Many people mistakenly think that fish are a no-maintenance pet they can purchase and never think twice about. However, to keep your fish thriving (and keep the tank from smelling) you’ll need to put in some effort to clean your fish’s home on a regular basis. The effort is certainly less than required for many pets, but it takes a little know-how to do it efficiently and effectively.
Sometimes a neglected tank can really seem past saving, but over time, the crevices of your tank grow beneficial bacterial colonies that eliminate waste. Hence, it’s best to keep the tank you already have and fix it up with a thorough cleaning.
To clean your aquarium, you’ll need:
- Algae scraper
- Bucket used only for the aquarium
- Filter media
- Filter brush
- Water siphon
- Razor blade
- Towels and paper towels
Cleaning Your Fish Tank
Your tank should be cleaned in the proper order to ensure cleanliness and hygiene. First, unplug all electrical cords and remove decor. Then scoop your fish and some of the existing tank water into the bucket.
Next, you’ll want to empty the remaining water and clean the aquarium from inside glass to decorations, gravel, outside glass and filter. Use the algae scraper to clean the glass, a diluted bleach solution to clean the rock decor, and a water siphon to vacuum the debris.
Cleaning the Filter
The filter should be cleaned two weeks later to avoid a stark contrast in environment for your fish. When you’re ready to clean the filter, rinse the filter (or replace it if needed) and use a filter brush to clean sludge in the crevices.
Going forward, you’ll want to make sure your tank has ongoing maintenance to avoid a major overhaul in the future. To do so, scrape the glass weekly, vacuum the gravel when you change the water, and clean the rocks when you see algae forming.