Aquarium fish can live and develop normally only in clean water. Its pollution and accumulation of toxins leads to the rapid growth of algae, poisoning and death of fish. Regular cleaning will help correct the situation. Let’s take a step-by-step look at how to clean an aquarium quickly and efficiently.

All about self-cleaning the aquarium

When to clean
Preparing for cleaning
– Appliances and detergents
— Replacement water
Detailed step-by-step instructions for weekly cleaning
— cleaning the walls
— We clean the soil
— clean the filter
— My decor
— Taking care of plants
— Adding water
How to wash the bowl before starting
Pollution Prevention

When to clean

There is no set timeline for cleaning up. It all depends on the rate of contamination of the bowl, and this is influenced by many factors. For example, overcrowded containers get dirty faster. The presence of plants slows down the clouding process: they effectively dispose of waste products. On average, you need to focus on cleaning once a week. But everything is very individual. You can determine how often to clean the aquarium by the following signs.

  • Plaque appears on glass surfaces.
  • Silt accumulates on the surface of the soil.
  • Algae and plaque appear on the decor and plants.

If all this is relevant, it’s time to clean up.


Preparing for cleaning

To get a good result, you need to prepare for cleaning. We’ll tell you how to do it right.

Equipment and detergents

It is impossible to clean the tank without special tools. We have compiled a list of the essentials.

  • Scraper. Used to clean glass walls. There are tools with a metal, magnetic, foam, rubber nozzle. It is selected depending on the type of glass.
  • Siphon with or without pear. This is a device for cleaning the soil from accumulated sludge. There are also special aquarium vacuum cleaners. They perform the same function, but do it faster and better.
  • Net. Useful for catching plants, snails or fish. Sizes may vary.
  • Bucket for drained dirty liquid.

In addition, you may also need a sponge, a soft cloth, a brush or brush, and paper towels.

Despite the fact that pollution can be very persistent, the list of products for cleaning a fish tank is very small. Ideally, no chemicals are used. Even the smallest chemical residues are toxic to fish and can cause their death. For rare disinfection of the bowl, you can take chlorine-containing preparations or peroxide. After that, you need to rinse them very well with running water. To disinfect and wash the decorations, you can take a gentle chemical and rinse it well.

Replacement water

Fish are very demanding on the hydrochemical composition of the liquid, so it is forbidden to simply replace the water in the tank with them. This will lead to stress, which may end in their death. A weekly replacement of no more than 30% of the container volume is acceptable. Moreover, water for replacement must be properly prepared.

First of all, it is desirable to allocate a separate bucket, which is not used anywhere else. Pour a portion of tap water into it. It should stand for at least a day, and preferably two. Only then can it be poured into the tank. The liquid «from the tap» contains impurities that are toxic to fish, which can provoke their illness and death.


How to clean an aquarium with fish at home

Weekly tank cleaning is a relatively simple undertaking. However, there are a number of features that you need to be aware of. We have compiled a step-by-step guide on how to properly clean an aquarium.

1. We clean the walls

Start by cleaning the glass walls. So the plaque accumulated on their surface will fall into the water, and then settle on the ground. From here it will be easy to collect when cleaning the bottom.

Even if the glass looks transparent, it must be wiped with a foam nozzle. To remove plaque, you will need stronger scrapers. Glass walls are well cleaned with a metal scraper. It is not suitable for acrylic or organic glass. Such surfaces can be scratched even with the hard side of the sponge, so you need a soft rubber nozzle.

In the vertical direction, it is convenient to clean with a scraper, and it is better to work with a sponge in the horizontal direction. First, both side and front walls are sequentially cleaned, then the back. After that, take a brush and carefully clean the surface near the seams. In conclusion, the walls are washed from the outside with any suitable means and wiped dry.


2. We clean the soil

To clean the soil, you need a special device-siphon. It consists of a hollow cylinder-funnel and a hose. It’s easy to use. Let’s figure out how to clean the aquarium with a siphon.

  • The cylinder is lowered to the bottom, a vacuum is created in the hose, for this a rubber bulb is used. After that, dirty water flows into a substituted container.
  • Simultaneously with the purification, the water is drained. Care must be taken to ensure that the amount of drained liquid does not exceed 30% of the original volume.

A siphon device is not the only option for cleaning the soil in an aquarium. This can be done with a special vacuum cleaner. It captures dirty liquid, filters it and sends it back to the container. With such cleaning, the amount of water remains constant, and it is not necessary to add it.

If there are only artificial plants in the tank, you need to clean the entire bottom and areas under the decor. In these places, most of the silt accumulates. In a bowl with live plants, the areas between them and the places under the decorations are cleaned. In such bowls, it is not necessary to clean out all the organic matter. You need to leave a little for the nutrition of microorganisms and plants.


3. Clean the filter

The sequence of actions depends on what type of filter is installed in the tank. You need to clean the inside quite often: once every two to three weeks. You can understand that the device is clogged by the speed of the fluid flowing out of it, it will slow down. Let’s figure out how to clean the internal filter in the aquarium.

  • First, it is disconnected from the network and removed. In modern models, only compartments with filler are removed and removed.
  • The filter elements are washed under running water without chemicals. There is an opinion that it is necessary to wash the filter only in the liquid drained from the container, then the bacteria inhabiting it will not suffer. But in such conditions it is difficult to wash the device with high quality. After cleaning “under the tap”, beneficial microorganisms will die, but new ones will appear very quickly. They live in the ground and move throughout the bowl.
  • If necessary, you need to replace the filler if it began to disintegrate and crumble. This happens infrequently: it serves for a long time.
  • The filter housing and impeller should be washed as they become dirty, but not as often as the filter element.

The external filter is cleaned much less frequently, about once every six months.. It is disconnected from the network, the hoses are blocked and the case is removed. It is better to clean the device in the sink. You need to remove the compartments with the filler from it, rinse them under a stream from a tap or shower head, wash the body from the inside and rinse the impeller. After that, assemble the cleaned device, install it in place and put it into operation.


4. My decor

Decorations must be removed and washed under running water. Adhering dirt — wipe with a brush. If they don’t wash well, you can use baking soda or soap. But then the residue must be washed off very well. Small parts and narrow openings can be cleaned with a stiff brush. For the most soiled items, prepare a weak aqueous solution of bleach in a ratio of 1:9. The contaminated decor is immersed in it for 10-15 minutes, then it is rubbed with a brush and washed many times.


5. We take care of plants

Green tank dwellers require regular maintenance. First of all, you need to remove all damaged and yellowed leaves. In addition, it is necessary to monitor the young shoots. Excess — carefully weed out. Plants with long stems need occasional pruning to keep them branching nicely. Moss also needs pruning. It is sheared, while you can give the shoots any beautiful shape. If there are whimsical exotic plants in the aquarium, they need regular special feeding.


6. Add water

If a siphon was used when cleaning the aquarium, it is necessary to add water prepared in advance into the container. But you can’t just pour it out. If the water level is low, prepare a saucer. It must be placed under the stream so that it does not wash away the bottom soil. If there is a lot of water, the water jet must be directed alternately in different directions. That way it won’t hit the bottom.

It is undesirable to flood the entire volume at once, this will cause a sharp change in the hydrochemical composition, which will provoke stress in the fish. It is better to add in small portions, gradually mixing in fresh water.


How to wash the aquarium before the first start

It is important to clean a new bowl, even if it does not look dirty. It is enough to rinse the walls, decor and equipment with clean water. For disinfection, but this is not necessary, they are cleaned with soda or peroxide. After that, you need to thoroughly rinse them: pour tap water into the container several times and drain it. At the last stage, rinse the bowl with settled water. The outer walls can be washed with any means and wiped dry.

Before the first start, the soil must be prepared in a special way: rinse under a tap, and then ignite in the oven. Lay the cooled soil on the bottom, place the decor in the tank and pour water. After such cleaning, it is not necessary to wash the bowl for a month. During this time, plants will take root inside the aquarium and beneficial microflora will multiply.

Pollution Prevention

In order not to clean the bowl too often, you need to follow a few simple rules.

  • The capacity must not be overpopulated.
  • You can not fill up too much food. Its remains decay, provoke the growth of algae, release toxins.
  • Large gravel should not be laid on the bottom. The food falls into the cracks between the pebbles and rots. The fish can’t get it out.
  • Do not use cleaning products regularly. They are used only when absolutely necessary.
  • It is mandatory to install a filter and maintain it in working condition.

It is important to maintain your aquarium regularly. But at the same time, we must remember that too frequent and too rare cleaning is equally harmful to fish. They need regular, but not excessive grooming.