So I finally got my 10 gallon divided tank set-up and fully cycled. I went the fishless route using pure ammonia (not my first time). Amazingly the tank cycled within a few weeks with the help of a benifical bacteria product by Seachem called Stability. I highly recommend it to others if you want to cut the cycling time in half! It has great reviews and truly works.
This was my first time doing a double divide tank and then putting the filter along with the heater in the middle. I decided to do it that way instead of the standard one middle divider because it causes both sides to be evenly heated and filtered. There is less stress on the fish because they cannot see each other and I find it more appealing to look at. I made the dividers using report cover spines, plastic craft mesh, and aquarium sealant.
Close up pics of each side. Mango is on the right, Haku will be going on the left
Aerial view of the middle where the sponge filter and heater are located
The mesh touches the lid despite being double divided, so zero risk of jumping
Thanks for looking! Feel free to ask any questions you may have.