Great choice on the filter! You will notice that the moss on the branch closer to the light and closer to being emerged will grow much nicer, sorry if I haven't read through your whole post but whats your lighting on this?
No it's completely fine. Yeah I think the moss being close to the light will be very neat if I can avoid hair algae.
So the light is a beamsworks light. Was cheap, but it was just a spare light I had on hand.
I've got a 36" Beamswork coming to light up the whole shelf.
Also did some testing... It wasn't positive unfortunately. So I have transferred even more filter media, and I am going to try to continue the cycle.
But the good news is one shrimp rack shelf is officially done. I really recommend everybody get one of these. It's like a rig that you can attach stuff to. I've got drawers on it, fans hanging on the side to control temp spikes, power strips on both sides to manage the power chords, and possibly most important of all, you can actually rig up one long light for an entire row of tanks. This is super neat.
So after the Nitrate was at 5 ppm, I couldn't detect any Nitrate last night.
That is quite unfortunate, so the actions I took were swapping out a seeded filter sponge and squeezing filter juice into the water, along with replacing a gallon of water from this tank with water from an established tank.
I also added a bit more safe-start.
We will again see what happens to the cycle. The ammonia is plenty high, I don't want it to go over 50 ppm.