Although, you have an powerful filtration for your aquarium, many harmful elements can’t be remove completely by the filter and regular aquarium water changes are very important during your long adventure in the hobby of fish keeping.
Three things happen as aquarium water ages. First, nitrogen builds up in the form of nitrates (some tank setups have exceptions to this rule). This is followed by the slow buildup of organic compounds, another result of organic material being broken down. Third, essential and trace minerals are used up by the normal bodily functions of fish
Remove the accumulation of nitrate
Remove of organic compounds and improve water clarity
Replenishment of essential minerals and trace elements
Regardless of what type of aquarium you keep, the balance an Aquarius aims to establish is built around the concept of end-cycle waste removal and replenishment of essential and trace minerals. And regular water changing could address all these problems.
Remove the accumulation of nitrate As you know, biological filtration can help you reduce the amount of ammonia and nitrite that are very harmful to your fish. The biological filtration transfers ammonia to nitrites and then nitrates that are known as a less harmful substance for your fish. However, high nitrate content within water adds to the amount of stress your fish are placed under. When fish become stressed, their immune system is compromised and they’re vulnerable to a spectrum of diseases and parasites which are in your water.
In nature, nitrates are majorly used by plants as their essential nutrients and some are degraded by denitrifying bacteria. Nitrates are also the main nutrient of algae, so algae bloom (overgrow of algae) indicates that there are too many nitrates in your aquarium. You can also use a nitrate test kit to check the nitrate in your aquarium.
Because most aquarium systems lack the ideal conditions to efficiently process nitrate, the nitrates can’t be removed completely and be accumulated in both freshwater and saltwater aquariums. So changing water is very important to partly remove the nitrate out of the aquarium.
Remove of organic compounds and improve water clarity Dissolved organic compounds like phosphates can affect light transmission through water, giving it a yellowish tint; this can affect the growth and coloration of corals. Just like nitrates, excess phosphates in your tank will also lead to excessive algae growth. While phosphate do not pose an immediate threat to the health of the fish, they do make for an unsightly tank and unnecessary amount of work in order to keep algae from returning in force.
In extreme cases, too many decomposing organic materials cause the water to lose its buffering capacity to adjust pH changing and an acidic environment can be established in your aquarium. Maintaining stable pH is important for the health of aquarium inhabitants, especially the seawater fish needing a pH higher than the neutral (pH 7).
Water changing help to manage levels of dissolved organics, but to be most effective, a routine of regular water changes must be implemented from early in the tanks life.
Replenishment of essential minerals and trace elements Normal bodily functions of aquarium lives (fish, aquatic plants, coral, nails, shrimps…) require scores of different elements such as vital minerals, trace elements, nutrients, and vitamins to ensure a healthy life. They take these elements from foods and the water, so these are quickly exhausted without new water changing. Just like in humans, they can develop in deficiencies of certain elements. And though they can live YEARS with some of these deficiencies, it hinders the quality of their life and will inevitably shorten their life span.
In marine aquariums, trace elements and essential minerals are very indispensable to corals and invertebrates to grow. Besides, regular water changes also help maintain proper salt concentration in these systems.
New water entering the system will replenish vital elements and minerals needed for fish to live a healthy complete life as well as introduce more buffers to replace the one used up in acidification. It seems counterproductive taking water out of a tank and replacing it new, different water. However, so long as this is done in small portions it will assist in creating a healthy, stress free, and stable environment for your finny friends to live in.
There are a variety of different opinions on the best methods to keeping fish in the hobby, one universal rule that is accepted by anyone who has a firm grasp on fish nutrition and advanced water chemistry is the importance of water changes. By removing a small amount of water from the system on a schedule, you help with the removal of nitrates and phosphates as well as the replenishment of minerals depleted.
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