph around 6.5-7).
Tank water cleared up a lot today and hoping I am past the tough start. Couple questions I have are: 1) should I wait to add any more fish at the point or am I clear now that the tank is clear? 2) any suggestions for types of fish to add to my gourami, Molly, and platy knowing that I have a fairly high ph?
Thanks in advance everyone - looking forward to learning a lot.