The Nitrogen Cycle of a fish aquarium


As the fish within your tank consumes food it will create waste in the form of ammonia. This ammonia is a dangerous chemical to the fish, luckily fish live in tanks with plenty of water that dilute this ammonia. Additionally, there are chemical processes that take place in the tank that help to remove this toxin. The ammonia undergoes a variety of chemical processes in what is known as the nitrogen cycle. The cycle begins with the fish excreting the ammonia, this dangerous ammonia is then oxidized, a chemical process performed by essential bacteria where oxygen is added to the ammonia, this produces a different chemical known as nitrites. However, this new chemical that is formed is still dangerous to the fish within the tank. The nitrogen cycle continues as the nitrites are then converted into the final product nitrates, which are not as harmful to the fish inside the tank. The nitrates can become a problem for the fish if the water is never changed within the tank and the nitrate levels are allowed to rise dangerously high. By removing the water from the fish tank and using it to water the plant, two goals are accomplished. Waste is removed from the tank and nutrients, in the form of nitrates, are supplied to the plant.