Good aquarium maintenance is essential for the life of your fish. Follow these tips for proper aquarium cleaning.
In addition to equipping the aquarium with all the necessary accessories (filter, heater, thermometer) and ensuring its correct operation on a daily basis, periodic cleaning must be carried out.
Aquarium cleaning does not mean emptying the aquarium and scrubbing the crystals with soap and water, but it is essentially a partial water change. That is, to extract the amount of water necessary to replace it with new water and thus control the levels of ammonia and nitrites.
The amount of water to be replaced is determined by the size of the aquarium and the frequency in which we decide to clean it, since it is necessary to respect the biological cycle of the aquarium: by emptying the water, in addition to the dirt, we eliminate nitrifying bacteria And if we change the water too often or in too high amounts, we will damage the cycle.
However, we cannot allow too much time to pass between cleaning and cleaning, because dirt would accumulate in the aquarium, increasing ammonia and nitrites to levels that are harmful to fish. Therefore, it is important to try to maintain a balance between the frequency of change and the amount of water renewed.
– If the water is changed weekly, the amount of renewed water should not be greater than 10% of the aquarium’s capacity, in a 100-liter aquarium, for example, 10 liters of water.
– Another option is to make a change every 15 days of approximately 15% water. In general, it is the most comfortable and balanced.
– Monthly cleaning would mean changing 25-30% of the water since a lot of dirt accumulates during a month. Therefore, the monthly changes are more complicated, because the mass of water is greater and it is more difficult to manipulate it. Also, many bacteria are killed at once and the fish become more stressed.
To extract the water from the aquarium you can use a siphon. It can be found in any specialized store and consists of a transparent tube connected to a flexible plastic hose. Be careful not to stir the gravel excessively so as not to lift too much dirt, which would remain suspended in the water.
It is also necessary to remove other debris such as dead plant leaves or leftover food, which generate ammonia. It is not necessary to wait to clean the aquarium to collect these remains, it is best to do it as soon as you detect them.
Also, you can read about this article: How To Keep Fish Fresh While Fishing For Longer
Precautions when changing the aquarium water
1. New water can be taken directly from the tap, but it is necessary to let the water sit in a container for at least half an hour. It is also advisable to apply an appropriate conditioner, which you can find in any specialized store. Keep in mind that the parameters of tap water in each city are different and there are places where the water is harder or contains more lime.
2. Removing water from the aquarium removes a large number of nitrifying bacteria and it is best to replace them. These bacteria are commercialized and you can buy them in any store, it is a very useful product that will serve to repopulate the colony of bacteria in the aquarium each time cleaning is carried out.
3. If the water is very cold it is necessary to heat it so that the temperature of the aquarium does not drop too low. A radical change in temperature could lead to health problems in fish or diseases such as white spots.
4. You must be careful when pouring the water into the aquarium and doing it little by little so as not to stir the substrate or overwhelm the fish too much. To reduce stress, one option is to turn off the light while the change is being made.
5. In addition to changing the water, you need to clean the aquarium filter. This task is carried out monthly and it is about clarifying a little the elements that make up the filter (the sponges) with the water extracted from the aquarium since in case of doing it with clean water we would eliminate the bacteria that populate the filter. Take the opportunity to change the peat and activated carbon in the filter.