What is Cycling an Aquarium?

The most common mistake of beginner hobbyist is tossing fish into the tank as soon as it reaches home. “New tank syndrome” - not allowing water to mature (cycle) before putting livestock in -  is often the most common cause of sudden fish death. Before introducing fish stock in the aquarium, an aquarist must cycle water first.

Aquarium cycling is the process of growing beneficial bacteria in an aquarium. The bacteria will serve as the biological filtration system, eating up waste products in the water. There are two ways to cycle a fish:

The conventional method involves putting 2 to 4 hearty, disposable fish into the aquarium. Since fish secretes waste, they give beneficial bacteria something to feed on. Conventional cycling takes 4 to 6 weeks to complete.

The second type of cycling, the fishless cycle, involves use of household ammonia and beneficial bacteria to initiate the cycle. No aquatic organism is put into the aquarium until the last trace of ammonia is gone. This takes about 28 days to complete.

Whether you prefer fishless cycling or you are okay sacrificing one or two non-interesting fish, cycling is something you must be doing if you want to keep your “good” fish hale and hearty. Without cycling, you will never have the correct sort of eco system in your aquarium. Remember, nature is infinitely intelligent and to mimic nature in even the smallest aquarium needs resourceful work.



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