How to clean your fish tank

A Complete Guide on Cleaning Your Fish Tank

Get started about cleaning

If you have a fish tank or an aquarium or even a fishbowl, the main thing that you need to consider is cleaning your tankmates home regularly.  But many say taking care of their fishes is the important thing than any others. We too consider that but when it comes to fish health, the cleanliness of your tank plays a major role. As your fishes may be affected mentally because of your messy fish tank it’s very important to keep your tank clean. Nowadays many people are interested in owning a fish tank and taking care of it. But when it comes to cleaning their tank they aren’t good at it. And literally, they don’t know the way to clean their tanks. No problem we help you to solve this problem and clear all your queries regarding cleaning your fish tank. So, Sit Back, Relax, and enjoy the read.

How Often Should I Clean My Fish Tank?

Many people have confusion in cleaning their fish tank like How often should I clean…? Fish tank cleaning wholly depends upon your tank properties and equipment like Water filters that you use in your tank and sometimes it depends upon your fishes. You can clean your tank on any basis either daily, weekly or monthly basis, as mentioned earlier it’s totally based on your tank size and other criteria.

Daily Basis

This type of cleaning is not like cleaning the whole tank but it includes seeing the tank conditions, water condition and also fishes health. If there is any difference that you notice in your fish’s behavior.  Then without any doubt, you should clean the tank by shifting water from the tank without considering the last water replacement time. So, Daily Basis means just checking the fish health condition and others. So these are the things that you need to do when it comes to cleaning the tank on daily basis.

Weekly Basis

Some do their tank cleaning work on a weekly basis. This work could be done on an average-sized tank where you can change water easily.Here we remove hardly a quarter part of the water from the tank and refill it with water that is De-ionised or RO Purified water. Without stopping with the water we should clean all other ornaments in it.Want to know more about ornaments used in fish tanks visit our fish ornaments blog.

How often should we clean fish tank ornaments?

Many clean my fish tank ornaments and decoratives on a weekly basis like twice a month. There is no sketched schedule to clean these things. Weekly basis, that’s my opinion.You can clean your decoratives whenever you feel dirty, blacked, stained. The most followed one is the weekly basis you can do it more frequently if you want to keep your fish tank neat and clean.

Tips to clean ornaments and decoratives

Cleaning ornaments should be done carefully because most of the decorative ornaments will be fragile and malleable. So proper care must be taken doing those works.You can use sponges to clean dirt attached with decoratives and sometimes scrappers for hard ones but more gently because while using scrappers the chance of getting your decorative is high.There is also another way of cleaning these ornaments like getting these ornaments out of the tank and cleaning them one by one. Now we’ll see a step-by-step procedure to clean decoratives.

Procedure to clean them as separate

First, get your ornaments and decorations out of your tank. Place it in the sink and allow a flow of hot water to pass through them. Most of the dirt will be removed by passing hot(Not hot as deforming them).So, what we should do to remove other dirt that isn’t removed from warm water? Make a solution that contains hardly 5% bleach then get a brush like a toothbrush to clean.Allow the ornaments to soak in that bleach water for 5-10 minutes. After soaking these stains will become loose and can easily be removed. Now we use our toothbrushes or any other bristle brushes to remove unwanted stains.After making these decoratives to soak in bleach water we can’t simply place them in their positions because they could contain harmful residues that can cause harm to fishes that live in that tank.So, after cleaning them allow them to be in empty water which we are going to place further. Andrinse thoroughly with that water, let them dry in the air and in sunlight(not direct) before placing them.

Make sure you don’t make any mess

Just make sure that you don’t make any stress to your fishes. Because these fishes are very sensitive and can become stress with little changes. Ensure you don’t take all decoratives at a time as these fishes will become stress by seeing changes in their places.Ensure that you remove only one substantial decorative or some little decoratives at a time. By doing this we don’t make any drastic changes to their environment and also these won’t be getting any stress. By following all these instructions you will be free from the risk of getting your fish to die. Ensure that you don’t clean every other item whole at a time. Like clean filter one day and leave up to a week and clean the heater and then someday clean the glass. By doing so you can neglect the chance of getting all your beneficial bacteria to die. As these beneficial bacteria are essential for a fish to live in a tank. And for cleaning the gravels in your tank without taking them out of your tank you use a vacuum kit whichever you wish. There are many vacuum kits available for fishes on amazon.

How does a Fishtank vacuum Kit works?

These Fishtank vacuum kits work with the help of gravity and hydrostatic pressure. With the help of these forces, they suck out algae and other dirt from them and keeps gravel clean.

Monthly Basis

This is the part where we manage all chemical activities that happen in your tank. On monthly basis, we must check our tank’s pH values, Cloudiness, Colour change, and all Other visually noticeable changes in your tank.

pH Maintenance

We all know that pH means “Power of Hydrogen”. You may ask

What is the general pH for fishes?

The fact is there is no general pH for fishes that applies to all. Different fishes will have different pH values. These pH values of a fish completely depend upon where the fish comes from or where the fish was living priorly either pond, river, lake, ocean, etc… Generally, we could say that the pH requirement for ocean fish ranges from 8.0 to 9.0 (approx). Likewise, it varies with their prior living way.

Why pH Calculation is Important?

A slight change in pH value can badly affect the fish and even may cause it to die. And in some fishes, they can affect their breeding as their breeding happens only at a particular pH. So while cleaning your fish tank you must match the previous pH value at which your fishes were living. These fishes can only hold up to the minimum change in pH levels like points. 

Why this pH rise causes harm to fishes?

As the pH rise in water can cause the ammonia’s toxicity increase which is fatal to fishes that live in that water. So it an important job to monitor the level of pH in your tank.

How Often Should I Check My Fish Tanks pH?

The pH of your fish tank should be check on a monthly basis. And whenever you introduce a new fish into your tank or whenever a fish dies from your tank. Personally, I check my tank’s pH twice a month as I am more conscious of them. These pH values should be regularly recorded. And also whenever I change my tank’s water I make a note of it regardless of how long it has been since the last pH check. Try to take notes of your tank’s pH value. Stay updated with the trends of pH in your tank. And while checking the pH every time you should have common timing at which you check the values. This is because your pH may vary according to time and place. Without setting a common time, It’ll be a headache for you while analyzing trends of your pH.

Should I Alter My pH?

Consider this situation everybody knows that the pH of water is 7.0 and it is neither acidic nor basic. And this is also considered as the optimum pH for your fish’s living. But now you see your fish tank’s pH ranges between 7.5-8.0, At this scenario, you may come up with a doubt whether should I change my tank’s pH to 7 or below. My opinion is as long as your fish is comfortable with that pH never change your pH. Because even that change can affect your fishes as they couldn’t adapt to their new pH. There is also another scenario where your fish could be affected by pH change above or below their normal. Many fish products are available in the market including fish tank pH changing. So you can make use of it and can change your pH at the correct time. The pH of fish tanks’ water may change without any external disturbance. This can be happened by some of the filtering bacteria that were living in the tank. These waste-breaking bacteria use alkalinity as their energy source so the water basic level decreases and it becomes more acidic. This situation can overcome by adding fresh water to stabilize normal pH.

Half-Yearly Basis

This is the time when you should clean all your electrical equipment like filters, heaters, and all other equipment related to your tank. As you do these cleanings on a half-yearly basis you should be conscious of doing deep clean.

Glass containers 

Every fish keeper will know the pain of cleaning their fish tank and their hard work to keep their fish tank transparent. So now it’s time to clean all your glasses surrounded and the bottom region of your tank. This is the stinkest part of cleaning your fish tank, as all the waste materials that had been produced since your last clean will be settled down. Moreover, they become attached to those glasses and become a part of it. Here comes the hardest part, cleaning your fragile glasses. These glasses should be handled with care as mishandling may lead to glass pieces. You should be aware while cleaning the glass as many cleaning liquids and soap contains chemicals that are very harmful to fishes. We strongly recommend you to use a liquid that is suitable for cleaning and which doesn’t cause any harm or little amount of vinegar. Make sure you rinse the glass thoroughly after cleaning you can use a soft cotton cloth to clean after washing. 

White Residue Formation 

Ever noticed white-colored residue formed along with your fish tank’s glasses. This is because of the hard water that you filled in your tank. You have already read the reason for this residue formation in your high school. Most of the fishes that live in fish tanks prefer to live in hard water conditions. As we filled our tank with hard water when hard water evaporates it leaves behind messy white residue which sticks to the sides of fish tank glasses. You could also have experienced this in your daily life. If you take shower with hard water you could see some kind of white residue formed around your shower and taps associated with it. These residues like to be formed because of lime build-up on the glass sides. This lime formation doesn’t cause any harm to fishes but it can affect your fish tank visibility.

How To Remove White Residue(Lime)

However, these lime residues are non-harmful we should take effective measures to overcome this problem. We know that any residue left from the cleaning agent can even lead to fish death so proper care must be taken while cleaning. You can use unharmful cleaning sprays if you consider this method as an expensive one either you can go with vinegar as we said earlier. This vinegar when used on dry white residues it dissolves them and vanishes lime residues. Okay, Now procedure to clean those Lime residues 

1.  Abandon your Tank 

As you are going to clean your tank it shouldn’t affect any of the other living organisms in it. First, remove your fishes and set them in a separate container. 

2.  Remove Ornaments 

As your cleaning process could affect your tank decorative and could make them dull and unattractive. You can either remove gravel or make a layer between gravel and glass with the help of a plastic sheet as a barricade. 

3.  Let it be Stable 

After removing all these things add some vinegar(recommended) or some other non-harmful cleaning products. Let the cleaner be in the tank for 10-15 minutes to break the hardness of the white residue. 

4.  Physical Cleaning 

After 15 minutes these residues will become loose and can be easily removed from the glasses. Use a soft scrubber or soft cotton cloth to clean the remaining from the tank. You may have some paths of these residues in this circumstance you could use razor blade scrappers gently to remove these. While using these scrappers be sure that these scrappers could make serious damage to your tank. So ensure you use these scrappers correctly without scratching your fish tank. Don’t use sharp razors or knives to remove these paths. 

5.  Rinse well 

After doing all these procedures thoroughly rinse throughout your container and let it dry for a day. After making it dry refill all your fishes, ornaments, and refill with water. 

How To Prevent White Residue(Lime) 

We know that the main reason for the residue formation is the evaporation of hard water that you filled in your tank. So the only way to prevent this white residue formation is to prevent the water to evaporate. But this method is highly impossible. This evaporation majorly happens during lower humidity periods and at hot temperature periods. We can’t stop the evaporation but we can reverse the evaporated material and make it stable hard water. As the water evaporates from your fish tank it makes your water lower the hardness property as only pure water is evaporated during the evaporation process. So by this, we could know that evaporation of pure water from hard water leads to an increase in the number of minerals in that water. These increases in minerals can be fatal to fishes swimming in that water. So in order to stabilize the water composition, we could add some distilled water as we already mentioned we should add only distilled water to it. This eliminates the risk of fishes being attacked by excessive minerals.

Cleaning Electrical Equipment 

People use many types of electrical equipment for their fish comforts and their tank’s beauty. But as a fact Filter, Heater and some lights are the major electrical equipment that requires for a fish to live. So, Now we will see about how to clean all the equipment that is used in our tanks.

Fish Tank Filters

A filter is the most important equipment for a fish to live in a tank. As this filter, filters all other fatal substrates from the water and makes water suitable for fishes. 

How to Clean Your Filter 

Generally, the fish tank filter cleaning process can be done twice a year for a normal-sized tank but when it comes to much larger sized ones it should be done a little more often than normal-sized tanks. An uncleaned filter may cause a decrease in the flow rate of water to the fish tank which is caused by the lowered filter rate of the filter associated with the tank. So a decrease in filter rate will cause a massive increase in toxic levels in the water which inturns directly affects the living of fishes. The filtering rate and the waste produced rate should be maintained at a constant level. When one increases it affects the equilibrium. The major part of cleaning filter is cleaning the inlets and outlets. Ensure that there is no debris within them. You should be more conscious that no good bacteria are removed from the filter while cleaning. These good bacteria are the most important parts in the working of filters. When you clean the filter in a stream of water or in a tap there is more chance of getting good bacteria destroyed. So, avoid this method of cleaning. There is no established way in cleaning the fish tank filter. Use your brushes, clothes, sheets and get in action with your hands.  So, as of now, we know why should we need to clean a filter and when to clean a filter. Now, the procedures to clean a fish tank filter. 

1.  Dismantle your filter 

This is the first step in cleaning filter. Safely remove the filter from its position without causing any damage to it. Make sure you turn off the filter’s electricity connection and remove the plug from the wall socket safely. Safely place the filter in a position where you like to clean it. 

2.  Cleaning Internal Aquarium Filters 

Dismantle the filter’s parts to clean them. After disassembling the filter you could get filter media and impeller parts. Now it’s time to clean them. Gently squash the filtering media in previous tank waters. Use brushes and some other small brushes to clean the impellers of your filter. You need brushes to clean the hose as they could be filled with debris. Clean the inlets and outlets with clothes to give them proper propulsion. After cleaning the whole filter make sure it works properly before setting it to your tank. As it’s hard to repair it after fixing. Turn it on and for more than two times and check its usage. Only after working correctly fit that filter to your tank.

3.  Cleaning External Aquarium Filter

Generally, we all know that an external aquarium filter will be fitted to the canister of the fish tank. So to clean the filter detach the filter from the canister and disassemble parts of the filter. Unlike internal filters, external filters will have ceramics which is very easy to clean with a single wash. Then to clean the filtering sponges just gently squeeze them as normal. Now coming to the impeller part just do the same as we mentioned in Internal Filters. 

4.  How Often Should I Change Sponges and Ceramics? 

The sponges and ceramics can withstand up to years. You can understand your filtering products are not working only when your filtering process slows down. 

6.  Replacing the Filtering Medias 

While changing the filtering media it is important that the whole system shouldn’t be replaced at once. As the filtering media is the place where all your good bacteria live. So you should be cautious while cleaning your fish tank. You can also clean the filtering components part by part without replacing them as a whole. After doing all these your Filter doesn’t work to know more about it visit Why is my filter doesn’t works? 

Fish Tank Heaters 

The heater is associated with maintaining the temperature of the tank. As these temperature plays a major role in fishes as they are highly sensitive to it. 

How to Clean Fish Tank Heaters

Fish tank heaters should be cleaned in the same as your filters are cleaned. To know more about why use fish tank heater visits our Fish tank heater.

1.  Disassemble Your Heater 

The heater will be attached to the glass with help of a suction rubber so high pressure while removing the heater will cause damage to the heater. So while removing make sure you handle them gently. 

2.  Cleaning the Heater 

Take a water-holding apparatus like a mug or a small bucket. Use your waste toothbrush to clean throughout the heater. Don’t use any soap or other chemical cleaners as their residues can harm fishes.You can use your tap water to clean the heater, unlike filters which need their own tank’s water. As no good bacteria will live on this heater you can use your desired water. But make sure you fully dried the heater after cleaning before placing it in its position. 

3.  Assemble the Heater 

After the cleaning process places the heater carefully from the place where you already picked it from. 

How to Clean Fish Tank Lights

Every fish keeper knows the joy of arranging their light setup around their fish tanks. This helps to improve the activeness of fishes and also enhances the colors of fishes and gives us satisfaction when we see them.

1.  Disassemble Your Lights

Disconnect all your wirings and remove the lights gently away from the water. Handle the lights with care because some light products will be so thin and can easily be broken.

2.  Cleaning the lights

Usually, these lights stay under the water until the upcoming clean that could be some months. So whatever impurities that float in water or mixed with water can affect these lights. Generally, tank lights will be covered by mineral layers from the water that they are in. It’s easy to clean all those impurities in and around the lights. You can use chemical-free cleaners to clean the lights we strongly recommend our reader to use vinegar to clean the dirt around lights.

3.  Reset them

After all your cleaning process arranges them in their places. You can do some changes while placing the lights in their normal positions. As these changes in light position will be very easy to do at this time

Good job…! Dirt hands

Cleaning a fish tank is not an easy job until you know how to do it. When you love your fishes then you won’t consider maintaining your fish tank as a hard and disgusting job.

As we mentioned earlier “Cleanliness is next to godliness”. Cleanliness is not only good for fishes we humans also should follow this and liver way happily.

Feel free to speak with us, we always welcome your comments. If you love this share it with your friends and neighbors.

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