A fish tank filter can do the job. But, to keep it clean, hygienic, and safe for your pretty fish darlings, you may need to put extra effort. You should know how to clean a fish tank. Well, talking about the cleaning, it may wash away the beneficial, nitrifying bacteria. So, make sure not to clean the tank frequently. Go for the process only when the dirt makes the tank challenging to live for the fishes.
Ok, so let’s suppose your fish tank is filthy as you have not cleaned it for months. Now, you got an idea to do the task asap. In that case, all you have to do is either hire a professional or do it by yourself.
If you are ready for the DIY process, you should learn the process first well. We are here to guide you. We will talk about the cleaning process. After that, some essential cleaning tips will be there. It will help you to clean and maintain the tank perfectly. Let’s begin with the ingredients.
How to Clean a Fish Tank: Components you Require:
We understand that you are eager to know how to clean a fish tank. Let’s talk about what you require to clean a fish tank or an aquarium without much ado. Yes, we know how much you love that piece. After all, it is the home for your colorful marine friends. So, we do not use any product or tool harmful to the tank. The essential cleaning tools and ingredients are-
- A scraper to remove algae (pad as an alternative)
- Water siphon tube
- Aquarium-friendly bucket
- The lime cleaner used for the aquarium
- Filter brush and filter media
- Chlorine remover material
So, these are the ingredients you need to clean the tank. Make sure to collect all of them before you initiate the process. However, before we delve into the details, let’s have a quick look at the steps of how to clean a fish tank.
- Clean the inside glass first.
- Soak the decorations in cleaning material and wash.
- Clean the gravel inside the tank.
- Wash the outside glass.
- Take care of the outside fixtures.
- Clean the filter.
Indeed, the quick points will not help until you know the details. Let’s dig deep into the detailed description of the points mentioned above.
How to Clean a Fish Tank: Step-by-step Guide to Follow:
A pro tip before you begin: You do not have to remove the fish or change the complete water in the tank. Only change partial water and clean the tank. Otherwise, removing water in the fish tank can harm the fish and disturb the nitrogen cycle in the water. After all, who can ignore the benefits of nitrogen in water in a fish tank?
Clean the Inside Glass: Often, algae develops inside the tank. Take a scraper or pad and warm water. Remove the algae gently. Make sure not to use any soap or detergent powder. Buy pad or scrub only from a pet shop, not from any regular home appliance store. The reason is that regular algae pads may contain harmful components which may not suit the fishes living in the tank.
For cleaning the decorations, take a bucket that does not include any sign of soap or detergent. Soap is not suitable for fish. That is why, to stay on the safe side, cleaning experts recommend using a bucket that you use only for fish tank cleaning purposes.
Soak the Decorations: Next step is to clean the inside plants, decorations, stone statues, etc. If they are not too dirty, you can skip this part. But if they are dirty enough, soak them in bleach liquid for 15 minutes. Now, the question is, how much percentage of bleach is ideal for the job?
According to the experts, a 10% bleach solution is best. It will clean even the stubborn dirt from the decorative pieces. Scrub them well. Then, rinse in the running water. Once they are clean, the air dries well. Thus, the residual bleach will go away.
Make sure they do not emit any chlorine smell. Wash well as much as it requires. You can use sodium thiosulfate in the water to remove the chlorine from them. For live plants, prepare a 5% bleach solution to soak them into it for two or three minutes. Do not use bleach for stem plants.
Leave the decorations artificial and live plants outside the tank until you clean the gravel. When you clean the gravel, many a time, the debris coming out of gravel can settle on the decorations. You may have to clean them again. Keeping them aside in a bucket reduces your hassles of extra cleaning.
Clean Gravels using Siphons: When you learn how to clean a fish tank, you should clean the gravels. Gravels get covered by sticky dirt most of the time. Use a high-quality water siphon to remove the dirt. The siphon helps to clean the gravel by vacuuming the dirt. Run the vacuum cleaner across the surface. All debris will be cleaned.
Well, when the vacuum replaces the water, it is dechlorinated. Make sure the temperature of replaced water is the same as the remaining water inside.
Once everything is cleaned, add water and fill the aquarium appropriately. Do not forget to add water conditioning material and aquarium salt to it. Maintain the guidelines to use the products.
Clean Outside Glasses: Next, a clean outside glass of the aquarium. Use a lime cleaner that is safe for aquariums. Regular cleaners comprise harmful ammonia. Also, they include many other harmful materials. So, the safe lime liquid is recommended.
However, you can ask the pet shop owners about the risks when you buy the product. Another way to avoid risks is to read the labels. Apply the right solution and rub the outside glass with a damp cloth.
Clean the Outside Fixtures: Final touch in the whole cleaning process is to clean the outside fixtures like hooks, lights, top of the tank, and hood. When you do not clean them for days, soot, dirt, and debris may change the glass’s outlook.
So, take a dry cloth and wipe them off. If the dirt is sticky enough to be cleaned by a dry cloth, use a damp one. But beware of the wires and plugs. Water may lead to electrical damage.
Filters should be Cleaned: All of the significant steps are done. Next is to clean the filters. Here you may have to wait for at least two weeks. The bacterial bridges may have been disturbed as you removed partial water and cleaned the gravels. While filters include a certain amount of bacteria, you have to keep them intact for two to three weeks.
Once regular bacterial formation starts in the ecosystem, clean the filters. Take a filter brush and clean the parts gently. If the filter media contains carbon, ammonia absorbers, or any ion-exchange resins, you may have to change filters once a month.
So, this is how to clean a fish tank properly. Make sure you follow all of the points to get the desired cleanliness.
Now, let’s know more details about cleaning a fish tank. Many people often ask different questions about it. While some ask specifically about cleaning the tank, some want to learn about maintenance. On the other hand, some are interested in keeping the fish well.
Here, we will talk about some commonly asked questions about cleaning a fish tank. Hopefully, you will find yours. So, let’s begin with the questions.
How to Clean a Fish Tank- Some Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. How do you clean a fish tank for beginners?
Whether you are a beginner or a pro, the answer is the same. You have to follow the steps we discussed in this article to clean a fish tank. Follow the tips properly to ensure safe and complete cleaning.
Q. Where should I keep the fish when I clean the aquarium?
You should not change the whole water at once. Replace only 25% of it. While cleaning the tank, keep the fish inside the water. Ensure no usage of harmful chemicals.
Q. How often should I change the water in a fish tank?
Change 25% of the water every two or three weeks. Avoid changing the tank’s total water at once, as it will wash away the beneficial bacteria.
Q. Can you wash a fish tank with soap?
Not at all. Soap or any form of detergent may be harmful to the fish. No matter how much you try, some traces will remain inside when you use it.
This can bring life threats for the fish. Only use algae scrub, warm water, and aquarium-safe chlorine remover. Follow the cleaning steps we mentioned above for detailed knowledge. Learn about how to clean a fish tank.
Q. Do water changes make fishes happy?
Your once in three weeks plan to change water can benefit the fish in many ways. It can keep them healthy and happy. Some of the experts also suggest changing the water once a week.
But, it is better to clean and change the water at once. That is why once in three or four weeks is ideal.
Q. Do fish sleep?
Probably, this is the question of every aquarium lover. However, it is still under active research. It has been found that fishes rest even if they don’t sleep. Let’s know what new insights come up in the future regarding it.
Q. Can a fish drown?
If you are a parent, your kid might have asked you this question several times. Fishes breathe through their gills when they are underwater. If the gill is damaged by any chance, fishes can’t breathe.
It is not a drowning position, but they die out of oxygen shortage. That is why we should care for hooks and other similar things in the water. It may hurt the fish inside it.
Q. What can I use to clean a fish tank?
Take the same amount of water and vinegar in a spray bottle. It helps to remove the hard water stains from the fish tank glasses. However, we have also mentioned other ingredients. Check them out in the article.
Q. Should I take my fish out while cleaning the tank?
The pet experts recommend keeping the fish in the tank while cleaning. When you remove them, it may stress them, and they may get hurt in the process of transferring them from one place to another.
Q. How often should you clean a fish tank?
The fish tanks should be cleaned once a month or once in three-four weeks. When you clean, take a whole day to complete all tasks correctly. Do not hurry and learn well first how to clean a fish tank.
Q. How often should I clean the gravel inside the tank?
You do not have to clean them every day. When you clean the whole aquarium, clean the gravels. We have discussed how to clean a fish tank, take a water siphon, and clean debris from the gravel.
Q. Why is my fish tank getting dirty quickly?
Probably, your aquarium is either too big or too small according to the sizes of your fish. That is why it causes stress, and dust and debris inside water can make them dirty. Learn how to clean a fish tank from the article.
Q. Is fish poop suitable for an aquarium?
Decayed fish poop can help to improve the plants’ health inside the water. But yes, it is not the ultimate way to grow a plant. Along with it, you must know how to keep the plants growing with fertilizers and solutions.
Q. How do I clean the bottom of my fish tank?
We have discussed how to clean a fish tank. The best way to clean the bottom is to vacuum the dirt. Most of the time, dirt is found on the gravel. You can clean the gravel, and you will find the bottom of the tank clean.
Q. Can you clean algae off the aquarium?
Yes, as we mentioned in the article on how to clean a fish tank, algae scrub is the best way to remove algae. You can keep some fishes inside the tank which nibble algae. It will automatically clean the tank.
The Bottom Line
So, it was all about how to clean a fish tank. From the basic process to essential tips- we have shared everything. Also, we have pointed out the frequently asked questions on the cleaning and maintenance of a fish tank. We hope you have a clear idea about how to clean a fish tank.
Got all your doubts cleared? If questions about how to clean a fish tank are left in your mind, feel free to ask in the comment box—looking forward to answering your doubts. See you in the comment section below.
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