You can clean your fish tank in these easy, trouble-free ways to create a healthy, clean, hygienic environment for your fishes. You just need to follow these on a weekly basis to keep your aquarium clean and crystal clear. There are a few prerequisites for cleaning your fish tank.
You would need the following tools to clean your aquarium:
- A plastic gravel cleaner
- Magnetic algae scraper for unwanted algae in your aquarium
- A water de-chlorinator
- A water testing kit
So, let’s start off with this.
Gravel Cleaning and Water Removal
Your goal should be to maintain a good health of your fishes. Consider this as the first step towards attaining that goal. You must remove approximately up to 20% of the total water in the tank, every two weeks or so. You can also remove some water and refill the tank with fresh water when you clean the bottom gravel. Gravel can be efficiently cleaned with a gravel vacuum cleaner and a hose attached to it. To effectively use the gravel cleaner, the following should be kept in mind:
- Only a small quantity of gravel should be pulled up by the gravel cleaner at a time.
- By doing this multiple times, you will successfully remove all the dirt accumulated at the bottom of the tank.
- In order to ensure a steady flow of water, just keep your hand close to the hose.
- Stop when you have removed up to one-fifth (20%) of the water.
To be even more diligent in the whole cleaning process, you should also perform filter cleaning or replace the filter medium (sponge) while you are changing water, cleaning gravel, etc. The filter medium is basically a sponge that you may clean in the following ways:
- To clean the sponge rinse it out in the bucket where the already removed water is stored.
- Do not wash it in the tap water as it kills the bacteria which are necessary for your fishes.
Fish needs bacteria: Your aquarium basically needs a particular species of bacteria known as the ‘good bacteria’ that regulates the nitrate level of water by converting harmful nitrate compounds into a less harmful form, this bacteria is also known to create its own ecosystem for the tank and provides better environment.
Sooner or later, all aquariphiles face the unwanted battle of removing algae in their tanks. If light and nutrients are in abundance, algae will spread like wildfire in your tank. Algae can easily be removed through a magnetic algae scraper, you just need to attach the pieces of magnet on either side of the glass of the tank, and this process will forcefully wipe off the algae and it will be filtered.
You need to perform this task when about 10% of the total amount of water is emptied for to ensure that water doesn’t spill outside.
Algae will simply not grow in your tank if you:
- Reduce light: Do not place the tank in direct sunlight. Use artificial light and not more than 8 hours of power.
- Feed the fish less: Too much food in the water increases phosphate contents and promotes the growth of algae.
De-chlorination and Water Replacement
After removing that 10% of water, your tank should be filled up with clean, pure water. Pour the new water into a bucket first and then add a moderate amount of de-chlorinator to make the water healthy and hygienic for the fishes to live in.
(Optional) Add bacteria: Aquarium bacteria come in a liquid/fluid form, so you just need to pour it in the water that you are going to add.
Balancing the Water Chemistry
All aquarium fishes require a particular water condition and pH to survive, flourish and grow. The levels of harmful contents like compounds of nitrate and ammonia can be balanced easily. You can test the water chemistry either:
- With a home water testing kit.
- Or by taking a water sample to a fish retailer for testing.
If you follow all these methods on a regular (weekly) basis, your fish tank will be perfectly clean and your aquarium fishes happy and thriving. Happy fish-keeping!
Image Source: Flickr