Fish: Water Changes & Maintenance
Important: Water changes are the most important thing you must do as owner of an aquarium.
The aquarium that your fish are living in is their whole world. As they can’t get out and change the water themselves, you the owner must do this to halt the pollution of their surroundings.
Remember this golden rule for new aquariums: Do two water changes per week for the first six weeks on all new aquariums.
For goldfish, change a quarter to one third of the water each time; for tropical fish, only change one quarter of the water per water change. After six weeks one water change per week is usually enough.
- Don’t use tap water for your water changes. Tap water contains all sorts of chemicals that will kill off most of your fish. Using tap water is like playing Russian Roulette-you might get away with it several times in a row but eventually you will lose.
- You don’t have to warm the water when adding it to a tropical tank. Just ensure that the aquarium temperature doesn’t drop more than four degrees Celsius.
- Use a gravel cleaner (pictured below) to drain the water from your tank.
- The cleaner is simple to use and also takes waste from amongst the gravel. Incidentally, you can use this soiled water as liquid fertilizer for your house and garden plants with spectacular results.
- As a well-remembered equation, the more fish you have in a tank and the more food you feed them, then the more often water changes will be required to remove waste.
Because of the importance of water conditions, you have to try and create the perfect environment for your fish. This doesn’t mean you have to become a mad scientist and buy chemical kits to madly test your tank, though.
In a nutshell, getting perfect water conditions is all about creating the right bacterial balance in your tank.
There are roughly 200 million bacteria in every 1ml of water and they can double every eight hours. In a Tropical tank the perfect conditions are present to create bacterial growth—warm water at 27 degrees Celsius with plenty of food to eat.
When things go wrong and the bad bacteria dominate the good bacteria you’ll notice your fish looking sick and you won’t understand what went wrong and how fast it has happened.
Weekly water changes—more if you have lots of fish in your tank—are the first step to maintaining the correct balance in your aquarium.
To never over or under feed is the next step to obtaining the right water conditions. Likewise, it’s important to know what sort of water you’re using for your water changes. A PH Test Kit, relatively cheap to buy, will aid you in determining whether your water is too acidic, too alkaline, or just right.
If your tank becomes low in pH (due to not enough water changes or your use of too much rain water) and you next add fish from our shop, where the water is at a high PH, the fish won’t handle the change from high to low PH and will collapse.
The product Waste Control is a combined mix of the good bacteria your tank needs and is a great way to keep the right water quality in your aquarium.