I've been reading the post here for a few weeks and you guys convinced me to get a betta instead of goldfish. This will be my first fish and is my first tank cycle.
I just wanted to let anyone out there who was hesitant about fishless cycling know that it isn't that difficult and my cycle is going rather quickly. I've had my set up for 6 days now and tonight, just 10 mins ago, I saw my first dip in ammonia and my first increase of nitrites! It sounds silly but when I saw the nitrite color change in the test tube I got giddy!
Here are a few details about my tank for those who like details:
5 gal hex
Marineland filter w/bio wheel (35 gal per hr) came with tank
25 watt heater
Live plants: 4 x Corkscrew Valls, 1 x Anubias nana, and some Water Lettuce
Using NovAqua + to condition
No salt added because of the plants
And no fish... yet!
I didn't use bottled bacteria to start it off, but I did keep the planting material around the roots of my Anubias for a few days. I don't know if that made a big difference, but it sounded like a good idea.
So yeah, playing with the test kits is fun, it's good for your fish, it doesn't have to take forever, there is no reason not to cycle.