How to Properly Clean a Tropical Fish Tank

Updated April 17, 2017

Tropical fish are some of the most beautiful pets anyone can have. Tanks that are filled with tropical fish are the essence of tranquillity, add character and radiate peace anywhere they are placed. Keeping the fish happy and their beautiful homes functioning smoothly requires some basic maintenance. A clean tank makes for healthy fish and plants and is fairly simple to do. A few tools and a little time will keep the tank looking brand new.

Disconnect and remove any electricity powered components from the fish tank (power strip, heater, filter, accessories). Make sure all are out of harms way before beginning.

Secure the large bucket on the floor or nearby table, making sure it is stable and won't spill the aquarium water. Place the aquarium vacuum end into the bucket.

Place the vacuum end of the hose into the tank and begin siphoning water from the tank into the bucket, about 20 per cent. Move the vacuum through the gravel and around or in any tank decorations, sucking out excess food, debris and fish waste.

Rinse the filter cartridge thoroughly in tank water. Changing the cartridge too early or rinsing in tap water will kill beneficial bacteria and allow toxic build-up. Cartridges should be rinsed or changed about once every 30 days.

Use an algae scrubber to remove algae and clean water of any nutrients, which algae need to grow.

Replace old water with fresh, tap water, making sure it has a temperature of 23.9 to 25.6 degrees Celsius. Treat water with aquarium water conditioner

Reconnect water heater, filter and accessories and turn power back on. Examine the tank and check again in an hour or two to make sure everything is functioning properly.

Things You'll Need

  • Large bucket
  • Aquarium vacuum
  • Algae scrubber
  • Tap water
  • Thermometer
  • Aquarium water conditioner
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About the Author

James Idakula earned a B.A. in English from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. He has been contributing online content since 2008. His work appears on various websites, specializing in style, home and money.