In order to establish a healthy aquarium environment, fish are added slowly as the nitrogen cycle attempts to balance itself. A small number of adult fish are added to the tanks and then the tanks cycle for up to a month before increasing the number of fish in order to allow ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels to balance out. After the tanks are setup and filled with tap water, they are treated with API Tap Water Conditioner as listed in the equipment list above. This neutralizes any harmful chemicals from the tap water. Before adding the API Quick Start treatment, water quality is tested to ensure that pH is approximately 7. Too high or too low can prevent the cycling process from occurring and can be hazardous to the fish. Once the pH is measured and determined to be appropriate, the fish can be added. Next the quick start treatment is added to help maintain ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate at appropriate levels during the initial cycling process. Small amounts of food are given to start, until enough bacteria has grown to handle the waste load. Water quality is monitored closely over the next few weeks and water changes are performed frequently to minimize ammonia and nitrite levels which are harmful to the fish. Over time, the tank should be able to handle more food while maintaining readings of 0 ppm for ammonia and nitrites. The nitrate levels, which are safer for fish compared to nitrites and ammonia, should then rise as the final step of the nitrogen cycle is completed. Following the initial few weeks of cycling, water changes are performed as needed to manage nitrates. Once this stage of tank cycling is reached, more fish can be added to tanks and breeding can begin without considerable risk to new fish. Water quality testing is performed on a weekly basis or as needed to determine when tank water changes are required.
Northern Redbelly Dace Recovery Project A collaborative species conservation partnership Email: email@example.com