Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More

Pet Fish Care : How to Tell When a Saltwater Fish Tank Cycles


Hi, my name’s Ryan Wells. I’m the owner of
Reef Runners. We’re a local fish store located in Lindon, Utah. The way you can tell when
your tank is cycles is after you have received zero ammonia, zero nitrites, and either a
trace or zero nitrates. These three different components make up what’s called a cycling
process. The way this happens is you have a different type of protein that is usually
produced through either fish food, fish waste, or some other organic material. Biologically,
you have different bacterias that will attack these and break it down for food. Their waste
is turned into ammonia. Ammonia is their food source. They then convert this ammonia into
nitrites. Nitrites are then consumed by even a third different type of bacteria. This bacteria
consumes those nitrites and converts it into nitrates, which is their waste. Nitrates are
a non-toxic form are used, are able to be withstood by different fish and invertebrates.
The best way to find out when your tank is cycles is by testing for these. You can get
different test kits at your local fish store, here at Reef Runners, or even online. After
you’ve tested for these, you just want to make sure that you have zero ammonia, zero
nitrate and zero or a trace of nitrates.

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