Once a month you should carry out a 25% water change (drain off a quarter of the aquariums water volume), clean your filter and do a general clean-up of the fish tank.
There may be other times that you also need to do a water change such as; starting your new aquarium (we recommend you do more frequent, smaller water changes for the first 8 weeks), after testing the water quality (see test kit instructions manual for recommendations) or if you need to treat the water with fish medication.
Essentially, a water change is removing a percentage of the aquarium water and replacing it with fresh water (treated with Tapsafe). Doing this removes waste and dirt, dilutes any build-up of toxic elements and increases oxygen levels in the water – all great for aquarium life.
The video below runs you through the process of a water change to make sure you get the job done efficiently:
Other cleaning jobs while doing a water change:
When removing water from the aquarium you can also clean the gravel.
Slowly move the gravel cleaner through the tank, pushing it gently into the gravel. You will then begin to see dirt and waste being sucked up through the cleaner, just like a vacuum.
You can do this until the required amount of water has been removed.
You will sometimes have a build-up of algae on the aquarium glass which can obscure your view.
Use a magnetic glass cleaner to remove this. This type of glass cleaner works by magnets holding 2 cleaning blocks on either side of the glass.
By moving the block on the outside you can slide the block on the inside, saving you getting your arm wet! Just make sure to not get any gravel in between the blocks and the glass as this will scratch the glass.
Your filter needs a good freshen up every water change to make sure it can keep the tank healthy and clean.
Replace your filter cartridge using the relevant service pack for your filter.
If it has a build-up of dirt, the ceramic media cartridge can be swilled in the bucket of removed aquarium water.
Never clean any part of the filter in tap water or detergent as this will kill all of the good bacteria, resulting in harm your fish.
If plastic plants and décor are heavily soiled, the easiest way to clean them is to remove them from the tank.
Once removed you can clean with water or a specific aquarium ornament cleaner making sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Otherwise, regular aquarium maintenance will help to reduce surface build up on ornaments.
Remove any dead leaves during your water change and take the time to prune any damaged ends and trim excessive growth.
When it’s time to top your aquarium back up, make sure to treat tap water with a dechlorinator like LIFE CARE Tapsafe. This will remove any chemicals or heavy metals that are harmful to fish.
Before adding the new water, ensure it is the same temperature as the current aquarium temperature. Either use a heater to warm the water or add a little warm water to the bucket for tropical tanks, and check they match using an aquarium thermometer.
For cold water aquariums leave the bucket of new water to settle to room temperature. Pour the water in gently with a jug to make sure your fish aren’t shocked by the rapid water change.