6 Simple Steps to Cleaning Your Home Aquarium

If you own a home aquarium, you know that keeping the tank clean is vital to having healthy fish, not to mention that it looks nicer as well. Keeping a clean tank is the single most important job of an aquarium owner, and it is not complicated or difficult work.

First of all, you must establish and stick to an aquarium cleaning schedule. It is recommended that you completely clean the tank approximately every two months. This is a good timeframe because it is not too frequent but it is often enough to prevent a lot of waste buildup or algae in the tank. Of course, you should observe your own aquarium and adjust this schedule as necessary, depending on the needs of your fish.

Here are 6 easy steps to keeping a clean and healthy aquarium environment:

Cleaning Your Home Aquarium Step 1 – Prepare A complete aquarium cleaning requires some preparation and supplies. It is best to get everything you will need together and in place before you begin the cleaning process.

Here is a list of the necessary supplies:

– a bucket or container to keep your fish in while you clean their tank

– a fish net

– a towel for any inadvertent spills

– a bucket or water pitcher to use when it is time to refill the tank

– a strainer

– a clean sponge and a clean rag.

Cleaning Your Home Aquarium Step 2 – Fish Removal Before you can thoroughly clean the tank, you have to take out the fish. Simply remove the fish, one by one, with the fish net, and place them into the container you have set aside to be their temporary home. Make sure that the water in this container is the same as the water in their tank to prevent your fish from going into shock. Keep the temporary home in a stable spot where they will not be disturbed or jarred, as they will already by stressed from being taken from their aquarium home.

Cleaning Your Home Aquarium Step 3 – Water Removal Once you have taken all of the fish out of the tank, you can start removing the water. It is recommended that you take out approximately three-quarters of the water from the tank during a thorough cleaning, keeping some of the original tank water to help balance out the new water that will be added to the tank later. Using a small bucket , just scoop out the water and dump it into the sink, tub or toilet. Water removal can get a little messy, so keep a towel at the ready to clean up any spills.

Cleaning Your Home Aquarium Step 4 – Cleaning the Gravel The gravel is probably the dirtiest part of your aquarium, because it is where all of the waste and left over food is deposited. In order to properly clean the gravel, it has to be completely removed from the tank. This can be done with the fish net, a dust pan or a small scoop. Put the gravel into a strainer when you take it out of the tank. After it is all out, run the gravel under very hot water, mixing it around to make sure all of the rocks get a good cleaning. Set the gravel aside once it is clean. It will be returned to the tank later.

Cleaning Your Home Aquarium Step 5 – Scrubbing The Tank Once everything has been removed from the tank, you can commence cleaning the glass. There is usually waste and algae built up on the aquarium walls, and this needs to be scrubbed off. Using a scratch pad, rub the tank walls and bottom gently taking care not to scratch the glass surface. NEVER use any type of cleaning solution or detergent to wash your aquarium. It will kill your fish. Use only hot water and a gentle scrubbing motion. Although you may need to go over it more than once, this will adequately clean all of the algae and waste from the aquarium.

If you have decorations or fake plants in the tank, these should also be thoroughly cleaned with hot water.

Cleaning Your Home Aquarium Step 6 – All Clean! Ahh, a crystal clean aquarium. Now all you have to do is put everything back into place. First put the gravel back in and spread it around the bottom of the tank. Next add water, taking care that the temperature is as close to the original water as possible. Once the tank is full again, put any decorations back into place and then return the fish to their aquarium home. They should become reacclimated fairly quickly and your sparkling clean aquarium will be whole again.

Don’t forget to clean and change the filter on a regular basis to maintain optimum cleanliness and water balance. Another trick is to replace around 20% of the aquarium water once a month. This reduces the time it takes when you do this major cleaning every couple of months. A clean aquarium is a healthy aquarium, and it means your fish will live long and live well.

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