Now the Nitrogen Cycle is something EVERY aquarist (fish keeper) should know. Even those who don’t know or understand it know they should know it. Although within your fish tank the Nitrogen Cycle works on a very small scale, it is undoubtedly one of the most important chemical processes that happen within your tank and dictates everything from your tank maintenance schedule to how often you perform water changes, and much more in between.
What is Nitrogen, and what role does is play?
Nitrogen in itself is an unreactive gas that makes up around 78% of Earth’s’ atmosphere. It’s essential in life because it enables the formation of amino acids in proteins.
Nitrogen within the fish tank…and the Nitrogen Cycle itself:
The ‘Nitrogen Cycle’ is the term used to describe the conversion of ammonia (very toxic) from fish waste, decomposing plant material, and left over foods into Nitrites (toxic), and then into Nitrates (not so toxic).
Here’s a great illustration of the Cycle
A great video about the Nitrogen Cycle: