So a few months back (with the help escamosa), I was able to do a fishless cycle my 75 gallon tank. I added cichlids once ready, and all are doing amazing.

My mom owns a decently large daycare and about a month ago was over at my house, once she saw the tank she decided that it would be a good idea to setup a tank for the kids. She went to the LFS and talked to an employee about what to buy and how to setup the tank. I had no idea she was doing this (apparently she wanted it to be a surprise, for whatever reason), and she called two days ago claiming it was fish ready and that it had been cycling for a month.

After getting there and looking at it, I realized there were some major problems with the tank. The filter was for a 20 gallon tank (her tank is 55) there was no heater or thermometer and it had never been treated with ammonia (or anything else).

So, I went out and bought a good filter, heater, etc... and turned all of it on yesterday.

My question is, I know it is possible to speed up a cycle with media from an established tank. I actually have two polishing filter pads from my canister filter that I was about to trade out for new ones that I can add to her tank. Some sites seem to claim that if I were to add these to her existing tank that it would basically be like an instant cycle (assuming I don't take them out for a few months). Is this correct? I would love to help get her tank established, especially because I know that her, the staff and the children were looking forward to finally getting fish.