Well, so here's the deal...
I've had my betta Khan in a 10 gallon tank for probably about exactly four weeks now. He's got a nice habitat with gravel substrate, a heater, filter and some decorations. Some of you guys have probably seen my tank. There's also two live plants, an anubias and an amazon sword.
Well anyway, over these four weeks I've been trying to get the tank to cycle with just him in it with absolutely no success. I do partial water changes every time the ammonia exceeds 0.25, but the ammonia builds up very slowly. This may be due to the plants. After I added them I went three whole weeks before I had to change the water (with daily water tests of course).
Now that in and of itself isn't a problem, but my concern is that since day one I have seen zero Nitrites, and I've been testing for them solidly for about three weeks.
Even with all that, I still wasn't really concerned, just a little inconvenienced maybe as I'd hoped to have a community tank in here someday...
But now we come to the real problem. I must have said something about wanting to get some cory catfish to my girlfriend but maybe didn't say why I hadn't gotten them yet. Anyway, she did her research on them and bought 6 little emerald cories and the right food for them. It was such a thoughtful thing to do that I can't bring myself to say that the tank wasn't exactly ready for them yet and that we have to take them back.
I tested the water after they were added and noticed the ammonia was at 0.5 ppm, but I think that could be due to the nasty water they came with at the pet store. I did a 50% change a few hours ago and that brought the ammonia back down to 0 ppm.
As for the fish themselves, they are very active, both the cories and Khan the betta. They aren't showing any signs of stress. Khan is doing really well with his new tankmates, he hasn't flared at them once. In fact he seems to be comfortable enough to swim among them without worry when the swarm in his general area. Although, when they dart around sometimes they surprise him and send him flying off in another direction. But I think they'll do great together.
So I guess my question is this: with this unexpected advance on my tank's stocking schedule, can I still keep ahead of the water quality? I'm considering doing 10% daily water changes and a 50% water change as needed according to the ammonia tests (or nitrite if I ever start finally getting any).