Are you a fish lover?

If you are, I’m sure there’s nothing more cringe-worthy than going to a pet store, only to see a dirty fish aquarium.

A dirty aquarium is more than just an eyesore. It creates an unhealthy environment for your fish.

The good thing about cleaning a fish tank is that the process is easy, and It shouldn’t take you any more than 10 minutes to clean one. Check out this essential guide to cleaning a fish tank.

Heres what you’ll need:

  • Paper towels
  • Water siphon
  • Bleach
  • Algae scraper
  • Glass cleaner/lime remover
  • Siphon

1. Transport Your Fish

If you can, take your fish out and transport them to a spare fishbowl while you clean the tank. Make sure that the water is about the same temperature as the fish tank you are cleaning.

If you can’t transport them, you can skip this step. You can still safely clean your fish tank with the fish inside the tank.

2. Clean The Inside Glass

Take your algae scraper and scrub the inside of the glass. There are many types of algae scrapers, but depending on the size of your tank, you want to get one that has a long handle, so you don’t get too wet in the process.

If the algae on the glass doesn’t come off as easy as you want to, use a razor blade and gently scrape the algae off. If your tank is acrylic, use a plastic edge instead.

3. Remove the Cool Stuff

When the glass is clean, take out any rocks, freshwater refugium, decorations, or artificial plants that have significant algae build up. Do not wash this with regular soap detergents. These chemicals may harm your fish.

Use a 9:1 bleach/water ratio and let your items soak for 15-20 minutes. Rinse the items and let them dry before putting them back in.

4. Clean the Gravel

Siphon your water about halfway if fish are still in the tank, or entirely if you have taken them out. As you are siphoning the water, use a scoop, and gently mix up the gravel.

This will put the debris from the gravel to suspend and will make it easier for you to siphon it out or allow your filter to catch these pollutants.

Once this is done, refill your tank with clean water and allow it to stabilize back to room temperature and put your fish back in the tank.

5. Shine up The Outside of The Tank

Now its time to clean the outside glass, hood, light, and any other fixtures. Stay away from typical glass cleaners because they contain ammonia, which is toxic to fish. Vinegar and water is an excellent toxic-free alternative for cleaning the outside.

5. Clean Your filter in a Week

Once your water is refilled, everything should be looking great by now. Put your decorations back into the tank, and let your old filter catch debris that is in suspension.

Then, wait about a week to clean or replace your filters.

Cleaning a Fish Tank Doesn’t Have to be Difficult

That’s it! If you’ve followed these steps, cleaning a fish tank shouldn’t be difficult at all.

Make sure you scrape the glass one a week and clean or replace the filter once a month! Did this guide help you with cleaning your fish tank? Let us know in the comments below.

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