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 How to clean a fish tank

How to clean a fish tank? Follow these handy tips, and you'll never worry about how to clean your fish tank again.

On this page -  I'll show you what products are needed for specific types or sizes of tanks as well as give some tips on cleaning them properly, so that the water is crystal clear, algae free, and your fish look absolutely stunning inside their fresh aquarium.

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Top 3 Mistakes Newbies Make Setting Up Their Fish Tank.


Gather Your Equipment 

The most important thing you need if you want to learn how to clean your fish tank the right way is to gather all of your supplies. Here is a list of supplies that you will need.

The bigger your tank is, the more supplies you will need to clean your tank properly.

how to Clean a Fish Tank with Fish Inside

If you have a large tank with large fish, you might not be able to take all of them out every time you clean the tank. While it might seem challenging to clean the tank with the fish inside, following this technique can help you do it.

1. Interior Glass

To clean the interior glass of the tank, you need an algae pad or scraper to remove the excess build-up. If you have a large tank, you might want to get a scraper with a handle so you're able to reach every corner. 

Don't forget to buy the scraper at a pet store rather than a home improvement store. The scrapers you get a home improvement store might have chemicals that can harm your fish. 

Once you scrape off the algae. use the razor blade to scrape off any stubborn algae residue the pad didn't remove.

Clean Tropical AquariumClean Tropical Aquarium

2. Clean the Decorations

Once you have cleaned the inside glass of the tank, you can move on to cleaning the decorations. Because you're cleaning the tank with the fish inside, you need to make sure you get all of the decorations really clean.

Start by removing the rocks, plants, and other decorations you have inside the tank. Once you have removed them, you need to clean them the right way. 

Because soap can harm your fish, you should never clean your decorations with soap and water. Even if you rinse them really well, soap particles can remain in the crevices.

To clean the decorations, use the algae pad to take remove the excess build-up. If the decorations have excess and stubborn algae, you can always use an old toothbrush to remove it.

(Please make sure that you rinse the decorations really thoroughly in clean water to remove all of the algae residue - before placing them back into your fish tank.)

3. Clean the Gravel

Using the siphon or vacuum, you can move on to cleaning the debris away from the gravel. These special vacuums remove the debris from the bottom of the tank without disturbing the gravel too much.

During this process, some water will also get vacuumed, so you must replace it with clean water. However, you should use conditioned water rather than purified water as this lacks the right minerals.

4. Exterior Glass and Fixtures

Once you have taken care of the interior of the tank, you can move on to clean the exterior of the tank. To clean the glass, you should either use vinegar or an aquarium cleaning solution. 

It would help if you also cleaned the hood, top, the lights, and any other fixtures attached to the tank.

A Clean Tropical Fish TankA Clean Tropical Fish Tank

5. Clean the Filter
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Although you need to clean the filter, you need to do it at the right time. You should never clean the filter right after you clean the tank. The filter contains the good bacteria which helps to break down the fish waste inside the tank. (Unfortunately the fish swim in their own waste - so it is very important that the good bacteria thrives inside the tank).

If you clean your filter too soon, ammonia build up can kill the remaining good bacteria. By waiting a few weeks to clean the filter, you allow for more good bacteria to build up in the water. 

Cleaning an Empty Fish Tank

If you just bought a fish tank or you're going to put it away in storage, you need to do it the right way. Fish tanks are an investment, so you need to make sure you clean it properly before storing it.

1. Start with the Filter

If you're ready to clean the tank without fish, you can start by cleaning the fish tank. Once you unplug the filter, you can clean it by using water and vinegar.

You don't need to keep the sponge or carbon filter since you'll need to use a brand new one next time you use the filter. Use a cleaning brush to remove the algae from inside the filter and let it air dry.

Marineland Contour AquariumMarineland Contour Aquarium

2. Store the Lighting

To prepare the lighting for storage, you should take the bulbs from the lamp and store them in their original box or bubble wrap. To clean the algae off the lamp, you can use a vinegar and water solution and let it air dry.

3. Clean the Decorations

Before you wrap and store the decorations, you will have to clean them and remove the algae. If all of the decorations have excess algae, you can use a vinegar solution to remove it before letting it air dry. 

When it comes to the gravel, you should clean it the right way. You will need to rinse off the gravel to remove excess debris. Once this is done, you can boil it for a few minutes, cool it, and let it dry before storing it.

4. Clean the Tank

The last step is to clean the tank using a spray bottle with vinegar and water. After you spray the tank, you should let the solution sit for about 10 minutes and then scrub it. 

After you clean it and wipe off the excess algae, you should let it air dry for a few hours.

Now You Know How to Clean a Fish Tank

Now that you know how to clean a fish tank, you're ready to get the aquarium you have always wanted. 

Are you ready to find your next fish tank, let the experts help you? Contact us to get started.

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