Aquarium Bacteria in a Bottle

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You just bought your first fish tank or you are starting a new one and you just can’t wait to add the first fish or coral, but then you realize you have to wait for the tank to cycle or else the fish and coral will die. If you have been in this hobby for a while, you know that aquariums must go through an initial “cycle” process called the nitrogen cycle.

To speed up this process or make sure it is progressing well, you can add bacteria that is bought in a bottle. This bacteria will speed up the process by skipping the time spent waiting for the bacteria to start populating. By adding the bottles bacteria, you are populating the tank with it. Without doing cycling the tank, any corals or fish that are added will die from ammonia, which is a highly toxic chemical that is a result of decaying organic compounds in the water (fish waste and uneaten food).

In order to get rid of the ammonia, there must bacteria that will consume and convert it into nitrite. A different kind of bacteria will then convert the nitrite into nitrate. This bacteria is called a biological filters, as it filters out the toxic ammonia and turns it into less harmful nitrates. Nitrates are what causes algae blooms, which is why hobbyists use methods such as water changes, macroalgae, and protein skimmers as a way of exporting the nitrates.

Cycling is dreaded by the new hobbyist, as he or she has to watch the tank for three weeks up to two months without adding any fish or corals. The hobbyist got the tank to put fish and corals in it, but now he or she must wait. Products such as TurboStart 900 and NitroCycle will allow a new tank to be cycled in as little as five days, which is an astonishing number compared to the amount of time it takes using alternate methods.

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