Performing maintenance on your tanks is just as important as the maintenance you perform on your home. If you don't inspect, clean, and vacuum on a regular basis, you're more likely to have a problem of some kind with your own health or the health of your home.
You may choose to live in a messy, dirty environment. Your fish don't have that choice. Their environment depends on you. If you want to make sure your fish stay healthy and thrive, one requirement is that you change the water regularly and frequently. Get in the habit of doing maintenance on a schedule, and your fish will thank you by staying active and healthy.
I change the water in my tanks at least weekly. Occasionally, I will do a water change after 3 or 4 days, depending on a variety of factors, but typical maintenance is weekly and on the same day. That's not always practical, but it can be the majority of the time...if you make it so.
Nothing replaces regular water changes as the most important factor for maintaining healthy fish in a closed environment. Don't stop there, however. Also periodically clean your tank and all of its components - heaters, filters, powerheads - and do it routinely.
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