I just wanted to report because I know it a common question on the forums..
On November 9th, I set up my new 46g bow-front. I transferred all of the plants, decorations, fish, and 1 power filter from my 29g tank. I changed the filter cartridge on the power filter before I transferred it too - I know thats a no-no but it was falling apart and figured the decorations, plants, and bio-wheel had some bacteria on it anyways.
I did seed my new sand bed with a cup filled with the black gravel from my 29g tank too.
Had nitrAtes 2 days after filling the tank. No NitrItes at all.
Ammonia was trace but at times, built up alittle to .10-.20. I did 25%PWC
's to combat this mini-cycle. It must've been Thursday I noticed the water was cloudy. Wasnt home much Friday, but today its crystal clear.
Well, checked my water today - the trace ammonia is totally gone, still no nitrItes as always, but I had a motherload of nitrAtes (40-60!). I did a 50% WC
, retested, and Im down to .5 now. When I tested the other day, I only had 10 maybe
So in my case, it took 16 days to "instant-cycle" my tank fully. I did have a little registering of nitrAtes right away, but my ammonia was lingering and at times spiking. Just an FYI.