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Water Changes
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A quick and simple guide on weekly tank maintanance

Water Changes - Probably the worst part of fishkeeping, and often the most neglegted.

Proper filtration is essential, but it can not remove all the elements that accumulate within the tank water, no matter how good your filter is, water changes are still nessesary! A water change will remove pollutants and replenish diminished elements like calcium, potassium, iron and zinc which are all necessary for a balanced aquarium.

A weekly water change of 10%-15% is highly recommended for the health of your fish, some specialty fish like Discus require almost daily water changes. The amount of water to be changed greatly depends on the overall water quality and the bioload (lots of fish or big messy fish = more changes, more often). Declining water conditions can often be improved by more frequent changes rather than trying to alter the water chemistry with chemicals which often do more harm in the long run.

Changing water can be a lot more pleasant when done more frequently with smaller amounts. Consider changing the water weekly simply by vacuuming the gravel and replacing the extracted water. Vacuuming the gravel will remove the waste that collects on top of the gravel, which otherwise decays, creating pollutants such as ammonia and phosphates. Even in a planted tank the open area should be lightly vacuumed, just don't go too deep or get close to plants as you will rib them of the nutrients they need to grow.

Watch for what you're putting in your tank! If your using tap water check it for nutrients, pH and phosphates to be sure it meets the needs of your aquarium, always your a dechlorinator for the tap water! Also be sure the water you add is about the same temperature as the water in your tank before adding it. Extreme temperature changes can be very harmful for your fish.

I highly recommend a Python for people with larger tanks, not really much use on 10g tanks, but for anything 29g and above it can be your best friend!

* Water temperature should be +/- 5 degrees F of the tank water

* Water should be free of chlorine/chloramine and heavy metals (lead, copper) Use a good dechlorinator.

* Never use hot water to adjust the temperature. You could shock your fish.

* 10%-15% weekly will keep your tank in good health

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