How To Clean A Fish Tank At Home

By Subodh / December 24, 2014

There are various types of pets, people keep at home and some of them have a penchant for colorful fish species. Keeping a fish tank or aquarium at home adds to the beauty of the interiors. Seeing the various types of small and large sized fishes playing gleefully within the tank amidst rock, artificial plants and other decorative is a nice experience. However, a fish tank also needs periodic maintenance. Without proper cleanup, not only the water will become dirty and unclear, but the tank will become unhealthy for the lovely fish variants inside. If you want the fish to adorn the tank for long, cleanup is a must.

Thankfully, you need not seek professional expertise or spend a huge amount of money to keep fish tanks clean. With the right equipments within reach and proper knowledge about cleaning, the process should not take more than an hour, even for large tanks.

cleaning aquarium

There are a few aspects that should be kept in mind while cleaning the tank.

No Need To Take Out Everything For Cleaning The Tank

Contrary to what most people think, it is not necessary to take out everything, including artificial plants, rocks and decorative items from the fish tank when cleaning is required. In fact, this can add to the mess and requires more time. It is important to let the beneficial bacteria survive that grows within the tank and on the surface of the objects over time. They act as biological filters.

Removing The Fish

Unless when you are dealing with infected fish or fish that have died, it is not compulsory to remove fish from water while cleaning the tank. When changing a small amount of the water, the fish can be kept inside the aquarium.

Regular Tank Cleanup

For general tank cleanup needs, replacing 15 percent of water is adequate. It can be replaced with tap water that has no chlorine in it. Using the siphon to take out slime accumulating on decorative and gravel is necessary. Once you develop the habit of changing 15 percent of water in your tank on a weekly basis, life of the tank and fish gets prolonged.

In some aquariums, algae build up on the surface and decorative is quite normal. You may use a standard algae scraper to remove algae. They can be found at regional pet stores. It makes sense to keep fish that eats algae such as catfish in the tank.
At times, it may be necessary to clean the aquarium filter. Even then you should not change every part like carbon packets, sponges and cartridges in the device. Doing so will discard a majority of biological filter in the tank. If you replace any part of the filter, clean it under clean tap water before use.

Filling Tank with New Water

After siphoning out the required amount of old water in the tank, you need to fill it with fresh water. For this, siphoning is useful. Use a bucket kept specifically for this purpose. Ensure that temperature disparity between bucket water and existing tank water is minimal. Before adding fresh water to the tank, you may use chlorine remover. Take care not to overfill the tank during the process. At all times, there should be some gap between the water level in the aquarium and top cover.

Precautions To Take While Cleaning fish Tanks

A few precautions should be taken while you clean fish tank at home. This makes things easier for you and ensures the fish are not harmed either.

  • Before cleaning, ensure the electrical fixtures are switched off, including any lights used to light up the interiors of the fish tank.
  • While using siphon it is advisable to observe that no fish is affected as you clean up the slime.
  • Be careful about the water temperature. Not all fish in the tank have similar tenacity and some delicate ones may not cope with lukewarm water.
  • The dissolved metal traces found in tap water can be harmful for the fish in the tank. So, let tap water run for a few minutes before using it for filling the tank.
  • For the best results, you may clean the filter once every month while replacing tank water is advisable once every week.

Video