Answers to "Why is my cycle taking so long"

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ryanr

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Hi everyone,
In a recent thread of jetajockey's, Land-based bacteria????????? we have been discussing various aspects of Nitrifying Bacteria, aka Beneficial Bacteria. These bacteria are responsible for the cycle in your tank.

We happened to stumble across some interesting information regarding the bacteria, and the optimum parameters for the bacteria to grow, so I thought I'd share the information we have found.

EDIT Nov 2018: Original site for the below information has shut down

NOTE & DISCLAIMER - The information below are findings from a study conducted by the writer of the article. The below should be used as some answers to the 'why is my cycle taking so long' question. In no way is it suggested that you should alter your parameters, your tank will cycle just fine with patience.

Temperature
The temperature for optimum growth of nitrifying bacteria is between 77-86° F (25-30° C).

Growth rate is decreased by 50% at 64° F (18° C).

Growth rate is decreased by 75% at 46-50° F (7-10°C).

No activity will occur at 39° F (4° C)

Nitrifying bacteria will die at 32° F (0° C).

Nitrifying bacteria will die at 120° F (49° C)

Nitrobacter is less tolerant of low temperatures than Nitrosomonas. In cold water systems, care must be taken to monitor the accumulation of nitrites.

pH
The optimum pH range for Nitrosomonas is between 7.8-8.0. [these bacteria process ammonia to nitrite]

The optimum pH range for Nitrobacter is between 7.3-7.5 [nitrite to nitrate]

Nitrobacter will grow more slowly at the high pH levels typical of marine aquaria and preferred by African Rift Lake Cichlids.

Initial high nitrite concentrations may exist. At pH levels below 7.0, Nitrosomonas will grow more slowly and increases in Ammonia may become evident.

Nitrosomonas growth is inhibited at a pH of 6.5. All nitrification is inhibited if the pH drops to 6.0 or less.

Light Nitrifying bacteria are photosensitive, especially to blue and ultraviolet light. After they have colonized a surface this light poses no problem. During the first 3 or 4 days many of the cells may be suspended in the water column. Specialized bulbs in reef aquaria that emit UV or near UV light should remain off during this time. Regular aquarium lighting has no appreciable negative effect.

Chlorine and Chloramines
Before adding bacteria or fish to any aquarium or system, all chlorine must be completely neutralized. Residual chlorine or chloramines will kill bacteria and fish
[added by ryanr - Using a reputable water conditioner that treats both chlorine and chloramine is strongly recommended.
The same applies when cleaning any filter media, it is strongly recommended that you use old aquarium water, or fresh dechlorinated water in the absence of old aquarium water]


I hope this helps everyone understand a little more about their parameters and why some people cycle quicker than others.

And thanks to jetajockey for prompting the research

edit: jeta found another great link to some resources about the topic:
Fritz Zyme :: Fritz Industries, Inc.

Whilst the company is biased to their own products, the science is most likely accurate.
 

Butterfly

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WOW! Lots of research and that's what it takes to be successful in this hobby. Thanks for doing the leg work or maybe I should say the search work
Carol
 

jetajockey

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Great article to reference to, thanks ryan!
 

ayelie

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Thanks so much for all the info, and thanks for taken time to make it into a post.
 

jetajockey

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I don't know if you read this ryan, the entire article is really interesting but this page in particular is something.



edit*

I also emailed this company with a few basic questions and a rundown on the testing being done on the site with the various products, hopefully they will reply soon.
 
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