My question is how would you cycle this tank quickest and without a test kit if that's possible just don't have a lot of money right now for test kits.
Fish food needs time to decay before excreting ammonia. This can take up to a week so it wouldnt help. You don't need to let the water oxygenate if you use fresh water treated with a dechlorinator. You could just do a trial period. Add 10 shrimp in the beginning and if they live for a few weeks add the second batch.Yah but what if I add like fish food won't the bacteria live or just add shrimp instantly just trying to see if I should let water oxygenate well before they get added.
Good point on the seeded media although I disagree with putting a fish in... 2.5 gallons is too small for a fish in my opinion... I would stick to shrimp for that which is what is in mine. And for the fish store tests I don't think they do a very thorough job of looking at the sample... they just say it is good hoping you will buy fish from them... that is what I have seen anyway.
Just read your post and YES RED SEA NANO FILTERS ARE AMAZING! I have one on my yellow shrimp 2.5 and it is awesome... perfectly silent, works great, and it is really powerful (when you want it to be)-it has adjustable flow control too.
If you wait a week all the beneficial bacteria will die off. They need a food source ie/ ammonia from fish waste.