I'm also relatively new into keeping fish the right way. I'm currently still on a fish In cycle. It's a little frustrating and I would deff try to convince you to do a fish less cycle with some raw shrimp instead. Lots of people seem to use it and get good results. A cycle can do a lot of Damage on even the hardiest fish, my fish are still being exposed to nitrites because my cycle had been stalled due to ich meds and a whole thing in the beginning. If you have patience and keep a really good eye on your water conditions you could do the fish in. Just get some hardy fish, I personally have platys and they've been with me since week 1. Danios I've heard are good fish to also use.
I would suggest an API test kit. After repeatedly being told to get one I finally did and it works wonders, I get accurate readings. I use the tests on 3 aquariums daily.
My 10 gallon with platys is more or so heavily planted. Once your cycle is done it should read ammonia 0 and nitrites 0 with nitrates under 40ppm. Plants will absorb excess nitrates and convert it into oxygen for your fish. With plants you have to decide if you want to go low tech or high tech though. I was recently taught that myself! I have a lot of low light and low maintenance plants, look online for plants and really see what you'd like. Some require strong lights, co2
, ferts, ect. The low lights I have just root into the gravel and grow
most came from bulbs you find at petsmart.
Rivercats is a great person to ask about the cycle and especially plants, I get tons of advice and feedback from rivers. I wish you luck!