I decided to put together a 5 gal set up for my 8 year old daughter. Thanks to many of you folks, I've learned a great deal thus far. I ended up buying a glass tank, Hydor 50W heater, Tom Aquarium mini filter (I'm impressed with this unit so far), Seachem Prime, silk plants, master test kit and a few other odds and ends.
We followed the "set up" directions, and our little world came out quite nicely. A pair of stray nylons were generously donated, and a shrimp was added last evening. As of this morning, Ammonia levels were at .50ppm.
All was going quite well until I accidentally broke the thermometer in the tank. No mercury escaped; however, many of the little weights found their way deep into the gravel. I tried to hydro vacuum with little success. So, I decided to start over. I didn't want to take the chance that those little balls were made of lead.
I did keep the filter cartridge in a glass jar of old tank water for about 3hours or less. Everything else I re-cleaned (warm/hot water only).
Did I make the right choice concerning the filter cartridge? Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.