In over my head setting up new tank and cycling
I'm new to the hobby of having a planted tank that has anything more than a couple anubias in it. I recently bought a 7.5 gallon cube with the plan of turning it into a planted shrimp tank, but I think I may have botched things.
I ordered ADA power sand advance and ADA amazonia 2 soil. I laid down a layer or power sand with clear super and bacter100 following a guide I found, and added my amazonia 2 and did my hardscaping with dragon stone and some Malaysian driftwood. I am concerned I may have added too much substrate, the arrangement slopes towards the front so its about 2 cm deep there, at the back its closer to 5 or 6 there.
I am at this point totally lost as to how to properly cycle this tank, and at what stage in the process plants should be added.
I've read several guides that say no plants at all, as the ammonia will melt them, and then some that say they have to go in now at the start of the cycle. In the past I've used ammonia to fishless cycle, but I can't find a consistent guide as to whether this is needed or not.
So I know these are pretty broad questions, but when do I need to add my plants, and how do I cycle this tank? So far no plants or water added, only substrate and hardscape.
Thank you for any help!