Ammonia is a harmful element for fish. So, how we can use it for benefit? We need to understand the chemistry behind that.
There is a kind of bacteria named nitrosifying bacteria which breaks ammonia into nitrite.
This nitrite is consumed by nitrifying bacteria, which obtains their energy from it, and releases nitrate as a waste product. Nitrate is relatively non-toxic and can be diluted to safe levels through weekly water changes.
This is called tank cycling. The more your tank is cycled by this process, the more beneficial bacteria your tank has.
Another method is food based process.
Rotting food also encourages the growth of bacteria other than those that consume ammonia and nitrite, in particular saprotrophic bacteria, that break down solid wastes.
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