Fish make awesome pets. For one thing, they don’t need to be taken for walks. Second, you can leave them alone for a weekend and not have to worry about them making a mess in your house. Plus they’re just plain fun to watch. Still, you can’t leave your fish completely unattended. Particularly, maintaining a clean fish tank is important for the health of your fish.
Cleaning your fish tank doesn’t have to be a huge chore that requires extensive tutoring to get through. Here’s a quick and easy guide to cleaning your fish tank.
Start by Unplugging
The first step to cleaning your fish tank is to unplug everything. That means the filter, the heater, and any other electrical equipment in or near the tank.
You don’t want to accidentally get electrocuted. Or worse, shock your fish.
To unplug, carefully remove each cord from the outlet or power strip it’s plugged into. Then, wrap the cords around a wooden spoon so you don’t lose track of them.
Next, Drain the Tank
But only partially. You don’t need to empty your fish tank to clean it. In fact, that would be pretty stressful for your fish as this will remove beneficial bacteria that live in the tank and reset the nitrogen cycle.
Instead, you should aim to drain about 20-25% of the water out of the tank. To do this, you’ll need a siphon.
A siphon is a long tube that’s specially designed to suck water out of a fish tank (or anything else). Using a siphon is pretty simple. First, find one end of the tube and put it into the water. Then, take the other end of the tube and suck on it until the water starts flowing.
Once the water is flowing, put the end of the tube into your bucket and let it drain.
Grab a Scrubber
Now that the water is low, it’s time to start scrubbing. For this part, you’ll need a scrubber. This can be a sponge, a soft brush, or even an old toothbrush.
Start by gently scrubbing the glass of the tank. Be sure to get all of the algae and other build-ups off of the glass.
Then, move on to scrubbing the gravel. Again, be sure to get all of the build-ups off of the gravel. This build-up can be harmful to your fish if it’s not removed.
Rinse Everything Off
Once you’ve scrubbed everything clean, it’s time to rinse everything off. This includes the glass, the gravel, and any decorations in the tank.
To rinse the glass, use a clean cloth or paper towel and wipe it down. For the gravel and decorations, you can either rinse them off in a sink or bucket of water or put them back in the tank and let the water from the hose do the work for you.
Fill It Up
Now it’s time to put all of that clean water back into the tank. If you have a siphon, you can use it to quickly fill up the tank.
Otherwise, you can just use a clean bucket or a hose.
Once the tank is full, plug everything back in and let your fish enjoy their clean home.
Cleaning your fish tank doesn’t have to be a huge chore. With a little bit of regular maintenance, you can keep the tank clean and your fish happy.