hi all when i set up. my fish store guy gave me dead gold fish to start and speed up the cycle has any one ever done this and how long did it take before you added fish and coral . i am going for a reef set up. thanks for any info
i've never heard of using a dead goldfish (most people who cycle in that manner use a cocktail shrimp from the store). There's no reason it shouldn't work tho.
The wait period depends, but ur probably looking at 3-4 weeks. You'll see the ammonia spike and receed, then the nitrites will do the same. When ammo and nitrites are zero'd out, do a 25% water change and ur off and running.
It doesn't matter what you use to start the cycle (as long as you don't subject live fish to toxic waste...). Anything dead or decaying will give off ammonia which bacteria will break down into nitrite and more bacteria will break that down into nitrate. Personally, I used pure household ammonia. The bacteria doesn't care where the ammonia comes from as long as it is there for them to use as food. Normally the ammonia spike lasts only a couple of days whereas the nitrite spike can last weeks. Test your water everyday and be patient. Sounds like you are off to a good start!