How to Easily Clean a Fish Tank

If you think that the best way to clean the fish tank is to take out all the water and wash it with soap or detergent, we hate to tell you that you're doing it all wrong.
How to Easily Clean a Fish Tank

Last update: 27 May, 2022

There’s no denying that keeping your fish tank clean is extremely important. It affects the health of your little swimmers and their well-being. So, if you don’t know how to clean a fish tank, grab a pencil and take note of the advice you’re about to receive in this article.

Cleaning a fish tank

Fish are really sensitive creatures, so you must always make sure that the fish tank is clean. However, it’s not only about how clean it is, but also about how we clean it. That’s right, if we don’t do it in the right way, it could lead to serious health issues.

That being said, here are some tips on how to clean a fish tank.

Tips for a clean fish tank

Don’t use soap

Cleaning products.
Avoid using cleaning products with detergents because of the toxic content that may remain as residues.

Don’t even think about using soap, dishwasher soap, or other cleaning products you may have at home. These types of products can leave chemical residues that could kill our little pets in the fish tank.

Use a scraper

Algae and moss, usually greenish in color, can build up on the walls or objects you have in your fish tank. Microorganisms and bacteria could build up on them, so you should clean them with a scraper at least once a week. However, remember not to use soap or cleaning products.

Cleaning fish

Fish in a clean tank.
There are some varieties of fish that feed on the algae and microorganisms that are deposited on the walls of the fish tank.

You’ve probably already heard about cleaning fish. These are specific fish species that feed on waste and dirt and therefore keep the fish tank clean in a natural and ecological way.

However, there are two things to keep in mind when considering these fish:

  • First of all, the presence of cleaning fish in a tank doesn’t mean that you never have to clean it. Although these types of fish help keep it clean, they also produce excrement and waste.
  • In addition, you should make sure that the cleaning fish you introduce are compatible with the species you already have.

Clean the filter

If you have a filter in your fish tank, you should know how important it is and should keep it clean. You should clean it at least every fifteen days. In addition, specialized centers usually give you instructions and offer you tools and utensils for cleaning.

Remember that you must clean it thoroughly, preferably not at the same time as you clean the rest of the tank.

How to clean a fish tank, step by step

Sponge cleaning a fish tank
To clean the fish tank, you don’t have to completely empty the water from it. Changing three quarters of the water per clean is enough.

Most people mistakenly believe that the proper way to clean a fish tank is to remove the fish, empty it completely, and then wash it with soap and water. However, this is far from the right way to clean a fish tank.

In fact, the water should be changed every two or three days but it shouldn’t be completely emptied. You actually only need to change about three quarters of the water.

We can’t stress this enough: using soap can leave behind detergent residues that could be toxic and lethal for our little swimmers. It’s better to use natural products such as vinegar, for example.

Therefore, for a correct cleaning of the fish tank, follow these steps.

We recommend reading: Benefits of Having a Pet at Home

Step by step

  • Firstly, remove all the accessories (stones, plants, ornaments) from the tank and clean them with lots of running water. Also, if necessary, use a scraper. Clean them well until the running water that washes them comes out clean.
  • Now, you have to put the current water from your fish tank into another container with the fish. To do this, use a container that you’re sure contains no traces of soap or detergent. Transfer the water and the fish to that container.
  • Scrape the walls of the tank with a scraper, making sure to remove any algae or encrusted remains.
  • Clean the tank with a little vinegar and a cloth. Clean it well and then remove all traces of vinegar with lots of running water. Let it dry well.
  • Put your fish in the fish tank, but only with some of the water (enough for them to move).
  • In another container, add the amount of fresh water you’ll need to finish filling the tank. Now add the specific products for fish tanks. These products guarantee that the water is suitable for your fish, without chlorine or other harmful chemicals.
  • Follow the instructions in the water treatment kit and then, making sure it has reached the same water temperature as your fish, add it to the tank.

In conclusion

As you can see, it’s not that hard. Remember, you shouldn’t change the water completely as it could shock the fish. Just change about 3/4 and make sure that all the accessories and walls of the fish tank are clean and free of algae.

Another important reminder: don’t use soap or regular cleaning products, as they could be really dangerous for your little swimmers. Above all, keep in mind that a properly cleaned fish tank is a must for your pets’ health.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.