Senin, 07 Juni 2010

nitrogen cycle and cycling including Aquarium nitrification, denitrification and methods of cycling


Nitrogen is an essential element for life on Earth. Nitrogen is very important in our biosphere, where the total nitrogen of 78% of the atmosphere and is part of all living tissues. Part of amino acids, proteins and nucleic acids. With the exception of carbon, nitrogen is the most common element of life. Life could not exist without nitrogen. Nitrogen is essential for the ecological development, compounds of nitrogen are also required by some organisms for metabolic functions and respiration.

All living organisms, from fish, plants have large amounts of assimilable nitrogen in their tissues. Nitrogen is essential for the formation of proteins and nucleic acids. Any entity, which fits in your aquarium nitrogen, from fish to corals to live rock, plants. The introduction of food also adds nitrogen. Dead or Alive, is organic matter, and have the same characteristics as the nitrogen-containing fish, plants, invertebrates, you have your aquarium. inorganic nitrogen in two ways: the atmosphere and water adding. atmospheric nitrogen (N2) is included in our aquarium water by nitrogen-fixing bacteria and cyanobacteria that ammonia (NH3). inorganic nitrogen compounds from our tap water or well water also give our aquarium, often made of nitrate or nitrate. Reverse osmosis can remove most of this.


When an organism dies, the nitrogen from plants or animals in the inorganic chemical ammonia through the process of bacterial decomposition is moved. Ammonia is also produced by bacteria in the degradation of proteins. This process is called mineralization and is the result of food metabolism. However, ammonia in both products of metabolism and mineralization. The decomposition (mineralization) process produces large amounts of ammonia (NH3) through the process of ammoniafication. heterotrophic microbes decompose organic compounds using the matter as carbon source. Ammonia (NH3) is the byproduct of this consumption. Ammonia in its neutral state, exists as ammonium (NH4 +).

Ammonia (NH4) is discussed in more ways than one. Plants can assimilate (eg chickweed) and algae ammonia and ammonium for biosynthesis directly. Most of the remaining products are decomposed by bacteria in a process called nitrification used. Ammonia is not long, fortunately, in a healthy aquarium. Nitrifying bacteria Nitrosomonas break fast as less toxic ammonia into nitrite (NO2). During this process, some types of nitrifying bacteria, ammonia-strip its molecules of hydrogen as an energy source. oxygen molecules are attached to the stripped nitrogen oxides and nitrite (NO2). Another group of bacteria (Nitrobacter) use the nitrite oxidase enzyme, which is then responsible for the conversion of nitrite to nitrate (NO3). This can be used by plants as a source of nutrient nitrate, or can be further divided into nitrogen (N2) for the activity of anaerobic bacteria such as Pseudomonas.

It should be noted that in the absence of oxygen (nitrification is an oxidative process), may not be for this process. It should be noted that managers are not the same freshwater nitrification in recent studies, the Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter in salt water.


Nature can bring a lot of bacteria in small places, that is to the benefit of the aquarium. For bacterial growth, is all that is required of ammonia and water rich in oxygen. This is the beginning of the process of nitrogen and growth of bacterial colonies. Remember, you need oxygen and a lot of surface colonies of bacteria. Wet / dry layers of filters, sponge filter, ceramic media, and more loosely packed gravel are all sources for the accumulation of bacteria. If not enough oxygen on the surface of the filter material or gravel, nitrification has been poor. Water will follow the path of least resistance, so if you do not have a filter or an accumulation of gravel nitrifying bacteria, mucus, or densely packed, nitrification is not achieved. filters or sponge pre-filters are an inexpensive filter medium colonies of nitrifying bacteria. Wet / dry filters and live rock (in saltwater aquariums) are excellent sources of bio-filtration in large aquariums. Bio-wheels are very popular, but my test in my shop maintenance, are very overrated. They tend to accumulate hard water deposits and must be stopped and even though the work, my tests showed little difference in aquariums are removed when compared to filters or wet / dry filter sponge. Canister filters are also good sources of nitrification, until the right medium is used (such as ceramic rings) and the support is not packed too tightly and wash regularly.


It is the process of conversion of nitrates (NO3) to nitrogen (N2) is scattered in the atmosphere. This process may take place in an environment without oxygen by anaerobic bacteria. This process is more common in marine aquariums and is in fine # 00 sand, live rock, right? Aquarium mud?. In freshwater aquariums this process hydrogen sulphide, often fatal, but maintaining oxygen levels above 1 ppm, this can be avoided. Plant roots are used for maintaining this balance of oxygen in the gravel for proper removal of nitrate, a thicker layer of coarse gravel using an "empty space called the" plenum size is often used for removal of nitrate in aquariums freshwater and salt water, also used. These should not be confused with under gravel filters.

SUMMARY OF levels;

should in a healthy aquarium ammonia and nitrites at 0 ppm was in a healthy freshwater aquarium nitrate 15-50 ppm (below 15 ppm is not healthy to be planted aquarium freshwater). Nitrate in a healthy saltwater aquarium should be below 40 ppm. In a healthy reef aquarium nitrates should be below 20 ppm (or less).


This important additional benefits arising from the constant removal of nitrates by the action of bacteria in the plenary. My preferred method, cycling (did not work in any of the links) on a filter media (sponges best to transfer) from an established aquarium with some gravel, then place the fish on slow days in a year or two. The addition method? Age? Media is much faster (you still have to take it slow), and provides all the necessary bacteria which is only negative pathogens to your aquarium, but I have rarely encountered this problem. To prevent this transfer of pathogens and parasites, but only a source media, where new fish were added in 30 days, all water parameters are good, and if possible, UV disinfection (although not necessary ). Remember also that many pathogens such as Pseudomonas Usually healthy in an aquarium, but when the fish is stressed, the fish is in poor health due to Poor diet and lack of proper minerals and / or water conditions are less desirable These opportunistic pathogens and cause disease in fish. We used this path for our aquarium maintenance for years and never lost a fish of ammonia or nitrite poisoning and the transfer of the disease was minimal.

There are many products for cycling to be available, but work most of my opinion, not good (although in reality the effect is maintained BioSpira).

Another method is fishless cycling where un-poured scented pure ammonia in the aquarium (3-5 drops per liter of pure ammonia) so as to get the ammonia level to 4-5 ppm. Then it takes about 3-8 weeks to ride to the aquarium. Although this method is becoming increasingly popular, I can not advise, not because it does not work (works), but because human nature to want to fish before the 3-8 weeks it takes to add to this method.

Another method is the gradual addition of fish food in an otherwise empty aquarium (no fish). This can be a very effective means for cycling, which are preferred by many experienced aquarists. The addition method? Age? Media is much faster (you still have to take it slow), and provides all the necessary bacteria which is only negative pathogens to your aquarium, but I have rarely encountered this problem.

For an overview expalining the nitrogen cycle, please visit this URL: Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle

By Carl Strohmeyer

Aquarium Information

American Aquarium Products 

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