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How long does it take to replace all the water in your fish tank? You may be surprised to find out that doing two, 50% water changes does not replace 100% of the water.

I found a great online calculator that helps illustrate this point:

Go to: http://www.hamzasreef.com/Contents/Calculators/EffectiveWaterChange.php

Here's a screen shot:

If you work with substrate-spawning cichlids, one thing you'll immediately notice is that fry can be extremely small. It's all too easy to siphon them out accidentally when doing a water change.

I keep newly free-swimming fry from egg layers in tiny 2-gallon Rubbermaid restaurant containers and I use a mini-siphon I made myself to carefully clean the bottom of excess food and debris. Here's how to make one yourself.

You'll need:

  • One 12-14" piece of rigid aquarium airline tubing
  • One small piece of insulated #14 electrical wire 
  • A heat source (I use my gas stove)

Here's what to do . . .