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AFRICAN CICHLIDS CYCLE OF LIFE

African Cichlids cycle of life

 

 

 

 

Feel free to take in the following article before enjoying, “African Cichlids Cycle of Life”.

Maintaining a health aquarium environment starts with an understanding of a process that takes place in nature, and

in your aquarium, that effects the health of your African Cichlids. It is sometimes known as , “nature’s waste

management system”, that provides biological filtration in your aquarium, and is known to aquarists  as the, “nitrogen

cycle” It is vitally important to keep your aquarium water parameters at zero for the nitrogen cycle to stay in balance.

The balance of this article will refer to this process as your “African Cichlids cycle of life”.  It’s kind of like keeping the

filters for your heating and air conditioners in your home clean so your systems can operate efficiently, and you can

breathe clean, fresh air!

 

So what is this African Cichlids cycle of life!  It is a 4 step process where bacteria break down toxic waste into less

harmful components.

STEP #1 OF THE AFRICAN CICHLIDS CYCLE OF LIFE  

involves the decay of fish waste and any uneaten food.  As these materials decay, ammonia is produced,

which, at even low levels, will burn the gills of your African Cichlids and choke off their oxygen supply.

 

STEP #2 OF THE AFRICAN CICHLIDS CYCLE OF LIFE

bacteria known as, nitrosomonas, consume the ammonia and create nitrite in the process.  This is toxic

as well, but your African Cichlids can tolerate twice as much nitrite as they can ammonia.

 

STEP #3 OF THE AFRICAN CICHLIDS CYCLE OF LIFE

nitrobacter consume the nitrite and release a less toxic chemical known as nitrate.

 

STEP #4 OF THE AFRICAN CICHLIDS CYCLE OF LIFE

nitrate levfels are reduced in your aquarium by changing 1/3 of the water monthly as a part of your scheduled

maintenance program.

 

New African Cichlids set ups lack the colonies of bacteria needed to have this cycle present.  Therefore, biological

filtration needs to be established in your aquarium water.  To start this process, a couple of  cichlids can be added

to your water which will produce ammonia.  No nitrosomonas are present to consume this ammonia so this level

rises and spikes until these nitrosomona bacterial colony population catches up in size and can consume the

ammonia.  Levels of ammonia start declining when the bacteria is breaking down the ammonia faster than it can be

produced.  The by-product of this process is nitrite.

 

Nitrite levels rise until the nitrobacter begins booming from the abundance of nitrite.  This level will continue to rise

until the bacteria is removing it faster than it is being produced.

 

That’s alot to take in, and those long scientific words makes it a little more challenging!  In reality, it is a simple

process that pretty much take care of itself except for the couple of thing mentioned that you need to do.

 

So, how long does it take for this African Cichlids cycle of life take!  Average length of time is usually between 2-6

weeks.  The actual length depends on the amount of ammonia being produced, the efficiency of the biological filter,

and whether you, “boost” bacterial growth with an additive or not.  I use “cycle” to jump-start the whole process and

DO NOT add any fish.  I let the additive do its job.  In about 3-4 weeks, your aquarium water should be ready for the

addition of a couple of African  Cichlid fish to “test” the water to see if it is safe for additional occupants.

 

African Cichlids cycle of life

 

Purchase a test kit, and take reading before you add your cichlids “test fish”  If  all levels are zero, go ahead, add the

fish!

 

African Cichlids cylcle of life                        African Cichlids cycle of life                          African Cichlids cylcle of life

 

That’s it for your African Cichlids cycle of life.  Have fun , and enjoy your tank!

 

Feel free to take in the following article after, ” African Cichlids cycle of life”.

 

Feel free to leave a comment with your experience on this topic.  As a courtesy to your fellow African Cichlids

enthusiasts, please comment on the subject at hand.

 

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