Bacteria colonies are being established in the fish tank and these bacteria are used in cycling process of fishes in the tanks and aquarium. Especially bacteria act as filters, to set up a natural treatment system in the tank and to handle ammonia wastes produced by fishes in the tank.
Ammonia is one of the highly toxic products to fishes, but bacteria colonies work as filters and are competent to break down the product into less destructive nitrates and this forms a shield adjacent to a rapid rise in ammonia toxicity.

This ammonia produced by fishes excreta act as a food source for the bacterial colonies to grow. For introducing bacteria, it’s good to transfer it via from an existing aquarium system or from substrate media. This will automatically start the cycling process when small quantities of established already grown colonies are being transplanted into the new tank.

When adding extra ammonia from the outside into the tank, check the quantity and keep it in a proper harmony in order not to over saturate the system. The excreta of fishes is a food source for the bacteria, it may destroy off the colonies if at elevated levels. While adding the ammonia from an external source for growth tank should be checked on a regular basis as the bacteria colonies are increasing in good volume via this procedure.

But an unexpected fall of the ammonia occurs when your Bacteria Cycle is completed and your tank has a high level of nitrate ratio in it. To overcome these conditions change a large proportion of water to bring it down.


Quick tips for Bacteria Cycle and Maintenance

  • This cycle needs Ammonia and fifty percent of fish waste is in the form of this product.
  • The level of ammonia rises in 10-15 days.
  • Bacteria help in converting NH3 or NH4+ to Nitrite NO2.
  • Later Nitrobacteria converts NO2 to NO3 which is a primary source of plant nutrition.
  • The complete cycle takes 20-30 days to Stabilize.
  • For bacteria Maintenance the pH of 7 – 8.

Fish Cycle

Before proceeding it’s good to understand about the Nitrogen cycle and the Fish create wastes. These waste products are broken down into something less harmful by a bacterium which is called Nitrite. Later on, Nitrite is finally broken down into Nitrate, which is not as much of toxin as Ammonia and Nitrate. Moreover, this process takes 3 to 6 weeks for beneficial bacteria to successfully make available enough biological filtration.

It’s imperative to keep the water in your tank free of waste, but generally when the Nitrogen is going in the Aquarium system through the process of cycling and beneficial bacteria is busy in providing proper biological filtration, the fishes are exposed to the elevated intensity of Ammonia and Nitrite. So these products may harm the living creatures and even result in death. The effects are not seen on an immediate basis but somehow it often leads to a shorten life duration.

Aqua tips for the cycle

  • Use water which is free of chlorine and chloramines for a few days.
  • Check your system components functioning.
  • Keep an eye on fish behavior and water quality and quantity.
  • Add fishes from a time interval of every 4-6 weeks for the best result.

Fishless Cycle

To avoid such situations fishless cycling is performed. This process is very simple and doesn’t lead any type of loss. Use Ammonia and just make certain the product is pure without any additives because it can harm the living creature in the tank. Keep the tank well oxygenated because the bacteria require a good amount of oxygen to grow. The tank for this cycling process should also be fully arranged with, filters, heater, and other things.

At this level Nitrite is at zero volume, the pH is stable and Nitrate is calculable, this point the tank is considered cycled and a water transform of 50% is recommended at this point. Now start stocking your tank with fish is the right option. The whole progression usually takes time depending upon the temperature and filtration. In the fishless cycle, you need to add Ammonia until you introduce fish.

The addition of two to three hardy fish is enough to start the process. These creatures which are introduced in the system must be very hardy because they being hard enough to survive the high levels of Ammonia and Nitrites that they will encounter. During this cycle, there is a rise in Ammonia within a week to two weeks time. Throughout this time the beneficial bacteria will start to grow into colonies to the point where it can change Ammonia. In order to lessen stress on fish, the transformation of water is important which will diminish the stress on fish. This will facilitate in keeping the Ammonia levels down.

After the exchange, the level of nitrates will increase over the next week or two. Now the role of bacteria starts which convert Nitrites to the less damaging Nitrates will begin and assemble enough to see it. Regular changing of water after a few time intervals helps in establishing a good aquarium system.

Fishless cycle aqua tips

  • It’s good to use clean water which is free from chlorides, as chlorinated water is dangerous for the growth of bacteria in the tank, which may lead the cycle to start over.
  • Perform water changes at regular intervals in case you start to see signs of severe stress in your system.
  • Use plant varieties which absorb ammonia in high traces like Hygrophila.
  • For addition of new creatures in the tank wait for a week or more.
  • For bacterial supplement use of commercial ammonia tablets is excellent.
  • Use of species like feeder goldfish is a good choice as they may not live very long and thus help in establishing of the fishless cycle.

It is significant for the Aquaponics keepers and other sources to learn the difference between the two cycles. As both the procedures are different from each other so use any technique by monitoring water conditions closely.