Are we talking about...water changes...again? Yup.

Let’s face it. Keeping an aquarium just isn’t that difficult. Unless we make it that way.

Think about it. We often take a simple thing and, in our own wonderful way, make it much more complicated than it has to be. The best example, in my opinion, is how we love to employ all sorts of schemes, equipment, and techniques to avoid performing the most basic maintenance practice of all: Regular water changes.

Why is that? Think of all the money that we could save if we would just change say, 10% of our water every week, rather than spending tons of money on all sorts of additives, trace element solutions, exotic equipment, etc. Not only would we be making our lives a lot less complicated, we’d be providing the animals in our care with the best possible ‘additive”- properly conditioned fresh water. 

I’m not suggesting that you forgo necessary equipment, additives or supplements altogether. What I am advocating however, is that we ask ourselves if we really need to add these things to our tanks. I subscribe to the “test, then tweak” school of reef husbandry. 


In other words, before you rush off to add stuff to your water, test for it and determine if it’s really necessary. Granted, systems requiring nutrient supplementation (like heavily planted tanks) and specialty systems ( like brackish water tanks, or African Cichlid tanks) that require specific water parameters typically will employ some sort of additives.

In most cases, though, regular water changes will help bring things back to where they need to be. No expensive, exotic dosing regimes or chemicals required...And, you get the added benefit of diluting organics from the water as well! Talk about a win-win!


Need another compelling reason to perform frequent water changes on your system? Just think about the incredible diversity of fishes that we keep in the close confines of our aquarium- all residing in close proximity, living in a veritable “soup” of chemical warfare products. 

 Talk about stressors!

 What’s a good water changing regimen? I’d love to see you employ 10% per week...It’s what I’ve used for decades, and it’s served me- and my animals- very well! Easier still would be to employ two 5% water changes twice weekly. Way easier than you think, and has the added advantage of keeping you in intimate contact with your tank on a very frequent basis. And, when you’re changing water, you could easily complete a few other regular maintenance tasks at the same time with a minimum of extra time and effort.

 Regardless of how frequently you change your water, just do it consistently. In fact, I’ll humbly borrow a line from Nike to tell you to “Just do it...”

 So, you’ve heard me make my case, extolling just a few of the virtues of frequent small water changes on our tanks. I’m kind of curious what type of water change regimen you employ with your system, and just what kinds of results you’re enjoying. 

 Let’s hear it! I’d stick around, but I need to do a water change!


Stay Wet!


Scott Fellman

Tannin Aquatics



Scott Fellman
Scott Fellman


1 Response


December 04, 2023

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