As you said big water changes are the important part and a few more minutes is nothing really.
In regards to well planted tank,I have had no real luck with plants,hence the reason for going for non stem plants.
My substrate is swimming pool filter sand and I suppose it is basically a low light tank.
I did have lots of plants and driftwood prior and found that I was constantly having murky water and BBA outbreak,so the tank was stripped down and I removed the plants and driftwood,mainly to enable me to have some clarity in the water.
When I asked my LFS
about the extra fish added they assured me I would have no problem,but at the same time I have seen them sell a tank,with fish and accessories. Yet not mention to the customer about cycling the tank.
Hence the reason for me posting here.
Thanks for the input to my query.