How to Change the Water in Your Aquarium

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Changing the water in an aquarium requires using a five-gallon bucket and a siphon tube that will siphon out at least 20 percent and up to 50 percent of the water. Change the water in an aquarium at least every other week with instructions from a koi breeder and aquarium specialist in this free video on fish care.

Part of the Video Series: Aquariums, Ponds & Fish Care
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Video Transcript

Hi I'm Jim Newman from Making Waves and this is how to properly do a water change in both a freshwater and or marine aquarium. First we need a bucket either 5 gallons or more and a siphon tube with a gravel vacuum attachment. You can either create a siphon with one of these attachments either by going right ahead and just creating the siphon right here as it has a check valve and just wait until the water goes right ahead and siphons it in. You want to go ahead and keep a finger on the end so that you can go right ahead and put the gravel vacuum inside the gravel, release your finger, soften up the debris then plug it up and move to a different location. You want to keep on doing this until your bucket is either filled or you've reached the desired level of water that you want to change. For a freshwater aquarium you should go right ahead and do at least 20 to 50% of the water 20% once every two weeks or 50% once a month. For a saltwater aquarium, you want to do a little bit more. The more frequent you do the water changes, the better when it comes down to a saltwater aquarium. The main reason for this is because of the trace elements and the buffering properties of saltwater is not created, it is absorbed and taken out of the water system by the animals so you need to go right ahead and do those more frequent water changes to go right ahead and replenish those trace elements properly. You can also add trace elements to the aquarium, however it's much better to do the frequent water changes because it also goes right ahead and lowers the possibility of any kind of problems with nitrate. Nitrate in a saltwater aquarium will go right ahead and actually buildup to a level that can be toxic to the fish at a very high rate. You should be aware that nitrate levels in a saltwater aquarium should not be higher then 25 parts per million. One hundred parts per million or more will actually cause a lot of your saltwater fish to adversely be affected such as various types forms of pomacanthidae which are the large marine aquarium angelfish. They have a very high intolerance of high nitrogen levels. Also when it comes down to keeping a reef type tank, that means a tank that the invertebrates are the mainstay of the tank, a high nitrate level is very toxic to invertebrates. Anything above 50 parts per million can be highly toxic to invertebrates however for corals you don't want to go above 25 parts per million if at all possible.

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