Can you conserve your aquarium water?
The article concerns the following question – Can you conserve your aquarium water? One of the longest droughts in the history of Australia has got us all thinking about how we use that precious resource, water. Many people now use the grey water from the laundry on the garden, some have installed water tanks and our habits with regard to washing the car and hosing the driveway have changed.
Although current water restrictions do not affect the amount of water used in home aquariums, what would happen if they did? Well there are certainly some ways to reduce the amount of water that you use in your aquarium. Water in an aquarium is usually exchanged because over the course of weeks undesirable waste products can build up and if left unchecked, these can make your fish stressed which will ultimately lead to disease.
To reduce the frequency of water changes, we need to reduce the build up of waste in the system and there are several ways that this can be achieved. If you are setting an aquarium up from scratch, do not overstock the aquarium and if you are purchasing a new filter for the aquarium, go for a model slightly larger. The greater the filtration area, the more effective the filter is at removing waste from the system. Also if possible, use some carbon in your filter and change it every 4 weeks as carbon removes organic waste from the water that can cause water quality problems. Increasing the amount of plants that grow in your aquarium will also improve the water quality, as plants are nature’s water purifiers.
Over-feeding of fish is a large contributor to poor water quality in aquariums. Modern, high quality fish foods such as those found at pet retailers are very concentrated so you do not need to feed large quantities. As a rule with flake food, what you place in the water dry will swell to three times that amount. If you are over-feeding your fish, start reducing this amount by about a half to assist in improving your aquarium water quality.
Another great way to reduce the number of water changes in your aquarium is to add one of the “good” bacteria products on a weekly basis. These products consist of strains of bacteria that breakdown and consume waste material in the aquarium. Some of these products are available in a liquid form whilst others come in a pouch that sits in the filter. Whatever type you choose, they will improve the water quality in the aquarium. The changes that I have discussed should reduce the number of water changes from every fortnight to about every 6 weeks.
For those of you who would like to conserve even more water, there is a product on the market that when added weekly to your aquarium reduces the need for water changes to once every 6 months. Easy balance by Tetra reduces algae by controlling phosphate, stabilises the pH and uses bacteria to breakdown nitrate. This is certainly a big claim to make about a product and I was a little sceptical, however, if the amount research behind this product and the reputation of the company mean anything, then it is bound to do what it claims. Finally when you do exchange your aquarium water, remember, what is a waste for your fish is a fertiliser for your garden.