Originally Posted by woody390
But even that states there is a risk to fish ... I just don't see what damage a bit of patience has really to ensure your fish are safe and healthy, personally I'd rather not take chances. Also the whole point of the cycle is that you need all the elements for the nitrogen cycle in the tank for it to happen and to build the bacteria and the water changes are removing these from the tank to put in water without these elements so damaging to the cycle Just my opinion though.
There is a risk to the fish if you don't do it properly, but there is a risk if you do a fishless cycle incorrectly too!
You could add too many fish too quickly, causing a mini cycle that would wipe out sensitive stock (something fishless advocates always fail to mention)
I've cycled tanks with sensitive fish, I've never let the ammonia reach a toxic level, and the cycle hasn't been affected by water changes.
Fishless cycling is based on the premise of overkill. Dosing ammonia to a high level to (4ppm is extremely high) and waiting for bacteria to multiply to convert it.
Fish in cycling is just the opposite. It's a method that involves extreme care and attention, keeping the water column fresh with water changes (and if you have a planted tank, that's a necessity!)
I'm not saying fishless cycling is bad, I'm just saying FISH IN cycling is good too.