Nitrogen Cycle Aquarium: The Ultimate Guide How to Cycle a Tank

Nitrogen Cycle Aquarium: The Ultimate Guide How to Cycle a Tank

aquarium nitrogen cycle

aquarium nitrogen cycle


You just bought a new aquarium at your home, and you don’t know how to manage it? Don’t worry!

So, first of all, you need some basic things.

The basic things you need to start an aquarium are

  1. Aquarium (size: 20 gallons for beginners)
  2. Aquarium gravel
  3. Heater
  4. Filter media
  5. Aquarium water test kit
  6. Glass scrubber
  7. Fish food
  8. And some decorations.

So, first of all, you select the place to keep the aquarium, attach the heater, filter, and fill your aquarium with water.


Will you directly add the fish to water without any cycling of an aquarium?

Of course, NO!

First of all, you need to cycle your aquarium for the health and survival of your fish. If you don’t cycle your aquarium, your fish may die.

So, here is the complete guide that will help you to cycle your new fish tank (aquarium).

What is Aquarium Cycling?

“Cycling” is the process of developing a high population of beneficial bacteria in a tank that converts poisonous fish waste into less dangerous structures. Such a way of cycling a tank can take somewhere in the range of 1 to 3 months, yet it can be rushed along by utilizing microbes supplements like Stability.

Through cycling, microbes that will separate ammonia and nitrates are gradually settled in the tank. The vast majority is utilized to the possibility of swarms of microscopic organisms increasing practically medium-term, yet the microbes that procedure ammonia and nitrates take a long time to develop. So it should be firmly observed.

Why Is Cycling of New Aquarium Important?

Cycling a tank with many fish will deliver much progressively squander, which will be unpleasant to your fish, bringing about a higher cease to exist and a more prominent vulnerability to infection.

A cycling aquarium with a number of fish will build water issues caused during the cycling procedure. Cycling with a great deal of fish can add to a foul smell originating from the tank.

That’s the reason cycling the tank is so significant; it produces microscopic organisms in the channel and makes the aquarium livable. Curiously higher groupings of nitrates are not beneficial for fish either.

At the point when fish are kept in a tank that isn’t cycled, the fish become exceptionally worried about the development of harmful waste and may bite the dust. Such a tank environment is frequently called “New Tank Disorder” and is among the most widely recognized reasons for fish passing’s in new tanks.

Finding a way to speed the cycling procedure along and shield the fish from poisonous waste is essential to forestall the passing of fish in new tanks.

Methods of Aquarium Cycling

1) Fishless Cycling

Fishless cycling is a type of “developing” an aquarium. Fishless cycling can decrease the opportunity of the fish loss coming about because of lacking populations of bacteria. Fishless cycling has become the more right method for cycling the aquarium. This is because cycling with fish can be viewed as unfeeling as spiking ammonia levels can be harmful to fish health. Fish waste adds smelling salts to the water, which can start the development of the microscopic organism. This can be imitated by adding smelling salts straightforwardly to the aquarium.

At first, 2-4ppm of ammonia level ought to be included, with limited quantities included every couple of days.

a) Ammonia Method

After the tank has been set up, including five ammonia for every ten gallons into the water consistently, ammonia will ascend to five ppm and higher. When nitrites are quantifiable, diminish the ammonia contribution to three drops every day. Nitrites will ascend to comparable levels. Continue adding a few drops until the estimations of smelling salts and nitrites come out with zero ppm. The tank has then totally cycled.

Seeding the tank can fundamentally upgrade this procedure. It is feasible for a cycle to finish in seven days with seeding; in any case, this strategy takes half a month.

When an ammonia source is in the tank, it won’t be long until the ideal bacteria set up a province in a filter bed. The microbes states created utilizing this strategy is sufficiently huge to deal with an all-around supplied aquarium.

Nitrifying bacteria in the aquarium develop on all surfaces, however, especially in zones of high water stream and upper surface region, for example, the channel. In any case, higher water temperatures, more noteworthy broke up oxygen, and bacterial seeding from a built-up tank may cut down the time required to not precisely seven days.

b) Fish Food Method

Fish Food Aquarium Cycling

Another type of cycling the aquarium is without fish is by utilizing fish nourishment. Set up the tank with all the gear required: filtration, radiator, light, protein skimmer for marine and reef tanks, and so on. Start it up, setting the heater to a temperature around 80° F, and afterward mostly feed the tank with fish nourishment. The rotting food will discharge ammonia, and the tank will begin the cycling procedure.

To speed up this procedure, the tank can be seeded with provisions from set up tanks, for example, gravel, channel cartridges, filter media of any sort, bio wheels, driftwood, and rocks. Microbes colonize the entirety of the above-mentioned, so seeding acquaints existing bacteria states with another tank. The rotting nourishment will give smelling salts to these states to settle and grow in the new tank.
Such a fishless cycling technique requires a comparable measure of time as traditional cycling.

Additionally, the ammonia delivered may be deficient in making enough microbes provinces to hold the fish when they are presented. It will trigger another development of microorganisms with spikes in ammonia and nitrites. These reestablished spikes, be that as it may, will be a lot shorter and less severe contrasted with the underlying ones experienced during the essential cycle. Ramifications for the fish are negligible, making this technique more fish-accommodating.
The two types of cycling make them thing in like manner – Ammonia. A tank has cycled if ammonia and nitrites are back at zero ppm.
On the off chance that no fish are presented, the bacteria should be taken care of by proceeding with the expansion of fish nourishment or pure ammonia.

c) Cycling with Plants

Aquarium Cycling with Plants

This technique is among the most favorite because it changes aquarium into an appropriate environment, both organically and outwardly. As opposed to setting up an exposed tank with almost no to no fish, quickly include live aquarium plants and afterward center around developing them with great lighting, substrate, and fertilizers.

As indicated by microbiologist Diana Walstad, aquatic plants expend nitrogen waste considerably more successfully than microorganisms. Even more, motivation to go for a planted tank! (All things considered, the leaves and underlying foundations of the plants will contribute some useful microscopic organisms when the plants (or green growth) show new development, the cycle is finished.

Plants effectively expend ammonia and nitrates and convert them into new leaves and roots. Gradually include a couple of fish, feed them sparingly, and utilize the water test pack to guarantee that ammonia and nitrites are at 0 ppm and nitrates are underneath 40 ppm.

When selecting plants to utilize, you have to select quickly growing plants like Hornwort, Anacharis, Water sprite, and Water Wisteria. While more slow-growing plants can be included later, they ought to be maintained a strategic distance since they won’t have the option to stay aware of the degrees of ammonia and nitrites.


Finally, you did it. Your aquarium is ready. Now it’s time to introduce the fish to the newly cycled aquarium!!!
From this method, you will get the following advantages & Disadvantages.

  • The most significant advantage of fishless cycling is that it can diminish fish loss because of ammonia and nitrite spikes. Fish loss can be exceptionally debilitating for beginners of fish keeping, so indirect way; fishless cycling can likewise assist learners with getting a decent beginning.
  • Cycling aquariums utilizing feeder fish is dangerous; because it contaminates the aquarium with any ailment or parasite, they happen to have. Fish raised as feeders don’t get a similar level of care as non-feeders. Fishless cycling keeps away from this potential issue.
  • Fishless cycling likewise permits the aquarium to be incompletely supplied from the minute it is cycled, if the nitrogen cycle is finished with high centralization of pure ammonia included day by day. This makes for faster stocking than holding up half a month between each new group of additions to the tank. It can likewise be incredibly valuable when the fish manager intends to stock a tank full of aggressive fish, for example, African cichlids, where the later included fish can be off guard.
  • Phosphates are frequently made as results when decaying fish nourishment is the wellspring of ammonia.

  • There probably won’t be sufficient ammonia to permit a sufficient population of bacteria to colonize when fish nourishment is the wellspring of ammonia. These are not issues when ammonium hydroxide or ammonium chloride is utilized as the wellspring of ammonia.

  • It may cost more than different techniques to cycle the tank, in the event that you incorporate all the expense of the water test kit, pure ammonia, and so on.

  • Pure smelling salts cycling isn’t as quick, nor does it permit a higher bio-load stocking of the matured filter media technique.

Major Products Used in Fish Tank Cycling

1. Filter Media

Filter Media

There is a lot of media you can use in your aquarium to make the most friendly condition for the fish and plants that call it home.  Picking the right sort of media can be a bit of confounding because there are such a large number of various alternatives out there.

a) Large Pre Filter Sponge

Large Pre Filter Sponge

These pre-filter sponges are intended for canister filters and Aqua clear 70 and 110 channels. They can likewise work for Aqueon and other bigger hold tight back filters also.

  1. Makes practically all filters fry safe, keeping them from being sucked into the channel
  2. The first stage (pre-channel filtration), forestalls fish squander from getting into the filter media.
  3. Simple to support, extraordinary durability

b) Bio Rings

Bio Rings

It helps to improve natural bacterial growth in aquariums. These are regularly utilized in Canister Filters and hang on Backchannels and sumps.

The useful microscopic organism evacuates smelling salts and nitrites (destructive synthetic concoctions) from your aquarium. These synthetics typically develop inside your aquarium, and on the off chance that the microorganisms in your tank don’t evacuate them, at that point, your fish will in the long incredible. As you see, these helpful microorganisms are entirely significant.
Indeed, these microscopic organisms need a spot to live. Bio rings offer the ideal home for the helpful microbes in your aquarium.

Beneficial microorganisms need a surface to stick to—the more surface that is accessible, the more microbes that your channel media can hold.

Bio rings increment their surface zone through minor little pores. These pores are small to the point that you can barely observe them without a magnifying instrument.

c) Seachem Purigen

Seachem Purigen

Purigen is intended to be a “super carbon” of sorts. It helps in taking out pollutants from the water. This can help get more clear water in the method for disposing of tannins. It can expel poisons from the water too. It is battery-powered and so forth. It is known to be perfect with aquatic fertilizer and so forth.
It is an excellently engineered adsorbent that is not normal for some other filtration item. It’s anything but a blend of particle exchangers or adsorbents.

However, a kind full scale permeable engineered polymer that expels dissolvable and insoluble debasements from water at a rate and limits that surpasses all other contending items by over 500%.
Purigen controls smelling salts, nitrites, and nitrates by expelling nitrogenous natural waste that would somehow or another discharge these unsafe mixes. Purigen’s effect on the following components is negligible.
It altogether raises redox. It shines water to unrivaled lucidity. Purigen® obscures continuously as it debilitates, and is effortlessly restored by treating with fade. Purigen is intended for both marine and freshwater use.

2) Live Nitrifying Bacteria

a) Fritz Zyme 7 Live Bacteria

Fritz Zyme 7 Live Bacteria

Fritz Zyme 7contains live bacteria that can be added to a recently settled aquarium to accelerate the cycling time. This is anything but a magical cure-all. However, it will accelerate cycling time, and water parameters should be observed during.

It contains specific strains of live nitrifying microscopic organisms demonstrated to decrease fish misfortune because of poisonous degrees of ammonia and nitrite. Nitrifying microscopic organisms can take a long time to set up settlements in new aquariums normally. At the same time, ammonia and nitrite can arrive at deadly levels in just a couple of days. FritzZyme 7 gives the best possible equalization of microscopic organisms demonstrated to quickly seed biofilters, enormously lessening the characteristic process duration taking into account sheltered, prompt expansion of domesticated animals.

Fritz Industries was the primary organization to pioneer business scale development of nitrifying microscopic organisms and has stayed one of just a couple on the planet with consistent creation for more than 30 years. FritzZyme 7 might be added to new tanks or built up frameworks whenever the biofilter needs fortress, including after water changes, forceful cleaning, including newly domesticated animals, sedating, or changing channel media. FritzZyme 7 contains live freshwater-explicit types of nitrifying microscopic organisms.

3) Water Quality Test Kit

a) API Freshwater Master Aquarium Water Test Kit

API Freshwater Master Aquarium Water Test Kit

Rapidly quantify and change the six aquarium levels that are generally critical to the soundness of your freshwater fish with the API Freshwater Aquarium Master Test Kit. To remain solid and flourish, fish need appropriately adjusted degrees of ammonia, pH, high range pH, nitrite, and nitrate. These levels can change quickly and make harmful conditions when fish squander, uneaten nourishment or other natural issue amass, or when untreated water is included. The API Freshwater Aquarium Master Test Kit quantifies these six parameters with logical precision and gives proficient outcomes.

Keeping good water quality is vital for useful fish keeping. Plus, this kit also provides step-by-step guidelines that help how to perform each test, how to interpret the results, and how to accurately risky water parameters. This kit includes:

  • 4 Glass test vials
  • Nitrite Test
  • Nitrate Test
  • Ammonia test
  • pH test
  • High range pH test
  • Freshwater master test booklet and color chart


Since you have effectively purchased and developed your full first aquarium, you are an expert aquarist. Why not dazzle your loved ones by transforming your aquarium into a naturally beautiful aquarium.

Flora is a Fish Parent & Enthusiast for over 10 Years. She has Deep Love & Affection for Fish Keeping. It's become her Passion to Help others. Stay Tuned with her Blog to Know more about Pet Care Tips, Product Reviews, and Guides. If you've anything Interesting to Share about your Fish. She'd Love to Know.