Lessons 4: How Do Bacteria Affect the Nitrogen Cycle in an Aquarium?
Nitrogen occurs in three common substances found in an aquarium: ammonia, the nitrite ion, and the nitrate ion. Bacteria can affect the concentration of these substances in the tank. Which substance do they most directly impact?
Doing the science
- Start the Aquarium Sim.
- Select the "Fish" option on the left side menu bar. Choose a fish and click the "Add" button.
- Repeat step 2 to add a second fish to the tank.
- Select "Time Scale" from the left side menu bar. Adjust the time scale to "1 sec = 1 hour."
- Click on "View Status" on the left side menu bar and record the ammonia level. Then click the "Ok" button.
- Click on the "Bacteria" option on the left-side menu bar.
- Add 20 ppm of bacteria to the tank.
- Click on the "View Status" on the left side menu bar and record the new ammonia level.
- Repeat steps 5 – 8.