In Week 18 of this Beginner's Guide series, Matthew (of is gonna drop some serious knowledge on The Nitrogen Cycle and its role in your aquarium. When familiar with this process, you'll better understand how to keep a healthy reef tank.

Jump to his pointers here:

01:40 - What is the Nitrogen Cycle?

02:05 - Why is the Nitrogen Cycle important?

02:33- How does Nitrogen get into the ocean?

03:00- How does The Nitrogen Cycle work?

07:47- How to get rid of Nitrates from your aquarium

And here's Matthew's nifty glossary of all these scientific terms:


nitrogen gas (atmospheric nitrogen)








Acid- structural units that make up proteins

Ammonia & Ammonium

-Compounds that contain Nitrogen and Hydrogen. Ammonia contains one Nitrogen and three Hydrogen whereas Ammonium contains one Nitrogen and Four Hydrogen.

-Ammonia is a weak base and is un-ionized. On the other hand, Ammonium is ionised.


Denitrification is a microbially facilitated process where nitrate is reduced and ultimately produces molecular nitrogen through a series of intermediate gaseous nitrogen oxide products

Nitrate Reduction

process involving anaerobic bacteria reducing

NO3- (nitrate) to N2 (nitrogen gas.


Biological oxidation (break-down) of NH4+ to NO2- then NO3- (nitrite & nitrate)

Nitrogen Fixation

the chemical processes by which atmospheric nitrogen

is assimilated into organic compounds, especially by certain microorganisms as part of the nitrogen cycle.


genus of gram-negative bacteria that oxidizes NO2- into NO3-.


genus of Gram-negative bacteria that consume NH4+ (ammonium) and produce NO2- (nitrite)


carbon based


Oxidation occurs when an atom, molecule, or ion loses one or more electrons in a chemical reaction. The opposite of oxidation is reduction.


Proteins are large, complex molecules that play many critical roles in the body. They do most of the work in cells and are required for the structure, function, and regulation of the body's tissues and organs.

In case you missed Weeks 1-17 from Matthew:

Learn more about the hobby on the blogs:

Subscribe to Newsletters Here:

Shop Nitrate and Ammonia Test Kits HERE:

Shop Nitrifying Bacteria HERE:

#marinedepot #myfirstfishtank #aquarium #reeftank #saltwatertank #saltwater #diy