The Nitrogen Cycle

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The Nitrogen Cycle

Post by Micheal on Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:36 pm

When you start a new fish tank it lacks the bacteria to form a steady biological cycle to turn the fish waste from ammonia into Nitrate. Once the bacteria form the cycle proceeds as follows: Fish create the waste product ammonia, which is poisonous to them. Bacteria in the tank change that ammonia to nitrite, which is also toxic. Other bacteria break down the nitrite into nitrate, which is less toxic to fish. Weekly water changes will then be able to keep the nitrates down to levels that will not harm the fish.
You have 2 options to cycle a tank:
1 Use cheap hardy fish to cycle then replace with the fish you plan on keeping or
2 Use ammonia to do a fishless cycle.
You will need a liquid test kit that test for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. The first thing you will need to test for is ammonia. You will get a spike then see your ammonia going back to 0. When you see your numbers going down you should see nitrites start to go up. When your nitrite spikes and starts going back to 0 you will start to see nitrate. You will know your tank is cycled when your ammonia and nitrite stay at 0 with some amount of nitrate.
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Micheal
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Good article.

Post by theswede on Sun Jun 19, 2011 6:47 pm

Good article about nitrifying bacteria.

http://www.bioconlabs.com/nitribactfacts.html
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