Cleaning your fish tank is best handled like cleaning your house, regular sessions will help keep the job manageable. Some bacteria is good, so a full cleaning of your tank could be too harsh for your fish and could lead to shock. About twice a month plan a cleaning session where you only remove around 10-25% of the water in your tank. It will help to keep your fish happy and your tank looking its best.
Step 1: Have your equipment ready. Use equipment specifically for fish care, household objects or cleaners might contain chemicals that are harmful to fish.
- Bucket for siphoned water
- Temporary home for fish
- Algae scraper or scrubbing sponge
- Fish net
Step 2: Fill your fish’s temporary home with water from the tank. If your fish are known to jump in their tank, make sure to use a temporary tank with a lid.
Step 3: Remove all the electrical elements, and your decorations. Next scoop up your fish gently using your net and place them safely in their temporary tank.
Step 4: If there is algae on the sides of your tank, use your algae scraper or sponge to remove it.
Step 5: Now, hook up your siphon. Use the suction to clean up any debris on the surface of the gravel. Stop after you have removed as much debris as you can, but remember not to siphon out more than 25% of your tank’s total water.
Step 6: Replace the water you siphoned out with clean water (remember to leave enough room for the water in your fish’s temporary home). If are using tap water that needs to be treated, add in the appropriate amount for the water you are replacing. Try to make the water you are adding as close to room temperature as possible.
Step 7: Gently clean your decorations with the algae sponge as needed, then place them back into the tank. Before you put your filter system back into the tanks, check the filter cartridge. If it looks like it needs to be cleaned, make a note of it but wait a week to rinse or replace your filter cartridge so you don’t remove too much good bacteria.
Step 8: If the water in the tank and your temporary tank feels like it’s the same temperature, you can add your fish back into their clean, comfortable home.