Some of you are like this, and some are not but the bottom line is that you need to perform water changes when you keep a planted aquarium. Sounds simple right? Well I know a lot of folk who don’t perform many water changes, because…
I did a 20% water change the other week – that’s enough right?…
That’s not enough I’m afraid. If I’ve kept you attention, read on.
Water changes are needed to remove pollutants that plants produce – you can’t see them, but they sure are there. When plants grow, they like everything else that grows they produce waste. These waste products (organics) need to be removed, otherwise they build up, become more concentrated and then cause you problems and normally show up in algae form. In many CO2 infused aquariums, your turbo charged tank is really motoring and plants are growing like weeds, so it’s important to stress that the quicker your plants grow, the more waste they produce and this is why it is essential to:
perform 40-50% water changes every week.
It’s a bit like flushing the toilet if you catch my drift. Imagine not flushing the toilet…YUK!!
How often do you perform water changes?
Getting water changed right saves you big time – in fact it’s so important I often wonder why hobbyists don’t pay more attention to it and look to see how water changes really help. Rather than reach for a bottle which helps get rid of algae, I advise
reach for you bucket…
Organics build up very quickly in an enclosed aquarium and when you put your plants through their paces (i.e. make them grow quick) just like anything that is alive and doing a lot, they get rid of waste. This waste needs to be removed with water changes and if it’s not tends to help algae to grow. So a simple solution right? Do water changes but the big question how much. Some of you may be quite surprised at the amount that you need to do and I’ll start off by saying 25% once a week is not enough no matter how big your tank is, that is unless you want algae. Assuming you don’t, here’s the routine:
Week 1 – 40% daily (yes every day for the full 7 days)
Week 2 – 40% every other day
Week 3 – 40% every three days
Week 4 – 40% every four days
You can probably see a theme developing here and this regime will provide great results for you no matter what. When you get to week 7 your regime will stick at 40% every 7 days and that won’t change. If you do find yourself with less than desirable algae in your tank then increase your water changes again. Don’t forget you’ll need to dose your ferts daily with these water changes and another good reason why we recommend Neutro Fertilisers for your plants.
It’s worth noting that this is only for CO2 infused tanks (that’s pressurised CO2 and not liquid carbon tanks). This is a tried and tested method and for those of you who are thinking, ‘I might just try and get away with doing less, or that’s a lot of water to throw down the drain’ then good luck! You can change your routine if you want but it’s not the answer – this routine hasn’t been plucked out of the air, unlike some hobbyists thinking around the subject…
It takes dedication, hard work and plenty of elbow grease to make a high tech CO2 tank work and it’s more than feasible too. The big question is whether you are up to it.
For changing water quickly and easily I recommend the Superfish Aqua Syphon Set.