Maintaining a fish tank can be a tedious job depending on the size of your tank and the number of fish depending on the cleanliness of the water. That is why it is very important for a fish owner to know how to clean a fish tank properly so no fish would die of water poisoning. You need to clean your fish tank before the water becomes mossy green in color and definitely before your fish turns its side while swimming (they do that when they are sick).
It is quite confusing to clean a fish tank for first timers, so here are 6 easy-to-remember steps you can follow in chronological order to clean a fish tank:
1. DRAIN off 20-30% of the water in your fish tank.
That’s self-explanatory. If you have a high-end filtering system, draining off the tank would be easy-peasy. If not, you can simply remove the water using a dipper or a hose.
2. TAKE OUT your fish.
Once there is little water left in the fish tank, it would be easier to take out your fish. Place them in a basin with clean water (fresh or salt, depending on their needs). You might want to cover it just to make sure they won’t jump off.
3. REMOVE the rocks, plants and other decorations for individual cleaning.
Now, it is time to remove all the aquarium decors in your fish tank for individual cleaning. If you have artificial plants inside your aquarium, you better take them out and clean them, too. Avoid using chemicals for cleaning these as they are quite hard to rinse off. Washing them off with just water is the best thing to do.
4. SCRUB the tank walls
Once your fish tank is free from many obstructions, you can begin scrubbing off the walls. If you have not cleaned your fish tank for a long time, there would surely be some algae on your tank walls. Scrub them off with an algae wiper. You can buy algae wipers in fish supplies stores. Again, do not use chemicals for cleaning your aquarium no matter how hard it is to remove the dirt.
5. WASH the gravel.
Next, wash the gravel with your hand with the filter system on. Try to wash it well. Remember that that is where your fish’s poop goes so there sure is a lot of bacteria and algae at the bottom of your aquarium.
6. TAKE APART your filtering system and wash them off with running water
After washing the gravel, you can turn off your filtering system. If you have two filters in your tank, it is best to clean them one at a time. Too much cleanliness in your fish’s tank can destroy the water balance in your tank. After cleaning your filtering system, you can turn it back on. Depending on the amount of water left in your tank, it would take a couple of hours for the water to be clean again. When the water starts to look clean, fill your tank with the appropriate water for your fish.
Once all the parts of your fish tank is clean and with no more green, mossy stuff, you can put them all back together. Check your aquarium decors first if there is anything broken. Be sure to put your filter system back correctly and make sure it is working well with the new water you put in the tank before you place your fish back in their aquarium.
As you can see, it is easy to clean a fish tank if you know what to do, when to do it and how to do it. Yes, it takes a long time and there are many things to do. Surely though, your fish would appreciate your efforts and live happily in their clean fish tank.