How To Clean Your Aquarium For A Crystal Clear View
By: Lee Dobbins
Cleaning your aquarium is vital not only for a crystal clear view inside, but also for the health of your fish. for proper aquarium maintenance, cleaning should be done about once a month and while this might seem like an arduous task, once you have it down to a routine it really won’t take you that long at all.
The first thing you want to do is unplug all be electric gizmos such as the heaters, filters, lights and anything else you have plugged in. Don’t remove your fish from the tank, as it can be very shocking to them and you will not be removing all the water or using soaps or harsh chemicals anyway. in fact, cleaning your aquarium or consists mainly of scrubbing and vacuuming.
While I find it easier to scrub out the tank once I have vacuumed out some of the water, this does have a downside because now you are introducing more algae into the water when there is less water to dilute it and this may not be so good for your fish. So the next two steps can be done in any order you wish.
Vacuuming the aquarium is important because you need to get out all the rotting food and waste at the bottom of the tank as well as change out the water. To vacuum the tank, you’ll need a special gizmo that has a large round tube at one and with plastic tubing coming out. The large round tube goes into the tank and this is what you use as the vacuum the other hand is into either the sink or a bucket and this is where the water comes out. to start siphoning the water and vacuuming you have to create a siphon with the vacuum tube and I usually do this by dipping it in some of the water and then holding upside down to get the water flowing than putting it right back into the water to continue the suction. Once you’ve accomplished this, you simply go about vacuuming the bottom by putting the tube on top of the gravel. I like to stir the gravel up a bit to get all of the debris that has settled down into it. Be careful not to get too carried away though as you only want to siphon out about 25% of the water
Once you have done the vacuuming, it’s time to do the scrubbing. you’ll need to have a special sponge that is made for scrubbing algae and if you have an acrylic tank be sure to get one that will not damage the acrylic. .You want to scrub all the algae off the sides of the tank and any decorations in the tank as well as the filters and tubes for the filters and heaters and whatnot that go down into the tank.
Now you need to replace the water. Be sure to use dechlorinated water that is at the same temperature as the water in the tank. Adding water that is too hot or too cold will cause a large fluctuation in the aquarium water temperature which can be harmful to your fish. Be sure to use a water conditioner made specifically for aquariums before adding the water to the tank. This might be a good time to get out your test kit and check the aquarium water to be sure it has the right levels of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.
Cleaning your aquarium doesn’t have to be a big job. In fact, you can make it a little easier on yourself by taking care to not overfeed to fish, and by buying a Chinese Algae Eater that will help you scrub the algae that accumulates on the sides of the tank and the decorations. No matter what, however, you will want to periodically change out the water to make sure you are providing the best quality environment for your fish.
Lee Dobbins writes for www.fish-tank-guide.com we you can learn more about aquarium care and maintenance.