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What hobbyists call the nitrogen cycle is only a portion of the complete cycle: nitrogen must be added to the system (usually through food provided to the tank inhabitants), and nitrates accumulate in the water at the end of the process, or become bound in the biomass of plants. The aquarium keeper must remove water once nitrate concentrations grow, or remove plants which have grown from the nitrates.

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Let’s now examine the filtration of a heavily loaded aquarium in a couple of different ways. Initially, let’s say that the water in the aquarium is perfect for the fish and is completely replaced every hour with new fresh water. Aquaculturists consider this an open system. Water is used once, flows out of the tank and is replaced by new water. This environment is relatively stable as long as the incoming water does not change. There is little ammonia build-up (it is flushed out of the tank). Because a biofilter is not necessary, nitrite and nitrate are not produced. The pH is stable and the oxygen needs of the fish are met by vigorous aeration. This type of tank can support a heavy load of fish, but it is not realistic for a home aquarium.

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high-quality POWER FILTER FISH Tank Aquarium 50 to 70 Gallon Bio Wheel Tech Freshwater Marine In the table below there are , but first let's look at why you want to have a biological filter and cycled your tank. Let's explore what the aquarium nitrogen cycle is and how it works. Then we'll cover some important things to watch out for to keep it working!

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The important reason for cycling an aquarium is because of deadly ammonia present in the aquarium. Ammonia kills fish and ALL fish tanks produce ammonia Ammonia enters the aquarium through either fish waste, uneaten foods, and/or detritus that start decomposing. Ammonia can be removed through chemical filtration, but that method requires an ongoing testing and maintenance chore, usually weekly. A cycled aquarium maintains itself through a natural biological process. Beginning the aquarium nitrogen cycle and continuing the cycle for the entire life of the tank are important to keeping fish alive and healthy. The cycle starts when ammonia becomes present in the tank. Ironically, though ammonia will kill your fish, it is essential for the nitrification cycle. It is the 'food' that feeds the beneficial bacteria, allowing the bacteria to live and thrive, which then provides a balance environment so your fish will thrive.

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Some call it the biological cycle, the nitrification process, new tank syndrome or even the start-up cycle. They all are referring to the same cycle - The Nitrogen Cycle. The aquarium nitrogen cycle is a very important process for the establishment of beneficial bacteria in the aquarium and in the filter media that will help in the conversion of ammonia to nitrite and then the conversion of nitrite to nitrates. Check out the aquarium water chemistry page (on the left) for more information on these terms.Biological filtration is absolutely necessary in any aquarium toreduce the maintenance required. However, mechanical filtration andchemical filtration both have their places. Mechanical filtrationhelps maintain , andchemical filtration can take care of problems with or can be used toremove specific toxins or any that is introduced to the system.
It is important that you are aware that your tank water can be crystalclear and still be toxic to your fish, or it can be or dirty looking and be perfectlysafe!