8 Essential Steps in Cleaning a Fish Tank

8 Essential Steps in Cleaning a Fish Tank

We've put together steps to explain how to keep your aquarium clean so that your fish can swim freely. Continue reading to learn more about how to clean a fish tank.

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If you want your pet fish to stay healthy, you must work on cleanliness and establish a maintenance routine. Imagine an algae-coated tank where you can barely see where your fish are—doesn’t that sound like a nightmare?

Don’t worry. In just a few easy steps, you can maintain your pets’ aquarium and keep your fish swimming happily. Continue reading to learn more about fish tank cleaning and maintenance.

How to Clean a Fish Tank

Make sure you clean your pet’s fish tank regularly by following through with these essential steps.

How to clean a fish tank

1. Check the Water

Before doing anything else, you should make sure to test the water quality in the tank. Ideally, the water should have 0 ppm ammonia, 0 ppm nitrites, and less than 40 ppm nitrates. If the levels of these compounds are higher, your fishes’ life may be at stake.

You can purchase a water test kit to verify the toxic levels of nitrogenous waste compounds. If they are high or getting higher, it might be time to change the water.

2. Scrub the Algae Away

Another thing you should get rid of is the algae present in the tank. The amount of algae builds up, especially at the aquarium’s glass walls, and it can be more challenging for the fish to swim and for you to see your fish.

You can make use of an algae scraper to clean out the glass and a toothbrush to gently brush off rocks, plants, and other aquarium decor.

3. Clean the Fish Tank Foliage

If your aquarium has plants, make sure you regularly clear them out by removing dead leaves and trim down the foliage. You can easily cut out a few inches of the tops of taller plants and remove about a third or half of some floating tanks.

4. Unplug the Fish Tank Equipment

Before you take out the water, unplug equipment like water filters and heaters. It can be damaging to keep them on if there won’t be enough water inside the tank. 

5. Clean or Change the Substrate

The next step is to clean and change the aquarium substrate, removing the decorations and the hardscape for better cleaning. When you use a siphon and vacuum, you will be able to get rid of the uneaten food, dead leaves, fish waste, dirty water, and excess nitrate content.

6. Clean or Change the Water Filter

At least once a month, clean out your filter. Filters are technically trash cans that collect waste in the tank, so you should never forget to take out the trash before it gets clogged up or overflows its contents inside. 

7. Pour in New and Clean Water

The next thing you need to do is refill the water. Make sure that you do it with care so you won’t mess up the substrate and the decor inside the home of your pet fish.

8. Turn On the Fish Tank Equipment

Finally, it’s time to turn the fish tank equipment back on. Turn on the filter and heater so you can clean up the extra debris that might have clouded up the water.

Final Thoughts

Keeping your pet fish’s home clean is an essential part of keeping them healthy and happy. We hope these eight simple steps can help you better clean and maintain their aquariums and better take care of your pet.
For more information about caring for aquarium pets, The Pets People provides small pets news and practical tips for training and caring for your pet, like understanding pet behavior. Check out the rest of the site today to learn more.