Water changes in a fish tank. Yes or No? How often?

  1. Why We have to do water changes at all???

Our home aquarium is usually a closed circuit, where we keep plants and animals.

Every day, by feeding our fish, we introduce an additional dose of minerals and nutrients into this circulation.

Unfortunately for us, the byproduct of feeding our fish are nitrates and phosphates.

These chemical compounds in small amounts are not harmful to our fish and in appropriate proportions support the growth of aquarium plants, but over time, their accumulation can be very harmful to fish and cause problems with algae.

2. How often We should do water changes?

Each aquarium is different and the accumulation of bio-materials runs at different rates. The best form of control of nitrates and phosphates in our aquarium is regular water testing .

If tests show nitrates above 40 ppm and phosphates above 3 ppm, it is recommended to exchange water.

If we do not have the tests, the best way is to observe our tank and do regular water changes.

3. So how much water should I exchange?

The quantity of water that we should change depends on several factors

  • The amount of nitrates and phosphates in water.
  • The size of the tank.
  • The amount of fish and plants in the aquarium.
  • Depending on the health of the fish and the presence of algae.

Usually the recommended amount is around 30% to 50% per week.

If you have a large number of fish and a large number of plants, it is recommended to exchange water 50% to 75% a week, sometimes even twice a week.

Large water changes do not threaten the biological stability of our tank, if we have a well-functioning filtration system with a large amount of biological medium.

4. Can we replace all the water at once?

The total water exchange in the aquarium is rare, as it requires a very careful adjustment of the chemical parameters of the water and its temperature. You can not move the fish into a tank with water, the pH of which is significantly different from the pH of the water in which they have been used. A large change in pH and other parameters (for example, water hardness) may stress the fish and lead to the fact that they will be sick. Sudden change in temperature can cause thermal shock to fish.

5.Is there any way to reduce the amount of water changes?

There are several options to limit water changes in the aquarium.

  • Having a larger aquarium than recommended for the amount of fish we have.
  • Having fewer fish
  • Having a well functioning filtration system and its regular cleaning.
  • Small but regular feeding of fish.
  • Using chemical products that reduce the content of ammonium compounds in water ( Only as urgent solutions, not as regular routine)
  • Having more plants that consume excess of nitrates and other minerals in the water.

6, Summary

Water changes are an important part of caring for our aquarium. You should not neglect this obligation to avoid serious problems. We must remember that our animals health and well-being is always our priority and providing good conditions for them is our duty.

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