Aquarium Service and the Importance of Water Changes

At Dallas Aquarium Experts we believe water changes are the most important aspect of aquarium maintenance. Only diet ties with how important water changes are, and they are equally important. You can provide the best food or water quality, but if one is lacking it can undo the highest quality in the other.

There are many vital things that water changes and regular aquarium maintenance can do for the aquarium. Regularly scheduled water changes can actually help save money when it comes to filtration since they can make the use of carbon filtration completely unnecessary. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can make up for a lack of water changes done while performing aquarium service. Filtration can’t do it. Special additives and special types of filtration can’t do it, nothing can replace water changes done while serving an aquarium.

It is important to understand exactly what filtration and water changes do so that you understand the difference. Filters do two main things. First is that they provide a place for the bacteria that consume ammonia and nitrite to grow. The surfaces of bio-medias and the flow of the filter create the perfect submerged habitat for these nitrifying bacteria. The other main function is to physically collect debris and particulates from the water column for the aquarist to remove during regularly scheduled aquarium maintenance at which time the filter media is replaced.  It is vital to perform filter maintenance, regardless of the type or brand of filter being used or whether the flow is reduced or not. Water changes maintain water quality long-term.

Aquarium Service
Aquarium Service

The problem with water changes is that their results are long-term. Many people only see short-term. So if someone stops doing water changes or cuts back drastically (like only doing water changes once every four weeks) they may not see any major difference. The reason is that the problems related to lack of water changes, cause short-term are very subtle. Many people feel it is best to leave well enough alone and not fix what isn’t broken. This idea leads to neglect and the aquarium will suffer.

When inadequate aquarium maintenance or no water changes are done the tank appear to do well. The fish will still be alert and swimming, they will still have colors, and they will still eat. This can go on for a few years. What I have seen happen under these circumstances is called old tank syndrome. This is when the water quality has gotten so bad that all of a sudden effectively every fish in the tank gets sick. I have seen this happen a few times, killing 90-95% of the fish. A sign that this situation may be occurring before it actually kills everything is when new fish are added. Usually a neglected tank’s chemistry will change over time. The pH will drop along with hardness, the water quality is low, and together these can prove fatal to new fish. The fish that experienced it slowly acclimated to the changing water as it slowly happened. New fish are acclimated in less than an hour. This sudden change can shock new fish, resulting in their death with no symptoms of any problems.

Water changes do two things simultaneously. Most importantly they remove all the bad things that build up in the aquarium over time. These things include nitrate, phosphate, growth inhibiting hormones that many if not most fish give off, dissolved organic compounds, and other things. The other things are at least as important, we just don’t have test kits for them (except phosphate). The other major function of water changes is to bring in good things that are used up over time. The end result of all the biological activity in an aquarium is acidification. This uses up the KH in the water. As the KH is used up the pH will decrease. Eventually the pH will crash. There are many other vital minerals and trace elements needed that are replenished with water changes during aquarium maintenance.

aquarium service

Water changes also have a massive impact on stocking. It is an error to discuss stocking without addressing water changes and water quality. Discussing stocking based on tank size alone is not different from simply going by the very common one inch per gallon’ type guides. Experiments have shown that it is the water quality, not tank volume that stunts fish. The volume of the tank has a minimal impact on water quality.

How much, how often:

Water changes should be done on a minimum bi-weekly basis during your regular aquarium service.  This frequency gives little time for the chemistry of the aquarium to change significantly compared to the tap water in a freshwater aquarium. Over time the chemistry in an aquarium changes and allowing too much time between water changes allows the tank’s water chemistry to change too much, this means that a larger water change will change the tank’s chemistry too much and stress or even shock fish. The amount changed at each water change should be whatever is needed to keep the nitrate concentration under 20ppm. This means that if a weekly water change of 25% doesn’t keep the nitrate concentration under 20ppm then the amount of water changed every week needs to be increased. Any time the size of the water change is changed it should be done slowly. Smaller water changes allow for more error than larger water changes. For example, if the temperature is not perfect for a 25% water change it may not cause any problems. The same temperature difference with a 50% water change could severely stress the fish.

Water changes can prevent and fix almost any problem:

aquarium service
aquarium service

Water changes are one of the most powerful ways to prevent and treat almost all problems that an aquarist is like to encounter. A healthy water change schedule performed during regular aquarium service can prevent most of the problems an aquarist might otherwise experience. In my experience the health issues that arise in well maintained tanks is almost nothing compared to those that are more neglected, including monthly water changes.

In addition, water changes alone are frequently all that is needed to fix most problems that may arise. Increasing the frequency of water changes when problems do arise may be the only action the aquarist needs to take when fish are stressed (lethargic, clamped fins, refusing to eat, etc.). It is also all that is needed in many cases of a variety of diseases. I have seen case after case of ich, bacterial infections, fungal infections, and others fixed by increasing the frequency of water changes alone, no medications used at all. It is also the main issue when algae problems arise. More or larger water changes are frequently the only change needed to fix algae problems.

Contact Dallas Aquarium Experts today to for a free consultation, and allow us to be your Aquarium Service provider and handle your Aquarium Maintenance needs.

Regular Aquarium Maintenance

Aquarium Service

Aquarium Maintenance

You may feel you have enough to remember, do,  look out for and worry about, but learning to spot signs of impending problems is better than trying to deal with them later on. Methodical aquarium maintenance need not take longer than an a few minutes a day and an hour every other week depending on your aquariums size.   An aquarium service company is the best option if you find you are unable to make this type of time commitment.

There are a number of checks that you should make on a daily and weekly basis.

The first and foremost is a daily temperature check, together with a head count of the fishes.  Counting fish is best done at feeding time; they usually congregate to one spot.  Locate any absentees and search carefully for missing fish; it may simply not be hungry or sociable, but if it continues to behave this way, or seems off color, then you must assume something is wrong and begin further checks.  If the fish is dead remove the body before it decomposes and pollutes the aquarium before other fishes become infected with any disease that may have caused its demise.  Of course, the dead fish may not have succumbed to any disease; it may have been harassed to death by other fishes – in which case, be sure to check the compatibility of species before replacing.  Nevertheless, it is still vital to remove its body as soon as you discover it, to prevent fouling of the aquarium.  Marine fishes are sensitive to any stress or disturbance, so try to use your eyes more than your hands and keep your physical intrusions into the tank to the absolute minimum. If you do not find a fish in the tank, look on the floor, since some aquarium fish are expert escapers.

As the aquarium fish gradually becomes established, the fish will settle down into their natural behavior patterns.  If you observe the fishes’ normal activities, you will soon be able to recognize any irregularities that may be early indications of trouble.

Check the pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels in established tanks weekly intervals.  In a newly set aquarium it is a good idea to check the pH more regally.  Stabilize the pH by adding buffering materials, but if it falls. Again soon after being adjusted then a water change will be required.

Be sure nitrite level has fallen to a minimum before introducing more fish, and keep it low by adding livestock gradually.  In this way you can avoid overloading the biological filtration system.  Nitrate levels will continue to rise unless held in check by regular water changes.  Man y fishes are tolerant of higher levels of nitrate than invertebrates.

Dallas Aquarium Experts
Aquarium Service

If you live in North Dallas, Plano, Frisco, or Lewisville using an aquarium service company like Dallas Aquarium Experts can help you avoid the routine tasks and chores of keeping a beautiful aquarium.  Call us today for a free consultation for aquarium service.

Dallas Aquarium Experts offering Aquarium Services in Plano

Aquarium Service

Dallas Aquarium Experts offer a variety of Aquarium Services to keep your fresh water aquarium, saltwater aquarium, or reef tank healthy, thriving, and looking its best. Our success with aquariums starts with decades of experience and knowledge in maintaining freshwater aquariums, saltwater aquariums, and reef tanks. One of the most important keys to our success is superior water quality. The lifeblood of any aquarium. We always use only Reverse Osmosis De-Ionized water when servicing or installing Reef Tanks, Marine Aquariums, and Freshwater Aquariums. We offer only the best products to our clients and their Aquariums. Whether your need is an Aquarium Cleaning, Freshwater Aquarium Maintenance, or Salt Water Maintenance, or you are interested in a new Freshwater Aquarium, Salt Water Aquarium, or Reef Tank in your office or home, Dallas Aquarium Experts is the best choice you can make. We know what we are doing and will make sure you never need to find another aquarium maintenance company. We want every customer to feel like they are our only customer.

Contact us today for your free Aquarium Service estimate!

Aquarium Service

A DFW Aquarium Maintenance Service Company, Dallas Aquarium Experts offers the following specific Aquarium Services in this specific area of the DFW Metroplex: Plano Aquarium Maintenance, Plano Freshwater Aquarium Maintenance, Plano Saltwater Aquarium Maintenance, Plano Reef Aquarium Maintenance, Plano Fish Tank Cleaning, Plano Aquarium Cleaning, Plano Freshwater Aquarium Cleaning, Plano Saltwater Aquarium Cleaning, Plano Reef Aquarium Cleaning, Plano Aquarium Cleaning Service, Plano Custom Aquarium Design, Plano Custom Freshwater Aquarium Design, Plano Custom Saltwater Aquarium Design, Plano Custom Reef Aquarium Design, Plano Custom Aquarium Installation, Plano Aquarium Set Up, Plano Freshwater Aquarium Set Up, Plano Saltwater Aquarium set up, Plano Reef Aquarium Set Up, Plano Aquarium Leasing, Plano Aquarium Sales, Plano Aquarium relocation, and Plano Aquarium Movers.