The Nitrogen Cycle | Keeping Your Aquarium Healthy

Nitrogen Cycle

Do you ever wonder how your fish survive in your aquarium? One of the most important factors that determine whether your fish will live long, healthy lives is the way you understand and establish the Nitrogen Cycle in your tank.

The Nitrogen Cycle includes several phases, all of which are vital to the wellbeing of your fish. When you feed your fish, waste is released through a fish’s gills into the water as poisonous ammonia, which is extremely harmful to fish if left untreated.  In nature the poisonous ammonia is consumed by beneficial nitrifying bacteria.  The nitrifying bacteria in your aquarium and in nature work naturally over time to convert the toxic form of ammonia into nitrite and then into non-toxic nitrate, which is used by plants and algae as a food source. If you have live plants, the fish will consume plants and the cycle continues.  If you do not have live plants, partial water changes are ideal. When you start a new aquarium or anytime ammonia or nitrite is detected it shows your nitrogen cycle needs help. Adding API® QUICK START™, provides the nitrifying bacteria to convert ammonia to nitrite and then into harmless nitrate – a progression which contributes to completing the nitrogen cycle.

One of the most common methods to reduce ammonia or nitrite levels is performing a 25% water change in your aquarium when harmful levels are detected. You can also treat poisonous ammonia by changing its toxic form to a non-toxic form using a water treatment like API® AMMO LOCK™. It is important to test your water weekly to ensure that your levels are not a concern to the health of your fish. API® test kits provide an easy way of testing these water parameters to give you the answers.  Remember that whenever you change your water or add water from your tap, you must treat it first with a tap water conditioner, such as API® STRESS COAT™. It is also a good idea to add additional beneficial nitrifying bacteria back into the aquarium using API® QUICK START.  In addition, since fish need electrolytes not found in tap water for optimal health, the addition of API® AQUARIUM SALT replenishes the necessary electrolytes in your tank and reduces the toxic effects of nitrite. 

The Nitrogen Cycle is essential in maintaining the correct water parameters for your fish. Following these few, simple steps, you will be able to maintain your aquarium without concern and keep your fish healthy and thriving with the support of the API brand.

Aquarium Tips

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