So You Didn’t Cycle Your Aquarium Before Adding Fish

All too often the question comes up online- why are my new fish dieing? The first answer is usually another question- did you cycle your tank? Nearly every time the answer is no.   The aquarium cycling process is a very important step that’s skipped far too often by beginners. This usually leads to dead fish and a frustrated aquarist. But fear not! Even if you didn’t cycle your tank before adding fish all hope is not lost.   First, a quick overview on what this cycle is and why it’s important. Basically, all of your fish are continually releasing … Continue reading

007: Curing Live Rock And Cycling Your Saltwater Aquarium

Once your tank is up and running it’s ready for life, although maybe not the life you’re thinking of. Every aquarium, whether it be saltwater or otherwise, requires a large amount of bacteria to function. These beneficial bacteria will consume the toxic waste products produced by the inhabitants of your tank and convert them to less harmful substances. The best way to establish sufficient quantities of beneficial bacteria is with live rock. Live rock is essentially pieces of rock that have broken off of a natural reef, typically during a storm. While technically not absolutely necessary, the use of live … Continue reading

003: Cycling Your New Freshwater Aquarium

The real heart of any aquarium’s filtration, freshwater or marine, is bacteria. Beneficial bacteria consume and break down the waste products produced by any fish or other animals within the system, namely ammonia. Without them the ammonia levels within the tank can become toxic within days or even hours. The goal of cycling is to establish a healthy colony of beneficial bacteria within the tank to prevent this. Well, actually two colonies: the first to consume the ammonia and convert it to nitrite, and the second to consume the nitrite and turn it into nitrate. Most fish can tolerate nitrate … Continue reading