Thank you both of you!
I have decided to do a fishless cycle for sure. It appears I will have at least 2 weeks before any betta arrive from thailand anyway. I plan on doing ammonia although I am not sure from where yet. A local LFS told me to use my own urine, but needless to say I won't be doing that!
I have decided to go with a new fluval edge (not filled all the way up) with mr11 leds instead of halogen. I am a bit confused about all the instructions about how to alter the aquaclear 20, but I have been studying the filter alterations threads and feel confident I will be able to work it out. My plan is the sponge attachment to the filter uptake and using extra media inside until the betta feels comfortable. If that doesn't slow it enough then i will try the other methods.
As far as stem plants, I have always been concerned about their higher light requirements, the cleaning of the substrate and their nutrient requirements. I understand that they provide greater health benefits to the fauna so they interest me, but I am unsure of them in the small light spread of the edge. I think I will stick with the anubias and java ferns that allow me to use minimal substrate. Although I love the way tahitian moon sand looks, and natural substrate looks as well, I think I want to go with a single layer of small river rocks (like they do with goldfish) to make sure the fish feel safe on the dark bottom, but thin enough to not collect debris.
I have also purchased the fluval chi 6.6 for a bathroom as yet another sole betta tank. I have found some people feel the filter is ideal for a single betta, any thoughts on this tank thunderloon? The filter media is much much less than an aquaclear, but I feel if I keep it mostly barebottom with the daily turkeybasting and w/c, the gentle filteration seems ideal.
Thanks again for all your input. Hopefull yit will result in happy long lived bettas!