What To Do When Your Fish Tank Is Cloudy – When it comes to cleaning, your aquarium is a lot like your kitchen sink: it’s important to stay on top of things. Poor conditions (think: excessive algae growth) lead to stressed animals that are more susceptible to disease. On the other hand, regular maintenance and small water changes will help your fish live a happy and healthy life.
So, how to clean the aquarium? We break down how to clean a freshwater aquarium and ensure that the creatures in your aquarium live their lives.
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Aquarium cleaner step by step instructions The importance of a clean tank How often should I clean the aquarium? FAX
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Before you start scrubbing, here’s a list of supplies you’ll need to properly clean your aquarium:
Here is the good news: it is not necessary to remove the fish from the tank during the cleaning process. In fact, it is better to leave them inside, because moving them stresses them out, and in the worst case it can even injure them. Move gently and carefully around them as you clean.
Put on that oversized t-shirt and gather all your supplies in one accessible place. Then wash your hands and arms thoroughly. Cleaning, as doctors often call it, helps to prevent potentially harmful substances from being introduced into your aquarium water. Be sure to wash off the soap well.
As you clean your aquarium, debris will circulate around the tank and is much easier to remove if it is allowed to settle to the bottom instead of being sucked into the filter. So go ahead and turn that filter off while cleaning.
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Why turn off the heater? When you remove it from the water, which you do during water changes and radiators, you expose it to the air – and if it’s hot, you can burn the machine. st to turn it off and let it cool while you move on to the next steps.
You will want to work on the inner walls of the aquarium first. There are many products you can use to scrub or scrape the walls of your aquarium: scrubbing pads, razors and more. The most important thing to remember is to choose a tool that works with your tank material. If you have a glass tank, you can use harder and sharper tools to get the job done. However, if your tank is acrylic, using a tool like a razor blade can leave scratches on the tank – not quite the aesthetic you’re after.
Pro tip: If you are not sure what material your tank is made of, choose equipment for acrylic tanks, which is easier on any surface they touch. Some tools, like the Akueon ProScraper Blade, come with a razor blade and plastic attachments that fit any tank.
An algae pad, like the Lifeguard Aquarium Algae Pad, is a good tool to start with. Don’t forget to buy cleaning pads specifically for aquariums; other types of cleaning pads or sponges may contain soaps or chemicals that can harm your fish. Again, choose a pad for glass or acrylic containers, depending on the type you have. Your old toothbrush can do the trick too!
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Depending on how established your algae is, scrubbing with an algae pad may not be enough. If there is still hard algae left after scrubbing, you can use a blade (an aquarium razor for glass tanks; or a plastic blade for acrylic tanks) to carefully scrape off the rest.
Now it’s time to tackle the decoration. Remove artificial plants, decorations and large rocks that have significant algae growth and scrub. You can do this in the sink or in your special aquarium maintenance bucket, with an algaecide and some warm water.
Do not use soaps or detergents of any kind, as they are extremely difficult to wash off completely and can be fatal to aquatic animals.
If after scrubbing your ornament still looks dirty, you can make a solution of 1 part bleach, 9 parts water and let the whole ornament soak in it for 15 minutes. Remove it from the bleach solution, then rinse everything again under running water. When you’re done, let your decor air dry to remove any bleach residue. You know they are ready to go back into the tank when there is no smell of dog chlorine.
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Next we need to clean out the gravel – you know, the gravel that sits on the bottom of your tank. Here’s why: The older the aquarium, the more it tends to accumulate leftover or leftover food, fish waste and decaying particles. This detritus is so fine that it settles between those little stones, building up until it causes health problems for your feathered friends.
A gravel vacuum will be your friend for this step. It is a tool that removes a large amount of this dirty aquarium dust. A gravel vacuum usually consists of a plastic siphon attached to a length of pipe. All you have to do is submerge the siphon in the water to create suction that draws water from the tank through the inside of your bucket. (If you’ve ever seen someone siphon fuel from a gas tank, it’s basically the same process.)
How much should you vacuum? It depends on how dirty your tank is. You know your gravel is clean when the water through the siphon is no longer cloudy and grey/brown.
Anyone done? Don’t throw that bucket away yet – you’ll be using the water you just scooped up in the next step.
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Pro tip: If you grow houseplants or have a garden, don’t pour dirty tank water down the drain – use it to water your plants! This nutrient-rich water is essentially liquid fertilizer and will make your plants very happy, while giving the aquarium waste a useful second life.
First, drain and rinse the filter pad or sponge in a container filled with tank water. (You can use the water you just drew from the tank.) Using tank water helps keep the bad bacteria that keep your water clean. Washing in the sink with plain tap water will kill or at least disrupt these good bacteria.
When it’s time to change your filter media, that is the carbon, ceramic or other products that go into your filter and make the actual filters, this is a good time to do it. Check the instructions on the filter media package to determine how and how often you should change it.
Be sure to rinse the filter tubes and all other parts of the filter that come into contact with water.
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Important note: If you are doing heavy cleaning (for example, if you need to scrape hard algae off the walls of the tank or use bleach to disinfect the tank), skip this step for now. Heavy cleaning means that you have already introduced many changes in the tank, which can stress your fish. Cleaning the filter above adds even more changes to the process, which can be harmful to the inhabitants of your tank. Go to the next step and plan to come back and clean the filter in a week. Remember: Regular gentle cleaning can make this process easier for you and your fish.
Now it’s time to replace the dirty water you sucked out of the tank with your vacuum cleaner. But don’t just throw old tap water in there! This new water has some special requirements:
Fill your bucket with tap water, use a thermometer to test the temperature and turn it up or down as needed. Then, following the directions on your water dispenser, add the correct amount for the number of gallons you are delivering to the tank.
You are now ready to pour the treated water into the tank. Add it slowly so as not to endanger the fish. Once all the water is replaced, you can put the heater back in the tank, open it and restart the filter.
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Finally, clean the outer walls of the aquarium. Although these are the outer walls and a part of the tank that your fish cannot touch, it is important to use an aquarium cleaner here as well. Most household glass cleaners contain ammonia and other chemicals that are toxic to fish, so it’s important not to put them near your underwater friends.
Opt for plain white vinegar on a paper towel instead. It is inexpensive, non-toxic and leaves surfaces almost stain-free. Afterwards, you can use a clean, dry paper towel or bath towel to clean the aquarium from dust to a perfect shine.
Yes, keeping the tank clean helps the aquarium water to look clear and beautiful. But there is a more important reason to clean your tank regularly: the health of your fish.
If nitrates and nitrites, the by-products of the decomposition of fish waste and leftover food, build up in your aquarium water, algae blooms will occur and the health of your fish will suffer. Fish under stress due to poor water quality conditions will be more susceptible to disease,
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