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Aquarium Tip Tank Podcast 011 | Setting Up a Home Aquarium, Part 2 – Cycling A Fish Tank

Aquarium Tip Tank Podcast 011

On the last episode of the Aquarium Tip Tank podcast we talked about all of the steps to setting up a home aquarium up until the nitrogen cycle. Since then, I’ve been setting up my 30 gallon salt water aquarium and have started the cycling process. Are you in the process of setting up a tropical fish tank?

In this episode I discuss the final step necessary for setting up a home aquarium. Yes, its performing the cycling process of your tropical fish tank. I discuss why the cycling process is necessary, what happens during the cycle, and methods for performing a fish tank cycle.

You can go check out the post about how I performed my aquarium system check here. I took a few pictures documenting the rest of my aquarium setup process, and they are included below.

Draining the Fish Tank after a System Check

Ready to make some Saltwater for the Aquarium

Making saltwater for the aquarium was very quick and easy with Instant Ocean Reef Crystals. Instant Ocean claims that the Reef Crystals are specially formulated for use in reef aquariums and contains extra calcium, additional trace elements, vitamins, and a metal detoxifier to ensure the health and growth of reef life. Check back at Aquarium Tip Tank for more about making saltwater for your aquarium. We’re feeling a video in the works.

The First Bag of Live Sand being added to the Tank

Next, some Live Rock was needed

Saltwater is Necessary for a Marine Aquarium

Now, remember not to freak out if your water turns cloudy when adding the saltwater. Some tiny particles in the live sand are just getting picked up in the water and will take a few hours to clear up. As shown below, my tank had such a milky white cloud that nothing could be seen inside the tank after it was filled with saltwater. It took about 4 to 5 hours to clear up after turning on my canister filter.

I can’t see anything in that cloudy tank!

Then, when I went to check on things I found water on the floor, under the canister filter. As stated in the podcast, Aquarium Tip Tank no longer recommends the API Nexx Aquarium Canister Filter. At this point, we just don’t trust them. Yours might end up working great. Ours ended up leaking.

Thankfully, it was only the canister filter. I was able to stop the filter and get it out of the tank without too much of a mess. Also, it isn’t absolutely necessary to have a filter running during the cycling of a tank. Some even say that they only run their power filter or canister filter while clearing the cloudy water, then they turn the filter off. The theory is that the filter will end up extracting things that you want to keep in your tank during the cycling process. For example, decaying food particles actually help jump start the cycling process by creating an added ammonia source for beneficial  bacteria to feed on. So, you actually want to keep those decaying food particles in the tank and in the water rather than sucked up in your power filter or canister filter. I may end up just adding a protein skimmer and leaving water filtration up to it and the biological filtration in the tank itself. As always, whatever I decide, you’ll know it here first!

Items Mentioned in this Podcast:

My tank is currently cycling, and creating that biological filtration system. How is your tank coming along? Leave comments below.

TJ

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