How to Cycle a Fish Tank | Beginner’s Guide

Last Updated on November 27, 2022 by David

Most beginners make the mistake of adding fish immediately after pouring water into the aquarium. It is one of the big, but frequent mistakes, and it leads to the death of fish and plant life in the aquarium. How to prevent this? The answer is simple, water cycling prevents such cases. Water cycling is an inevitable step in fish care. Although it seems complicated and like there are many ways it can be done, but how to cycle a fish tank?  It is very easy. It starts first with cleaning and disinfection of all accompanying equipment. Of course, this includes the aquarium where we plan to keep fish, filters, pumps if we plan to use them, and all decorations (pebbles, hiding places, sand, etc.). We do all this until the water becomes completely clear after washing. Before all this, it would be preferable to leave the water that we plan to put in the aquarium to stand for a while, especially if it contains chlorine.

How to Cycle a Fish Tank


How long should I cycle my tank before adding fish?

It can last for a few days, but it is best to keep it for 5 to 7 days. We do this so that bacteria and other organisms that we need to cycle the aquarium appear in the water. After that, let’s set up the aquarium the way we plan it to be, with fish only and without plants, we’ll put them in later. The base is put on and all the equipment is started to work a little. After 2 to 3 days, we can add the plants we planned for the aquarium. After 8 to 10 days, it would be desirable to illuminate the aquarium every day for several hours and check the water condition. The entire cycling aquarium process should take no less than 15 days. If after some time the water remains clear and does not become stagnant, we come to the final point, which is to introduce a couple of pilot fish. Their purpose is to test the new aquarium and to see if everything is in order.

Unfortunately, the death of pilot fish can occur, but this only happens if the cycling is not done correctly, or more precisely if the fish are introduced too early. Although these cases are not so rare, if you follow all the instructions, we have nothing to worry about. All this is done to ensure a good environment for fish and plants. The aquarium is the whole world for plants, they eat there, reproduce, and throw away their waste. In the process of decomposition, this waste turns into ammonia, which is very harmful. Of course, if there is a good ratio of bacteria that are needed for the aquarium, there is no need to worry.



How to cycle a fish tank quickly?

Some professionals also recommend adding food to an empty aquarium during the cycling fish tank process, but most agree that this is only necessary in cases where there is a possibility that the bacteria may not have enough food to grow on their own. Also, we can speed up the cycling process if we have people with aquariums in our environment. They can separate the culture of bacteria from their aquariums. This would speed up the process because bacteria are slow to grow by themselves, and for that reason the process is slow. As we have already mentioned, there is no one way we can cycle water, but what is important is that we never skip this step. Our goal is to have happy and healthy fish, and we can only achieve that with proper care and compliance with all the important measures.

How to cycle a fish tank in a week video review