A good aquarium is always clean. Well, not sparkling clean, but clean enough for fish to stay healthy and for you to appreciate the good, clean look of an aquarium. A fish tank gets dirty over time, for many reasons such as accumulated waste materials, algae, and other materials such as leftover food, etc. Although freshwater aquarium maintenance is quite tedious and has some very delicate procedures, getting used to them can ensure that your aquarium can stay hygienic, and remain good health promoting and aesthetically pleasing to the eye for a long time. In this article, we shall discuss how to clean an aquarium in the proper way.
What Makes Your Aquarium Dirty?
Before we discuss how to clean an aquarium, you must first uncover the reason why your aquarium is dirty. The most common cause is dirty water. You can prevent this by purchasing a water filter kitchen faucet. This will solve your problem regarding dirt and discoloration. The filter will sift out the impurities in the water and it will maintain its relaxing mood. The only drawback here is that you have to change the filter every 3 to 4 weeks.
Another cause of aquarium problems is algae. These little nuisances can cause your aquarium to discolor and even affect the health of the plants and the fish in your tank. The best way to battle this predicament is to employ the help of algae eaters (Plecostomus). This is the best-known protector against parasites in freshwater aquariums. So always keep in mind this mighty warrior when you start a fresh water aquarium.
How to Clean an Aquarium
To clean your aquarium, the following steps will guide you.
- Remove the old water
The first thing that you have to do is to remove the old water from the tank. Separate the fish from the main tank in a hospital tank for a while. If you have aquatic plants in your fish tank then you must include them in the hospital tank, and remove all other objects inside the aquarium for individual cleaning.
- Scrub away excess dirt and algae
This can take a long time, depending on how well it was cleaned last time. But primarily, you’ll have to remove the dirt that was left after removing everything else in the aquarium. If you are using acrylic tanks, it’s better to use a soft sponge when removing the algae, so as not to scratch the aquarium (otherwise, you’ll have to use those algae pads).
- Replace or clean the filter media of your filter
For cleanliness purposes, it’s actually better to replace the filters than to just clean them, although cleaning the filters one or two times before replacing can save you a lot more money in the long run. Remember, just clean once, twice or thrice, and then replace the filter. This will maximize both cost and effectiveness. And oh, don’t use any kind of soap or detergent while cleaning the filter.
- Clean the other articles of the aquarium
Decorations such as small corals and shells should be soaked in warm water mixed with a good amount of salt. After soaking for a few minutes, scrub away using a sponge to clean the excess dirt off. Remember, NEVER use soap or any kind of detergent. It’s often difficult to rid an object of its soap content after washing it in 100%, and even just tiny bits of soap can be lethal for your fish.
- Replace the water
After cleaning all of the other articles, including the tank itself, then it’s time to replace the water. If your home tap water is already tested for its pH level, then you can start to fill the aquarium again with water. Regulate the toxicity levels for a bit, and afterward, transfer the fishes and aquatic plants back into the main tank. Your aquarium is now ready again for the next weeks to come!
One last note to those clean freaks out there: while it might be good that you clean the aquarium regularly, it is not good to clean it very often. Constantly transferring the fish from one container to another can stress them, so you have to regulate the frequency of those freshwater aquarium maintenance schedules, just enough to keep them safe and healthy.
Author – Rosalie