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The best ways to change the water in your aquarium

A good aquarist knows that part of owning an aquarium involves periodic water changes. This helps reduce the pH and nitrate level, which keeps your fish healthier.

How should you change the water in your aquarium? Simple:

Preparation: Head to your local pet store and buy some tubing to siphon with, some de-chlorinator, and a large bucket for the water to be siphoned into. You will only want to take out about 20% of the water in your tank, so you may want to size your bucket accordingly. After this, turn off all electric devices that are being used in the fish tank, such as heaters and filters, to avoid any problems.

Cleaning: Initiate suction by sucking on one end of the tubing while the other end is well below water level. Once the water in the end you are holding is about to hit the end of the tubing, quickly put that in the empty bucket. Gently run the tubing in the gravel to remove any solid wastes that have settled on the bottom of the tank. When the bucket is about full, remove the tubing from the water.

Afterwards:  Read the directions on your de-chlorinator to ensure you use it correctly. Also make sure you don’t take out too much water, as the sudden temperature change may be too much for your fish to handle. After treating the water with the de-chlorinator, use it to replenish your tank.

Water changes need to be done at least once a week to keep nitrate levels down. A high nitrate level can be very harmful to your fish, so do your best to stay on top of these water changes!