Thanks, Goldibug! So far the water wisteria is just beautiful even sitting in the 1g setup and Lucky has taken to sleeping in the branches and building bubble nests in the roots. Looks like he's decided the territory is nice enough to defend.
In other news, cycling with a shrimp is NOT working. I think it's just too much for my little 10g setup. I have once again removed the shrimp due to ammonia levels continuing to climb and getting to the point that it was going to be too high. They went up just from morning to evening, going from about 3ppm this morning to about 5ppm this evening! Have to say, not recommended for anyone following along as I cycle a tank for the first time. Somehow, some way, I will have to find actual ammonia to use.
I'll check the parameters again tomorrow. I got nitrates (~5ppm) today, so the SafeStart I dumped in may have actually done something!
You can use 'your' own ammonia. It comes out sterile, just go with a few drops as someone said, to bring it up each day. Somewhere on the web, there are several people that did it this way.
Perhaps co2 for the plants? I think they usually get that from the fish? I cant remember, its been a while since I read up on plants health. You can do that the cheap way, with baking soda and vinegar. There is a recipe for it for fish too. Google 'fish co2 recipe'.
I love Tetra Safestart! It cycled my 10 gal. in two weeks! I did have some corydoras in there while it established though because my ammonia went way high in my 29 gal. from the addition of a pleco and it was causing them to much stress. You need to have some type of ammonia in the tank for the Safestart to work. My cories were enough for my tank. Just make sure your ammonia stays below 2ppm for it to work the best and if you dont like where your tank is after a week it is completely safe to add another bottle.
if you do another... you might try just putting 2 globs or buttons of silicone near the top of your tank. (so four globs total for 2 sides of the tank/divider) just leave a space in between them for the divider. so the divider is not glued in. its just stopped from moving from the 2 globs. the bottom is held by the gravel. the globs are hidden by the top plastic black strip.
You can also cycle your tank with ammonia. I've heard it works better then with food but I just use Tetra Safestart for bacteria. If you do ammonia you need 100% pure ammonia that doesn't bubble when shaken. You'll also need a medicine dropper. Add 5 drops of ammonia to the water and then test for ammonia. Continue doing this until ammonia reads 5. Keep track of how many drops you add. Add the same amount of drops every day until nitrItes show up. Then you'll only add half the amount of drops until ammonia and NitrIte read 0. At this point your nitrAtes will be very high so do as many water changes as it takes to bring them back below 40ppm. Your tank should cycle in two weeks with this method.
I've been doing this for 4+ weeks now with no luck at cycling. I hope you have better luck!
Right now? The cycle appears to be a bit of a mess but I'm being pretty impatient. It's been just under a week of running the tank. And with Lucky showing signs of fin rot (grrrr), I'm not in a real hurry to get him moved. The one gallon is much easier to manage for 100% water changes and it's giving the plants a chance to get settled before introducing the fish. Hopefully the tank will be settled and ready for an occupant by the time I get Lucky sorted out.
If the ammonia is still high tomorrow, I'm going to do a partial water change to bring the levels down. Clearly I don't have that many plants, since they're not making a real dent.
Holy googledy moogledy, I think I was misreading my ammonia tests. I did a massive PWC (about 75%) and then tested my ammonia again to get 2ppm. I think. I think my ammonia was off the chart and I thought it was just about 5ppm. I'm showing nitrates still, so my tank is trying to process the ammonia but I apparently was approaching pure ammonia in there and my bacteria just couldn't keep up. I may have to do ANOTHER PWC tomorrow, depending on how the ammonia looks.