Six Simple Words for Aquarium Success:
Water changes, water changes, water changes…
When I was younger, I used to play basketball—and I remember my Uncle telling me that the most important things to practice on my own came down to five simple words: “run, run, run, run, run.” While the life lesson there has stuck with me all of these years, I don’t think I embraced his advice at the time. What I realize now, however, is that there was some sweet simplicity in his advice. At the time, I was more focused on teaching myself how to dribble through my legs—or behind-the-back—I wanted to have fun, I wanted to look good.
Unfortunately, my Uncle isn’t a fish nerd, like me. But if he was, he would give this advice to anyone interested in keeping an aquarium—it comes down to six words: “water changes, water changes, water changes.”
There are endless additives, supplements and foods you can add to your aquarium. You can dose vodka in your reef tank to eliminate nitrates and phosphates, you can install LED lights to simulate moonlight in hopes of creating a more natural environment for your coral, but few things can make such a universally positive impact on your aquatic ecosystem like a nice partial water change.
So don’t over-think things. Don’t focus too much on “looking cool,” instead, focus on doing the common things uncommonly well. In this hobby, that means performing partial water changes regularly with a high quality salt mix. In the end, it will help improve almost all of the other things you hope to do in your tank.
What’s the next piece of equipment or DIY project you’re planning? When was the last time you did a partial water change? If you’re like me, you have a bunch of answers to the first question—and you grudgingly could figure out (using your fingers and toes to count/remember) when your last water change was. Feels the same way I did when my Uncle would ask me about the last time I went running. Maybe I’ll head out for a jog…right after I make a couple of buckets of water.