The cleanliness of the tank or aquarium in which your fish are kept is just as important as the water that they swim in. A regular cleaning at least once every two weeks should be your policy, unless there are exceptional circumstances. Using this strategy, you won’t need to take the fish out of the tank to clean it, but you should still give thought to doing so at more frequent intervals. In order to accomplish this, purchasing a siphon that can be used to replace the water in later phases is a smart investment.
The preferred procedure is then as follows:
- Turn off and unplug any and all appliances, including lighting, filters, and heaters, among other things.
- It is not essential to take the fish out of the dish. The people will experience less disruption as a result of this approach, as the water will be replaced in stages.
- When cleaning the tank, dechlorinated water should be used only. It is acceptable to drink water from the tap that has been sitting out for at least one day, and preferably two.
- Remove algae from all surfaces, including plants, ornaments, internal fittings, and so on. When removing algae from the edges of acrylic tanks, use a lighter form of wipe or scraper than you would for glass tanks because acrylic tanks are more easily scratched.
- If at all feasible, clean the filters using the water already contained in the tank. If carbon is being utilized to deodorize the tank, it is recommended that it be replaced at least once every other time the tank is cleaned.
- To clean the gravel, you should fish it out, wash it (again, with dechlorinated water if at all possible), and then wipe it or brush it using utensils that have not been polluted with substances that are harmful to your fish. This will ensure that the gravel is safe for your fish. This stage could be partially merged with the first stage of water changes that will be performed in the subsequent stage in order to make it simpler to carry out.
- The act of cleaning the aquarium up to this point in the procedure will have temporarily introduced extra filth to the water, so the water should be cleaned now that you have reached this stage in the process. If the water’s pH and nitrate levels are already somewhat stable, the water can have up to twenty percent of its composition altered at a time. If, on the other hand, it falls outside of the acceptable range, then up to half of it should be modified in a single stage. Changing the water with a siphon that is specifically intended for the job is both the most effective and the cleanest method.
- Refill the aquarium with dechlorinated water until it reaches the required level, taking care that the temperature of the new water is comparable to that of the existing water. Fish that are more sensitive to changes in temperature will require more attention to this detail.
- Reconnect the cables and turn the appliances back on.
- Check the pH and nitrate levels of the water again, as well as the salinity of the aquarium if it is a saltwater aquarium, and make any required adjustments to get both your fish and the aquarium back to a clean environment.