How Do I Clean My Aquarium?

Many are under the illusion that cleaning an aquarium is an impossible task. Thankfully, this isn’t necessarily the case, and although you could quite easily end up going about things the wrong way and making things difficult for yourself if left unguided, with a little bit of knowledge, you could turn your aquarium cleaning nightmare into a fast, efficient process that helps keep your aquarium looking fresh, and the ecosystem it contains looking and feeling healthy. Bear in mind that this is a guide for freshwater aquariums, and there are additional factors you’ll need to take into account.


The first stage of any cleaning process is to get your tools out and prepared, and the same applies here. When you’re dealing with aquariums, you’re really dealing with fish and plants, all of which are delicate living things and can be easily panicked or damaged. Likewise, replacing the aquarium’s water has the potential to be a messy job if you’re not adequately prepared.  Here are some of the basic cleaning supplies that you’re going to need:

  • Aquarium-ready water
  • A large bucket for water transportation
  • A siphon filter to get the water from the aquarium to the bucket
  • One (or more) sponges for cleaning the internal glass
  • Bleach solution (around 10 percent concentration)
  • Filter replacements (only necessary occasionally)
  • Gravel vacuum

Glass Cleaning

Use the sponge to clean the glass on the inside of the tank. It’s best to use rubber gloves for this process, and you might need to use a plastic scraper to remove any tougher residue.

Replacing Water Weekly

By the end of a week, you should want to replace at least some of the water in the tank. Take your siphon filter and your bucket, and allow 10-20 percent of the water to be removed. This rotation will help to keep your fish and plant life healthy.

Vacuuming Your Gravel

Your next task is to vacuum your gravel. Take your vacuum tube and allow it to take up the gravel slowly, being careful not to use it like a shovel. After all, much of the tank ecosystem is very delicate, and even the smallest change can have damaging consequences.

Final Steps

Now you're most of the way there, you only have a few small tasks to go. Simply use your piping to rinse off your tank’s ornaments, and then fill the tank back up with the clean water you have left. You might initially think your tank is cloudy or dirty, but once the clouds have settled, you’ll have a sparkling tank.