Aquarium Water Changes
It's a good idea to change some of the water in your aquarium on
a regular basis, such as weekly. This is especially important for species
that require very clean water, like cichlids. Here are a couple methods:
Obtain two plastic buckets and fill one with tap water.
Let the water in the bucket sit for 2 or 3
days. This will allow the chlorine to dissipate and is more effective
than chemical water treatments, as those can kill valuable bacteria.
When you're ready to change the water, first clean the
gravel with a gravel vacuum by siphoning into your empty bucket. Do
this until the bucket is nearly full and then discard the water. You
can buy gravel vacuums at most pet stores or Walmart. It helps if you
have a siphon pump to get things going.
Next pour the new water directly
into the tank. No need to worry about the temperature as long as it
was stored at room temperature. Some of your fish may enjoy swimming
against the current this creates.
To finish up, refill the bucket you use for the clean water,
in preparation for the next change.
The Python is made by Python
Products and is a very popular method for performing water changes. It
uses tubing and an adapter to your water faucets, which allows you to add or
remove water from your tank with very little spillage. The downside is
that you end up adding chlorinated water directly to your tank. Our
readers have found ways around this by adding de-chlorinators, like Seachem
Prime, directly to
their tanks before adding the tap water or by using powerheads to pump
stored, purified water into their tanks. The Python is available through many
retail and online stores. You can visit their website for further
information through the link above.
The frequency with which you change the water will be determined
by the number of fish and also the look of the water. If it is cloudy from
over feeding or from adding too many fish, make sure you've read the section on
It's a good practice to wash your hands before cleaning your
aquarium. This will prevent chemicals from being introduced to the tank
from your hands.
Comments on the Python by Sharon:
The Python Syphon System works really well for large tanks. It hooks directly to the tap, and allows
you to remove and add water by opening or closing the valve...it's easy! You do have to get the water the
same temp. as the tank(I use a mixture from the hot and cold taps), and add water conditioner to remove chlorine.
Comments on the Python by Gillian:
I have a Python as well, and it is SOOO much easier than having around buckets and buckets of water in preparation for
the water change. It's a lot faster too, and much easier on the back!! Definitely get yourself a Python, it is well worth the money.