Wednesday, May 19, 2010

How to Change Water in a Fish Tank

One of the biggest mistakes fish owners make is changing all of the tank's water. This can be devastating as bacterial levels can be wiped out. Bacterial is essential to breakdown fish poop from becoming toxic. The best solution is dilution!

1. Fill a bucket with tap water that will be used to replace the water in the fish tank. Prepare this a day in advance. The general rule is to take out about 20 percent of the tank's water. The most common tank size is 40 gallons--in that case about 8 gallons should be removed. This can be lowered to 5 gallons to make it easier, since buckets usually hold 5 gallons.
2. Add tap water conditioner into the bucket. Use the amount of water condition as directed on the container. A common brand you'll find at most pet stores is Tap Water Conditioner by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals. Or, if you have a reverse osmosis dionized (RO/DI) water filter, it can be used without adding water conditioner.
3. Place the bucket and tubing next to the aquarium in preparation for a water change.
4. Turn off all electricity to avoid any dangers. Heaters can break if exposed to excessive air as it will try to heat the room's temperature. Filters can go dry if water levels go below the suction tubing.
5. Place one end of the tubing into the fish tank and begin a suction by sucking on the other end of the tube like you would a straw. Make sure your end is below the end in the tank so that gravity pulls down the water into the bucket. Be sure to watch the water move down the tubing as you do not want to drink any of your fish's poop. Before it gets to your mouth, empty the water into a second bucket.
6. Remove any solid wastes inside the fish tank by gently siphoning the gravel to pick any settled debris.
7. When the bucket is almost full remove the tubing from the fish tank to break the siphon.
8. After removing the targeted amount of water, add the prepared water into the tank.
9. Plug any electrical equipment that was unplugged in Step 4.
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