How to clean a fish tank

How To Clean A Fish Tank

Having fish as pets doesn’t require a lot of effort. A fish tank is nice to look at except when it gets dirty. This is because nitrates and metabolites build up in the tank after some time. Cleaning your fish tank not only looks better but it is also important for the well-being of your fish. Even if your tank has a filter, it still needs to be cleaned because the filter will not be able to suck up all the particles in the water. These steps and cleaning tips will help you clean your fish tank and keep it from becoming dirty so that your fish can remain healthy.

How Often Should You Clean A Fish Tank

Your fish tank should be cleaned in accordance with its size, the number of fish you have, the types of fish you have, and the filtration system that you have inside the tank. However, there are regular cleaning tasks that you should follow.

Daily: Although you don’t have to clean your fish tank daily, there are some things to check for that will help you tell whether the tank is being cleaned properly, and if you should be cleaning it more often. Observe whether the fish are swimming around happily or if they look like they’re gasping for air while swimming around slowly. If they do look sluggish, you should do a partial water change, even if it’s only been a couple of days since the last one.

Weekly: If you have a larger tank, you may be able to get away with cleaning it less often, but for small to medium-sized tanks, weekly cleaning is advised and beneficial for the health of your fish. To do this, start by removing a quarter of the water from the tank and replace it with freshly treated water. Use a sponge or scraper to clean any decorations in the tank, and if you have an aquarium vacuum, use it to get rid of debris or dirt while also cleaning the gravel. 

Monthly: It’s important to check the levels of ammonia, nitrate, and the pH levels of the water in the tank by testing them once a month. They should be steady and consistent from month to month, so keep a record on hand always to compare each reading. Some signs of problems with the water condition include cloudy-looking water, a change in the colour of the water, and your fish acting out of the ordinary. Remember to clean the tank filter cartridges each month.

6 Months: Depending on your fish tank, you may need to do this more often, but you should generally give your fish tank a deep clean at least twice a year. This includes unplugging the heater, filter, lights, and everything else to make sure they are in working condition. Replace any equipment that is in poor condition or broken. Then use your cleaning tools to get rid of dust, dirt, and everything else that’s making the tank dirty.

Best Way To Clean Your Fish Tank

Before you start cleaning your fish tank, you should know that you don’t have to remove the fish from the tank. Removing the fish from the tank can cause unnecessary stress and you risk possibly hurting the fish. It’s a bad idea to completely replace all the water in the tank as doing this can remove the good bacteria that live in the tank and mess with the nitrogen cycle, which may kill your fish. If your tank is already regularly cleaned, then a partial water change is all you have to do. 

Also, the plants and decorations can remain in the tank, unless they are noticeably dirty.

Begin cleaning the tank – unplug the heater and filter, and remove them from the fish tank. You can scrape the algae off the sides of the tank. If you have an acrylic tank, it’s best to use a plastic scraper instead of a metal one.

Clean the gravel – once the sides are clean you can start with the gravel. Here it’s best to use a syphon to vacuum up dirt on the gravel. You can also use a syphon to remove some of the tank’s dirty water. Be sure to keep at least 50% of the water in the tank to avoid removing the beneficial bacteria from the tank.

Complete the cleaning – after cleaning the tank, refill it with fresh water. Make sure the new water being added to the tank has had the chlorine removed with a conditioning treatment. This is the only instance where you should add water to the fish tank.

Lastly, you can clean the decorations, rocks and plants if they become visually dirty. Take them out from the tank and scrub them under warm running water, or leave them to soak overnight. Once they’re clean, place them back in the tank.

When cleaning your fish tank, remember that you should never use soap or such products for the tank. Soap residue is enough to kill your fish. Make sure your filter is in optimal working condition to ensure the best environment for your fish. If you keep tropical fish, you may want to invest in a catfish as they generally feed on algae and can help with the maintenance of your fish tank.