Maintaining a fish tank should not cause you too much trouble as long as you know some of the tips for making the chore a bit easier. It’s important to take on such a task in steps. So, you’ll need to organize your cleaning so you first tackle the inside glass of the aquarium, followed by the plants and rocks and gravel. Once you are done cleaning the inside, you’ll need to proceed with cleaning the outside glass, filter, and fixtures.
Clean the Inside Glass
So, start by scrubbing the inside glass with an algae pad or scraper. Make sure that you buy a pad at a pet store as pads used for cleaning in the kitchen can contain chemicals or soap that can hurt or kill fish. If residue has accumulated on the glass that is hard to remove, take time to scrape off the offending dirt by using a razor blade. If you have a fish tank made of acrylic, then you’ll need to use a plastic blade.
Clean the Artificial Plants and Rocks
Once you’ve taken care of cleaning the inside glass, you’ll need to remove the artificial plants and rocks that need to be cleaned. Again, use an algae scraper for the task. Avoid using detergent, which can kill aquarium fish. If you have a difficult time removing the debris, prepare a diluted solution of water and bleach (10%) for the items. Scrub off the dirt and rinse and dry naturally.
Clean Aquatic Plants
You can clean live plants with a 5% diluted solution of bleach and water, soaking the plants for a couple minutes before rinsing. In addition, make sure any bucket or container you use for cleaning has not been used previously. Again, soap is lethal to fish. So, you’ll need to set aside a special bucket or container for cleaning the fish tank.
Clean the Gravel in the Tank with a Siphon and Vacuum
Clean the gravel in the tank with a vacuum and siphon, making sure that all dirt and debris are eliminated and removed.
Don’t Clean the Glass with an Ammonia-based Cleaner
After the inside has been cleaned, you’ll need to clean the outside of the aquarium, or the top, light and glass. Don’t use a glass cleaner containing ammonia as ammonia, like soap, can kill your fish. Instead, use vinegar to clean the outside or a cleaner that has been certified as being safe for aquarium cleaning. After you use the vinegar or cleaner, rinse away the substance thoroughly.
Wait about Two Weeks before Cleaning or Replacing the Filter
Return the decorations-rocks and plants-to the fish tank after the above step. Don’t clean the filter, however, until after about two weeks. That’s because cleaning the fish tank can also upset the bacterial balance of the aquarium. Therefore, wait a couple weeks to clean or replace the filter. If the filter is made to absorb ammonia or if it contains carbon, then replace it if it is a month old. Mechanical filters should be carefully rinsed rather than replaced. Use a brush designed for filter cleaning to remove build-up in the tube and fish tank assembly.
Regular Maintain the Aquarium after its been Thoroughly Cleaned
After a thorough cleaning, you can keep your aquarium sparkling by scraping the glass each week, siphoning the debris from the gravel when you change the water, and making sure you clean away any algae as soon as it accumulates on the plants and rocks in the tank. Clean the filter or change it every four weeks.
Having a clean fish tank is very important for the well being of your fish. Take a look at FreshwaterAquariumFish.net for ideas on freshwater fish for your aquarium [http://www.freshwateraquariumfish.net/].
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