It’s hard to argue the tranquility that a beautiful aquarium brings to a room. Fish make the perfect pets. They are low maintenance and provide hours of happy observation.
Whether you have a freshwater or saltwater aquarium, one thing is clear: You must know how to clean an aquarium the right way. Read on to discover the steps to clean your aquarium the right way.
How Often Should You Clean Your Aquarium
Keeping your fish tank clean is crucial for the health and safety of your fish. Depending on your tank size, the number of fish you have, and your filtration system will depend on how often you should clean your tank.
Bigger tanks can be cleaned once a month, while standard fish tanks should be cleaned more frequently.
The Tools for the Job
Not all aquariums are the same, so depending on your tank, you may or may not need all of the tools on this list. However, if you have a larger tank, these tools are essential for a clean aquarium.
To clean your aquarium the right way, you’ll need:
- Algae scraper or pad
- Filter media and brush
- A water siphon
- Bleach and lime remover
Some other things to have handy are some paper towels, a bucket especially for your aquarium, and a plastic razor blade for stubborn areas.
Step 1: Clean Inside the Glass
The first step is to clean the inside of the glass. Use your algae scraper or pad to remove algae caked onto the inside of the glass. For stubborn areas, use a plastic blade.
It’s important to buy your algae scraper or pad from a pet store. While you may be able to find one elsewhere, they may have soap or chemical residue inside that can harm your fish, so stick to the pet store.
Step 2: Soak Your Decorations and Rocks
Next, remove any decorations, artificial plants, and rocks from the aquarium. Soak them in a 10 percent bleach/water solution for up to 15 minutes. After that, use your algae pad or some towels to remove any stubborn algae still on the items.
Put the items under running water and let air dry to remove all bleach. Wait until all chlorine smell is gone.
Step 3: Siphon the Gravel
Use your water siphon to vacuum out any debris. Be sure to vacuum the entire bottom to remove all debris. The water sucked up with the debris should be replaced with dechlorinated water.
Make sure the temperature of the dechlorinated water is the same as the aquarium. A 25 percent water change is fine for monthly cleanings.
Step 4: Clean the Outside
When cleaning the outside of the tank, it’s important to use aquarium safe materials. Most glass cleaners are not safe for fish. Many lime cleaners are also unsafe.
It is recommended that you use vinegar or an aquarium safe cleaner from the pet store. Once cleaned, make sure to rinse with a damp cloth.
Step 5: Clean the Filter (Two Weeks Later)
After the cleaning has been done on the inside and outside, it’s important to let the beneficial bacterial colonies replenish the aquarium. This takes approximately two weeks.
Use your filter brush to clean debris in the filter and replace the filter media. If you have a saltwater aquarium, this is a great time to add aquarium phytoplankton to balance the aquarium’s beneficial bacterial colonies.
How to Clean an Aquarium Like a Pro
Using these five steps, you’ll know how to clean an aquarium like a pro. Fish make great pets, and we hope this content helps you care for them in a whole new way.
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