How to Clean a Fish Tank

Knowing how to clean a fish tank aquarium the right way is vital knowledge for those who keep aquatic pets and want their pets to be healthy and in tip top condition.

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Get the latest tips, helps and advice from this website on aquarium supplies and the best way to clean a fish tank because like most things in life there is a right way, a wrong way and somewhere in-between when cleaning an aquarium.

My guess is that if you’re serious about keeping aquatic pets for show or as a hobby then you’ll want to know the best way to keep your aquarium water, accessories and filtration system clean over time and avoid a cloudy fish tank problem.

how to clean a fish tank Large Aquarium
How About Cleaning This?

For the best advice on how to clean a fish tank aquarium as well as other fish care tips and helps not seen anywhere else, you can do no better than reading how to care for fish and getting hold of a good ‘Aquarium & Aquatic Pets Care’ guide.

This guide will help you to not only understand how to clean a fish tank the right way but know how to keep your marine environment in tip top condition for endless hours of pleasure.

Here are some tips on the best way to keep a fish tank clean so you do not lose all the beneficial bacterial build up in the water that eliminates the waste produced by the pets in the fish tank water.

For that reason you want to be careful about how you clean things such as the filtration system the wrong way because you may be losing water quality benefits from ignorance. If your tank is in extremely bad condition not knowing how to clean a fish tank the right way may mean that you have to start from scratch.

How to keep everything clean is easy but requires a little time and elbow grease together with a few easy to obtain cleaning materials such as:

• Algae scraper or pad

• Bleach

• Clean Bucket – (Always use a new bucket and keep it for the sole task of cleaning your fish tank because if you use a bucket that has had soap or detergent in it, you could introduce deadly chemicals into the water of your fish tank.)

• Filter brush

• Filter medium

• Lime remover and glass cleaner for aquariums

• Razor blade for glass tanks and plastic blade for acrylic tanks

• Old bath towels

• Paper towels

• Water siphon

The first task in cleaning a fish tank is to make sure you have everything you need for cleaning and to gather them together ready to tackle the job. Then you need a simple plan of action to complete the job to make everything clean.

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The best way is to clean a fish tank or tropical fish tank or other tanks is in order by first removing the fish from the water to a safe environment.

And then start with the inside glass or acrylic of the tank.

Then clean the rocks, plants and decorative items.

Next it is the gravel and then the outside and fittings of your tank, including the filter.

Be careful as you remove everything from the tank and just go easy step by easy step in a regular order so that nothing is missed.

Also be careful not to damage the aquarium filtration systems and mechanical filters when you clean them.


Cleaning A Fish Tank Aquarium

As I’ve already said keeping everything looking good in your aquarium just takes the right information on how to clean a fish tank, a bit of frequency, elbow grease and some simple tools.

Let’s quickly look at how to clean a fish tank.

Using algae pads or scrapers to remove it is great for glass tanks but care needs to be taken with acrylic tanks because once scratched they are ruined. So razor blades for glass and plastic for acrylic is a good rule. There is a big selection of scrapers to clean with available in most pet stores and of course online. Beware of those from hardware stores because they may be impregnated with chemicals and any chemical particles will be deadly to your fishes. Care needs to be taken not to introduce dangerous substances by cutting corners as you clean.

Using bleach as a cleaning agent is much better than soap or detergents because these are very difficult to remove completely. Any trace of detergent or soap in your tank will be lethal for your fish. The bleach cleaning solution needs to be 10% bleach and you need to soak the items for cleaning for between fifteen and twenty minutes. Scrub clean and rinse well under running water. Then leave to air dry. For plants (not stem) a weak solution of 5% bleach can be used. Soak the plants for a couple of minutes and the rinse, rinse, rinse well.

A water siphon should be used to clean the gravel of the fish tank and there are a number of various types available in stores or via the Internet. Get the best you can afford because it’s the gravel that holds most of the debris in your fish tank. Knowing how to clean a fish tank isn’t rocket science but using the best tools you can makes it more effective.

Another tip for cleaning a fish tank is that you could look for easy fish to take care of and even invest in some aquarium cleaning fish to keep your fishtank clean and looking good.

fish smile
Happy Fish

Knowing how to clean a fish tank aquarium means taking care with the outside of your fish tank and all the fittings because household glass cleaners contain ammonia, which is toxic to fish. Regular lime cleaners are even more toxic. So you need to look for cleaning products designated as aquarium safe to clean. A safer alternative to clean with is vinegar but again use caution and rinse everything well two or three times to remove residue. Work on the principle of clean rinse, rinse and rinse with clean clear cold water.

Once the cleaning of the outside of the aquarium is completed, the rocks, aquarium plants, gravel and other decorations may be reintroduced in the tank. It is best to wait a couple of weeks before cleaning the fish tank filtration system because the major clean you’ve just carried out has disturbed the beneficial bacteria found on the rocks, plant, decorations and gravel.

The filtration system also acts as a home for these beneficial bacteria and you don’t want to eliminate this bacterium completely by being ultra clean. If you changed the filter when you cleaned the tank you would be removing these beneficial bacteria that eliminates toxins from your fish tank.

This is just one benefit of knowing how to clean a fish tank aquarium.


Cleaning is carried out in two stages, first clean the tank and then a couple of weeks later clean the filtration system. There is some disagreement as to how to clean a fish tank correctly as to whether you should clean or simply replace the filtration medium. Some experts’ say that replacing this removes too many of the beneficial bacterium and others argue that a sufficient bacterium resides on the rocks, plants, decorations, accessories and in the gravel. Some say that if your filter contains carbon, ammonia absorbers, or ion-exchange resins, it should be replaced if it’s more than three weeks old.

A filtration system that uses ceramic rings, fibers or sponges should be gently but quickly rinsed in water, that is the same temperature as the fish tank water, instead of being replaced. This way the bacterium growing on them will not be lost entirely. Care should also be taken to clean the tubing and other parts because doing things right will benefit of your fish. This is why you need to know how to clean a fish tank!

how to clean a fish tank for healthy fish


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If you know how to clean a fish tank the right way and maintain your fish tank aquarium on a regular basis you will find that the need for a major clean will be eliminated.

Scrape the glass or acrylic every week and clean any rocks, decorations, accessories or plants as soon as you see dirt or algae on them.

If you remove this you will help your pets.

Clean the water filtration system and accessories every month, either by replacing the medium, or by rinsing it.

Also, vacuum clean the gravel bed every time you change the water.

Remove dirt from the water filtration and be vigilant in your aquarium care and keeping things clean.

If you wanted to know how to clean a fish tank you now have the answer for a beautiful clean colorful fish tank every day of the year.

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