Cleaning your fish tank is the most important aspect of fish tank maintenance. A dirty fish tank can lead to algae and bacteria growth which can make your fish sick and in many cases, kill them. Here’s what you need to know about cleaning fish tanks.
Preventative measures work best. The first step in keeping your fish tank clean starts before it ever gets dirty. This means having an appropriate filter for your tank. Another preventative measure is to make sure that you don’t have too many fish for your tank. Overpopulating your tank can create an unhealthy environment. Fish excrement won’t be able to be broken down and will make your fish sick.
So now that you’ve taken all the measures to have a clean tank, what do you do once it gets dirty? The first tool for cleaning fish tanks that you will need is a fish net for removing the fish while you clean. Next, use an algae scraper to remove residue from the glass. You can use a 10% bleach solution to clean rocks, tank decorations, and artificial plants. Make sure to rinse items very well after cleaning and let them dry before placing them back in the tank. Do NOT use soap to clean these items as it can be difficult to entirely remove the soap and any remaining residue can kill fish. A gravel vacuum can be used to clean debris on the bottom of your tank.
Don’t forget to either clean the filter or purchase a new one. However, it should not be cleaned or changed at the same time that the other cleaning is being done as this creates too much change in the delicate balance of an aquarium’s environment. By cleaning everything at once you will be eliminating beneficial bacteria that your tank needs to survive. The same applies with changing the water. Only remove about 10% of the water. Fill it with regular tap water but make sure to add a dechlorinator prior to adding the water to the tank; otherwise it will make your fish sick.
By keeping your filter and tank clean you will create a healthy environment for your fish to thrive. Frequent little cleanings will be easier then waiting a long time and having to deep clean the entire tank. Cleaning fish tanks will also increase your enjoyment of the tank. After all, no one wants to look at a murky algae covered tank.