'Is my tank cycled?'

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UNC-CH created the topic: 'Is my tank cycled?'

I was thinking about how confusing the terms 'cycled tank' and 'cycling a new tank' must be for beginners. 'Tank' has nothing to do with the establishment of beneficial bacteria in your filter media, and 'cycle' may lead some to believe that everything in the tank works in a complete cycle. That is, the fish produce waste and there's some 'cycle' that takes care of that. 'Water changes? No, man ... my tank's cycled.' I remember one person who thought that cycling a tank meant that you had changed the water, making one cycle. ... kind of like a washing machine with a rinse and spin cycle.

But changing the water does seem to have more to do with a 'tank cycle' than growing bacteria in the filter does. So how did this phrase come to be?
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robham7770 replied the topic: 'Is my tank cycled?'

I honestly think this is the best question to ask. If some one does a web search for that phrase, the will end up here or on a similar site. What options are there. You could ask. Do you have an established beneficial bacteria colony capable of completing the nitrogen cycle, and ending up with nitrate as a by product? As confused as I was when I started, the subject matter is pretty simple, and it it is incumbent on the keeper to make an effort to understand it.
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Lammergeier replied the topic: 'Is my tank cycled?'

If you're curious where the phrase came from; in a tank you're essentially creating a mini version of en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrogen_cycle ;) cycling a tank is just shorthand for 'establishing the nitrogen cycle in the (mostly) closed system that is an aquarium'.
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robham7770 replied the topic: 'Is my tank cycled?'

Lamm, I think uhc is trying to figure out if there is a better way to approach the question, and if anyone has a better way of asking it. I don't think there is, but.....
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Lammergeier replied the topic: 'Is my tank cycled?'

"So how did this phrase come to be? " I was answering that bit, but I did skim over the rest; I'm exhausted, sorry.

I guess you could ask if they know what tank cycling is, first? See what they say as an answer? But honestly it's one of those really fundamental things people need to know to keep any fish long term. Not sure if you could really 'dumb it down' much.
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UNC-CH replied the topic: 'Is my tank cycled?'

'Is your filter cycled?' would be a better question, but that would likely cause confusion as most people have heard the term 'tank cycle.'

I was wondering if it might have originated back when undergravel filters were industry standard. Since both the undergravel filter and the gravel were part of the tank, the nitrogen cycle may have been thought of as a process that took place in the tank. So, in this case, the term 'cycling the tank' would have made sense whereas 'cycling the filter' would not.
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robham7770 replied the topic: 'Is my tank cycled?'

I think both the tank cycle and filter cycle question should take a back seat to "can you post water parameters?". If someone can not then there is no way for them to determine whether or not the tank/filter is cycled, and it is much harder for anyone here to help.
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daddadoo7 replied the topic: Re:'Is my tank cycled?'

UNC-CH wrote: 'Is your filter cycled?' would be a better question, but that would likely cause confusion as most people have heard the term 'tank cycle.'

I was wondering if it might have originated back when undergravel filters were industry standard. Since both the undergravel filter and the gravel were part of the tank, the nitrogen cycle may have been thought of as a process that took place in the tank. So, in this case, the term 'cycling the tank' would have made sense whereas 'cycling the filter' would not.

Excellent and so true

robham7770 wrote: I think both the tank cycle and filter cycle question should take a back seat to "can you post water parameters?". If someone can not then there is no way for them to determine whether or not the tank/filter is cycled, and it is much harder for anyone here to help.

No joke rob that is 90% of the battle we preach all these thinga like 1 o for 55 gal and wc this and that but really it boils down to water chemistry
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