Hiya Absoluteslite and welcome to Aquariumadvice
Welcome to the obsession...erm..hobby LOL
Theres a lot to know, but it all does make sense I promise.
Do you have an understanding of the nitrogen cycle? If not, I strongly suggest taking a gander at this article; understanding the cycle is the key to happy healthy fishkeeping: http://faq.thekrib.com/begin-cycling.html
As to your questions, leaving the light on for 12 hours or so is fine. Long periods of light tend to cause algae outbreaks (and new tanks generally get algae anyway so be warned!).
What type of filter do you have? If its a HOB
, and the water pours out into the tank you don't need an aerator. The key to good oxygenation is surface agitation. The bubbles don't actually add O2
to the water; they agitate the surface and that enhances O2
exchange. If theres enough surface movement, then the bubbles aren't necessary.
Water changing is pretty important, especially as the tank is cycling. Initially you are looking to keep ammonia and nitrites below .5ppm (if you haven't bought water test kits yet I strongly suggest it). Once the tank is cycled, how big the bioload is will dictate frequency of changes. My tanks get water changes of 20-30% once every week or 2. I do suggest not adding any fish until the tank is cycled, and do know neons are not the best fish to cycle a tank with; they are pretty sensitive to the nitrogenous waste products. Also, you really want to quarantine new fish before putting them into the tank. One never knows what new fish are carrying, even if they look healthy, and it sucks to wind up adding sick fish to your healthy ones. Take a look in our article section for info on QT
And good luck!