You love your aquascape, but you hate water changes? You’re not the only one! Most aquarists find water changes a frustrating chore that they prefer to put off as long as possible. And I have to admit, I belong to that club too … Luckily I have some tips for you that will help you change your water quickly and efficiently.
Why do you need to perform water changes for your aquarium?
The reason is quite simple: a water change is good for your aquarium. Not only will your aquarium look better after a water change, it will also be healthier. On every level. A water change improves water quality and is therefore good for both the plants and fish in your aquarium. Water changes ensure that waste products are removed from your aquarium. This prevents algae and fish diseases.
Extra reasons to perform water changes in your tank
Need more arguments? How about the following:
- During water changes, you expose your plants to the air. This way they absorb a lot of oxygen and CO2 in one go, improving plant growth;
- Tap water is full oxygen (and sometimes CO2, depending on where you live), so even after exposure to the air, your aquarium plants will still get a big boost;
- Tap water also contains many naturally occurring minerals that the plants use for plant nutrition;
And another nice thing: your fish love it. You will often see them “dancing” throughout the aquarium or even notice eggs on the glass a few days later. Especially with shrimps, a water change stimulates reproduction. Here’s a video of Corydoras behaviour during a water change.
How much water during a water change?
Performing water changes is not an exact science and the ideal amount of water changes depends on whether you have an aquarium with or without CO2, wheteher your use fertilisers, the amount of fish and plants, … Some questions you can ask yourself:
- Are you using a CO2 system or not?
- Have you just started your aquarium adventure?
- Are you suffering from algae in your aquarium?
A lot of questions, yes, but fortunately with easy and quick answers.
Just starting out? Then change every few days during the first week and from week 2 onwards, use a weekly routine of 25-50% water changes per week, when using CO2. Adding CO2? Then plant growth will be stronger so you will have to perform larger water changes. Got algae? Best to do a little more frequent changes and check your CO2 + plant nutrition. Especially with brown algae and blue-green algae, there is too much waste in the aquarium water.
How to perform water changes quickly, easily and efficiently
I can hear you thinking… Why should I look forward to weekly aquarium changes? Because your aquarium will look great. Nice clear water, healthy fish, plants “bubbling”, … To perform your water changes nice and fast, I have developed a method consisting of 3 steps:
- Siphoning off
- Brief maintenance
- Refilling with tap water
Three steps that take no more than 30 minutes in total for a 100 litre aquarium. You can find more explanations in my blog article ‘Changing & maintaining your aquarium within 30 minutes’. In short, this method makes water changes child’s play. The result is a real eye-catcher full of healthy plants and fish. Something you will gladly spare half an hour a week for.