Hi. Thanks for a very comprehensive guide to starting out with fishless cycling. We purchased a tank yesterday and would like to set it up, however, we are going away for 5 days betwenn Christmas and New Year. I understand that the tank may still be "cycling" then. If I am unable to keep up the daily ammonia feed, will the bacteria die and the process have been in vain? Could I solve this by adding holiday fish feed blocks- those white doo-dahs? Would appreciate your advice
Rather than using a holiday block, put a handful of fish food in the foot cut off a pair of old (clean) tights and tie it near the filter outflow. That will provide ammonia without messing up the tank as the holiday blocks have a nasty habit of dissolving into a complete mess all over the tank.
Hopefully that will keep your bacteria going 'til you get back.