Even if you see your water is clear, you still may be shocked at how much detritus there just by stirring up the substrate a bit. So, what’s the source of it?
The fact is that your cat or dog can escape their wastes when they go outside to potty or use a litter box. But, there is no choice for your fish friends. Their particles of food still are in their wastes until you take action.
That’s why you need to change water weekly. But, you need to pay more attention to sick or stressed fish signal.
It’s important to keep your tank cycled for the health of your fish as well as your regularly scheduled water changes. Actually, a cycled tank is a mature one. This is considered as an established colony of nitrifying bacteria.
It purposes to turn ammonia and nitrite into nitrate. You need to control the nitrate level thanks to weekly water changes. If you don’t keep ammonia and nitrite levels at 0 parts per million, your fish friends can be sick.
In order to cycle your tank, you can use a bacterial additive, according to the manufacturer’s directions. The additive has the beneficial bacteria within a day or two.
It’s best to take some gravel as well as filter media from an established tank. Then, you need to add them to the new tank. Then, it’s time to add fish to the tank immediately.
Water tests are important for some main reasons. First, thanks to them, you can determine the time your tank is cycled. Also, you can know if ammonia, nitrate levels, and nitrite have spiked.
If you own a healthy established tank, you just have to test the condition of your water. You can do this monthly. If you overfeed your fish, they may die. So, you need to maintain your weekly partial water-change schedule.
Standard Water Changes
We recommend you to replace 10 to 20 percent of the tank water in order to keep your fish friend healthy and happy. The water change helps to keep the nitrate level low as well as your substrate free of waste.
You just need to avoid sucking up one of your fish buddies. It’s not essential to vacuum around plants in order not to disturb their roots.
Emergency Water Changes
Once your test tells you the presence of ammonia or nitrite, you have to change the water daily or more than once per day. Do this until the levels are lowered. You may resume weekly 10 to 20 percent water changes once your nitrite, ammonia, as well as nitrate levels, are back.
Once your fish becomes ill, you can help him recover. The thing you need to do is medicating him in a hospital tank. Also, remember to separate him from his buddies.
Some people think that it’s best to change the water of a sick fish daily. But, the fact is that this can render the medication ineffective. That’s why you need to follow the instructions for the medicine before changing the water.
The fact is that your fish need good water, not just any water. Don’t fill your tank straight from your tap otherwise you will cause a spike of ammonia, nitrate, or nitrite. You should fill jugs with the fresh water.
Then, you need to treat each jug by using an aquarium water conditioner. It has the purpose of removing chlorine, ammonia, and chloramine.
In addition, it helps to convert nitrite and nitrate into a harmless form to fish. Also, these conditioners can be able to detoxify heavy metals. If you want to purchase bottled spring water or distilled water, don’t forget to add conditioner. This is safe.
Nitrate and Phosphate Waste
Aside from the junk, you can see, invisible waste byproducts are shown in the form of phosphates as well as nitrates. Your fish is stressful by this. Also, this can make them vulnerable to disease. Elevated nitrates may be able to stunt the growth of young fish.
In addition, nitrates help to promote overgrowth of algae. It’s best to change the water to keep nitrate and phosphate levels low. You don’t only need to change water due to wastes. In addition, there are other important factors in the water, including trace elements and minerals.
They are also important for the stability of the water chemistry. If you don’t replace them, the pH of the water may drop. Moreover, the vigor and health of the fish will be affected by the lack of trace minerals.
How Often You need to Change Aquarium Water
It’s important to change water as a part of regular aquarium maintenance. The frequency is different depending on many factors.
For smaller and heavily stocked tanks, you need to change the water more frequently, compared with larger and sparsely stocked aquariums. It’s best to change 10-15 percent of the water per week. If you have heavily stocked tank, it may bump up to 20 percent per week.
Water Changing Tips
Age the water
If you allow the water to sit for a day, dissolved gasses may be dissipated. But, this is harmful to the fish. Of course, it can let the PH stabilize before you add to the tank.
Clean the gravel
When you siphon off the old water, you need to vacuum the substrate at the same time. By this way, you can avoid some of the detritus building up.
Don’t touch the filter
It may disturb the beneficial bacterial colonies when it comes to cleaning the gravel. The other place to grow these colonies is the filter. It’s wrong to disrupt both locations at the same time. It’s essential to time your filter cleaning. This can take places between water change days.