does the filter cycle ammonia out

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lolagurl

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I am just curious to how the ammonia gets out of the tank.. I know you do water changes and keep it running for 2 months without fish. Though what ends up taking the ammonia out. The filter filtering the water for two months..? What is it that makes the ammonia actually go away? :-\
 

sgould

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There are naturally occuring bacteria that feed on ammonia. The concentrations of ammonia that start to build in a tank provide that bacteria an ample food supply, so they start to reproduce. This continues until an equilibrium is reached where there is just enough bacteria to eat all of the ammonia being produced in the tank. So...it is not actually the filter removing the ammonia...its the bacteria. Although the bacteria does tend to grow in large concentrations on the filter media, so I guess indirectly you could say the filter is involved.
 

Butterfly

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Good explanation sgould.
Carol
 

Luniyn

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lolagurl said:
I know you do water changes and keep it running for 2 months without fish. Though what ends up taking the ammonia out.
Not trying to be insulting, but just want to be sure here. Without fish in the tank there isn't any ammonia to remove unless you add it (either pure ammonia drops or fish food). Without ammonia being added, you're just running your tank for 2 months for no reason. Sorry if you already knew that, I'm just double checking
 

Eskielvr

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Just out of curiosity, if you don't add a bacterial additive, how does the bacteria get there? Is it present in tap water to begin with?
 
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lolagurl

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Luniyn said:
lolagurl said:
I know you do water changes and keep it running for 2 months without fish. Though what ends up taking the ammonia out.
Not trying to be insulting, but just want to be sure here. Without fish in the tank there isn't any ammonia to remove unless you add it (either pure ammonia drops or fish food). Without ammonia being added, you're just running your tank for 2 months for no reason. Sorry if you already knew that, I'm just double checking
o yea i knew fish had to be added to create the ammonia, starting right now..lol..no i knew fish helped cause the amonia..but then why do people always say let your tank cycle for two months before getting fish..what do you put in there then?
 

sgould

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You can get the process started without fish by adding ammonia drops, or fish food, or raw shrimp. Read this page: https://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm and it may help everything make more sense.

if you don't add a bacterial additive, how does the bacteria get there? Is it present in tap water to begin with?
Yes, the bacteria is already present, but in small amounts. Ammonia is a source of food, and when there is enough of it, the bacteria starts to mulitply.
 
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