7.2 million households in the US have aquariums, so clearly, people enjoy having these fishy friends as their pets. Taking care of fish, however, is much different than taking care of other pets, like dogs or cats. Some people may struggle at first.
Are you trying to figure out how to make sure that your aquarium is clean? If you’re a new fish owner, it can be hard to tell how often or how thoroughly you should be cleaning the tank.
Keeping your aquarium clean is an easy way to make sure that your fish are happy and healthy all of the time. It’s crucial to do it on a regular basis.
Learn the best ways to get a clean aquarium by reading below.
How to Clean an Aquarium
The Basics of How to Clean an Aquarium on the Inside
The first thing to do is clean the inside glass. This is so that you can see all of the clear aquarium water inside when you refill the tank. You’ll want to use an algae pad or algae scraper. But make sure they don’t have any types of soap or chemicals in them to protect your fish.
After this is done, you can focus on cleaning any decorations, plants, or rocks you have. Take these out of the aquarium entirely. Use an algae scraper with warm water to get rid of dirt or unwanted algae. Don’t use soap on these items either because they can become a health risk for your fish.
If you need to learn how to clean aquarium plants, the first thing to note is that they can be bleached to remove any gunk you find. But stem plants may not survive bleaching. To do this, create a 5% bleach solution and soak the plants for just a few minutes. Then rinse them off thoroughly.
You might have some organisms in your tank, like sea lettuce or other macroalgae, for nutrients. Be sure that these are free of any pests and feel free to soak them in their natural water for a short period outside of the tank.
Let everything air dry outside of the aquarium as you work on the gravel. Don’t add it back in until you clean the outside of the tank. This may be the best time to consider installing silent air pumps to your aquarium also.
It’s also smart to learn how to clean aquarium gravel as well if you have it in your aquarium (or plan to add it) to make sure that it doesn’t muck up the water or other parts of the system. You can use a water siphon to vacuum debris away from the gravel without sucking up the gravel itself.
Cleaning the Outside of the Aquarium Effectively
Now that the inside of the aquarium is clean, you can work on the outside.
Clean off the hood, tank top, light, and glass on the outside first. You can use vinegar or a cleaner that is designed for aquariums for this. But be sure that you avoid ammonia cleaners or lime cleaners, as these are toxic for fish.
Rinse all of the surfaces with a cloth dampened with just plain water when you’re done.
In a couple of weeks, you’ll want to clean the filter. The intensive cleaning you just did killed all of the good bacteria that were inside the aquarium. But some of it still lives in the filter system. You want to give it a chance to spread through the ecosystem to build that good bacteria level back up. This is so the bacteria is there to eliminate potential toxins.
Getting a Clean Aquarium Is Easier Than You Think
Making sure that you have a clean aquarium for your fish is the key to being a good fish owner. After that, you just need to feed them and make sure that they look healthy.