Originally Posted by PonyMan
Yes Byron I have 5 small swords planted already. I got 2 water sprites in today and have them still in pots sitting on the bottom of the tank and also some wisteria floating on top right now. This week I have a dozen or more vals coming in the mail for the tank too. I did read up on the planted tank in the sticky notes. Maybe that's an easier way to go for me? I bought the ammonia but haven't added any to the tank yet. I'll hold off until I hear back from you. I'm in no rush, just want to do it right.
First thing, I would not add pure ammonia to a tank with live plants. Ammonia is highly toxic to all life, be it plant or fish/animal. I'm not suggesting the level would get that high, but in my view it is best avoided.
It is so easy to set up a new tank that is planted. Just have lots of plants, including fast growing species. And Vallisneria, swords are in that category. Even better are floating plants. True floating plants like those in the profiles, but also many stem plants can be used floating and work equally well for this.
I would do a major water change to get rid of the ammonia/shrimp issue, add the new plants (dechlorinate the new water as you likely have some bacteria establishing). Then add a few fish. As this is your first time, go easy; the hardier fish but something you want, not a "cycling" fish or anything. I don't know what fish you intend for this tank, so I can't suggest which or how many at this point.
I reset my 115g last summer, and with new substrate and new filter media, I had all 95 fish back in the tank the next day. But I knew i had sufficient plants, plus I used much of the old wood which would have bacteria on it. Go slow and this will not fail.