How to Properly Clean Your Fish Tank
How To Properly Clean Your Fish Tank – Fish require more care than a lot of people may expect, especially the Goldfish.
Fish are very sensitive to their environment and need a balanced ecosystem and ‘biological filter’ to live healthily. In this guide we’ll talk about exactly what you need and how you should clean a fish tank, dramatically increasing your fish’s lifespan.
What You’ll Need:
- Water Treatment – Makes tap water safe for fish (e.g. Tetra Aquasafe)
- Algae Cleaner Magnet – Scrapes algae off the tank glass (e.g. BiOrb Algae Cleaner Magnet)
- Large Bucket – Should be clean and only ever used for this purpose, no previous uses (e.g. Water Bucket 3 Gallon)
- Gravel Cleaner – Sucks water out of the tank and hoovers up gravel to find hidden debris (e.g Superfish Aqua Syphon Set)
- Filter Cartridges – Carbon and mechanical (depending on your filter model)
- Toothbrush – Should be clean and only ever used for cleaning this purpose, no previous uses.
- Old Towels – To protect your house from any spills.
Also, Remember: Cleaning should usually be performed every fortnight, removing around a 1/4 of the water. However different fish types may require cleaning more often or replacing less water each clean. Always refer to your filter instructions. By removing only a portion of the water, allows for the delicate ecosystem of the tank to continue. If you removed the entirety of the water this would mean the ecosystem would have to restart again, affecting the health of your fish.
Step by Step:
1. Turn Everything Off
Make sure to turn off the power on your filter and any other electricals such as lighting and heaters that are used by the tank.
2. Clean the Ornaments and Artificial Plants
Take out the ornaments and artificial plants and clean gently with a toothbrush under the tap. If the algae are still quite tough to scrape off, you can soak the ornament in a 10% bleach solution for 15 minutes. Running the ornament under the tap after this treatment should then wash off the algae.
Gently clean and scrub the inside of the tank glass with the magnetic algae scraper. One side will be placed inside the tank and the other on the outside. The magnetic connection between them allows you to move the inside scraper part via the outside handle part without getting your hand wet.
4. Hoover the Gravel and Suck Up the Water
Use a gravel hoover/syphon, with the other end feeding into a bucket. Move the syphon nozzle up and down in the water until you get a decent flow of water running through it. Use this suction to gently pull up and release the gravel from all around the tank. Debris hidden in the gravel will be sucked up and fed into the bucket with the water, but not the gravel.
5. Clean the Filter
Take the filter off and drain it. Clean the filter cartridges inside with some water from the tank, not tap water. You don’t want to remove any of the biological bacteria. Replace the carbon filters inside it once a month, not doing so can harm your fish. Also make sure to clean up any debris build up in the filter’s tubing and other parts using a toothbrush or filter brush.
6. Put Everything Back
Replace the ornaments you previously cleaned into the tank, being careful not to disturb the fish, the ornament should not release any air bubbles when it has been completely submerged and the water is present in any holes or crevices. Also, make sure to place the filter back into the tank, but don’t switch it on just yet.
Replace the water you removed with new tap water that has been treated using a water treatment. Water straight from the tap isn’t safe for your fish, as it contains harmful toxins. Refer to the instructions on the bottle to find out how much of the solution you should add depending on the amount of water you are treating. If you can, try and make sure that the temperature of the new water matches the tank water as not to shock your fish, pouring in gently. Don’t fill the tank all the way to the top, there needs to be some space between the water and the lid for oxygen.
8. Clean the Outside of the Tank
Wipe the outside of the tank clean, including the glass, hood, etc. Use a vinegar-based solution to do this as some household chemicals may be too strong for your fish.
9. Turn Everything Back On
You can now turn all the electrical equipment back on once everything has been cleaned, and you’re done!]]>