Transformations, evolutions, and...Water Changes?

One of the "absolutes" for me in the aquarium hobby is the employment of water changes...It's like a "fundamental" practice, which sort of powers everything we do. But it's really more than just a chore to me. It's a time to evolve. To iterate. To reflect. To connect with my aquarium, and the natural world  as a whole.

Today is water change day for my aquariums.

I love water change day!


If you follow us, you're probably ready to barf because you've seen 8,000 pics of these tanks already!  And you have read about me extolling the virtues of water changes in the husbandry routine of botanical-style blackwater/brackish aquariums...

I like- no- LOVE- water change day!


Sure, setting up tarps and towels and lugging containers of water into the office sort; however, it's a special time for me to "connect"...Not only with the tank itself, but with the whole "art" of being an aquarium hobbyist, and the natural world which the hobby is a part of.

It's also exciting, because it's a time to make "edits"- fix those little things that drive me crazy, like the piece of wood that shifted, or the rock that got a bit "uncovered", a leaf that was floating in the current.

Stuff like that.

It's a time to physically connect with the tank.

I mean, getting your hands wet, literally, feeds into some visceral, primal need I think we have to reconnect to our environment. For me, it gives me a chance to follow up on my desire to make my aquariums a more realistic simulation of nature. 

I take the leaf addition process really seriously. Like, stupidly so. I mean, I select leaves for my tank the way some hobbyists select fish.

It's that serious to me...

Adding new leaves and other botanicals, removing or repositioning other ones, gives me the ability to keep the "vibe" of a natural litter zone with new leaves falling into the water, older leaves drifting in the current, or simply decomposing, and the exchange of water...what could be more natural, right?

Like in nature, each exchange of water exports some materials from the habitat, and moves new ones in...This is a very transformative process that can keep our hobby fascinating and engrossing in an entirely different way.

And I firmly believe that making your water changes less of a "chore" and more of a sort of relaxing activity, time to reflect and think in an almost "yoga-esque" sort of way is a truly awesome way to approach the process.

And of the water itself?

To me, exchanging the water is almost a "transformational" experience...Like refereshing, reneweing, re-setting the environment...The water is almost sacred in a strange sort of way...

I have no idea why, but an obscure line from a 1980s song popped into my head...

"Letting the days go by, water flowing underground
Into the blue again in to the silent water
Under the rocks and stones, there is water underground.."

-from "Once in a Lifetime" by the Talking Heads

Must be the blood rushing to my head from siphoning or something...

Anyways, enjoy YOUR water change day, whenever that might be, and whatever associated activities accompany it.

Stay dedicated. Stay focused. Stay reflective. Stay happy...

And Stay Wet.


Scott Fellman

Tannin Aquatics

Scott Fellman
Scott Fellman


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