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Cleaning Your Fresh Water Aquarium - 6 Easy Steps


There are several hobbies one can have that turn in to real passion some day. One among them is maintaining an aquarium. This hobby though is a serious one as there is no room for mistakes else you shall land up harming or killing a living creature.

The first and foremost thing you must understand before deciding to take care of an aquarium and its fishes is to know the right technique to clean your fresh water aquarium. This process needs lot of patience and knowledge else you might land up killing those beautiful creatures. The beginners in this field would benefit a lot from these tips.

When it comes to cleaning a fresh water aquarium, there are two main factors that you must consider:

1. When should you clean the tank?

2. Why should you clean your tank?

Well, the answers to these questions are as follows:

At regular time intervals the bacteria and other harmful chemicals that generate in the water of the tank develop algae, that is, very harmful for your fish. It might also make your fish ill or lead to their death. So you must clean the fresh water fish tank once in every 2 months to get rid of these harmful algae.

Following some easy steps, you give a clean, safe and healthy life to your fishes. These are as follows:

Step 1: Preparation for Cleaning the Fish Tank

The basic step before cleaning the aquarium obviously is to empty it first. But, emptying the fish tank naturally means placing your fish out somewhere, where they are safe.

But it won't be good to leave your fishes in a new place for very long, so before emptying the fish tank, you must keep all the required material to clean the tank handy enough to do the job as quickly as possible.

So the first thing you arrange for is the alternate tank to keep your fish that need not be very large but it should be large enough to place all your fishes and allowing them enough space to swim. Not to mention, the size of this alternate tank purely depends on the number of fishes you have.

Now here is a list of the things you require to clean the tank:

i. A fish net to take our your fish from the tank

ii. A towel and/or paper towels in order to wipe away the spills

iii. A water pitcher and/or a bucket to refill the tank

iv. A food drainer

v. A clean sponge

vi. A clean rag

Step 2: Removing the Fish from the Tank

You must take care of the following things while removing the fishes from the fish tank:

i. Make sure that the alternate container is also set to place the fish in it.

ii. The temperature of water in the alternate container must be almost similar to that in the fish tank or the fishes would go in to shock.

iii. Place the fishes one-by-one in the new container. You can do this by catching each fish with a net.

iv. The moment all the fishes are placed in the alternate container place it in a clean and safe place where you are sure that the water won't spill.

v. Remember when you place the fishes in a new place for the beginning they make a lot of movement which might lead to spilling of the water. So the container must be selected accordingly. These movements are also considerably reduced with the right temperature of water.

Step 3: Removing Old Water from the Fish Tank

Once you have moved your fish out of the tank, now its time to empty the water in the fish tank. This could be the messiest job out of all the process, so here are a few tips to make it easy:

i. Use a pitcher or small bucket to remove the water of the fish tank.

ii. Dispose this water in to the toilet or a sink.

iii. Try not to remove the entire water form the fish tank.

iv. Usually in case of a fresh water aquarium you should empty 3/4th part of the total water.

v. The rest 1/4th helps you in the acclimation of the new water that you would add later.

Step 4: Removing & Cleaning the Gravel in the Tank

Most of the dirt & waste of the fish tank gathers in the gravel placed at the bottom. So cleaning it well is indeed very important. Here are some simple tips to clean the gravel:

i. First remove all the gravel from the tank.

ii. For this you can make use of the following equipments:

à a fish net,

à a dust pan, and

à a small scoop.

iii. Now place the gravel in some type of strainer.

iv. Place this strainer filled with gravel under hot water.

v. Keep mixing the gravel while rinsing it, in order to get rid of all sediments and wastes that have settled down.

vi. Now place it aside safely, as we shall add to the fish tank later.

Step 5: Cleaning Your Tank

This step refers to cleaning the inside portion of the tank. Here are some tips on the same:

i. Here your main job is to clean up the algae built inside the tank.

ii. Algae builds up when the temperature of the water in the tank is to warm or the fish tank is exposed to direct sunlight.

iii. To clean the algae you should use a scratch pad, but make sure to choose a scratch pad that is least abrasive, else you shall land making scratches on the glass of the fish tank.

iv. Use hot water to clean the glass, this way you shall remove the algae more effectively.

v. Remember you should never use any cleaners or detergents to clean the glass of the fish tank, as these are extremely harmful for the fishes.

vi. Once the algae are removed, you must wipe the rest of your tank with the help of a towel or a soft rag. Remember you might have to repeat this at least a few times.

vii. Make sure that you rinse the rag and/or towel frequently while cleaning so as to remove all the wastes.