I was wondering if you had any Ammonia issues after you planted and filled your bowls.
I recently just set up a 5 gallon NPT with the same potting soil but i am getting ammonia that is on the rise...i think that this might just be the soil, so im wondering about your experience.
honestly, never tested....I did wait several weeks before adding shrimp, but they aren't dead and I have pond snails laying eggs and crawling around so I assume everything is ok.
I also will add, I have only tested once on my 40 gallon tank, which also has Organic Choice Potting Mix. Did not detect any ammonia, nitrites, and very little nitrate. Difference with it was I was working with a well seeded canister filter.
I have read people can see ammonia levels rise in NPT's I have a couple theories on this, but its purely unscientific conjecture. One: used the wrong potting mix, the Organic Choice Potting Mix has some chicken poo but supposedly this is ok, but Organic Choice Garden Soil I believe has cow poo in it, which is a supposedly very bad. Now, I would think even the chicken poo one could cause ammonia increase and that is where theory #2 comes in. Two: didn't use enough plants from the start, the whole idea behind NPT is for the plants to use the ammonia and other harmful stuff, thus rendering the water safe. The key is plant heavily from the start. I read somewhere else on this forum that heavily planted means only 25% of the substrate is visible when viewed from above.