How To Clean An Aquarium
Knowing how to clean an aquarium the correct way is critical. Do it wrong, and you may kill off the tank inhabitants. Don't do it often enough, and you may not be able to see if there are any fish left in the tank at all. However, it's really not all that difficult to manage once you know the rules.
You will need:
- gravel vacuum
- aquarium cleaning supplies like sponges
- clean treated water
- fish net
- Prepare clean water, treated with tablets or products to de-chlorinate the water. Let this water get to room temperature before beginning. Do not store this water in a container cleaned with bleach, chemicals or soap. If a mild detergent was used, make certain it has thoroughly been rinsed.
- Unplug the heater while assembling all necessary supplies. Since you may need to insert your hands into the tank, be certain not to wash your hands with soap prior to cleaning the tank. Soap is harmful to the tank and its inhabitants.
- Vacuum the gravel at the bottom of the tank, carefully and without removing water from the top of the tank. You shouldn't remove more than about 30 percent of the water at one time. Newer tanks and smaller ones may need cleaned every week or even twice a week at first, while established aquariums might be good to go for two weeks or so.
- Always be careful to avoid suctioning up small fish into the gravel vacuum. Drain the water vacuumed into a bucket used expressly for the purpose of aquarium cleaning.
- Use the aquarium cleaning accessories to wipe down the sides of the tank. Use the fish net to scoop up any large floating debris disturbed during the vacuuming process.
- Clean out the foam of the filter in the bucket of siphoned water. This ensures a healthy level of bacteria isn't washed away.
- Fill with the replacement water and make certain not to rearrange the plants or decorations in the cleaning process. Fish do become accustomed to their environment and have territory marked. The cleaning process is enough of a stress for the tank residents.