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.
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 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.
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.