Nitrogen Cycle Template

Nitrogen Cycle Template

If you are cycling a new tank or having ammonia/nitrite spikes, fill in this template by answering the questions in each segment.

These questions were specifically designed to make it easier for us to help you with your cycling problem. Copy the template and paste it into a new thread and put your answers in plain text after each question.

Please begin copying the guide starting at the tank section below, and stop after the prompt for the detailed explanation paragraph at the foot of the template. Please answer all questions to the best of your ability. Also, please be sure to type your answers in standard text, (not bold, or italics), so when others are reading they will be able to easily distinguish your answers from the text of the template. Providing full and clear information in a way that is easy for others to understand is the best way to help us help you.

Note: Please create a new thread for your cycling problem, do not post directly here for help.

These questions were all designed to help us figure out the problem with your cycle. It is crucial that you answer all of them as best you can, but please specify if you are unable to list the water parameters.

Copy the template starting below the dotted line, and stop at the top of the line at the bottom of this template.


Are you doing a fish in cycle, fishless cycle or was your tank cycled and you had a sudden ammonia or nitrite spike?:

What is the water volume of the tank?:
What type of water are you using in your tank? (tap, well, RO/DI, other):
When did you start cycling the tank?:
What type of filtration are you running on this tank? (sponge, HOB, canister, other):
If canister or HOB list all the media you are running in it. (manufactured cartridges, sponge, etc.):
Do you have good water agitation/surface movement?:
What is the water temperature?:

If fish in cycling
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts):
How often do you feed them and how much?:
Are they showing signs of distress? (fish hiding, staying at the top, looking pale, torn fins, etc):
Do you have live plants in the tank?:
If so are they healthy and actively growing?:

Products used while cycling
If this is a fishless cycle what ammonia source are you using? (fish food, Dr Tim’s ammonia, other):
If adding liquid ammonia how often do you dose ammonia in your tank and in what quantity? (1ppm, 2ppm etc.):
If using fish food as your ammonia source how much are you adding and how often?:
Are you using a dechlorinater and if so, which one?:
Are you using bottled bacteria and if so, which one?:
Did you add seeded media from a previously cycled tank?:
What other products/chemicals are you using? (list them all):

Testing and cycling process
What was your knowledge of the nitrogen cycle before beginning to cycle your tank? (none, beginner, intermediate (please explain), advanced):
What do you use to test the water? (API liquid, test strips, other):
Did you test your tap water for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and pH, if so post the results below?:
Have you done any water changes and if so, when?:
How much water did you change?:
Did you vacuum the substrate?:
Did you clean your filter, filter media, decorations and/or glass?:
If using disposable cartridges have you replaced one recently?:

*Parameters - Very Important
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Tank water:

Tap water:

Explain your cycling problem in detail. (Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the problem leading up to now)

It’s looking great! I’m glad it’s finally done!
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