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How to Clean an Aquarium

By Charles Hopkins Published 08/8/2006 | Fishing and Boating

How to Clean an Aquarium



The most important part about taking care of fish is cleaning the aquarium. If a person does not regularly clean the aquarium, the fish will get sick due to the amount of algae and bacteria that will build up in the water. Cleaning out the tank every other week will ensure the safety of the fish inside and will keep them healthy for a long time.


Never remove all the water from a tank. Turn off the filtration system and begin to siphon water from the bottom of the tank. Since most algae growth takes place on the sides and on the bottom of the tank, using a siphon system found at the pet store will remove algae but not the rocks or harm the fish. Getting rid of algae involves scrapping the sides of the tank with a scrapper or razor blade. Do not use any harsh chemicals as they can harm the fish. This could take a while to scrap all the algae off the tank. Once this has been completed, remove the rest of the water until there is only half a tank of water left.



The next step is to clean the filtration system. Wipe the insides of all the parts and remove dead plants and algae from the catches in the filter. This will help when refilling the water to prevent debris from getting back into the tank. Thoroughly cleaning every part of the filter and tank will greatly improve the quality of the water. Refill the tank and turn on the filtration system again. The tank should be clean for another two weeks.



Depending on how old the tank is and how old the filtration system is, cleaning times for the tank will vary. In older tanks, cleaning less will preserve good bacteria that are used to eliminate waste and kill germs in the water. This type of build-up will only occur in older tanks. This is why it is recommended that the water in the tank only be removed by half when cleaning. This will help preserve the good bacteria in the tank.



Cleaning the fish tank when recommended is an activity that a fish owner should get into the habit of doing. When tank is clean, fish are happy. To keep a fish alive longer, it makes sense to clean the tank. When a fish owner places live plants in the tank, these plants will eventually lose leaves which will start to decay either on the tank floor or in the filtration system. Blockage caused by too much decaying plants could cause the filtration system to malfunction. By cleaning it out every two weeks, the filtration system should always work.



Having fish is more of a responsibility that people realize. Cleaning the tank, providing good food, and plants to hide behind can be costly and also take up a persons time. But for fish owners, this is a small price to pay for fish that will be around for a long time.