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Article A Typical Break-In Cycle ( tank syndrome )

Discussion in 'Aquarium Equipment & Decor' started by The Crasher, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. The Crasher

    The Crasher Thread Starter New Member

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    A Typical Break-In Cycle

    Day 1
    The newly-added fish (tank will not begin cycle until fish or some other source of ammonia is added) have not yet produced any measurable amount of ammonia. All readings should be near zero.

    Day 3
    Ammonia level rises rapidly to near-dangerous; break-in fish may show some signs of discomfort, such as rapid breathing, poor feeding and darting about. First stage bacteria are beginning to become established, but their numbers are low at this point.

    Day 5
    Ammonia level reaches its peak and begins to decline as first stage bacteria begin to convert it into nitrite. Nitrite levels begin to rise. Weaker fish may succumb to ammonia poisoning; a partial water change will dilute ammonia and reduce stress.

    Day 8
    First stage bacteria are well established and are processing ammonia as fast as the fish are producing it. Ammonia level returns to zero and nitrites climb rapidly. Fish may perk up due to temporary reprieve from stressful conditions.

    Day 14
    Nitrite levels reach their peak. Fish may again show some signs of distress. Small water changes (up to 20%) can help protect break-in fish without significantly prolonging cycling time.

    Day 27
    Nitrite levels continue to be elevated for several weeks as the second stage bacteria begin turning nitrite into nitrate.

    Day 29
    Second stage bacteria multiply rapidly and begin to catch up with built up nitrite. Nitrite levels drop rapidly and nitrate level becomes detectable.

    Day 30
    Both first and second stage bacteria are now well established and can keep up with the ammonia output of the fish, turning it first into nitrite and then immediately into nitrate. Tank is now "cycled" and ready for additional livestock.

    Greets From The Crasher
  2. Anthony

    Anthony Active Member

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    Great job. I made this sticky.
  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Top Poster Of Month

    Wow nice. It is detailed too with days and everything! Thank you.