Categories Cycling

FAQ: Cycling a marine tank?

How long does it take to cycle a marine tank?

Cycling the tank is not an exact process. It can take anywhere from between 2 to 6 weeks (or occasionally longer). This is because bacteria need to grow in the tank for it to work, and this process happens naturally on its own. It will take longer to cycle a saltwater tank than a freshwater tank.

How do I know when my marine tank is cycled?

Ammonia rises first until Nitrosomonas Bacteria converts it to Nitrite. The Nitrite rises until Nitrobacter Bacteria converts it to Nitrate. Once Ammonia & Nitrite have spiked then dropped to zero and Nitrate is reading less than 20ppm, the aquarium is cycled.

How do I cycle my saltwater tank in 24 hours?

Simple Methods to Accelerate Cycling

  1. If you have access, try using an old filter from a different tank. In this way, the filter will already contain all the healthy bacteria that your tank needs.
  2. Add filter media from an old tank.
  3. Increase water temperature.
  4. Use live bacteria.
  5. Increase oxygen levels.
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How long should a saltwater tank cycle before adding fish?

Keep in mind you’ll want to allow for at least six weeks for your tank to cycle before purchasing all the fish you will want. You must add the fish only a few at a time into the aquarium during the cycling process to not overwhelm the growing nitrifying bacteria.

Should I run my skimmer while cycling?

In short; Yes, Run the skimmer all the time. At length; The protein skimmer is designed to remove byproducts from the water column before they have a chance to be broken down by the microorganisms in your set up.

What fish are good for cycling a tank?

Add a few select fish



In the first few weeks of having your aquarium, you should add plants into the environment and ‘good cycling fish’ such as most types of minnows, guppies, barbs and danios. They will be able to survive the high toxins for long enough to allow the beneficial waste-processing bacteria to grow.

Should you do water changes while tank is cycling?

While not essential, we recommend water changes during cycling, although opinions differ. Since bacteria live on surfaces, removing water does not disrupt their development. High ammonia can be beneficial for aquarium plants, but algae is also a plant, and indeed, unwanted algae blooms are common during cycling.

Does Brown algae mean my tank is cycled?

Every aquarium at one time or another experiences a bloom of brown algae. You are most likely to see it during the cycling phase of a new tank or while curing Live Rock. Brown algae can also show up at any time in well established tanks. Brown algae is not an algae at all, but a tiny animal called a diatom.

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Can a saltwater tank cycle in 2 weeks?

Cycling your saltwater aquarium is a critical process all aquariums must endure before they are ready to be populated with fish and corals. Cycling your aquarium can take anywhere from 2-6 weeks, depending on your setup, and how proactive you are in helping the process along the way.

What happens if I don’t cycle my tank?

Even if you didn’t cycle your tank before adding fish all hope is not lost. Ammonia is deadly to your fish in even small quantities. Luckily, there are bacteria that love ammonia and want only to consume it. This leads to another problem, though, the bacteria’s own waste product- nitrite.

Can you add corals to a cycling tank?

Once your tank is cycled and ready for livestock, you may feel the urge to add as many fish and corals as your tank can contain or your wallet can afford. But don’t—adding too many fish or corals at once to a young tank will surely result in a catastrophe because of the increased waste levels in your tank.

Can I add live rock to a cycling tank?

Place the live rock into the tank. Use a cured or semi-cured live rock, and let the aquarium run for a few days. There will be some natural die-off from microorganisms in the rock, which will be sufficient to begin the nitrogen cycle. Keep an eye out during this time for unwanted hitchhikers.

How can I speed up my cycling tank?

1. Focus on the basics

  1. Keep the pH above 7. This one often catches beginners.
  2. Don’t turn off your filters. Most nitrifying bacteria lives inside your filter.
  3. Don’t forget the dechlorinator.
  4. Watch the heating.
  5. Use a cycled filter.
  6. Season your filter.
  7. Add gravel.
  8. Buy some plants.
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Does live sand cycle your tank?

If using live rock or sand, you only need a little bit to seed the aquarium with bacteria. It is perfectly suitable to fill your tank with DRY rock and sand then add a small piece of LIVE rock or small scoop of sand to introduce the bacteria.

How do you keep a quarantine tank cycled?

My quarantine protocol

  1. Test the display tank water to make sure it’s suitable.
  2. Plan and execute a water change large enough to fill 75% of the QT tank with display tank water.
  3. Fill the remaining 25% with newly made tank water.
  4. Add a sponge filter (that I keep in my sump) to the tank–voila–instantly cycled quarantine tank.
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