SSA-Self Sustaining Aquarium
so i have been trying to start a self sustaining aquarium for some time now and i keep failing so i would like anyone with any professional advice or experience on this to help me out please. I started out my aprox 1/2 gallon tank(picture attached) with 1 plant(not sure what it is but i know its from petco), some gravel, two ghost shrimp, and 1 snail. After countless hours of research i thought i knew everything i needed to begin my SSA, but as soon as i had put my invertebrates into the tank, i knew i had rushed the cycling system. Not realizing the important role of bacteria in the water, i figured i would just put some algae wafers into the water to feed the invertebrates and everything would be fine till the algae started to grow. about half a day after they were placed into the tank, they all started to stay at the surface and its where they stayed a few days after that as well. This made me think there was a lack of oxygen in the tank, but i figured they are getting their air from the top, and soon the tank will balance it self out- Boy was i wrong.
so in the end they all died and baffled as to how to even approach this matter i went to a local petsmart, and the lady told me there were no nitrates in the water, and the ammonia was high(we figured from the dead fish) so she suggested i buy two additional plants(Amazon Sword
plant) and place them in the tank because they require low light and will provide more oxygen for the fish. She also said to buy a bacterial supplement. So i came home and replaced all the water, de-chlorinated it, put in the 3 plants, put in some bacterial supplement, and now im at the point of what do i do to start again.(picture of new plants in tank attached)
I know now to wait until bacteria and algae begin to grow in the tank before adding any invertebrates(going to wait a week and a half) but doesn't the bacteria need ammonia from the waste products of the live organisms to grow/sustain the load when the new invertebrates are placed in the tank?, and also how would i balance out the oxygen levels? Anything else i should know about that i didn't mention?
My goal for this new tank with more plants in it to sustain 2-3 ghost shrimp and 1 snail
i find it amazing how much work is put into this but i really became inspired to do this after i saw how amazing the eco-sphere(Ecosphere Associates, Inc.: Closed Ecosystem, Self Contained Aquarium
) looked. Im very sure this is all possible because of how many guides there are online with successful stories of making SSA's, So PLEASE HELP!
*The attached picture with the snail in it is the before tank, the tank with only plants is the new tank*