Fish are some of the most intriguing and soothing creatures on this planet. Everyone loves to watch a pristine, beautiful fish tank stocked with gorgeous, colorful fish. However, when it comes to cleaning fish tanks, many people who are new to having fish have questions about the right way to clean the tank.
If you have fish, or you're thinking about getting fish in the future, here's the correct way to clean a fish tank.
Clean The Inside And Decorations
The first step to cleaning a fish tank is to clean the inside glass. Algae and other debris often get stuck to the sides of the glass aquarium. To clean it, you need to have an algae scraper (alternatively, there are magnetic glass cleaners as well). Thoroughly clean the glass, making sure that you remove all algae from the sides, thereby making the aquarium look squeaky clean!
You'll also need to clean the decorations as well within your tank. Typically, you can give them a good scrub with an algae scraper to remove excess debris. Leave the decorations out, for now.
Whatever you do, do not, under any circumstances, use soap. Soap is complicated to remove, and even trace amounts of it can be toxic to fish. Therefore, no matter how dirty something looks, resist the urge to put some soap on it!
Vacuum The Gravel
The next step is to use a water siphon to remove debris from the gravel. Prime your siphon and then run it along the gravel. Suck up the waste off the gravel until you have removed approximately 10-25% of your aquarium's water. Smaller tanks likely need 25% of a change, whereas big aquariums can often do with 10% with the occasional 25% change.
Changing this little water ensures that there is minimal disruption to your fish's home. It also guarantees that there won't be a significant temperature shock when you add the new water to the old.
Replace The Water And Decorations
After you've cleaned the substrate, you can proceed to replace the water. You'll want to make sure you dechlorinate it as chlorine is toxic to fish. You can use a dechlorinating solution from a pet store, or you can put water in the tank that you've already purchased dechlorinated. Either way works.
At this point, you'll also want to put back any decorations that you took out of the tank.
Clean The Filter
You won't want to do this with every water change. Typically, you'll perform water changes once per week and then change one part of the filter every 2-3 weeks. Make sure that you do not clean or replace the aquarium filter at the same time as you do the water change since that would remove many of the beneficial bacteria. Instead, wait a few days and then change one part of your filter (typically, aquarium filters have multiple layers, so rotate what you change each interval).
Regular Maintenance Is Essential
If you want to protect the health of your fish and also have a beautiful looking aquarium, you'll need to maintain it regularly. Clean the inside and decorations, change the water, and vacuum the gravel. By doing these with regularity, you will ensure your fish has a long, happy life!