How to self- clean fish tanks
An attractive aquarium escalates the entire look of the room to new heights. A well maintained fish tank becomes the Centre of attraction for all people incoming to your place. While there are several ways to decorate it with a lot of options of flora and fauna available in the market, the foremost thing to bear in mind is the cleanliness of the tank. Healthy and happy community aquariums require clean, safe environments. For the fishes to remain happy and safe and to grow properly, it is important to understand the value of cleaning your aquarium. Since this is a frequent task, hiring people to do it may be expensive. Let us look for ways to do it yourself with the help of a few simple cleaning supplies.
When you decide on cleaning the fish tank yourself, you should understand that it should be done without completely breaking down all the beneficial bacterial colonies that eliminate the animals’ waste. The cleaning should be done in the following order.
Inside glass- Start the cleaning process by giving the inside of the glass a good scrub with an algae pad. Choose from the wide variety of algae scrapers from long handled scrubbers to magnetic ones. While getting one, make sure that the pads have no soap or chemical residue as it may be lethal to the fishes. So it is best to buy them from pet stores instead of housewares department. For stubborn residue on the glass, use a razor blade to scrape it off. For an acrylic aquarium use plastic razor blades instead so as to not scratch the insides.
Cleaning decorations- After you are done with the inside glass, remove rocks, artificial plants, and other decorations that you need to clean. Being in direct touch with water makes them have a substantial algae growth on it. Use a good scrub with an algae scraper in warm water to remove the dirt and algae from the rocks and plants. Avoid using soap or detergents because if it is left even in traces, it can be harmful to the fishes.
Live plants- Live plants look great in an aquarium and actually give the fishes the natural feel of being in a pond or other water body. To clean them, prepare a 5% bleach solution and then soak the plants in them for two to three minutes. Rinse them well and you are done. Leave the rocks, decorations and plants out of the tank while you vacuum the gravel. This is to make sure that none of the debris stirred up from the gravel will settle on them.
Aquarium gravel- To clean the gravel, use a water siphon to vacuum away the debris. Get a vacuum which can stir up the gravel and remove dirt without sucking up the gravel. Use the vacuum thoroughly so that all debris is removed from the entire surface of the gravel. The water that is removed in the process of cleaning the gravel is automatically changed. Replace it with dechlorinated water which should be the same temperature as your aquarium water. For a monthly water change, 25% water change is a good amount. Using a good aquarium heater is a must and should be installed with the fish tank itself. Try Waggfluence waterproof fish aquarium thermometer for a fuss free usage. While changing water, unplug the heater to prevent it from being exposed to air as the water level drops.
Outside glass- Now that you are done with cleaning the inside of the tank, it is time to pay attention to the hood, light, tank top, and the outer portion of the glass. Take precaution to not use any regular glass cleaners which contain ammonia as it may be toxic to the fishes. Instead, use vinegar or aquarium safe cleaners for this purpose. Finish by rinsing the surface with a damp cloth.
Cleaning filter- After you complete the entire cleaning, it is advisable to wait for a couple of weeks to clean the filter. This is because the major cleaning disturbed the beneficial bacterial colonies on the plants, gravel and rocks. Since a lot of these bacteria reside in the filter also, they help to eliminate the toxins in the water. Cleaning all at a time may trigger ammonia spike and an upset ecosystem.
The maintenance of the fish tank should be done with full caution so as to not disturb the fishes. Cleaning on a regular basis makes the aquarium shine and glisten and look beautiful just as it was when new!