Live Fish Cycle

Live Fish Cycle 2019-04-09T05:24:32-05:00

Live Fish Cycle is risky for the fish

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Live fish cycle may not be effective. There are two types of bacterium that make up a colony of beneficial or nitrifying bacteria in a goldfish tank or pond. The first type consumes ammonia, converting it into nitrite; the second type consumes nitrite, converting it into nitrates. The presence of these friendly bugs is  necessary in order to keep goldfish safe from toxins created by their own waste. If conditions in your tank or pond are right these bugs will become established creating a healthy and safe environment

Goldfish and Beneficial bacteria both thrive in the same water parameters. To encourage cycling keep pH levels consistent and on the higher side of the comfort zone 8. to 8.4 ppm. Keep temperatures consistent and preferably in the midrange of the comfort zone; 70 degrees Fahrenheit

Friendly bacteria can only thrive in dark places and in heavily oxygenated water. The mechanics of a pond pump located on the bottom of the tank or pond floor provides excellent housing and the increased surface action it provides will oxygenate the water enhancing the health of goldfish and beneficial bacteria

The Live fish Cycle

Ammonia and nitrite are much more dangerous to goldfish in higher levels of pH, KH and higher water temperature

These friendly bugs are fragile, preferring a constant food source, requiring complete darkness for reproduction, and cooler, heavily oxygenated water

With a live fish cycle; meaning the fish are located in the container being cycled; the beneficial bacteria reap the benefits of ammonia produced from a combination of goldfish pooh, uneaten food and goldfish perspiration. The ammonia will be produced at a consistent quantity and strength providing a consistent diet; creating a healthier, stable colony of bacteria; building up the colony gradually

The Live fish Cycle

While the cycle is completing, it’s necessary to perform daily water changes using water treatment that converts ammonia and nitrite. Water treatment begins to degrade within 24 hours; hence the daily water changes

Test ammonia and nitrite levels in main tank or pond daily. Treat fresh water before adding to fish house for both toxins (if present) Use a single dose of water treatment that converts ammonia and nitrite for every 1 ppm; not to exceed a double dose. Water treatment can be just as dangerous as the toxins it converts when used improperly. Unfortunately, this leaves your fish at risk during the cycle. Ammonia and nitrite peak at 5 to 10 ppm depending on the quality of your test kit. It will be necessary to increase the amount of water being exchanged to reduce the toxin levels, which while keeping the fish safe, stalls the completion of the cycle

When you feed your fish, you’re feeding your friendly bugs too. Goldfish and beneficial bacteria alike are constant grazers. Overfeeding one day, and then skipping a few days can cause serious issues with the fish’s digestive system, and wreak havoc with the nitrogen cycle

The Live fish Cycle

A tank stocked at the site’s recommended levels ‘will’ complete a live fish cycle in approximately eight weeks. When a tank is stocked below or above the recommended levels the cycle may complete in a longer or shorter amount of time

Fish Free Cycle

The fish free cycle is a means of introducing the fish into a cycled tank using organic matter instead of live fish to encourage the breeding of beneficial bacteria colonies in tanks or ponds

Nitrogen Cycle

Cycling a tank with fish in it

A live fish cycle gives the friendly bugs a chance to build just the right size colony needed for the amount and size of the fish in the tank. As the goldfish grow, so do the size of these colonies; Mother Nature creating a perfect match. Not so with the fishless cycle; it’s impossible to predict the amount of organics needed to produce just the right size colony of friendly bugs; which creates an imbalance in the cycle once the fish are brought onto the scene

There’s bound to be a spike in the nitrogen cycle with this less than perfect process when the diet is suddenly changed, and the amount of the food source; maybe several; maybe quite severe as the colony size adjusts to the amount and quality of waste being produced

Feeding consistently leads to a consistent cycle Fasting Our Goldfish

You can purchase bacterium in a bottle; designed to produce an instant cycle, but take warning; most of these bottled treatments contain dead bacterium instead of live. If you’re lucky, and get a fresh bottle with active bugs; the ammonia being created by your fish may not feed the amount you add to the water; most of these little critters are going to die instead of becoming established; adding to the bio load. If you add too few, there may not be enough to handle the bio load, and the fish could be poisoned by ammonia or nitrite. There’s no magical method to create a cycled tank. It takes time, labor and a great deal of patience

Some of us have unstable or poor fresh water quality which toxins can become more dangerous for the fish, and some us have fish that may be super sensitive to ammonia and or toxin, having been poisoned in the past. Doubling or even tripling the dosage of water treatment is okay, but once levels of toxins rise to 3ppms; the fish are at risk of being overdosed with water treatment or exposed to ammonia and or nitrite. The safest, and most effective method of cycling is combining the Live Fish Cycle with the Fish Free Cycle SEMI Live Fish Free Cycle

When you’re keeping goldfish in a cycled tank, you’re also keeping beneficial bacteria. Your fish will depend on these bacterium for a safe environment just as the friendly bugs will depend on the fish for their food source; waste. In a cycled tank, waste is not a negative factor, but a very positive one

The Live fish Cycle

Beneficial bacteria build their colonies in our pumps and filters, so don’t rinse unless you absolutely have to. If the mechanics slow or stop, unplug for an instant, and if you find it necessary to rinse; use old tank water. Try not to be too invasive 

Ammonia is the first toxin to convert; nitrite the second and nitrates are the third and final toxin to be converted in the nitrogen cycle. Ammonia levels normally peak at 5 ppm before nitrite makes an appearance; which takes a few weeks. As nitrite levels build, ammonia levels will decline. Nitrite will also peak at approximately 5 ppm before nitrates makes its presence known. As nitrates build gradually, the nitrite levels will decline, and when you no longer have a reading for nitrite, nitrate levels will typically range from 5 to 10 ppm.

When you feed your fish, you’re feeding your friendly bacteria  

When your tank or pond has completed the cycle, and a healthy level of nitrates are present, algae will form to feed on the toxin,  keeping levels at bay; making your job easier. This is mother natures way of icing the cake. Your goldfish will enjoy nibbling on the algae. It’s a very healthy food source. In a cycled tank, nitrates must be kept at safe levels ranging from 20 to 40 ppm, and should be removed by means of a fresh water changed

the live fish cycle

The Live Fish Cycle

Algae the living plant

Be consistent with water changes, gravel vacuuming, sponge rinsing and feeding, and your cycle will be consistent too

Nitrates, although safe at low levels, can be lethal at high levels; severely and permanently injuring fish. Nitrates must be reduced gradually to reduce the risk of shock. When your tank has completed the cycle, perform smaller but more frequent water changes

Learn about nitrates, and how they can effect your fish Nitrate, the Gentle Giant

10 Steps to Goldfish and Koi Care

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Author: Brenda Rand

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