After you have successfully setup your tank and put in the starter fish now it is time to keep an eye on the cycling of water for the next several weeks. What happens is the starter fish, along with what you feed them, will begin to create bacterial waste. As this waste breaks down it goes through a cycle of breaking down into different forms of waste. Eventually, this waste is picked up by the filters and creates 'good' bacteria that form on the filter media. This bacterium then thrives on 'eating' the more harmful bacteria and will stabilize the water.

The entire cycle depends on many different factors in your tank but the average time is about three weeks. Use your test kits and mark down the results. Check it every day or two and you'll see amazing changes. At first there will be little to no bacteria. After a week or so, the readings will spike but don't be alarmed. It will then gradually fall into safe levels and at that time you can add more fish. When you add fish you will be increasing that load and asking the filter to do more. Knowing this you should only add one fish at a time giving the filter at least a week to catch up with the increased bio output.

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