I was really concerned with hiding spots for the otos from
the betta, but he seems to enjoy them much more than they do- they're always out and about. He's having fun cruising around and using the hiding spots to stalk the otos.
That's a good idea about waiting a week, see if it'll grow on me. Honestly, I probably wouldn't have redone it a third time, except that I found out that you're supposed to plant cabomba spaced out, not bunched together- doh! So, one thing led to another...
homegrown terror, I do agree that the gravel is really not in sync with the rest of the tank. Maybe that's why I can't get it right. Gravel, I think, is really not the best substrate for planting live plants. In about a month I have plans to covert the tank to an NPT, or at least switch out the gravel for Flourite, with a cap of sand. Although, I think I read somewhere that otos don't do well with sand, can't remember why though.