Some of you have helped me with the cycling of my new tank about a month or two ago. I have to thank you! You've helped me have the patience and confidence in knowing that if I just wait, the tank will cycle. Here is a link to a video of my happily cycled tank: My Fish Tank. :)
I will be posting my updated cycling log (the last weeks will be filled out from memory) so new keepers can have something to go by.
About my tank:
Size: 5.5 gallons
Substrate: Med-Small Aquarium Gravel
Plants: 2 Lilly Bulbs (one sprouting so far)
4 various swords
6 bunches of micro-swords
1 Marimo Moss Ball
Inhabitants: 1 Black Orchid Crowntail Betta - Named 'Thai'
1 Sunset Platy
1 Somewhat Calico Molly
3 ghost shrimp
Ornaments: 2 plastic plants
1 Rock tunnel
1 No fishing sign
Heater: Tetra 100w w/thermostat (I know it is big for this tank, but it has done a wonderful job keeping the temperature stable, and has given me the ability to lower the ambient temperature in my house to save heating costs).
Light: 15w 5600k cfl-like light from petsmart (didn't have 6500k available at the time)
Filter: Power 10 that came with topfin 5.5 gal tank. Homemade intake and outflow baffles made from fluval biofoam (can kind of be seen in video).
Air: 8 or 10 inch air stone bar (I forget) under substrate near heater to distribute heat, controlled with gang-valve to minimize currents.
Comments: Some of you may have objections to my selection of tank mates, but I've seen the majority of users agree on these mates prior to making my stocking decisions. The tank has been properly handling the bio-load, and all inhabitants seem comfortable with their living spaces and have had no problems with any of the other inhabitants.
Concerns: Please let me know if there are any issues you may see with this set up, or anything you'd like to yell at me for. I am very new to this, and am very proud of this tank, but I can never be too sure that I am doing things right with all of the varying opinions out there. However, this setup seems to be working very well with no foreseeable issues.