Originally Posted by blue_gourami45
Can you "cycle" a tank without fish or ammonia in it? I have customers that start their tanks and let them run for a few weeks without adding fish, and keep getting their water tested, but they never mention having added ammonia or anything else to it. How does a tank full of water cycle without anything in there? Lastly, I have never thought of the bacertial supplements as a 'chemical'; I thought they contained 'live' bacteria and were safe. I am shocked!
No, you can't cycle a tank without a fish or ammonia. It won't also work easily without adding bacterial sources. Your bacterial sources are usually filter media and decors(even substrate) from an established tank.
If you don't add bacterial sources, of course, the ammonia will not be converted to nitrites which would turn into nitrates. Fish wastes produced ammonia which is toxic to the fish which is why adding bacterial sources is important as bacteria containing in the media can convert the ammonia into nitrites.
As for chemicals, they won't work at all. How will live bacteria survive inside a bottle as chemicals?
Silly question, in my opinion. Using chemicals is like turning a tank into chemical soup.