maintenance, care, compatibility
Replacing water is an important part of maintaining a healthy and balanced aquarium. Why do this and how often, we will try to tell you in detail in our article. There are many opinions about changing water: books, Internet portals, fish sellers and even your friends will give different numbers for the frequency and quantity of water being replaced.
It’s impossible to name the only correct decision, it all depends on many different factors that need to be taken into account.
In order to choose the ideal option for your aquarium, you need to understand why we are replacing just this amount of water, and not more or less. An error can lead to a catastrophe, and in case we replace too much and in case of too little.
If you do not substitute regular water in the aquarium, the level of nitrates (they are formed as decay products in the process of vital activity) will gradually increase. If you do not check their number, you will not even notice.
The fish in your tank gradually become accustomed to elevated levels and will experience stress only if the amount of nitrates in the water is very high for a long time. But any new fish is almost certainly accustomed to a lower level, and when you put it in your tank, it is stressed, sick and may die. In running aquariums, the death of a new fish causes an even greater shift in balance, and already old fish (weakened by a high content of nitrates), fall ill.
A vicious circle leads to the death of fish and distresses the aquarist.
Sellers know about this problem, as they themselves are often accused of killing fish. From the point of view of the aquarist, he bought new fish, launched them into the aquarium (where everything is fine), and soon all the new fish died, along with several old ones.
Sellers are naturally blamed, although the reason must be sought in their aquarium.
With regular water changes, the level of nitrates decreases and stays low.
Thus, you significantly reduce the chance of getting fish, both new and long-living in your tank.
The second problem for old water is the loss of minerals in the aquarium. Minerals help stabilize the pH of water, that is, to keep its acidity / alkalinity at the same level.
Without going into details, it works like this: acids are constantly produced in the aquarium, which decompose due to mineral substances and the pH level remains stable. If the level of minerals is lowered, the acidity of the water is constantly increasing.
If the acidity of the water increases to the limit, it can cause the death of all living things in the aquarium. Replacing water regularly introduces new minerals into old water, and the pH level remains stable.
Now, when it is clear that water replacement is important, you need to understand that too much, as too little water change is bad. Although in general, water change is needed, it is necessary to do it carefully, as any abrupt changes in the closed world of the aquarium harm it.
Too much water replaced at one time may be harmful. Why? When 50% or more of the water is changed to a new one, this significantly shifts the characteristics in the aquarium — rigidity, pH, even the temperature changes significantly.
As a result – shock for fish, useful bacteria that live in the filter can die, tender plants lose leaves.
In addition, the quality of tap water leaves much to be desired, namely, it is used in most cases. It has elevated levels of minerals, nitrates and chemicals for water treatment (the same chlorine).
All this is extremely negative impact on the inhabitants of the aquarium.
Replacing water only partially (no more than 30% at a time), and not half at once, you make only small changes in the established balance. Harmful substances come in limited quantities and are utilized by bacteria.
A large replacement, on the contrary, maintains a dangerous level and significantly upsets the balance.
If you have an open aquarium, you will notice that a large amount of water evaporates. At the same time, only pure water evaporates, and all that it contains remains in the aquarium.
The level of substances in the water is constantly increasing, which means that in an open aquarium, the process of accumulation of harmful substances goes even faster. Therefore, in open aquariums, regular water changes are even more important.
Water from the tap, as a rule, needs to be settled to remove chlorine and chloramine from it. It is better to defend 2 days. The quality of water varies in different regions, but it is better to proceed from the fact that the water that is in yours is of low quality.
Better safe than sorry, try to change the water to the tap regularly and in small quantities, or buy a good filter to clean it.
Also in different regions the water hardness may differ significantly, for example, in the neighboring cities there may be both very hard and very soft water. Measure the parameters, or talk to experienced aquarists.
For example, if the water is very soft, it may need to add mineral additives. And in case you use water after cleaning with reverse osmosis, they are simply necessary.
Osmosis removes everything from water, even minerals.
Novice aquarists suggest that replacing water in an aquarium is accompanied by some kind of disorder spilled by water around the house and a huge waste of time. In fact, all this is not so. Changing the water in an aquarium is a simple process that does not take you long.
In order to perform this simple procedure, you just need to have the knowledge and, of course, to acquire all the necessary tools that will be your permanent assistants. So let’s start with what a person should know when starting the water replacement procedure.
First of all, this is what all aquariums are divided into large and small. Those aquariums that do not exceed two hundred liters in their capacity are considered small, and those that exceed two hundred liters in volume are the second type.
Let’s start with the replacement of aquarium water in small objects.
- ordinary bucket
- crane, preferably ball
- siphon, but always with a pear
- hose, the size of which is 1-1.5 meters
In order to perform the water change for the first time, you need to connect the siphon to the hose. This procedure is necessary to clean the soil in the aquarium. If there is no siphon, use the bottle, after cutting the bottom of it.
With a pear or mouth, draw water until the entire hose is filled. Then open the tap and pour water into the bucket.
This procedure can be repeated as many times as you need to replace. By the time such a procedure takes no more than fifteen minutes, but if a bucket without a spout, it will be a little more. When you do this for the first time, the skill will not be there yet, respectively, the time period may also increase.
But this is only at the beginning, and then the whole procedure will take a little time. Aquarists know that changing the water in a large aquarium is easier than in a small one. Just need a longer hose so that it reaches the bathroom and then the bucket is no longer needed.
By the way, for a large aquarium, you can use the nozzle, which easily connects to the faucet and fresh water will easily flow. If the water has managed to settle, then, accordingly, you will need a pump that helps to pump fluid into the aquarium.
- The first two months should not replace the fluid at all
- In the subsequent time, replace only 20 percent of the water.
- Partially change the fluid once a month
- In an aquarium that is over a year old, the liquid must be changed at least once every two weeks.
- Full replacement of the fluid is made only in emergency cases.
Compliance with these rules will preserve the necessary environment for the fish and will not allow them to die. It is impossible to break these rules, otherwise your fish will be doomed.
But it is necessary not only to change the water, but also to clean the walls of the aquarium and at the same time not forget about the soil and algae.
Changing the aquarium water is easy, but you should not forget about the inhabitants. Fish every time there is a change of water, are under stress. Therefore, every week it is better to perform the procedures to which they gradually become accustomed and already perceive them calmly over time.
This applies to any type of aquarium, regardless of size: small or large. If you keep a constant eye on the aquarium, you often do not have to change the water.
Do not forget to take care of the general condition of the fish dwelling. So, it is worth changing the algae that grow in the aquarium, because they pollute the walls.
It takes care of other plants that need not only to be changed as needed, but also to cut the leaves. To add additional water, but how much it can be added, is decided in each case separately.
Do not forget about the gravel, which is also cleaned or changed. You can use a filter for water purification, but often this does not affect the conditions of the aquarium. But the main thing is not only to change the water, but to ensure that the lid in the aquarium is always closed.
Then the water will not be so quickly polluted and it will not have to be changed frequently.
Video on how to replace the water and clean the aquarium:
Water for aquarium fish should be maintained in a constant composition, which will regulate the amount of organic impurities in it. Biological equilibrium can be achieved through filtration and regular water renewal.
Proper renewal of water in an aquarium with fish is the key to their health and good life, because this procedure preserves the mini-ecosystem of the home nursery.
Replacing water in an aquarium is an indispensable component of its content. There are 2 types of water changes – partial change and full change.
- Partial replacement in a freshwater aquarium maintains the biological balance of the aquatic environment, despite the often changing composition of the fluid. Before changing the water, from the moment of its first launch, you need to wait two months. Correctly update the water 1-2 times a week, no more than 20-30% of the total. It is often dangerous to change water – it usually leads to deterioration of water quality and neutralization of beneficial microflora.
See how to make a partial replacement of water in the aquarium.
- Complete replacement of water is needed as a last resort – when all the aquarium fish are sick. One fish can be quarantined, in the case of disease of all residents of the nursery you want to change all the liquid. There are a number of drugs that help cure ailment, but they contain chemicals that pollute water, after which it will be unsuitable for life. In this case, a complete replacement of water is often a necessary measure, since even drugs cannot completely destroy the pathogenic microbes. Change all the water you need with a special device – aquarium hose, which is on the shelves of pet stores. When completely replacing the hose with a hose, siphon the bottom, cleaning it from contamination, and the glass container is washed with a special liquid to remove plaque. If you need to fight the disease – you will have to bring all the details back to normal, all the water updates are not enough.
A complete water change is required during a scheduled restart.
How many checks are needed to normalize the water in the aquarium? It rarely happens that tap water does not contain chlorine and phosphate compounds, and if so, then this is a lot of luck. You can purchase litmus paper at the pet store, using it to measure the acidity and hardness of water from the tap.
Water in a small aquarium is easier to put in order than in a large one. Special components that increase or decrease water hardness can be found in stores or in your own home.
In aquariums with a volume of more than 150 liters, you can replace 20% of the water yourself, without prior preparation.
How much time to defend the water? Everything depends on the type of fish that will settle in the reservoir, on their requirements, on the whimsical nature of aquatic plants – after all, the fish often live with plants, and they are almost indispensable.
If it does not meet the pH level of 7.0, then it can be defended for 3-4 days until the chlorine and phosphate compounds evaporate.
Aquarium water: what you need to know about the big replacement?
Recommendations for replacing in saltwater aquariums
Sometimes you need to change the water in an aquarium with sea water, if it is in the house. Replacement should occur at elevated concentrations of nitrates and nitrites. Updating a saltwater aquarium does not go as it does in a freshwater aquarium.
Properly used with distilled salt water or distilled through reverse osmosis liquid.
Whimsical hydrobionts and sea fish will not be able to live in tap water. Without prior, multi-phase filtering, it only hurts sentient beings. Replacing water 1 time per month (10-20%) of the total volume of the reservoir is not particularly effective with heavy pollution.
In saltwater aquariums, it is better to replace a large amount of water.
See how to run a saltwater aquarium.