New Tank Syndrome

From The Aquarium Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

New Tank Syndrome is the term given to a new tank when it goes through several notable stages.

  1. Lots of beads of oxygen or nitrogen appear on the sides of the tank and ornaments. This is a natural feature of new water on initial contact with new objects and soon passes within 24 hours.
  2. The tank water may turn a cloudy white colour. This is a bacteria bloom caused by heterotrophic bacteria feeding off the organic matter in the tank and a sign that the initial cycling process is working well. It passes naturally within 3–4 days. A beginner often thinks something is wrong and performs water changes which may expose the fish to ammonia and nitrite poisoning as it delays the cycling time of the tank.[1]
  3. Fish seem to breathing at the surface of a new tank. This is probably nitrite poisoning (often called brown disease as the gills turn from bright red to a dark brown colour). Nitrite causes fish to have a hard time breathing and can kill them.
  4. Fish death. A person sets up a new tank and puts an aquatic animal in it without ensuring that the tank is properly cycled. The animal usually dies within a week due to exposure to high levels of ammonia and nitrite.


  1. The First 30 days (of a new aquarium) by Dr. Tim A. Hovanec