Cycling is the most important part of setting up your new tank. But don’t worry! Much of the cycling process is automated. Cycling only requires patience and consistent testing of the aquarium water. This guide breaks down aquarium cycling into a few key steps.

Before cycling you will need to ensure you have a proper freshwater test kit. The Freshwater Master Test Kit is a reputable and reliable brand that most beginners and experts use in their aquariums. A test kit is required to monitor ammonia levels and test for nitrate spikes. It will let you know when you can safely add more fish to the aquarium.

Why is cycling so important? Fish waste and excretion release ammonia into the water column and ammonia kills fish. Bacteria within the filter media will convert this ammonia to nitrite which is even more toxic than ammonia. Fortunately another type of bacteria in the filter will consume the nitrites and convert them into nitrates. Nitrates are not toxic to your fish at low levels. To put it simply, Ammonia (toxic) is converted to nitrite (toxic) is then converted to nitrate (non-toxic). This process will only happen after cycling.

This is why cycling the tank is so important, it produces bacteria in the filter that will support your fish economy by neutralizing their waste and making the aquarium habitable. Interestingly higher concentrations of nitrates are not healthy for your fish either. Too higher levels will lead to loss of colour/appetite and also algae blooms. Water changes are an important part of aquarium care and will prevent high buildup of nitrate.


Adding Hardy Fish

Alternative | Fishless cycling

Upkeeping Fish

Ending the Cycle

End of the Cycle

Even More Useful Notes

Now that you have successfully bought and constructed your very first aquarium, you are an accomplished aquarist. Why not impress your friends and family by turning your aquarium into a natural planted aquarium. Aquatic plants grow and live in the aquarium and make any aquascape truely beautiful. Click on the link below and continue.