Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
If you are using any of several particular substrates they may give off ammonia as they are getting used to being under water. This can be the ammonia supply to get the bacteria going. It will also provide nitrogen for the plants, so even if you have to dose other things, you might not need to dose nitrogen for a while.
Some substrates come with other fertilizers in them, too, and this would alter how you get going on the EI method.
Other than that, taking it slow and ramping up light, CO2 and ferts at the same rate is probably the right way to go about it.
Do not add livestock until whatever ammonia cycle might happen is complete.
When you do add fish or shrimp they might not have been kept in a tank with CO2 so you might need to reduce that for a week or so, then gradually get it back up to the right level.