As you’ll know by now, it’s not nearly enough to monitor your aquarium every so often and expect to cultivate a healthy, thriving ecosystem. To achieve the exact level of development and water clarity that most expect for what is essentially a living room set piece, you’re going to need to do a bit more than just keep a close eye on your tank. Aquarium maintenance covers everything from investing in the right carbon filter media to cleaning the glass every once in a while, but there’s perhaps no single aspect of your regime that’s quite as important as changing your water.
Feeling Washed Out
Typically, the water in your aquarium is comprised of four main elements – nitrites, nitrates, phosphates and ammonia – all of which will fluctuate naturally on a day to day basis. As you develop your aquarium, by adding new fish, for example, these levels will begin to change even further; fish waste, uneaten food and detritus can all have a drastic effect on the presence of these substances in your tank if left unchecked. Although slight fluctuations here and there won’t spell the end of your watery world, these issues can prove fatal over time.
It’s important to regularly check for telltale signs such as wilting and discolouration, both of which suggest the levels of nitrates in the tank. If you’ve got fish in there too, excessive ammonia and nitrate saturation can lead to stress, organ failure and eventually death. Remember that if you’re keeping corals in your aquarium, they’ll naturally start to absorb nutrients from the water over time, so it’s important to replace these by changing the water regularly.
So how often should you be changing the water? Seasoned aquarium maintenance specialists that we are, we at iQuatics would recommend changing your water about once a week. Not only will this help to maintain a consistent balance of the four key elements found in aquarium water, but allocating a specific time each week will prevent you from forgetting to do it (we’d hope). Remember of course that there are a number of aquarium maintenance items, such as filter media, biopearls and coral reef salt, all of which are designed to help stabilise your aquarium’s levels and make sure your plants and fish are getting the nutrients they require.
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