Grrr... What am I doing wrong!!!
I finished adding plants to my tank last night. The total stands at:
5 Amazon Swords
6 South American Swords
5 Bunches of Anacharis (that was an accident, I didn't want that many)
1 Bunch (not really sure how to describe it but it came in a PetCo pack) of Moneywort
2 Strands of Hornwort (that are growing like mad)
1 Marimo Moss Ball
1 Java Fern
I figured that was enough to have a successful silent cycle. I am using Seachem Flourite for the substrate and I used Seachem Flourish once yesterday. I mixed it into the water. I did pick up some API Root Tabs as well (should I add them to the tank now too).
I decided to add a few ghost shrimp after all, to test the water. I planned to take them out and give them to my boyfriends brother because he wanted some ghosties for his tank when I ordered my RCS. I did not have my API test kit with me (this tank is at my boyfriends house), but I plan on taking it over tonight. Before adding the shrimp I did a small water change (it only had 9 g in it, so I took out about 1 g, and added about 9 more. I acclimated the shrimp over about an hour (I know kinda rushed). I used Stress Coat as a water conditioner. The first shrimp died as soon as it hit the water. There is another dead one this morning. There is still one that is alive, but I'm guessing he'll die soon too. I've had bad luck with ghosties, but never have I had them all die this quickly.
Obviously, once I test the water I'll know more, but do I not have enough plants for a silent cycle in a 20 g? How many more do I need? All the plants but the Java Fern look good, and a few look great (two of the Amazon Swords look perfect, and the Hornwort is growing very quickly). The Java Fern looks pathetic (black all over some leaves), but I think it's looking better. I couldn't see the black when I purchased it, it looked really good in the plastic tube. I hate those plastic tubes, but that's about all we have around here for certain plants.