I am going to start cycling my bare bottom 10 gallon tomorrow. Is it going to be harder to cycle than a normal tank because there is no gravel so there is less of a place for the bacterial to live.
Also, should I get live plants to go in it during the cycle? I would like to have it planted, but I don't want the plants to die form high ammonia and nitrites. Do plants help speed up a cycle?
The majority of the bacteria will colonize in your filter, so you should be fine without gravel. Plants can help speed up a cycle as they usually have bacteria already on them which can jump start the process. Ammonia and nitrite won't harm them.
What plants do you plan on using - floaters or plants in pots/on decor, or what?
70% of the bacteria live in the filter media, 20% in the substrate, and 10% on the decorations/walls of the tank. 20% will be gone but the cycle will still be able to happen orderly. As Wendy said, plants don't really get injured by ammonia. The plants will suck up the ammonia/nitrite so it will only benefit the fish instead of the cycling process. Good floaters are duckweed, frogbit, and salvania. Some good planters are java fern, anubias, swords, crypts, etc. Get slow growers first like java fern so they'll suck up ammonia the least. You don't want the plants hogging the ammonia.
I have Java Fern, Anubias, and Wisteria tied to decor, rocks, and driftwood. I just went and bought the cheapest fishing line I could get. String may rot and rubber bands are only temporary as they become very brittle in fish tanks within a short time. I speak from experience on the rubber bands, I've only had them last at most a couple months before they break.
I always use Super Glue Gel to attach my plants - I've found that string usually rots before the plants are fully anchored, plus it's unsightly. The glue becomes inert when immersed in water so it's perfectly safe.
Jave fern and anubias nana are great plants to attach. You can attach them to rocks, driftwood or store bought decor. If you use rock I would find something in the pets store - rocks from your yard can be contaminated or can change the Ph of your tank water.