Jul 26

What Are The Steps To Cycling A Fish Tank, And The Tools You Will Need?

I get the general idea of cycling, I just want make sure, and what will be the items I need. Will cycling be needed more than once, do I have to do it every water change. Thanks in advance.


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  1. Mike

    The cycling of the tank only needs to be done once. If you do a partial water change then the bacteria will remain but if you remove all the water you risk removing all of the bacteria. The bacteria, as you already may know, comes in two parts. The first, which will oxidize ammonia into nitrite, is called nitrosomonas and the second, which will oxidize nitrite into nitrate, is called nitrobacter. The only way to get rid of nitrate is changing 25% to 50% of the water. Also, a good thing to know is that these bacteria do not do well if the ph levels get too high. 7.6 ph is the best level for fresh water and 8.3 ph for marine/salt water. If you want to start a tank and don’t have any fish yet then you should do a fishless cycle. This is where you add pure ammonia to the tank to raise the ammonia to 4 or 5 ppm and wait for it to drop. You keep adding ammonia every time it drops to 0 ppm. The nitrite will max out and will eventually drop too. Once the ammonia and nitrite can be brought back to zero in 10 to 12 hours, the cycling is done. It works better in wamer water so turn up the temp to about 95 degrees. It takes one to two months for this to happen but thats a far cry from three to four months. That was just a short version of the instructions but you can find them in full online anywhere. These are the things you’ll need. A test kit that has testers for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and ph. I like the API test kit but anyone should do just as long as you don’t use test strips(highly inaccurate). All the regular equipment for the tank such as heater, filter, light, air stone, gravel, ornaments. You won’t need the activated carbon filter installed if you are going to do the fishless cycle because they’re designed to remove ammonia and this will slow the process. Hope this helps.

  2. Wafflez

    Honesty, the quickest way to do it is find a friend who owns a good cycled fish tank with an older, used bio-filter pad on it (with bacteria). Ask him to borrow it and put it in your own fish tank as one of your filters, and the bacteria process will begin much more quickly. Just test the water as needed, until the levels have stabilized. 😀

  3. malialei

    http://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.ht… this site has never steered me wrong. check it out! and it definitely helps if you have a buddy with a fish tank that you can steal some of the water from their tank. I use a product called “cycle” which is a bottled live bacteria which also helps to jump start the cycling process! good luck

  4. Betta breeder

    You will need a tank filled with water, a filter, and heater for the fish. Soome plants would help. Do your initial cycle and after the tank is matured, the tank wil cycle by itself once you have added fish and do your water changes. Your filter will take care of that.

  5. Kim

    well I think the best way is to buy about 15 cheep gold fish (cheepest you can find because these WILL DIE) put them in your new fish tank without a filter running in it First the water will get very cloudy then it is time to put the filter on and if most of your fish are floats (dead) replace them after about a month or two the water sould be crystle clear and if it is not just keep cycling TIPS: 1) bataria from the poo of the fish eat at the bad bactaria from the pee 2) they need to be in balance 3)add the good fish 3 at a time at most or more cloudy water

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