Originally Posted by LinkLover
You can always do a fish-in cycle. I know it's probably more work and less recommended, but that's what I'm doing with my ten gallon and it's working out just fine. It does require testing the water and doing changes when the ammonia/nitrite spikes, but you can do it without hurting the fish as long as you don't let the readings get above .50 ppm at max (.25 is better).
Yes, you can do a 'fish-in' cycle and do so safely if you closely monitor the water parameters (Ammonia, Nitrite, & Nitrate) and do the needed water changes.
If you do this, you need to get a good test kit. The API Freshwater kit is great, well worth the money. Test strips are often not accurate and you only get a few for a big price. :P
>>Also, if you do the fish-in method you do NOT want to add ammonia. As your fish will be making the ammonia. ;)
I've heard that most of the time, the bacteria in a bottle stuff does NOT work. So, I personally wouldn't bother with it.