I am not trying to start anything here, but if you do PWC
's and there is still detectable levels of NH3
, you are not slowing the cycle down. As long as there is a food source, the bacteria will still grow. In fact, it will probably help it to cycle faster by adding O2
into the water column. O2
is very important to the bacteria. IE the wet/dry sumps or biowheels.
It really doesn't make a difference if you have 5.0 PPM NH3
or 0.5 PPM NH3
. The bacteria are still going to multiply just as fast to consume what is there. Of course letting the NH3
source run out will not help you unless you are at the point of your current bioload.
The best way to speed up the cycle is to get some substrate or mung from someone whom you know takes care of thier tanks. Purchasing plants that are kept with fish will do just the same as the plants will be covered in bacteria.
There are also quite a few different bacteria suppliments on the market. Bio-spira is one that has been known to work rather well, but it is very expensive and has to be kept cold at all times.
There are also factors that could slow down the cycle time. Tempurature, pH, nutrients, ect...
Justin was kind enough to put together an article for people just like you.