Parenting It is very crucial to the survival and health of your aquatic life to change the water in your aquarium every week. It is actually a very easy task that should not take more than half an hour as long as you’re prepared for it and have the necessary tools. Why Is It Important To Change The Water? An aquarium is a contained environment. Each day, just like all other life forms, fish will produce waste. It is easy to notice feces floating in the water but fish also release urine which is not noticeable. The waste that is discarded dissolve in the same water that the aquatic life swim in and though the aquarium filter will remove a portion of this, there will still be traces of waste that is left behind. Apart from this, there also also other contributing factors that introduce more contaminants into the water such as uneaten food, dead plant life, unclean hands dipped into the water and even dead fish. All these elements contribute chemicals that create toxic levels that at first might seem minimal but without topping off new water, will eventually increase in potency and affect the aquatic life. There are fish breeders that swear by the efficiency of aquatic plants to remove waste but plants being life forms themselves only consume certain chemicals and there are those that would even harm them. It doesn’t matter how wonderful and expensive is the filter that you have set up, a water change is still necessary in order to provide your aquatic life with an environment that promotes good health. Try to imagine what life would be for you if you were locked in a room with conditioned air but no way of getting fresh air from outside. The Right Way To Chang Aquarium Water In a week you should not change more than 20% of the water in your aquarium. Changing more will disrupt the delicate pH and temperature balance in your tank. But this is only true if you have a medium to large aquarium, a smaller aquarium of fish bowl will require up to 50% water change. Preparation is an all important first step. One day before changing the water, fill a bucket of water and allow it to remain for twenty four hours to give time for the chlorine to dissolve. Never dump in tap water directly into the fish tank because the chlorine will kill off important beneficial bacteria colonies in your fish tank. The best way to remove the water is by using a low suction siphon. You have a choice of either buying an aquarium vacuum from the Recommended Products List below or you could even use a normal rubber hose as a siphon. While sucking out the water, bringing the hose inlet over the gravel, plants and tank decoration to suck up larger waste as well. This is especially important if you are using an Undergravel Filter. If you need to wash the filter media or tank decoration, use the water that you have just siphoned out to wash it in. Don’t wash filter media and tank decoration in direct tap water as the chlorine will also kill off beneficial bacteria colonies that have grown on them. There is no right or wrong way to pour in the water, just don’t dump it all in roughly and scare the fish. Be gently when pouring it in. After The Water Change Monitor the water pH and temperature levels for the next couple of hours periodically to ensure that it has not changed much. That completes your water change. It’s simple yet important and should not take up too much of your time. Do it properly and consistently and it will give you healthy fish that will live for a long time. 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