If you have a tropical fish tank that's looking a little murky, it's time to clean up. Maintaining a freshwater tropical fish is relatively easy with the right tools, and with routine cleaning your tank can look just as beautiful as it did the day you set it up.
Turn off the heater, filter, and any other accessories that run on electricity. Be sure all cords and your power strip are safely out of the way before you begin to clean your fish tank.
Grab a large bucket and your aquarium gravel vacuum. Place the bucket below the level of the aquarium and insert the hose into the bucket. Tape it to the side of it keeps popping out of the bucket so you don't get tank water everywhere.
Insert vacuum into tank and pump up and down until you see the water flowing into the bucket. Vacuum the gravel and under tank decoration. Do this until you've removed about 20 percent of the water.
Check the filter cartridge. Rinse it out or replace once a month. Be sure to avoid killing good bacteria along with the bad by rinsing it thoroughly in tank water instead of tap water.
Use an algae scrubber to remove algae from the sides of the tank and from tank decorations.
Refill the tank with lukewarm tap water up to the fill line. Add the appropriate amount of water dechlorinator.
Turn the heater and filtration system back on, and check back in an hour to make sure everything is running properly.