Hello everyone and happy Monday!
As we begin another week fresh (hopefully), we look back on the weekend and reminisce on the things we have done. One of the things I schedule every weekend is all of my water changes. Here’s some pictures of my babies after their water change, begging for food (obviously)
Usually I am too tired, and too busy to get around to it during the week, and since I don’t have an overstock of fish I can get away with a large water change once weekly. I always perform a 90% water change on my 125 gallon main tank either Saturday or Sunday. With the nano tank it’s harder because since it’s tropical it really benefits from having a 20% everyday/every other day. So I make up for it and do 50% -3 times a week since it’s so small and much easier to combat than the monster in my living room. (which by the way here is a picture of the 125 gallon when I got it, in front of the 55 gallon I had at the time)- The 55 gallon looks so puny!
Today I’d like to walk you through what a good water change can do for your fish weekly. It seems a lot of info I’ve heard new fish keepers tell me, is that their LFS or a friend or some other resource has told them that they either do not need to worry about water changes all together (basically just top off the tank as it evaporates) OR that once every month is okay-but anything more than that is not necessary. This always angers and humors me at the same time. It’s so hard to wrap my head around someone not caring enough to give a new fish keeper the tools for success in the hobby. This very false information usually comes from an inexperienced pet store worker, or the big box stores that only care about making the sale and less about the quality of the fish (which is why I hate big box pet stores).
The best schedule you can get on (at least from my experience) is a once weekly 90% water change-for goldfish. This is of course, if your tank is properly stocked and is not in dire need of fresh water daily. For goldfish in particular, I use the 20 gallons per one (fancy goldfish) and 10 gallons per fish thereafter. For commons (single tails) it is 40 gallons per fish and 10 gallons thereafter. If your tank is heavily stocked however, you should really upgrade to a larger tank to accommodate all of those fish or consider rehoming the ones you can part with. If you can’t do either of those things then you will need to change 90-100% of the water daily to get the same results as an understocked tank. We don’t just say these things to harp on you or make you feel awful as a person, we just want to see you and your fish achieve the best possible results and health.
If you’re new to water changes, A lot of people (including myself) have switched to syphon hoses. There are many different kinds-from a manual pump to suck the water out into a bucket for dumping, or the ones that can hook up directly to your faucet. I personally have this one because after lifting one too many buckets, my back thanked me. Here are a few different links below that you can go to for more information:
Moving on to the benefits…
So, when people say “oh my fish love water changes, they are much more active and come to life during water changes” -that is a red flag because your fish shouldn’t even notice the difference if there is new water in the tank if the parameters and temperature are in check/same. If your fish is lifeless, or just floating around normally on any given day and then you add new water to the tank he perks up and is moving around more, this means that your water quality (Ammonia, nitrites, nitrates) are probably very high. Before doing any water changes, you should first test your parameters using a liquid testing kit- I would not use the test strips as they are not 100% accurate. I personally have and use the API Fresh Water Master Test Kit, but API sells individual testing kits also, If you have run out of one or are just looking for a certain one. The below links are a good place to start:
Also, If you do not change your water often or have a heavy bio load this could shock your fish when you do a massive water change. So if you haven’t changed your tank in a while then I would slowly change out 20% of the water each day until your water levels are reading somewhat normal or much lower, then you can do a large water change. Always remember though, When you add new water you also need to add a dechlorinator. I usually add this to the remaining water prior to filling the tank back up. A great product for dechloriators would be seachem prime. I’ve used others, but I think I’ve seen the best results using this!
The biggest benefits to weekly scheduled water changes are this:
- Your fish is getting new/fresh water added into it’s tank which keeps the parameters evened out/not high-not present
- Without having to live in a highly condensed water column, the fish are not under stress which results in their immune system being able to fight off disease (increased stress= weakened immune system)
- Like the above statement, dirty water can be a great breeding ground for bacteria and parasites which causes your fish to become ill.
- Your fish will live longer if they have an ongoing supply of clean fresh water weekly/daily
- Removal of organic waste build ups.. Yes poop, and also uneaten food which aids in the build up of nitrates, ammonia, nitrate that clog your water up.
- Improved water clarity
- Replenishment of essential minerals and trace elements that help your fish. When water remains stagnant for a while it will loose the good qualities that reside in it. When you replenish that water, you are adding new minerals and important elements back into the water.
There are many more benefits to water changes, not all of which can fit here-but these are some of the most important ones to keep your fish happy and healthy 🙂
Once you get into a routine it will become like second nature. When I do my weekend cleaning around the house, the fish tank is always included in my list of “chores” although I find it much more enjoyable than say..doing the dishes.
If you have any questions, or would like to add anything you think I may have missed please do so in the comments! Also, guess what guys? We have hit our 10 subscribers!! This means I can now put all of you in the drawing to win the giveaway! I’ll be hosting the giveaway and announcing the winners later this week. If you would still like to get in on the giveaway, there is still time to subscribe to my page before the end of this week. If you missed what the prizes were, you can find them here. Thanks so much for the support as always, and have a great week!