Initial conditioning of aquarium water, also known as “aquarium cycle,” can be one of the most stressful tasks in fish keeping. Oftentimes, when pet owners decide to add fishes to their extended family, they want to acquire the new pets right away, especially when they’ve visited the fish store and have fallen in love with some of the lovely creatures there. Conditioning a fish tank to make it suitable for the new fish -- a process that normally takes weeks -- could be a real test of patience.
Many new fish keepers make the mistake of taking shortcuts when cycling new aquariums. It’s a mistake quite easy to make because cycling involves the growth and proliferation of essential bacteria, which are invisible to the naked eye. Without a clear understanding of how cycling conditions the water into a healthy environment for fish, pet owners will tend to become impatient and cut corners along the aquarium cycle process, to the detriment of the fish.
The time frame that water conditioning follows depends on how fast beneficial bacteria are grown and colonized in the aquarium. Growth and colonization, in turn, depends on how much bacteria is introduced into the tank in the first place, and how much “food” is available with which the bacteria can continue to multiply. For the nitrosomonas bacteria, its food is ammonia, and for the nitrobacter, its food is the nitrites produced by the nitrosomonas.
In traditional cycling, a few hardy fishes are added to a newly setup tank to provide the ammonia to feed the nitrosomonas. This process normally takes several weeks to condition the water, not to mention the potential fish fatalities associated with the spikes in ammonia and nitrites during the process. Traditional cycling is stressful not only to the fish but to the owners as well.
In fishless cycling, on the other hand, household ammonia is used to treat a new tank to grow the bacteria. This method may spare the fish sacrifice, but diligence is required in regularly adding ammonia and closely monitoring water quality. The conditioning still takes several weeks, which can prove taxing especially when there’s nothing interesting to watch in the tank.
For fish keepers who don’t appreciate having to wait many weeks to cycle their aquarium, the solution is a highly rapid growth and proliferation of beneficial bacteria in the tank. The quickest ways to grow bacteria includes bringing in already prolific colonies from a healthy established aquarium, adding commercially available bacteria cultures to the tank, and/or putting a bacteria-multiplying product called EcoBio-Block in the habitat.
The EcoBio-Block Family Products are mineral-rich porous volcanic stones that are embedded with beneficial bacteria called “bacillus subtilis natto” from Japan, including the nutrients they need to proliferate. Once an EcoBio-Stone is placed in water, the bacteria immediately come to life and multiply every half hour, performing the nitrification process associated with cycling and overall water conditioning. This special strain of bacteria effectively degrades organic matter and makes the tank clear, healthy, and odor-free for years.
With the fast-multiplying EcoBio-Block strain of bacillus subtilis natto, there’s no need to wait anxiously for many weeks before bringing fishes to their new home. Also, because of the continuous growth and proliferation of EcoBio-Block bacteria, maintaining ideal water conditions should henceforth be stress-free.