Suddenly, your crystal
clear fish tank is looking a bit cloudy.
In fact, you aren't quite sure your fish are all still there, because
the water isn't clear enough for you to see them. When this
happens, you have reached the point where your aquarium will need to be
thoroughly cleaned before your fish become ill from swimming in the
dirty water. Of course, you really shouldn't wait until
there's a problem before cleaning your aquarium.
Where to Find Monthly Aquarium Discounts
Ideally, your pet fish tank should be cleaned every two weeks.
To begin cleaning the
tank, you should start by unplugging filters, heaters and any other
electronic devices to avoid getting electrocuted. You won't
need any soaps or detergents as the chemicals contained in them could
be dangerous for your fish. Don't remove the fish from the
tank while cleaning as this will often cause more harm than good.
The fish are used to their environment and will become
stressed if they are moved. When cleaning your aquarium, only
use dechlorinated water as a cleaning agent.
You should use an
aquarium algae scraper to wipe the algae from inside the aquarium.
Different types of algae wipers are used depending on the
type of aquarium you have. Acrylic aquariums scratch more
easily than glass tanks and need a less abrasive scraper.
Wipe everything in the tank including plants and decorations.
Rinse the filters. Avoid removing the things in the aquarium
to clean them as you could disrupt the ecosystem of your fish, which is
dangerous to their health. You may want to consider
purchasing an algae
eater for the tank, as it will help prevent the aquarium from
having a lot of algae in the first place.
Next, you will need to
clean the gravel.
To do this, you can use a python, a vacuum that connects to your sink
and allows you to drain the water right into it. To prevent
your aquarium's gravel from getting dirty and smelly too quickly, you
should avoid over-feeding the fish, since the food will eventually rot
on the bottom of the aquarium. Carbon is used to remove
smells within the aquarium, so you may want to purchase an aquarium
filter that allows you to use carbon.
Be sure to replace the carbon every 3 weeks.
Once you have cleaned the
aquarium's sides and gravel, it is time to clean the water.
It is important to clean the water last, because removing algae and
cleaning gravel puts pollutants back into the water. Don't
completely remove the water from the aquarium. You should
ideally remove about 20% of the water at a time, since a complete
change is a big shock for your fish. If the nitrate level
of the tank is too high, you may want to remove up to 50% of the water
at a time. The best way to change the tank's water is to use
a siphon, such as the python.
Refill the tank with
Make sure the temperature of the fresh water matches the temperature of
the aquarium. You wouldn't want the fish to be subjected to
shock, as this could kill them. Afterwards, connect the
filter and heater again and turn them on. Remember to
regularly check the levels of the elements such as nitrate and ammonia,
to make sure they are in order. If you have a saltwater
aquarium, check also the salinity of the water in the tank and the
water you'll be adding.
Get more tips on cleaning your aquarium at Tropical
Caring for Pet Fish
More Aquarium Cleaning Tips at Tropical Fish Secrets