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nitrogen cycle



African Cichlids water





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 Your African Cichlids water appears to have a white smoke swirling around in in!  No reason to panic. First, it is

important to understand what is taking place in your African Cichlids aquarium, and why.  The process taking

place is normal during your African Cichlids aquarium set-up period.  It is usually a part of the ‘cycling period”

after water is added to your tank.  Most likely, there is a concentrated level of ammonia in the water causing

nitrifying bacteria that consume the ammonia to reproduce quickly and over populate to the point that they

become visible , creating what looks like clouds of white smoke swirling in your aquarium water. 


This is a normal reaction in an enclosed ecosystem such as your  African Cichlids water.  This takes place

when an ecosystem has inadequate nitrifying bacteria to consume the ammonia in your aquarium water.

  In most cases, as the nitrogen cycle continues, your  water will clear up.  Be patient, and let nature take

its course. 

When you can do is test your aquarium water for ammonia and nitrite levels when your  water first becomes

cloudy!  What you will probably discover is that your ammonia level will be high, and continue to rise, and the

nitrite could be zero, or low.  As time passes, nitrite reproduction will take place and this level will continue to

increase .  Suddenly, one day ( usually within a week of your aquarium water becomingcloudy), the ammonia

level will drop to zero.  When this happens, nitrite-consuming bacteria, nitrate, begins to colonize and turn the

toxic nitrite into less toxic nitrate, completing the “nitrogen cycle” in your African water.  At this point, you can

test your water for ammonia and nitrite again.  In addition, test the nitrate level.  Ammonia and nitrite levels

should be zero, and the nitrate level close to or zero as well.

So, during the period of “smokey” aquarium water , all you need to do is test your water.  The bacteria in your

African Cichlids water will clear it up. .  It is best to let nature take its course.


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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