The most important part of a thriving aquarium ecosystem is careful balancing
and maintenance of the water inside. Changing the water in your aquarium
is the most basic and yet important part of caring for your tank. But
that being said it’s also one of the most risky: a sudden, dramatic
change in the water can shock your ecosystem and cause your fish and plant
life to die in a very short time.
The Dangers of Waste
In poorly-maintained aquariums, waste accumulates over time in the form
of mulm (organic sediment commonly found on the bottom of aquariums) on
and under the gravel in your tank, in corners, inside the filter, in tubing,
on and under the aquarium décor, on ornaments, rocks and driftwood.
Essentially anything you place in your tank could be a source where waste
could come to rest. If your tank does not have a strong enough filter
or isn’t maintained properly, this waste will lead to serious bacteria
accumulation in the water.
In areas with particularly low oxygen levels, this waste can even become
toxic, releasing harmful substances such as ammonia into the water which
can poison your fish in high concentrations. In lower concentrations,
it weakens the immune systems of your fish, making them more susceptible
to bacteria and other hazards.
Logically you would think cleaning the tank and replacing the water is
the best route to go, right? Wrong. A large water change (anything more
than 20%) can dramatically alter the chemistry of your ecosystem, which
can severely stress your fish. Stressed fish become more vulnerable to
bacteria and pathogens, and already having a weakened immune system from
unhealthy water means they’re likely to die relatively soon.
How to Change Your Water Safely
For this reason, you should never change all of the water in your tank
at once. Instead, you should take replace roughly 15-20% of your tank
water, going as high as 30% if you have a heavily-stocked tank with a
high fish population. You should change this amount of water in your tank
every week, with a maximum time between changes of two weeks. Any longer
than this and you risk harming your fish by upsetting the chemistry balance
in your tank.
The more often you change your water, the healthier your fish will be,
and the less likely they will be bothered or harmed by a water change.
When you do change your water, do your best to clean as much of the gravel
in your tank as possible. Using a siphon system, start in the corners
of your tank, where low water movement means less oxygen and more waste
buildup are possible. Once the right amount of water has been pumped out,
stop removing water and slowly start adding new water into the system.
If you’re interested in creating a beautiful, eye-catching freshwater
aquarium in your home or business, the Los Angeles custom aquariums experts at
Living Art Aquatic Design, Inc. can help! We take great pride in learning what our customers want, and
we create designs that are stunning to the eyes while fitting your budget.
Whether you’re looking for a small freshwater fixture to enhance
your home, or a thousand-gallon showpiece to wow visitors to your business,
Living Art Aquatic Design, Inc. can build the tank of your dreams. We
have built tanks for private homes, business, and even major companies
such as Apple, Bristol Farms, ESPN, UCLA, Paramount Pictures, and more!
We even offer tank maintenance services to ensure your fish remain happy,
healthy, and thriving in your showpiece aquarium.
Call Living Art Aquatic Design, Inc. today at 310.626.1448 and request a
free estimate to start building the aquarium of your dreams!