Learn the powers of Google my friend. I googled austin, tx local fish store and it found quite a few there in Austin. Planted tanks aren't difficult unless you make them that way, as not all plants have advanced requirements. Don't Give Up, and don't think of it as temporary. Okay, so IMO ( in my opinion), this is what you need to do. First, you need to SLOW DOWN. The best thing you can do for your planted tank and it's inhabitants is to take it slow and do everything with a purpose and end result in mind. So, IMO ( in my opinion) these are the steps to take, what I would do.
1. The substrate arrives.
2. Go to computer and Google Austin, Texas local fish store
3. Find receipt for Petsmart, return some stuff, get my funds together
4. Go to Local fish store, it would also be even better if you call them beforehand to find out if they carry live plants and what their selection is like.
5. Talk to someone there, start building a relationship with someone local who you can turn to for questions. This forum is great, but it's important to be involved with the local community of fish and plant people if possible.
6. Moss is cheap, GET SOME! I'm telling you, if you care about your shrimp as much as you say you do, get some moss. Christmas moss is pretty common, something like that. They will love you for it.
7. Go home smiling, moss in hand. Look at your tank, take a deep breath, and tell yourself " I can do this".
8. Drain water into the temporary housing for your plants and shrimp, like you are doing a water change. Fill it up. This will be their "tank" while you're working on the Aquastyle.
9. Put your existing plants and hopefully the moss you have purchased into the temporary tank.
10. Catch the shrimp and transfer them to the new tank, one by one if you have to.
11. Drain the rest of the water, but don't get rid of it, it will go back in the tank in a moment.
12. Pour the old gravel out, putting a little of it in the temporary tank, gently, so the shrimps will have something else to crawl on.
13. Forget about the rest of the gravel.
14. Pour the Fluval substrate into the tank, creating a slope that is higher in the back and slopes to the front.
15. Tell yourself, "I'm getting closer to having an awesome planted shrimp tank!"
16. Put the water you drained back in, but PLEASE pour it onto something to break the flow, not directly onto the substrate. Like a plate for example.
17. Fill the tank the rest of the way with dechlorinated water and maybe add some of that starter bacteria you have.
18. Turn your filter back on.
19. Let your tank run like that for TWO weeks. I know this will be hard to do, but it is the best thing. Letting the tank cycle for at least two weeks will help prevent shrimp deaths. Your shrimp will be ok. I had cherries get berried in a half full 10 gallon with not filter running, no light directly on the tank, no heater. What did I have in there? MOSS hehe
20. For plants to survive, they need nutrients and light, and that they don't get too cold. The temperature of your home here in Texas should be fine. If you want to try shining your aquastyle light over the temporary tank for 6 hours a day or so, that would be fine. Or not at all and I'm betting they won't completely perish. As far as nutrients, again, 2 weeks likely won't kill them off.
21. You can do very small water changes on both tanks if you want during this time, but it isn't completely necessary.
22. After two weeks, take a sample of your water from the Aquastyle to your Local Fish Store and let them test it to see if your cycling process is complete. If it looks pretty good, your in business. Maybe buy some more plants while your there if you can.
23. Now it's time to put it all back together. Plant the plants into the substrate, but not the moss, it doesn't get planted in substrate.
24. Either catch the shrimp and put them in the tank, or drain the water way down in the temporary tank and pour it into the Aquastyle with the shrimps after you take everything out of the temporary tank and drain a little water out of the Aquastyle.
25. Now, RELAX. Just let the tank do it's thing for a week or two. During this time, be thinking about what else you want to do with the tank.
26. Do some RESEARCH!!!!!
27. Seriously, Google Eheim Aquastyle 4 planted tank and see what comes up.
28. Update regularly here, with pictures whenever possible.
29. Have FUN!
30. Any questions?