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Finding balance can be tricky at first, but it has a way of finding itself eventually. . .

I'm not much help with the cycling issue, glad you found the input you needed - your slow and cautious plan sounds good to me, hopefully that pretty tank of yours will be ready to stock in no time!

Regarding Betta vs Tetra, I had a similar experience to Byron's - my Betta won, too. I have photographic evidence of the survivor, the other was never seen again. :(

Asking for clarification out of curiosity - you had this particular Betta in with Neons in the past? I only have kept the one I have, and he's definitely an aggressive little guy! But I've been told that Betta temperament can vary dramatically from fish to fish. . .
 

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HOORAY!!! It sounds like you're moving in the right direction! Ammonia spike, nitrite spike, nitrAte spike. . . then a leveling off. . . keep the ammonia up as you are, and I'm willing to bet that you're *this close* to a cycled tank! Then the FUN part can start!
 

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SOOOOO happy for you!!! *dances* Thanks for sharing your journey with us so far. . . please, pretty please, let us watch this tank grow in the future! I can't wait to see what it becomes under your care. :)
 
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