It’s possible that there are procedures involved in setting up a new fish tank or aquarium that you are not yet familiar with. For instance, you may not be familiar with the Nitrogen Cycle, which also goes by the labels New Tank Syndrome, Biological Cycle, Nitrification Process, and the Start Up Cycle, amongst other names. You could also know it as the Start Up Cycle. There are appropriate and inappropriate methods to carry out this procedure, and if you want to keep your fish tank in good condition, I hope that the following how-to guide will be of some use to you along the road.
The Nitrogen Cycle Stages
Depending on the method that you choose to utilize, the procedure might take anywhere from 2 weeks to roughly 8 weeks to complete. There are three distinct phases that make up the nitrogen cycle.
At the beginning of stage one, either waste from fish, uneaten fish food, or raw fish is added to the aquarium. These components eventually decompose into one of two substances: ammonium (NH4) or ammonia (NH3). The PH levels in the tank will determine which of the two it transforms into when it breaks down. The fish will suffer less damage from the ammonium than they would from the ammonia. In the event that the PH levels in the tank are lower than 7, the material will decompose into ammonium; alternatively, if the PH levels are greater than 7, the material will decompose into ammonia.
In the second stage, a kind of bacterium known as Nitrosomonas would proliferate and almost wipe out all of the ammonia. As a consequence of the ammonia in the tank undergoing the process of oxidation, a new poison known as nitrites will be produced. Nitrites are a byproduct of the oxidation of ammonia, and much like ammonia, fish are killed by the toxicity of nitrates. You may determine the levels of nitrites in the sample with the use of a testing kit; the levels will have increased by the time the first week is through or the first few days of the second week.
At this point in the process, a new bacteria known as Nitrobacter will have emerged. This bacterium will be responsible for converting the nitrites to nitrates. Nitrates may not pose the same danger that nitrites or ammonia do, but in sufficient quantities, they can be hazardous. Performing partial water changes in the tank is the most efficient method for removing harmful germs as quickly as possible. Once the tank has been through this process, you will need to continue checking the water in the tank to check for excessive levels of nitrates, but you will be able to replace the water whenever it is necessary to do so. Depending on the kind of aquarium you have, there are a variety of alternative approaches you may take to regulate the nitrate levels. Live aquarium plants are best for removing nitrates from freshwater fish tanks, while live rocks with a deep sand bed are best for removing nitrates from saltwater fish tanks.
Starting the Cycle Using Fish
The Zebradanio is the greatest fish to use in the Nitrogen Cycle for freshwater, while Damselfish are the best fish to use for saltwater. The best fish to use in the Nitrogen Cycle. DO NOT USE GOLDFISH, since the staff at the pet store will most likely advise you to choose hardy fish instead. Most importantly, the species of fish that you want to maintain. During this cycle, it is possible for other species, such the goldfish, to get stressed, which may cause fish illness, and the majority of the fish will perish. The size of your aquarium and its filter will determine the optimal quantity of fish that you should utilize.
Starting the Cycle without Fish
You have many choices available to you that you may implement in order to begin this process rolling.
Option 1: If you are using fish food, you may sprinkle a few flakes in the water once every 12 hours. You will need to keep the process running throughout the cycle by continuing to “feed” the tank. Ammonia will be produced when the food begins to degrade, and you may do this by continuing to add food to the tank.
Option 2: Eat the fish raw. Put a piece of raw fish in the tank; normally, a piece that is about two inches long and one inch wide will be adequate enough to start the decomposition process and produce ammonia.
Option 3: Using Ammonia That Is Completely Unadulterated The most effective approach to do this is to add 5 drops of ammonia for every 10 gallons of water in the aquarium. You may test the water using a Seachem Ammonia Alert to see whether or not the ammonia concentrations are at the appropriate ranges. Sticking the test to the interior of the tank is how you use it. The test has a circle on it that shifts color based on the amount of ammonia that is present in the tank.
Still experiencing problems?
If, after six to eight weeks of cycling, your levels of nitrates and ammonia are not high enough, you will need to take a look and evaluate the matter.
Have you purified the water that was put into the tank in the first place, getting rid of any chlorine and chloramines? In the event that you did not do so, it is possible that the chlorine is preventing the bacteria from starting the filter.
Have you been changing the water in your aquarium on a regular basis? If you did not perform your partial water changes on a regular basis, then the entire excess waste in the tank from the fish food and other sources could very well be causing fish disease and causing your fish to die. If you did not perform your partial water changes on a regular basis, then you did not perform your partial water
Have you changed the water in the tank less often, rather than more frequently? A water change of around 10–15 percent of the total volume is considered moderate, whereas a water change of about 20–50 percent is considered big. If you have been changing out a significant volume of water, then the bacteria and fish in the tank will get stressed, which will lead to an insufficient level of filtration being achieved.