Cycling a New Fish Tank
What is New Tank Syndrome?
New Tank Syndrome refers to what happens to a newly established aquarium
for the first 6 to 8 weeks while it is establishing a biological filter or
bio-cycle. When a fish tank is first set up and some fish are placed in the
tank, the water they are living in is fresh water usually from a faucet in the home. The new tank will be decorated with new aquarium décor and gravel probably purchased at the same time that the fish tank was. As the new fish begin to live in the new tank they will eat and produce waste which releases toxins into the water These toxins are very poisonous to fish. As the
level of toxins increase in the water it will become harmful to the fish and
even fatal. This is why many fish will die in the first few days after
being placed in a new aquarium.
New Tank Syndrome happens to all new aquariums. It is something that every aquarium fish keeper will experience. By learning about what it is and why it happens, a new aquarium owner will be able to know what the solutions are for handling new tank syndrome..
Cycling a Fish Tank with Fish
One solution is to buy a couple hardy tropical fish to start in order to establish the biological cycle in the new aquarium. Hardy fish are fish that are tougher and can tolerate the higher amounts of toxins that are present in the aquarium while it is cycling. Even though these fish are hardy, it is important to preform partial water changes to keep the toxin levels in the water down while the tank is cycling. Hardy fish I suggest for cycling a tank are...
- Zebra Danios
- Female Guppies
- Scissor-Tail Rasboras
- Silver Mollies
- Blue / Opaline Gourami
- Gold Gourami
Cycling the New Tank
The Nitrogen Cycle also called the Biological Cycle is a cycle that all new aquariums must establish to be able to provide a healthy living environment for the fish that will live in the tank. Cycling a fish tank is giving the new tank the time it needs for the nitrifying bacteria to grow. New tanks lack the bacteria needed to break down the toxin produced by the waste products from the fish.
The cycle starts with the fish releasing waste products into the water. These products produce ammonia, which is very toxic to fish. As the ammonia level in the water increases some new bacteria will begin to grow in the tank. This bacteria will eat the ammonia and the ammonia level will then drop.
The ammonia eating bacteria produce another waste product that releases nitrite into the water. Nitrites are also very toxic to fish. As the nitrite level in water starts to increase another bacteria will then start to grow. This new bacteria will eat the nitrites causing the nitrites to drop.
The nitrite eating bacteria produce their own waste products which give of nitrates. Nitrates are not as toxic to aquarium fish. Even though nitrates are not as harmful they should not be allowed to build up in the tank. Regular partial water changes are needed to keep the nitrates low. Once there are nitrates in the water and the other 2 bacteria levels are remaining close to nothing the Nitrogen Cycle is completed and the tank has establish a biological filter.
- Starting a New Tank - B-Bay Aquariums
Starting a new tank - Bala Shark Bay Aquariums
- Nitrogen cycle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Nitrogen cycle explained on wikipedia
- New Tank Syndrome and the Nitrogen Cycle
Squidoo article about New Tank Syndrome
- Aquarium Water Treatment, Conditioners Test Kits
Testing kits and water conditioners from Home Aquarium Supplies
Order a Complete Test Kit
This complete test kit offers everything needed to track ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. It also has chemicals needed to track other things like the pH level of the water.