Ammonia is what causes the cycle to begin in the first place. The only difference is the source for the ammonia in the first place. 1) Place live rock in the tank and wait for the cycle to begin 2) Use a piece of uncooked raw shrimp and let it decay for a couple of days 3) Use 100% pure ammonia to help jump start the cycle If you buy mostly live rock you can perform #1 and just wait. You will have some die off from the live rock as it is transferred from tank to tank which will then cause a ammonia spike. I went with 99% base/dead rock so I used #2 and #3 to get my cycle going.