There is no questioning on the benefits of a tank water change and how it ensures the health of all the living things in your aquarium. There is however much debate among goldfish owners about how much water should be changed during these routine water change and what makes for the best care.
In general, there are three basic practices of tank water changing:
- Only replacing evaporated water
- A percentage water change
- An entire tank water change
Practice #2: A partial water change consist of removing about 20-75% of the water in your aquarium. You can use an aquarium siphon to help remove the dirt and debris from the gravel and a net to gather up the floating debris. You may choose to place your fish into a temporary tank to avoid injuring them or stressing them out while you clean. After the water is replaced, you need to add a water conditioner to remove any chlorine from the tap water.
Practice #3:A complete water change can use the same techniques to remove dirt and debris until all the water is removed. Of course in this situation, you would have to place your fish into a temporary tank. And like in the partial change, a water conditioner is needed.
Both methods are acceptable practices but not without some debate.
- The main argument in opposition of a complete or large percentage water change is that you should not change all the water in your tank in one cleaning because it will change the chemistry of the water too much and will stress or kill your fish.
- The main argument in favor of a large change is that you don’t eliminate all the waste in your goldfish tank with a partial water change and over time the waste levels can build to unhealthy levels.
Both schools of thought are correct. Both can cause problems for your goldfish and both stress the importance of having fresh clean water in your aquarium or pond – So what do you do? Most advice found on the internet says to change at least 20-30% and to never change 100% of the water during routine maintenance. If you do 20-30% water changes, your waste levels will build up but likely won’t kill your goldfish. They would of course be happier with even more clean water so if you are feeling guilty, up your tank water change to 50-75%. This will eliminate much more waste and by leaving some water in goldfish aquarium, will not drastically change the chemistry of the water.
Reviewed By: Tim Winter
Tim Winter has a strong affection for pets and wildlife. His years of experience caring for various types of pets has led him to share his knowledge with others on the best practices in pet care. Tim holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communications.