Here's what I have learned and what I am going to do.
Does KH affect the initial growth and function of the nitrifying? Well, yes and no.
The carbonates in the water are only one thing of many that have an impact on these bacteria. Other elements like light, nutrients, trace minerals, oxygen, carbon dioxide, salinity and alkalinity all play a part. So to point at any one thing and say "AHA!!! That's It!" just isn't possible for us lowly hobbyists with limited means. I believe it would take a biology lab and micro-biology degree of one sort of another to be able to really see what is going amongst all these elements.
The only thing we can see that is measurable is the PH and its affect on these bacteria. The more acidic the water as measured by PH, the more inhibited the bacteria are until they stop functioning altogether (PH 6.0). But in an established aquarium with plants, fish and other bacterial growth and function throughout the rest of the aquaria and substrate, this gets a little more involved as there is give and take from each element in the system. Don't ask me what they are just yet. Give me some time and I'll find out about it.
So what does that mean? Well, I am taking the bits and pieces I have received and doing the following (I started over by emptying the tank, making the adjustments needed).
1. Raise the KH to minimum of 3 dk. mine is at around 4 dk.
2. I am seeding the aquarium as directed using Microbe-Lift Nite-Out II (Sorry folks. Someone beat you to the suggestion
3. Adding ammonia to the system slowly over several days until I reach 3-4 ppm concentration.
4. When Nitrites show up, letting it drop to .5ppm and holding there till the cycle completes.
5. Adding two bunches of Anacharis to the tank. Adding a biological element to the tank that for the cycle rather than letting it remain sterile.
6. Adding aeration.
Now if it goes quicker this time, I won't be able to point to any one thing to say it fixed it, but at least I'll know that doing it this way works.