06-20-2011, 09:40 PM
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I'll see if I can find it but there is a sticky on how to cycle a tank without fish. You need either fish food or pure ammonia. You need to keep the ammonia high for at least a few weeks during which the ammonia will disappear and Nitrites will appear. Once the nitrites are there they will slowly convert to nitrates. The idea is to measure the levels of ammonia, nitrites and nitrates in your tap so you can tell if you have a false positive on the nitrates. Once your ammonia converts to nitrates they you can get fish safely.
If you decide to get fish now prepare for ammonia spikes and plenty of partial water changes.
If you have access to plants you can help yourself out in the cycle in that plants can use the ammonia in the aquarium. There are sticky topics under the plants section and they are a great read.