Nitrogen Cycle


Nitrogen Cycle By:
Basic Aquarium-Hagen Aquatics

You should familiarize yourself with the Nitrogen Cycle. This is very important regarding the biological system of your aquarium, and will be a significant determinant in the overall health of your fish. Fish generate ammonia through respiration and excretion. Ammonia is toxic to fish and should be kept at a level of 0.0 PPM (parts per million). A type of nitrifying bacteria called nitrosomonas (grown in your filter) consumes ammonia to keep it at a safe level. Nitrite, a byproduct of the nitrosomonas consumption of ammonia, is also toxic to fish and should be kept at a level of 0.0 PPM. A second nitrifying bacteria called nitrobacter, consumes nitrites to keep it at a safe level. This is a natural cycle that every tank must go through.

After your tank is finished with the Nitrogen Cycle, it is important to keep in mind that high levels of ammonia or nitrite can cause disease or even death. Nitromax is one of several products that will help keep your ammonia and nitrite levels in the safe zone. Nitrates are the final product of the Nitrogen Cycle. Nitrates are non-toxic to fish, but are toxic to corals. Nitrates must be kept between 0-60 PPM, if keeping a reef system. Nitrate is also used as an energy source for algae and at elevated levels will cause undesirable algae growth.