Hello fish people. First off I'm new to the forum in terms of posting but have lurked quite a bit. My question regarding beneficial bacteria stems from a recent experience I came across I suppose accidentally. So roughly 2 months back I took apart a small 4gallon planted nano tank I took all the hard scale out and just left the carpet planted with Dwarf hair grass and enough water to be about 1/2 inch or so maybe more below the substrate surface essentially what a dry start would be. I left the plants growing that way until about 2 weeks ago when I was re inspired to set it back up properly. So after picking the hardacape plants etc and getting it all set up I began the cycle of the tank only to find that the ammonia would not show up on my test. I figured still early give it time then he bacteria will form etc. now I should say here I am not new when it comes to understanding the nitrogen cycle and how it's done fish in or fish out method. Anyways after a few more days of this I decided to test all my parameters in the nitro cycle. It comes back 0 ammonia 0 nitrite and 20-30 ppm nitrate. So readings at though my cycle is already done and this is only about 4 days in. My question is could Beneficial bacteria have survived a dry start method from an old substrate that stayed wet/fed with plant debris?