Freshwater Fish Tank Cycling: Nitrogen Cycling to your Aquarium

This phrase may have been heard by other owners of fish or perhaps by your locals. Here we will explain precisely what tank cycling is, why it is so essential and how you may obtain assistance from our consultants if you are not able to attend.

We refer to the nitrogen cycle when we speak about cycling your fish tank. This is a natural mechanism that helps to decompose into something less hazardous to your fish's poisonous waste materials.

If you set up your new Finnish pals a fish tank, you'll have to help establish this cycle in your new aquarium.

The cycle enables the production of beneficial bacteria in a tank to serve as a kind of biological filter for any waste produced by your fish. Their pee and poo have large amounts of lethal ammonia, which are transformed into nitrites in a properly cycled tank and subsequently into non-toxic nitrates.

Three main phases occur throughout a nitrogen cycle:

  • Ammonia is introduced into the water by trash and food that is not consumed. This is very harmful to your fish. Ammonia is more probable if the pH values in the water of your tank are over 7.
  • Bacteria begin to develop, transforming ammonia into nitrites. This is still hazardous, but a crucial phase in the cycle. You can tell when this happens once the pH level falls below 7 and the water appears cloudier.
  • Nitrites are formed and transformed by new bacteria into nitrates. Nitrates are the end objective of the cycle that filters your water's impurities. They do not damage your fish unless in big quantities, therefore you will have to test the water frequently to make sure their levels remain below 20 ppm.

How long is it going to take?

In your new aquarium, the creation of a healthy nitrogen cycle has no time restriction. In general, however, it takes a few weeks to routinely change the water and check the water carefully for contaminants. The pH, ammonia, and nitrite levels of your aquarium water are all excellent indications of how far you're in the cycle.

Guide to cycle your fish tank step by step

We have put up a basic step-by-step tutorial if you haven't cycled a fish tank previously or you need a refresher.

Step 1: Create a new aquarium

Not surprisingly, you need to set it up before you can start cycling your tank! The choice of the right size aquarium is necessary to fill it with gravel, clean water, an air pump, a heater (if necessary), and a filtration system.

It does not only make it look beautiful to add live plants to your new tank but may also assist speed up the nitrogen cycle. Because they already contain microorganisms that can help break up ammonia.

Step 2: Add some fish

If you have your heart set on a large aquarium, maybe you want to start by holding back. You should only add a few fish into your tank to minimize the quantity of waste generated and therefore the risk of water becoming poisonous. Good fish to select from are Danios, Tetras, Barbs, or White Clouds for the first cycle.

Step 3: Limit the food of your fish

Food not only produces additional waste to fish but may even damage itself if uneaten food floats in the water. To prevent the accumulation of excess ammonia in your aquarium while still cycling, feed your fish lightly.

Step 4: Regularly replace the water

During the cycling process of your tank, you should try every few days to replace the water. This includes draining 10-25% of the water and refilling it with new water. You will also need to add extra salt if you have a saltwater tank.

Step 5: water test

In order to maintain track of your new aquarium's levels of harmful ammonia and nitrite, you need to invest in a water test kit. Test the water with the kit every few days and ensure that the levels of ammonia are less than 0.5mg per liter of water and the levels of nitrite less than 1mg.

Once the levels of ammonia and nitrite fall to zero or near zero, the cycle is over and new fish may be added! However, you should only introduce one or two fish at a time, and allow a break of at least one week before adding more. This gives the beneficial bacteria the opportunity to adjust to increased waste levels without toxicity.

If you have any concerns or need assistance with any problems, go to your closest pets in the home shop when it is safe to do so and talk to one of our aquarium specialists. You may also arrange a meeting with a veterinarian specializing in fish and aquatic life.