Even aquariums with the best filtration systems need water changes on regular intervals. The fact is, fish waste, food products, plant algae, and other materials naturally build up in the aquarium environment and need to be removed to keep the aquarium looking good aesthetically and keep it pleasant for the fish to live in.
First, a note of caution. Depending on the size of your tank, a water change may be something you’re willing to try yourself. However, the larger your tank is or the more complicated your setup, the more likely you’ll want a professional to help you with the water change to make sure everything goes smoothly.
If your setup is simple enough, and you want to try it yourself, here are the basic steps for an aquarium water change:
- First of all, please note that a water change doesn’t mean that you’re removing all the water in the aquarium. You’ll only be removing and replacing about 25-30% of the water at any one time. The aquarium inhabitants get used to water conditions, so you want to refrain from making any drastic changes.
- Start by turning off the aquarium water heater, if you have one.
- Because you’re not taking out most of the water, you shouldn’t have to move fish or plant life during the water change. Leave them in the tank and be careful not to disturb them when cleaning or syphoning.
- If you have algae growing on the surface of the water or on the side of the aquarium, use an algae brush or sponge to remove as much of it as you can before you take out the water.
- Inspect the filter pad in your filter, and clean or replace it if needed.
- Remove 25% of the water (a syphon tends to work best).
- Once you’ve removed the water, take the temperature of the tank. You’ll want to make sure that the water you’re putting back in is exactly the same temperature to avoid putting stress on the fish and plant life.
- Refill the tank.
- Turn the water heater back on.
As you can see, the process is fairly straightforward. However, if you have any questions, or if anything goes wrong, please call Blue Planet Aquarium as soon as possible.