If you set time aside for cycling your aquarium, it will be much easier to maintain because the purpose of cycling the tank is to create a thriving population of beneficial bacteria that will change harmful wastes into less harmful substances. For this, you will need two types of bacteria for your tank.
The first kind will convert ammonia into nitrite and the other kind changes the nitrite into nitrate. The ammonia comes from the fish`s gills and poo/waste. Although ammonia is dangerous to the fish, the bacteria`s will convert it into the end result of nitrate, which can then be removed from the tank by regular water changes.
To get this beneficial bacteria, you will need to add one or two sturdy fishes from species that can handle the high levels of soluble waste. Their waste will have the live bacteria in it that will start to make suitable homes in the tank like in the sponge, filter and gravel.
You can help this process by purchasing a bacterial solution from the fish store, which has the right kind of bacteria. If you use a sponge or gravel from a previous tank, be aware that you could introduce bad bacteria as well. as per www.articlecircle.com
If you buy the bacteria from the fish store, make sure to read the label and don`t get Nitrobacter bacteria as scientific studies now show that Nitrospira bacteria are much stronger converters. Be aware of this because some stores still sell the Nitrobacter bacteria even though the other type is a much better choice.
Another cycling method is the fishless type, where you add small amounts of pure ammonia with nitrifying bacteria and then wait for them to form colonies. You will need test kits to keep a check on the amounts of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels.
The last cycle procedure is the silent cycle where plants are used. This requires a densely planted tank with thriving plants. Don`t use demanding, slow growing or sensitive plants for this cycling method. The plants will consume the nitrogenous compounds and use them as nutrition and therefore absorb them in their leaves and stems. Be aware, if part of the plant dies, you must removed it immediately or the compounds will be re-released into the water. Pruning the plants and taking out any dead, decaying parts is extremely important for this cycling method. For more info, you can visit: www.saltwaterfreshwateraquarium.com or www.seapets.co.uk
Image source en.wikipedia.org used with permission