THE NITROGEN CYCLE
I have an important concern in my aquarium which requires that I take out my axolotls.
THE NITROGEN CYCLE OR BREAK-IN
means '' Develop gradually ''. Break-in is essential to
survival of your future animals.
This is the process during which the aquarium is prepared for them to live there.
Axolotls are poorly tolerant of chemicals like most starter bacteria and conditioners.
(This being due to the fact that they do not have scales to protect themselves, their skin absorbs everything as well as a liver that does not filter everything ...)
After acquiring your tank / vat, you will have to start this cycle.
The well-being of fish and plants is closely linked to the quality of the water in which they live. To obtain and maintain suitable water quality,
the aquarist does not have to become a seasoned chemist. However, understanding some basics about the nitrogen cycle, pH, hardness and CO2 is a key to success for the aquarist. This will avoid many of the frustrations that can discourage even the most optimistic.
The nitrogen cycle
The fish in our aquariums release organic waste into the water. To that
In addition, there is the decomposition of plants and surplus food. The
decomposition of nitrogenous products leads to the formation of ammonia (NH3), a
compound highly toxic to most fish. In nature this
This phenomenon is barely perceptible given the immensity of the volume of water involved and the bacterial balance that reigns there. But a tank, however large, represents a drop of water compared to natural expanses. The concentrations
ammonia can reach critical proportions within hours.
Fortunately, there is a biological phenomenon called nitrification which, with the help of aerobic bacteria, converts the highly toxic nitrogen compounds of ammonia (NH3) and nitrites (NO2-) into other nitrogen compounds that are much less toxic, nitrates. (NO3-). This is called the nitrogen cycle.
Organic waste in the aquarium breaks down into two main nitrogen compounds, ammonium (NH4 +) which is very low in toxicity, and ammonia
(NH3), highly toxic. Subsequently, these compounds will be converted into nitrites
(NO2-) by so-called nitrifying bacteria called nitrosomonas. These nitrites are also excessively toxic to fish. In fact, in an aquarium
balanced, as soon as the nitrite concentration is measurable by the tests of the
trade, we must immediately proceed to a water change (25 to 30%) in order to eliminate them as quickly as possible. Finally, the nitrites will in turn be converted into nitrates (NO3-) by the bacteria of the nitrobacter type. Nitrates, much less toxic than other nitrogen compounds, are only dangerous if they are in too great a concentration in the water. These will be partly assimilated by plants as nutrients, partly transformed into gaseous nitrogen (N2) and other compounds. Another part will remain in the bin. This is why, once the cycle has been established, water changes of 30% of the volume of the tank per month will avoid a too high concentration of nitrates.
How to establish the cycle in an aquarium
When starting an aquarium, the first thing to do is to ensure
the establishment of the nitrogen cycle. To do this, you must first fill your tank with all the elements of the decor, the plants, as well as the water system.
filtration. It is very important that the filtration system contains at least one substrate favoring the establishment of the bacterial colony. (ceramic noodles, pozzolana). It is also important to be able to test and measure the nitrites and nitrates in the tank. These tests are easily available in pet stores and on the internet. It is important not to put fish at this time, because the rise of ammonia and the rise of nitrites that will follow could be fatal for them.
The bacteria necessary for nitrification are present everywhere in
the environment. It is therefore not necessary to add any to start the cycle.
All you have to do is cause the ammonia to rise and the bacteria will naturally colonize the filtration system and the gravel in the tank. A good way to accelerate the rise of ammonia is to put food for axolotls (to avoid the presence of iodine) every two days or so.
Once the increase in ammonia obtained (approximately 5 to 10 days), one should observe in the following 7 to 12 days, a disappearance of this accompanied by a rise in nitrites. This means that the colony of nitrosomonas bacteria is installed. It only remains to wait for the colony of nitrobacter bacteria to set up in its turn, which should take another 7-10 days. This will be confirmed by the disappearance of nitrites and the possible appearance of nitrates. The only precise way to see these results is to do nitrite (No2) and nitrate (No3) tests.
Once the cycle has been established, it is now possible to add the fish without too much risk. It is necessary to go there quietly that a few individuals at a time, the bacterial colonies are still very young and would not be enough for the task if too many fish started to pollute the tank. In our case, the introduction of axolotls which, given their size, will cause a rise in nitrites within a few days. During the entire cycle establishment period, no intervention (change of water, cleaning of the bottom and of the filtration masses) must be carried out in the tank, at the risk of considerably slowing down the process. Diagram illustrating the different stages of the nitrification cycle. The abscissa shows a graduated scale in days and the ordinate shows the concentrations in ppm (mg / L). Source: All the Aquarium, Peter Hunnam, Bordas edition, Paris 1982
ACCELERATE THE CYCLE
If you have an already colonized aquarium (whose nitrogen cycle has already been completed), it is possible to add a second filter (the one that will go into the new aquarium) in the already colonized aquarium for a week so that good bacteria settle there. It is also possible to simply transfer some filter media from the already colonized filter into the new filter. It is strongly advised to add decorations and substrate from the colonized aquarium to the new one since the majority of bacteria are maintained on solid supports, and not in the water. Once you have made these changes, you can fill the tray with water and add the filter, substrate, and decorations. The water should be tested every 2/3 days thereafter. (Nitrites tell us that we still have to wait but nitrates are a good sign because they confirm that the aquarium is well run: in fact to transform nitrites into nitrates it is necessary that the nitrobacter bacteria are in place, so there is obviously already had peak of nitrites). Finally, here is a method to be used only when you have to reseed an aquarium after a treatment (after having generally changed 50% of the water in it and then filtered for 5 days on activated carbon, therefore bacteria. . A brand recommended by specialists: Biockik de Oase, (as well as three others here ) used by large aquariums in France and zoos. But just this brand because you will find a lot of them in pet stores, you will only be embarrassed Most are only perlinpinpin powder ... You can find this small jar in pet stores or on the internet for around € 9 (to treat 5000 liters). We respect the doses listed, in order to avoid the effect reverse and pollute his bin.
Put your axolotls in a fairly spacious plastic garment bin type container, and with a daily change of water that will have rested for at least 24 hours in order to dechlorinate it. The ideal is therefore to have two tubs of this type to always have standing water and to change them each day.
I have my axolotls but my aquarium is not finished "prowling" ...
I have an important concern in my aquarium which requires that I take out my axoltols.
Your monthly water changes:
You must change 30% of the volume of your water to reduce the natural pollution due to an enclosed space (the aquarium) in order to evacuate the nitrates (No3) and restore a correct Ph and Gh, it is useless to rest this water during the changes the addition is so minimal that it does not bring enough chlorine into the aquarium, once diluted there is nothing. whereas in an infirmary tank with 100% water there yes it must be allowed to stand and sometimes 48 hours and sometimes put will be there because the chloramine takes 15 days to evaporate ...