Cycling happens naturally because good bacteria builds in the gravel and filter media. So no not hard. The tank cycles itself. BUT harmful ammonia will build up if you don't change the water about 50% frequently. Ammonia turns into nitrite which eventually turns into nitrate.
You know your tank is cycled when your ammonia is 0 ppm, nitrite 0 ppm and nitrate 0-20 ppm. Low levels of nitrate are not harmful.
Last edited by iheartmybettas; 03-30-2011 at 10:00 AM.