Cycle Free

Cycle Free works against Mother Nature

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Cycle free goldfish keeping works against Mother Nature, having no cycle in place. Ammonia is toxic to all animals, however, our fish are at a higher risk of being subjected. Trapped in a small body of water; there is no escape, although some can survive periodic exposure in low dosages

When ammonia is present, goldfish fold their fins close to their body; what we call clamped fins. Noticeable white marks may appear on the body; burns that will later turn dark; almost black as they are healing. External damage may be obvious, but internal damage can also occur

The sensitive inner gills become inflamed when exposed to ammonia, leading to oxygen deprivation

Ammonia is created from waste and goldfish are one of the biggest waste producers. Unless you’re going to starve them, creating an ammonia free environment is no easy task. There are a couple of different methods of accomplishing this feat

Most fish can survive the amount of ammonia and nitrites being produced and converted during the cycle. The toxins build gradually up to a point and then gradually lower as the conversions take place. Even so, it’s much safer for goldfish if daily water changes are performed

The nitrogen cycle

There are water treatments that convert ammonia, nitrite and even nitrates to a safe form. Goldfish keepers rely on them during the cycle, althought, when the cycle has completed, the daily water changes are no longer necessary

Without the nitrogen cycle, our natural bodies of water would be lifeless

Water treatment helps to keep our fish safe from toxins, however, it too can poison our fish with overuse

A common method of eliminating ammonia is the use of products such as activated carbon, ammonia chips or Zeolites. Placed in a filtering system, these products are used to stop the cycle from forming by absorbing ammonia. In most cases the method fails, and the fish is poisoned despite the fact

Cycle free

Look closely on the package. Nowhere does it say will absorb ammonia

There is a lot of controversy involving the use of these products. The industry pushes them by packaging them in filters. They’re designed to eliminate impurities from the water, not ammonia or nitrite. However, they are highly recommended for removing medications from water

In a healthy ecosystem, impurities are not a problem, but part of the ecosystem

Chlorine is most easily bound to carbon; second to chlorine is water treatment or additives. Either product alone can quickly fill a cartridge keeping toxins from being absorbed by the media

Products that prevent the cycle event

Cycle free

The best filtering systems have several layers of carbon, ammonia chips and Zeolites. A small amount of water is pumped through a large amount of media. The filtering process will be more successful if less water is moving over a greater area of product

Carbon that is activated has been treated with air or water pressure to create pockets or holes in the surface. These pockets store a variety of unwanted chemicals or toxins in our water. The more pockets the higher the activation level

With a cycled tank, nitrates are always a worry. Nitrates can only be removed by using water treatment that converts the toxin or by replacing it with fresh. The toxin can be found in some tap water, although, there is also the risk of a spike

Learn and understand the cycle, and the risk will be much lower

Some of us have ammonia, nitrite and or nitrates in our tap water making it difficult to keep fish. When levels are too high, it’s necessary to filter the toxins from fresh tap water using a professional grade filter. The mineral value may require buffering after filtration is complete. Use water treatment to convert low amounts found in tap

Learn how to cycle your fish house without placing fish in harm’s way Live fish free cycle

No matter which option you choose, cycled or cycle free, the water will have to be exchanged regularly. Frequent water changes keep the overall water quality up. Goldfish and beneficial bacteria alike thrive in cooler and heavily oxygenated water

Water that is high in O2 discourages the formation of harmful bacteria

Where you find a healthy colony of beneficial bacteria, you’ll very few bad bacteria. One reason for this; they prefer very different environments. The good bugs require cooler and heavily oxygenated water and darkness for multiplying. Bad bugs thrive in warmer water that is low in oxygen and can multiply in darkness or light. Another reason, however, bad bacteria dies instantly if it comes into contact with the good kind

These products have their place in pet shops, hospital or quarantine tanks, it’s undeniable

Healthy ecosystem

One thing a cycle free environment cannot do; produce a living plant. Nitrates produced by beneficial bacteria combined with adequate lighting encourage the formation of algae. Algae is often mistaken for grunge or bad bacteria. This amazing plant feeds on nitrates lowering levels. It also provides a very healthy food source for goldfish. Of course, some goldfish keepers hate the look of it. This could be one reason they may prefer having a cycle free aquarium. You will not find algae in a tank that has not completed the nitrogen cycle

The fish in the photo below lives in a cycle free environment. One hundred percent of the water is exchanged weekly and the filter scrubbed clean. The filter contains carbon, thought to absorb ammonia, and this it does, however, when the filter is full it no longer has the power to hold on to the ammonia being created by waste in the fish house. The fish is subjected to low levels of the dangerous toxins on a weekly basis. Gravel and decorations were removed making the weekly maintenance routine go a little easier, leaving the fish in a dull fish house

As you can see from the looks of the fish, it suffers from bad bacteria infection, caused by low oxygen levels. If you notice, even though the top is exposed to fresh air, there’s little water movement

cycle free

Cycle free

Algae is Mother Natures way of icing the cake to the nitrogen cycle

Nitrogen Cycle

Algae Living plant

Author: Brenda Rand