Tropical Fish Keeping banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
242 Posts
Discussion Starter #1

·
Registered
Joined
·
729 Posts
the nitrogen cycle is ... i refer to the simple "ammonia > Nitrite > Nitrate > Nitrogen" as ... overly simplified

because we aren't culturing exact specific strains of bacteria in our tank, we're letting whatever bacteria takes hold and through decades of experience have learned things generally fall into this pattern and take about 6 weeks to end up with healthy stable Nitrate byproducts. (anaerobic environments needed to complete the cycle)

but what literally falls into the water in our tanks is what we are depending on, the bacteria to go through the steps from ammonia to nitrates.

but there's many other types out there, some that will take our beautiful nitrogen cycle, laugh at us, and go backwards, and others that go sideways (and you get NOx (nitrous oxide)) or your ph included and and you get a whole different cycle to deal with that concerns itself with ammonium (anammox cycle needed to process)

the most basic part to the health of our aquariums, becomes one of the most complex issues if you look at it.

many people pose questions in here that make no sense to them, and conflict with the basic nitrogen cycle we are told of. ... our tanks are more akin to living than just a glass cage filled with water and other assorted life.

sometimes changes are direct, a change of X is only a change of X
more often a change of Y is also going to change A, N, Z & Q

so there is the overly simplified nitrogen cycle, ... but if it was that simple, there wouldn't be many questions about what is going on in their tanks when something as simple as a pH shift happens and suddenly fish are dying left right & center due to ammonia of all things when feedings were minimal, and a healthy cleanup crew was present.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
242 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
When I worked for a tropical fish wholesaler, we basically violated the cycle by preparing ~100 tanks with freshly squeezed sponge filters, clean water, and tossing 300 Red Wag Platties into a 20 gallon tank, with salt and Tetracycline. incredibly, unless the fish were in trouble in their 3 day journey, the acclimation process worked and they were ready to sell, medication free, in 2 days. Also incredible, their filters still worked and life went on.

One of my co-workers, more experienced than me, at the time, once asserted that we are not using microscopes or slides or samples of their slime coat to determine exactly what strain of bacteria they had. We don't know. We can only apply an educated guess. Our boss always said that if one med doesn't work (TC), try another (EM) or Sulfathiozole or .... We were only guessing what we had in our tanks.... and this is what we could see. We can only guess, based upon experience, what we can't see, from a written description, on a discussion forum.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,676 Posts

·
Reference Team
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
That is true. It never claimed to address the anaerobic cycle. Perhaps you could direct us to a different article which does.

As for "plant action," I like that term better than "silent cycle" which is not really a cycle.

Contrary to the assertion of some keepers, we do in fact know the specific bacteria that performs the nitrogen cycle. There is no mystery; it's not that complicated; this ain't rocket science.
 

·
Reference Team
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
I've just analyzed the AQ-Wiki article on cycling. I find it a light-weight treatment with several quibbling small mistakes and a few large and important errors..

We have two fine articles on the nitrogen cycle which are stickied at the top of the Bowls and Habitats section. Both of these are more complete and accurate than the AQ-Wiki piece.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
840 Posts
I work in an English department at a major university and we do a lot of research and analyze the research of others.
Wikipedia CAN be helpful, but please dont rely on it as your only source. It is often flawed and incomplete or somtimes even misleading.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
242 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I work in an English department at a major university and we do a lot of research and analyze the research of others.
Wikipedia CAN be helpful, but please dont rely on it as your only source. It is often flawed and incomplete or somtimes even misleading.
One thing I like about Wikipedia, in general, it has its own built in checks & balances, at least for all who choose to participate. I like that better than reading slanted views on any topic.

Bottom line, for the Nitrogen Cycle, as aquarists, we need to respect its importance in our fish. :)
 

·
Reference Team
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
Just for (my) practice, here's a 2-sentence explanation/tutorial of the nitrogen cycle.

The nitrogen cycle removes deadly ammonia by using bacteria that oxidize it to nitrite which is oxidized by another type of bacteria into nitrate which is removed by water changes.

To cycle a tank (with fish-in) change 50% of the water every week or whenever ammonia or nitrite rise above 0.25ppm...whichever comes first.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,676 Posts
Just for (my) practice, here's a 2-sentence explanation/tutorial of the nitrogen cycle.

The nitrogen cycle removes deadly ammonia by using bacteria that oxidize it to nitrite which is oxidized by another type of bacteria into nitrate which is removed by water changes.

To cycle a tank (with fish-in) change 50% of the water every week or whenever ammonia or nitrite rise above 0.25ppm...whichever comes first.
add to that that plants consume ammonia preventing spikes.

I also never see .25 ppm ammonia or nitrItes so never do water changes.

my .02
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
242 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
One of the observations I made about cleaning fish tanks is that a brand new sponge filter, added to a tank of fish, with 'aged water' (or totally new water), is a set up for failure. Conversely, an 'old' filter added to a tank of fish, generally works well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,201 Posts
add to that that plants consume ammonia preventing spikes.

I also never see .25 ppm ammonia or nitrItes so never do water changes.

my .02

I don't have any plants and I never see ammonia or nitrite either.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Hallyx

·
Registered
Joined
·
840 Posts
The combinations are endless... I have plants AND do water changes and never see spikes.
Insects and birds have very different types of wings, but both can fly. Or in another manner of speaking- there's more than one wat to skin a cat!
( please no one out there ever skin a cat! )
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top