If you've kept fish for just about ANY time at all, you've heard of the term "water change" and how everyone makes a huge deal about it. But then, what is it? And why is it so important?

A water change is the purposeful removal of water from the aquarium and filling back up of the aquarium, specifically new, clean water. People do water changes at their own rate, at their own amount. The average water change is about two times a week, 50% of the water each time. But it varies to every different kind of fish you have because they all have their own specific needs.

But like you're asking now; what is a water change? To become more specific in my explanation, a water change is you removing your current water and diluting the water that is still in your tank with new, clean water from most likely a faucet in the house.

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Another term that you may have heard if you're in the hobby is "water parameters." These are the measurements of different concentrations in your aquarium's water. All of them are; Temperature, pH, Nitrite, Nitrate, Ammonia and Hardness. What you're worried about is the parameters; Nitrite, Nitrate, and Ammonia. These are why most people do water changes because these things REALLY matter.

Those parameters are what matters to your tank's health. If you let them get too high, you may be facing a sick, diseased, ill, or simply, dead fish. Like I said, we do water changes to dilute the water. When you dilute the water, is takes this new, neutral water and combines it with the old water that has high levels, and it mixes them, making a new level of those parameters.

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Now that you understand the importance of water changes, it's your job to decide to find out the parameters that your specific fish needs to determine how often you need to do water changes so that you can insure that your fish has the best health possible. It's best to look to people for advice to find a good routine. But make sure you know that consistency is better than accuracy. So don't try to aim for completely perfect parameters, but more so for a constant routine that can help your fish stay on track.

Fish out.​