If I'm underrstanding correctly you are currently doing a fish LESS cycle? If so what are you using for an ammonia source? I may have missed it your postings. I just completed fish IN cycling a 10g & it took about 8 weeks. Fish LESS should take less time because you should be dosing higher amounts of ammonia than a single fish can produce. I have 2 10g tanks each with one male Betta & 1 Mystery snail & it's perfect IMO, the boys can really stretch & swim. My personal preference is nothing smaller than a 10g.