I've had it suggested to me in place of a raw shrimp cycle, since you can accurately measure how much ammonia is being released into the tank. Also, the tank is going to be in my bedroom, and while I don't really mind the smell of ammonia, I don't think I'd be able to handle the smell of rotting shrimp right next to my bed.
That's good to know, I've got a few of those in the area, so that might even be my first stop. Is there anything I should look for on the label? Will they just say pure ammonia or be labeled as some kind of cleaning agent?
To cycle a tank you need to add ammonia to the tank so that the beneficial bacteria can breed and consume the ammonia and nitrites the fish produce. There are several ways to cycle a tank; if you do a fish-in cycle, the ammonia comes from the fish themselves. If you choose to do a fishless cycle, there are a few different methods you could use; one of them is to add small amounts of pure ammonia to the tank.