Just a FWIW, to clear up any misconceptions, and to do the in the advanced section I thought I would explain "my" cycling methods.
There had been posts here that I do not cycle my tanks. And that is simply incorrrect.
What I do is use plant life (FW plants, marine algae) to consume the initial ammonia produced while the aerobic bacteria build up. The bacteria will still build up taking more and more ammonia from the plant life untill that life finally starts consuming nitrates for nitrogen.
So the system is still going through a aerobic bacteria cycle.
But what is different is the initial ammonia and nitrIte spikes are short lived and very small if noticable at. But there can be an initial nitrate spike.
So my tanks do in fact cycle.
They just don't "spike".
And later the tank will again "cycle" should something go bump in the night like a fish death, over feeding and so on. Instead of ammonia "spikes" the plant life steps up to prevent the "spikes" and return the system to more normal operation. But that does not mean the tank does not cycle, it just doesn't spike.
Here is an example. To me this tank obviouly is going through "cycles" but not "spikes".
my . 02