Originally Posted by quarryshark
Also usually wouldn't advise a water change during a cycle, but in your case you may want to do 1 or 2 to get that level down a bit.
I use to think doing water changes during a cycle would delay the process... now after more reading, I think differently.
From what I understand, most nitrogen based bacteria are attached to objects and are not free floating in the water column. If this were the case, you would get a cycle each time you did a water change.
The purpose of a cycle is to establish enough bacteria for your initial bioload. The amount of bacteria being established in your tank right now at over 8 is probably overkill and will eventually die off anyway to match the amount of bioload in the tank.
Right now your LR
is brewing in ammonia soup. Any life on it has a good chance of also dying. Doing a water change will reduce the excess waste without affecting the growing bacteria. This should reduce the length of the cycle as well as the ammonia and nitrite peaks.
That's why it's important to add (quantity) fish SLOWLY to a new tank. Dumping a bunch of fish into a tank is just asking for disaster.
All of this is just my opinion... people have been successful cycling their tanks in a variety of ways.