How to Cycle an Aquarium Tank up to 85% FASTER! Aquarium Tank Cycling Explained!

Posted by Tina Heckman on Dec 21st 2022

How to Cycle an Aquarium Tank up to 85% FASTER! Aquarium Tank Cycling Explained!

How to Cycle an Aquarium Tank up to 75% FASTER! 
Cycle in as little as 30-days instead of up to 3-months or more!

By Tina Heckman 

     The hardest part of getting ready for an Axolotl is setting up your aquarium to be cycled for the Axolotl. Axolotl’s skin absorbs everything, so if something if off in your tank levels that can make them sick or even cause death. It is especially important to get your aquarium cycled before putting you Axolotls in it. Fish can take a lot more than an Axolotl. So, it is even more vital that you have a fully cycled aquarium for an Axolotl if you are not planning on doing 100% daily water changes. 

     First, you need to figure out how many Axolotls you want. One Axolotl can fit in a 20-gallon tank. Floor space is more important than height. For every other after you need at least 10 more gallons per axolotl after the first. 

     Next, after you figure out how many Axolotls you want you want to get your tank set up. Axolotls do not need a substrate, but if you do add a substrate be sure it is 3 times the size of their heads or fine sand if the Axolotl is over 5 inches. They can get impacted but things like pebbles and such. Be sure they have hides. Axolotls all have different personalities. Some like to hide more than others. They also like things like hammocks and fake or real aquarium plants. They do not like a lot of light. They have no eye lids. Be sure there is nothing sharp and it is all made for aquariums. 

     Then, you need filters. There are many different types of filters you can use. We tell everyone to double the amount of filtration than a normal aquarium because Axolotls can be messy. I personally like canister filters and sponge filters. HUB filters work just as good too. Axolotls do not like too much current, so be sure to turn the current down. Your filter is the most important part in cycling your tank. Be sure you use cycled media. I sell cycled media that can speed the process of cycling up a lot. (go here: Seasoned Filters ) And be sure you have a sponge in your filter as well. You will need some Seachem Prime (go here: Seachem Prime ) for the initial water fill of your tank. Add water to your tank and add Seachem Prime for the size of tank you have. 

     You will also need an API master test kit for freshwater aquariums. API Test Kits are available on our website at: API Test Kits . In your test kit you have a test review guide that shows the different levels of each thing you will be testing. When cycling you will see 2 things make a complete circle, your ammonia, and nitrites. Your PH levels should be between 7.0 ppm and 8.0 ppm. If they are lower you can add a tsp of baking soda to make them go up. Your Ammonia, Nitrites, and Nitrates will start out at 0ppm. This all should change after doing what you need to do to get it to cycle. A cycle without using my cycled media could take a month to 3 months to get cycled. With my media it can take a couple weeks to a month. Your levels in the ammonia should be around 4.0ppm when starting your cycle. You can achieve that by adding the Dr. Tims Ammonia I have available here: Dr. Tim's Ammonia Your nitrites will slowly go up and so will your nitrates. You do not need to see your nitrates go back down until your cycle is complete. (Do not do water changes unless your ammonia is super high or your nitrates are so high, they are off the chart.) Your ammonia should go to 0ppm first, then your nitrites should go back down to 0 ppm next. If the nitrites and Ammonia are both 0 ppm after 24 hours, dose ammonia to 4.0ppm for 3 more days in a row to be sure it both continue to be 0ppm after 24 hours each day. Once those do that you will have a cycled tank and you can then do your first water change. I like to do a 50-75% water change to be sure my nitrates level is between 5.0 ppm and 40 ppm. If all is still good after the water change you can add the Axolotls to the tank. 

     To start your cycle, dose Dr. Tims Ammonia or clear Ammonia to 4.0ppm. You should also get Seachem Stability (go here: Seachem Stability ) to help put some good bacteria in your tank. Follow the instructions on the bottle. My cycled media will also help cycle your tank up to 85% faster. You will need to check the levels every day to be sure the ammonia is always at 4.0ppm every 24 hours. If it goes down, you will need to add more to keep it at 4.0ppm.) Check your levels daily while cycling to be sure things are moving. Once the levels are where they need to be. PH at 7.0 -8.0 ppm, Ammonia 0 ppm, Nitrites 0 ppm, and Nitrates will be high. As mentioned above, wait at least three more days to be sure levels are still good after ammonia is dosed every 24 hours then do the 50-75% water change to get the nitrates to 5.0-40 ppm, then you can add your Axolotls. 

     Once you add the Axolotls check your levels once a week. Do a 50% water change to keep ammonia from spiking. Be sure when adding new water back to the aquarium to add the amount of Prime for the size of the aquarium. But also, another thing I do is add Seachem Pristine (go here: Seachem Pristine ) to add good bacteria that bind to debris to help keep the tank form getting cloudy. I also daily use a turkey baster to suck up any waste. I typically do my water changes once a week, unless my levels are good. I never clean my media fully or you will lose the good bacteria and crash your cycle. It is recommended that you have more than one filter going at the same time so you can rotate cleaning your filter partially. I do that by shaking the sponges in the tank water and lightly rinsing the media. This should not need to be done as often as the water changes. 

Get your tank cycled up to 75% faster by using our Seasoned Filter.  

Cycle in as little as 30-days instead of up to 3-months or more!

     Our special Seasoned Filter comes ready with all the friendly bacteria your new tank needs to become a safely cycled tank ready to go weeks earlier than by using traditional methods. Save time & buy a Seasoned Filter, go here: Seasoned Filters

     If you have any questions or simply need a little advice in regard to cycling your tank, please message me on Facebook, call me or email me. I am here to help you in any way I can. 

Summary of Tools you will need:

2 Seasoned Filters with 1 Dual Air Pump $25-$85

1 Bottle of Seachem Prime 250ml $19.00

1 Bottle of Seachem Stability 250ml $19.00

1 Bottle of Seachem Pristine 250ml $19.00

1 Bottle of Dr. Tims Ammonia 120ml $14.00

1 API Freshwater Test Kit $44.95

Axolotlly Yours,
Tina Heckman Owner/Chief Axolotl Fanatic
The Mottled Lotl
"Your Source for Everything Axolotl"
(440)-289-1671 Call or Text