Do you know exactly how to change aquarium water? Do you know the things to watch out for during this process?
Do not worry, we will cover this together. Just read through the steps and tips below and you will safely be changing aquarium water shortly.
There are several different methods available for changing aquarium water. Everyone will have their favorite method or they will have little choice in how they do it. It really doesn’t matter just as long as you are changing aquarium water on a regular basis. Your fish will greatly appreciate it and when you want to show off your aquarium to family and friends, the water will be crystal clear!
When changing aquarium water, remember our goal is to get fish waste and pollutants out of the aquarium water. A lot of the waste is usually trapped in the substrate (gravel) or under fish tank decorations. You must get this waste out of the aquarium along with the dirty water. This requires you to move aquarium decorations and the substrate around during the water change. While removing the dirty water be sure to suck out the solid waste products. This will ensure a healthy aquarium!
Below I will discuss several different ways to change aquarium water and the steps involved.
Hose and Bucket Method
The old fashion way to change aquarium water is to simply use a hose and bucket. Many purchase a cheap clear vinyl hose from the local hardware store along with a 5-gallon plastic bucket. Very simple right?
This is the cheapest but not necessarily the easiest way to change aquarium water. This will be a good choice for those with small aquariums such as 15-gallons or less. Completing partial water changes this way is simply draining the water out of the tank and into the empty bucket.
Here are the steps:
- Get a towel and spread it out on the floor before you begin changing aquarium water.
- Unplug all electrical equipment that comes into contact with the aquarium water. You do not want to get electrocuted! Also the aquarium heater will need to be unplugged so it will run hot outside of the water during the fish tank water change.
- Start your syphon by placing one end of the hose in the aquarium water and sucking in the other end. Set this end of the hose in the bucket and begin cleaning your aquarium.
- Now you should have water flowing out of your aquarium and into your 5-gallon bucket. You should now start moving aquarium decorations and gravel around to suck up the solids that are trapped in the aquarium.
- Once you have removed 20-30% of the aquarium’s water you will remove the end of the hose from the aquarium. Carefully lift your now full 5-gallon bucket of dirty aquarium water and go empty it. Be careful lifting this because water is heavy! Now it is time to replace that dirty water with fresh water.
- Before you add the new water to the aquarium, ensure that match the temperature and water parameters of the existing fish tank water. Slowly add the new water so you do not shock the fish. I usually do this by using a 1-gallon water pitcher. I would pour 1-gallon of water slowly and then repeat until the tank is filled again.
- Dechlorinate the water with a water conditioner that removes chlorine and chloramine. You can add this additive with each gallon of new water or add it in intervals during the water change. Follow the instructions on the manufacture’s label.
- When all of the water is replaced, and you finished working in the aquarium water you may now plug all of your electrical equipment back up.
Gravel Vacuum Method
This method is very similar with the hose and bucket method but you use a vacuum attachment in this process. There are basically two types of gravel vacuums to help change aquarium water. Manual and mechanical gravel vacuums.