Regular water change is critical to maintaining the biological balance within the closed ecosystem of planted aquariums. It is best to do so weekly, changing 30%-50% of the water.
Water changes remove dissolved organic waste and free-floating algae spores. It also allows one to re-balance water parameters that may have shifted during the week. However, water changes should not just focus on replacing tank water - aquarists should also use this chance to siphon away detritus that has build up at the substrate layer. Aquatic plants shed older leaves, and these are broken down by shrimps and other detritovores. Bits of organic material and livestock waste accumulate in the top layers of the substrate. This accumulation of decaying organic material triggers algae blooms, especially in tanks with higher lighting and/or fertilization levels. Aquarists should siphon away such detritus during a water change.
To do it; hover a siphon over the surface of the substrate while kicking up surface detritus with a turkey baster. For weekly cleaning, you should not aim to disturb more than just the top 1cm of aquasoil or so
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This tank is about a year old but still looks as though it is a relatively young tank. Large regular water changes, with regular siphoning of substrate detritus keeps it looking clean. This tank runs on APT Complete and APT Jazz.