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The Nitrogen Cycle Simplified

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  • The Nitrogen Cycle Simplified

    Nitrogen Cycle

    NitrogenCycleDiagram.jpg



    Fish waste and dead plant matter are broken down in a process called the nitrogen cy- cle. The process is basically a repetition of these steps:
    1. Fish waste and decomposing organic material is broken down by bacteria into nitrite.Both ammonia and nitrite are toxic to fish.
    2. Another bacteria then breaks the nitrites down into relatively harmless nitrates.
    3. Plants use nitrates (fertilizer) and excess nitrates build up in the aquarium. If nitrates build up too much, the high concentration could become harmful to your fish so regular aquarium cleaning is required.

    Cycling


    In a newly setup aquarium, the bacteria required to perform the nitrogen cycle does not exist, at least not in enough quantity to support the waste of your fish. Adding fish to an aquarium where the nitrogen cycle has not begun (an un-cycled aquarium), could prove harmful if not fatal to your fish. Therefore, in an ideal situation you should cycle your aquarium before adding any fish.
    Cycling an aquarium = Starting the nitrogen cycle






    There are a few different methods of cycling a new aquarium:
    • Using materials from an existing aquarium where the cycling process is already completed and the nitrogen cycle has been well established. These materials could in- clude the filter media, the substrate and the water itself.
    • Using chemicals to jump start or speed up the process.
    • Using hardy fish which are known to be more tolerant to toxic water conditions.

    There are pros and cons to each method and you should become fully aware of specif-cs of each before starting. Some aquarists choose to use a combination of these meth- ods to get the best and quickest results.
    Cycle your aquarium before stocking it with fish




    Glossary

    Ammonia

    A chemical compound which is produced from fish waste and decomposing organic material.

    Cycling

    The process of establishing the nitrogen cycling in an aquarium.

    Nitrate

    A chemical compound which is produced after beneficial bacteria break down ni- trites in your aquarium.

    Nitrite

    A chemical compound which is produced after beneficial bacteria break down am- monia in your aquarium.

    Nitrogen Cycle

    A series of processes where organic mater is converted from ammonia to nitrite to nitrate in the aquarium.
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    • The Nitrogen Cycle Simplified
      Ian
      Nitrogen Cycle




      Fish waste and dead plant matter are broken down in a process called the nitrogen cy- cle. The process is basically a repetition of these steps:
      1. Fish waste and decomposing organic material is broken down by bacteria into nitrite.Both ammonia and nitrite are toxic to fish.
      2. Another bacteria then breaks the nitrites down into relatively harmless nitrates.
      3. Plants use nitrates (fertilizer) and excess nitrates build up in the aquarium. If nitrates
      ...
      15th September 2018, 06:25 AM
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