How To Clean A Fish Tank – Our 7 step guide

One of the main reasons people don’t get an aquarium is the fear of having to clean the tank.

It seems like a difficult and time consuming job but in reality it’s a breeze.

The first thing you will need to take care of is getting the right cleaning supplies but you can read through the steps below to find out what supplies you need.


Step 1 – Safety first

Make sure that you plug out the lighting, filter, heater, etc from the aquarium and move the cables so that you will not trip on them.


Step 2 – Move your fish

Have a bucket or large bowl to transfer your fish to. Use the water from the aquarium to keep the fish in and make sure that the fish have enough space to remain comfortable.


Step 3 – Get rid of the algae

Use an algae pad or scraper to remove the algae from your tank. Make sure if you have a glass tank you use a tool meant for glass tanks, the game with PVC tanks.


Step 4 – Gravel & Ornaments

Using siphon or gravel cleaner you want to suck up as much debris as you can from the aquarium. We recommend you use this method to pick up the debris from your ornaments too. Taking your ornaments out to clean them will cause good bacteria to be removed from the tank.

Remove roughly one quarter of the total volume of the tank with the siphon.


Step 5 – Chlorine

You can now refill the tank but we would recommend a chlorine remover be added if you are using tap water. Chlorine kills bacteria and ultimately will kill your fish.


Step 6 – Filter

Before you now put the fish back in their home take the debris out of your filter. Depending on the type of filter this could mean washing out a foam, throwing out filtration media or something else. This should be done with every water change to ensure a smooth working tank.

You may also want to wipe off any algae or debris from a heater or protein skimmer, etc.


Step 7 – Plug everything back into the tank and switch everything on.

Leave the tank running for a few hours so that the tank can settle again. Once this time has passed you can then return the fish.

Do not put all the water you put the fish in back into the tank as it should be filled enough from your previous efforts.


And that’s it. Not that hard and really should be less than a half hour unless you really enjoy taking your time. In fact if it takes you more than a half hour you are probably over cleaning the tank.


If you want more great info like this on how to get the basics done on your fish tank be sure to check out the excellent guide: Ultimate Secrets for Saltwater Aquarium Fish and Invertebrates.

This is an excellent companion for anyone looking to setup an aquarium and keep it running smoothly.

We recommend reading through the website for Ultimate Secrets for Saltwater Aquarium Fish and Invertebrates as there is a ton of information on there and you can’t help but be impressed with the info that is contained in the book for such a low price.

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