Over time, you’ll have to regularly maintain your aquarium in order
to keep your fish healthy and your plant life thriving. Maintenance can
include a lot of different things, depending on how complex your aquarium
setup is. Whether it’s changing out your water filter, scrubbing
off algae from the side of the tank, or even re-filling your biopellet
reactor, there are several things you can do to reduce the level of nitrates
in your tank and keep your aquatic life happy and harmonious.
However, no tank owner is immune from having to periodically change the
water in their tank in order to keep the water fresh and nitrate levels
low. The water change is one of the most fundamental parts of tank maintenance,
but it can also be one of the most catastrophic if you’re not careful.
Why a Water Change Can Be Dangerous
Over time, fish and other aquatic plant life create waste, which over time
will begin to settle in the sand or gravel along the bottom of your tank.
This dark, slimy substance is known as
mulm, and it periodically needs to be cleaned out. Mulm accumulation makes
nitrate levels in your water rise, which also keeps oxygen out of your
tank, making it difficult for fish to live and breathe comfortably. Mulm
can also float around in the water, eventually coming to rest on ornaments,
décor, and in your filter and tubing.
This waste is toxic to your fish, particularly because it can also include
elevated levels of ammonia, which is highly harmful to fish. While small
levels of ammonia won’t impact your tank at all, a tank that hasn’t
been cleaned in a long time can actually weaken your fish’s immune
system, leading to unhealthy specimens that are constantly under attack
from bacteria and other water-borne pathogens.
While getting your fish out of this tank and into new, fresh water can
help reduce the attacks from these bacteria, you’re also introducing
them to an entirely new bacteria colony, which your fish’s immune
system isn’t used to handling. These new bacteria will start to
attack your fish, and the already weak immune system can get easily overwhelmed.
This is not made any easier by your fish becoming extremely stressed by
this switch. All of this combined means a situation that could easily
make a fish sick or even kill it.
How to Change Your Water Properly
Whenever the time comes that you need to change the water in your tank,
it’s important not to do it all at once. Instead, small changes
done frequently will allow the water to progressively become fresh and
clean while also allowing your fish to remain in an environment they are
comfortable with. Instead, pump about five to 15 percent of the water
out of your tank while siphoning the gravel at the bottom. Do this two
times a week for a few weeks and you should start to see a huge improvement
in your tank periodically.
Get help maintaining your beautiful aquatic ecosystem by calling Living
Art Aquatic Design, Inc. today at (310) 626-1448 and request a