When you read about ''cycling your AP system'' doesn't mean taking it on your back and going for spin with your fancy bicycle... LOL I just made that up and the picture I had in mind was very funny. If only I could draw :)
On a more serious note, after reading the previous post, you have a better understanding now of the nitrogen cycle and this is what it is about.
When you finish to build your system and it has been tested for leaks, the siphon is working, you have filled the grow bed with media and should now plug in for, ever, your pump.
Let's see a more in depth approach to cycling an aquaponics system.
How to cycle?
As mentioned, cycling is the process of plugging in your whole system. It is something you, supposedly, plug once and let run for years. For my part, as I just started a new system since I arrived in Dubai, I don't know how it will handle the summer heat but that's another problem.
But basically, that's what it is: plug and leave it alone. Well, not completely alone :)
Sampling the water
With either an API Freshwater Master kit or a more advanced method, you should during the cycling process, monitor your water chemistry. The most important compound if I may call it like this, is Ammonia. To have an onset or Ammonia spike as we call it in the AP world, you must introduce it to the system, manually. Many ways to do this but the simplest and cleanest is to throw in some fish food (a pinch every day). As it decomposes, it will create Ammonia. Not a big quantity of it but it will increase as you keep adding fish food.
©2017 All Photos Belong to Dubai Aquaponics
I am a French expat, married, dad of one, nature lover and firm believer of sustainable living. My background is leisure and tourism industry. I fell into aquaponics and now I am sharing with you my adventure.