Doesnt the bacteria have to spend some time reproducing to make enough of it to colonize the base and the LR?
Once nitrifying bacteria are established they reproduce rather quickly. Base rock is just as suitable a media as LR
for bacteria, therefore when the first ones start reproducing it is just as likely they will colonize the base rock as the LR
. To put it another way, if you fill a tank with 1/2 base rock and 1/2 LR
, it will take 4-6 weeks to cycle (build up enough nitrifying bacteria to process waste), If you fill the same tank up with all LR
, it will take 4-6 weeks to cycle, if you fill it all with base rock...it will cycle in 4-6 weeks.
The exception to this would be if cured LR
was used, it would cycle much faster as well as help the tank cycle faster in the hal and half scenario.