07-28-2009, 03:04 PM
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It would be fine to use the established media, it should help speed up the cycling process.
Sounds like you are doing it right. On my ammonia fishless cycles, I would bump the ammonia up to 3 ppm daily. Your tank is cycled, when you can bump it up to 3 ppm and test zero for both ammonia and nitrites 12 hrs latter.
The big water change, before adding the fish, is to lower nitrates. At the end of the cycle, nitrates should be pretty high. My last tank, I changed out about 75% of the water and that lowered my nitrates to 20 ppm. Anything under 40 ppm, should be fine.
After the water change, you are ready to add your fish. No need to add any more ammonia. The fish will supply that for you.