water conditions

How to maintain stable water conditions

Lots of factors can affect the stability of the water conditions in your aquarium – including the water source; the fish feed, and amount of growing algae. While aquarium fish need clean water to survive well, people have varying thoughts about what clean aquarium water really is. Although the smell and color of the water are good indicators of the quality of the water, they are not the only important factors. They are also not the most important.
While a poorly maintained aquarium could have cloudy water and odor, it could also have crystal clear water, without any odor. This is because most of the common harmful chemicals in an aquarium such as phosphate, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate have no odor or color.

How can water stability be achieved in an aquarium?

Tank Size

When you have a small aquarium, water in the tank can be very unstable. The larger the tank size and the more the water, the easier it is to keep the water fresh and clean. Therefore, the first step towards achieving water stability is to get a fish tank with good size – the bigger you can afford, the better.

Filtration System

It is easier to maintain an aquarium with a highly efficient filtration system. The major function of a filtration system is biological filtration. There are different filtration size descriptions so it is advised you check the tank size of the filter before purchase. Usually manufacturers have the description indicating the size such as “up to 20-gallon” or “up to 40-gallon”. It is best to purchase a filtration system with a larger tank size description than your fish tank as it would provide better filtration.

Number of Fish

Overstocking your fish would make keeping the water clean a near impossible task. You would save yourself a lot of stress by having the right number of fish for the aquarium size. A lightly stocked aquarium is much easier to maintain over one that is overstocked.


The pH of your aquarium water is a significant indicator of its stability as it measures the level of acidity or alkalinity of your fish tank water. Using an aquarium test kit is the best way to keep track of the pH levels in your aquarium. You can easily get these test kits from a pet store or you order them online. Keeping track of your water pH levels is ideal as a very high or very low pH could be a problem for the health of your fish.

Maintenance of the Aquarium

Partial water change of up to 25 to 50% on a weekly basis would help to regulate the levels of nitrate and phosphate in the aquarium. While changing the aquarium water, it would be necessary to remove waste products by substrate vacuuming. Once this is done, refill the aquarium with fresh clean water to ensure pH stability and good water quality. This will keep your fish strong and healthy.

To ensure stable water conditions of your aquarium, it is important for a fish keeper to give attention to more details than the color of the water. A clean, healthy, well-managed fish tank would be a delight to watch for its owner as your fish swim in their habitat.