The pH balance in a fish tank is delicate. If the water is too alkaline or too acidic, the fish, even goldfish, can become sick and die. As time passes the water in a tank becomes more acidic. Doing partial weekly water changes removes a lot of the acidic water and adds in more neutral water to balance the pH back out. The balance should be around 7.2 – 7.5, not too acidic but not quite neutral either. Goldfish can handle more variation in their pH balance than other tropical fish, however, for the healthies fish, an effort to keep it around normal should be made.
Another reason for regular water changes is that goldfish produce a lot of waste in their tanks. Ammonia, which is dangerous to fish, builds up in the water from that waste. Goldfish can handle this a little better than other tropical fish, but not by much. As little as 2 parts per million can be deadly to any fish. Changing part of the water weekly helps to reduce this pollutant and keep the water cleaner and your fish happier.
So if all of this is true, then why should you only do partial water changes? Why not change the entire tank regularly? There are three main reasons why partial water changes are more beneficial for your aquarium health.
- First, as an aquarium sets and life in it thrive, beneficial bacteria grow and multiply. These bacteria are beneficial because they help to break down the waste put off by aquarium life.
- Secondly, severe changes in the water temperature and pH balance that occurs when a full change is done can shock your goldfish. Too much stress, especially stress from this type of shock can kill them.
- Last but not least, it’s a whole lot easier to change part of the water in the tank than it is to change the entire thing. If you had to change a 55-gallon tank out completely every week, you are less likely to want to keep it.
Goldfish make great pets. They really do. But you need to be aware of the work included to keep them happy and healthy. Like any pet, they will need love and care to thrive and be their best. Keeping the tank clean and healthy is a large part of that care, but it doesn’t need to be difficult to do. Partial weekly water changes will help to ensure your tank is clean and that the life in it is healthy.