How to Clean an Aquarium

11 responses

  1. Shabnam
    October 19, 2008

    An interesting tip I heard from a fellow aquarist was to wash the filter in the water that has been siphoned out. Let the water sit for a bit so that the REALLY dirty and heavy bits settle and then remove the filter and give it a slow muddle and swish in the water. This will not get it spanking clean, but will ensure that you don’t shock the fish or their environment too much.


  2. Jon
    November 3, 2008

    A properly setup and maintained marine (ie, salt-water) aquarium needs little or no cleaning. Organisms and the natural chemicals in the tank will work in harmony: nitrogenous wastes will be converted to gas and evaporate. E.g.:

    My last 70 gal. marine tank never had a change of water in five years, and all chemistry testings, done regularly, remained within normal limits, usually ‘zero’.

    The main ‘secret’ is to provide in the tank a ‘zone of anaerobia’, i.e., large areas of very low oxygen concentrations, such as might be provided deep within very porous rock material. It is in that zone that the final conversion of nitrogenous salts are converted into free nitrogen gas (N2), which will then evaporate. Low or no nitrogen = no algae, although some small amounts of ‘hard algae’ are healthy, even desirable; It’s trivial merely to clean the glass and to replenish evaporative loss of tank water.


  3. Cindy
    November 7, 2008

    There are algae scrubbers that have a magnet in them that you can move with a magnet on the outside of the glass so you don’t even have to get your hands into the water to scrape… less stress on the fish, especially the really nervous ones!


  4. Lisa
    November 7, 2008

    That’s all well and good for those that know how to keep a saltwater tank but, for the commoner, we usually opt to have a freshwater tank. Those do need to be cleaned sometimes and there’s a product called the Python that aides in siphoning and filling just with the flick of a switch. Apparently, (I haven’t gotten mine yet) you can hook it up to your faucet and it’ll drain the water from your tank, then you flip a switch and it’ll fill it too. The only thing to keep in mind there is to check the water temp. before you let it run into the tank. I’ve ordered one in the 100 ft length, but they have 50 and 25 too.


  5. Phil
    November 7, 2008

    Don’t suck on the tube to fill it with water because it is so easy to make a mistake and get a mouthful of aquarium water. Instead, put the entire tube under water and then plug the end of the tube with your thumb while moving that end of the tube into the pail.


  6. Bell Ministries
    February 21, 2009

    In the section named “Keeping your fish tank clean” it suggests to get “some algae-eating friends, such as suckermouth catfish.” FYI: Goldfish are the only ones that can survive with other goldfish. Even the sucker fish & algae eaters will be poisoned to death by the chemicals secreted by the goldfish. I found that out after several of my nieces’ fish had died after they were put with the goldfish. It was a horrible & deadly mistake that will never be made again.


  7. Fishy
    April 20, 2012

    Can goldfish live with koi? My koi has black spots and the number of spots are increasing. The rocks also have white spots. What’s the problem in the tank?


  8. George
    June 24, 2012

    You can put sucker fish in with goldfish, you just have to keep your tank clean. I have two aquariums set up right now both with goldfish and both have plecos in them and they are all very happy. You just have to make sure your tank is clean and all will be good. :)


  9. Alex
    March 4, 2013

    Water turning white an hour or two after a wash is caused by anti-chlorine.


  10. Akhil
    August 30, 2013

    Does a suckermouth catfish eat the dirt and algae in an aquarium?


    • Melanie
      August 31, 2013

      Suckermouth catfish refers to several species of fish in the Loicariidae family, all of which are known to eat algae to some degree.

      Source: Wikipedia – Suckermouth catfish


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