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Thursday, October 14, 2010

How To Cycle A Freshwater Aquarium Without Using Any Fish (In Simple Terms)

The process of adding beneficial bacteria to a freshwater aquarium is called "cycling".

When an aquarium is in the process of being cycled all the levels of nitrates, nitrites, ammonia, and ph all skyrocket then suddenly drop once your aquarium has finished cycling.

If you are unsure of how to cycle your aquarium, you have come to the right place; I will explain it for you.

These are the steps you need to take in order to cycle your aquarium:

1) Set up your aquarium: place aquarium gravel, aquarium plants, water, heater, air stones and filter into your aquarium.

2) Once the heater and filter are running you are going to need to add water conditioner and stress zyme. The water conditioner makes the water safe for the fish to live in by removing the chlorine and chloramines from the water. The stress zyme adds beneficial bacteria to the water and speeds up the cycling process. Make sure to follow the instructions on the bottles so that you can add the proper amount of each to your aquarium.

3) This is the most important step! In order for the aquarium to cycle without adding and harming any fish, you need to obtain some water and/or aquarium gravel from an already established, disease-free aquarium. You can also use an old power filter or filter cartridge from an established, disease-free aquarium. (The basic idea is to use items from an established aquarium so that the beneficial bacteria will be transferred to yours). If you use any or all of these suggested items, your aquarium will cycle without any fish.

4) Give the aquarium a couple of days to start the process of building up bacteria.

5) After a couple of days has passed you are going to need to monitor the chemicals in the aquarium. The best way to monitor the chemicals is to buy a freshwater master test kit. These test kits measure the essential chemicals: ammonia, ph, nitrites, and nitrates.

6) Continue to monitor the chemicals in the aquarium every couple of days. You will notice that the chemicals will all rise during the process. Once the cycle has been completed, all the chemicals will fall to normal levels.

I have made a video for you to check out so that you can learn how to test your aquarium.

If you are getting some high readings and are not sure what to do, check out my recommendations in this video below:

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