Yep. The water doesnt contain much of the beneficial bacteria, it's mainnly on the surface of objects, like the live rock.
What I usually do is add a few lbs from an established tank and then add alot of base rock. i also start with all new sand too, mucking up an established sand bed isnt a good thing to do. Then I cycle, I happen to like dosing with pure ammonia over the dead shrimp method, to me it gives more control over the ammonia source.
Then you just wait it out. Can take a week or more depending on the live rock. I've been really lucky in my tanks and usually get a small ammonia spike and thats about it.
I dose up to 4ppm ammonia and wait for it to be turned into nitrites and then nitrates. When the ammonia and trites hit 0, without doing water changes btw, youa ready for a water change to knock the trates down and then it's fish time.
here's an article on cycling a sw
, Cycle your salt tank