Cycling question - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 11 Old 07-04-2011, 11:23 AM
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I'm with 1077 on this. I have research that I can present if asked, but in summary the advice is to perform regular partial water changes in smaller volume than one might otherwise do, depending upon the ammonia reading.

A daily change of 20% will only remove 20% of the ammonia in the tank water. That leaves plenty. Plus, the fish are producing a lot of ammonia continually through respiration, then there is the feeding and waste products and other organics all creating ammonia. My sources say there will be no lessening of the cycle time by doing such water changes.

We are not disagreeing on the value to the fish, but just to comment on that; it only takes 0.1 ppm of ammonia to seriously affect many fish. Our standard test kits cannot even measure this minimal amount.

Another issue is nitrite; in the presence of high ammonia, Nitrospira bacteria (the ones that convert nitrite to nitrate) are inhibited and can actually stop functioning. There is no benefit at all in allowing ammonia to increase.

The other thing that wasn't mentioned by Vnessa are plants. If live plants are present, you will (or should) not see any discernible cycle. They grab a lot of ammonia, and out-compete the bacteria.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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