Cleaning a fish tank can be a real hassle, and if you mistakenly take a few extra unnecessary steps, it can be downright messy. If you know what not to do as well as what to do, on the other hand, cleaning a fish tank shouldn’t be that hard.
Clearly, you can avoid all the fuss by hiring us to maintain your fish tank for you, but if you’d rather not do that, we still want the process to be easy for you. The following tips may help you simplify your aquarium maintenance and water changes.
Cleaning a Fish Tank: The Do’s
- Use algae pads and scrapers to clean the inside and outside of the tank. You may also use a microfiber cloth and a small amount of vinegar diluted in water to clean the outside of the tank and the cover.
- Remove artificial plants, rocks, and decor from the fish tank before using an algae scraper to clean them.
- To clean especially dirty artificial decorations, take them out of the tank and place them in the sun for a few days. After the algae dries, you can rub it off. Rinse each item before putting it back into the tank. You may wish to have a spare set of decorative items to place in the tank during this three- to five-day period.
- To clean live plants, gently rub them with your fingers. If there is a significant amount of algae on them, place them in a solution of 10 percent bleach and water for up to 3 minutes. Rinse them with RODI water, and then re-place them into the tank. Do not use more bleach than necessary, and don’t skip the rinsing step, as bleach can be toxic to the livestock in the tank.
- Vacuum the gravel with a siphon pump or gravel vacuum.
- If you’re cleaning a small fish bowl, move the fish to another container before you clean the tank in order to keep them safe.
- Trim plants on a regular basis in order to keep them healthy and manageable, as well as to minimize algae growth.
- Unplug filters and, if possible, remove them from the tank before cleaning them. It’s not necessary to clean the filters any more than about once a week.
- Be careful when cleaning any electrical or battery-operated components of the fish tank, as they may pose an electrocution hazard.
- Change only up to 20% of the water every two weeks for both reef and freshwater planted tanks, and only up to 25% of the water once a month for both fresh and saltwater swim/fish only tanks.
- Use RODI water to fill the tank, for temporary housing for any livestock during the course of water changes, and to clean the tank, plants, rock, and decor.
- Give the tank a basic cleaning daily and a thorough cleaning about every 10 days.
Cleaning a Fish Tank: The Don’ts
- Do not remove too much of the water during water changes. The existing water and even some of the waste is necessary for a natural environment within the tank.
- Do not use bleach, ammonia, soap, dishwashing liquid, or other harsh chemicals inside or outside the tank. They can be fatal to the livestock.
- Do not use tap water in the tank.
- Do not use extremely cold or extremely hot water in the tank.