How Often Should You Change Water In A Fish Tank?

When life becomes hectic, fish-tank care is frequently kept aside later or is completely forgotten about. Your fish can even die in inadequate circumstances. The well-being and life span of your fish are directly related to how clean your fish tank is. 

Whether you’re a professional aquarist or fishkeeping is your hobby, the importance of regular maintenance of your fish tank is known to all. Letting your tank become unclean will result in the growth of hazardous germs, creating the ideal habitat for disease to thrive.

And trust me, dealing with unhealthy fish is far more difficult than cleaning your aquarium once or twice a week. By changing out a portion of your tank’s water, you can contain the level of pollutants in your tank. 

Why It’s Important To Clean And Change Water In A Fish Tank?

Cleaning the tank and changing the water aid in the restoration and maintenance of a balanced aquarium, by physically removing and diluting toxic chemicals. The water change and cleaning your fish tank may feel like a complicated chore but it’s really important for your fish to live longer and its overall health.

Clean and Change Water in a Fish Tank Important
  • Frequently water changes in your fish tank will reduce the build-up of harmful elements. Compounds like ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate can all be harmful to your fish. High levels of toxic elements will make your fish more susceptible to illness and promote poor growth and color development.
  • The amount of organic waste lessens in your fish tank. Toxic nitrogenous products, phosphates, and other hazardous compounds are released when organic waste decomposes in your aquarium. 
  • Fish feces and other waste gets in the water in an aquarium since it is a closed system. These particles break down and poison your tank if you don’t remove and replenish some of the water in your tank on a regular basis. A filter can only remove this debris to some extent. That’s why it’s necessary to clean and change the water in your fish tank. 

How To Clean A Fish Tank?

Cleaning a fish tank is quite straightforward, however, you need to make sure you don’t eliminate the beneficial bacterial colonies while cleaning. Let’s dive into the process of cleaning a fish aquarium.

Cleaning a Fish Tank

Things You Need

Before you start cleaning you need to gather all the essentials for cleaning. You’ll need several things to clean your fish tank. You’ll need an algae scraper, razor blade, bleach, water siphon, bucket, glass cleaner, filter brush, paper towels, and chlorine remover. 

Scrubbing The Inside Glass

Using an algae pad or a scrubber you can give a thorough cleaning inside of the tank. You can easily find an algae pad in any pet store or homewares section of any regular store. If there’s still any residue on the glass, try using a razor blade to scrape it off

Cleaning Artificial Plants And Rocks

Once the inside glass is clean, take out the decorations like artificial plants and rocks as they are most likely to have significant algae growth or are noticeably dirty. Make sure not to use any soap or detergent to clean these. A slight trace of soap can be harmful to the fish.

Take some warm water and an algae pad and give a nice rub to remove any sort of dirt from the rocks. Prepare a 10% bleach solution and soak the goods for 15 minutes to solve extremely persistent cleaning issues. Scrub away any leftover residue, rinse well under running water, then air dry to remove any remaining bleach.

artificial sheels plants and rocks clean

Cleaning Aquarium Gravel

Once you’re done cleaning the decorations it’s time to clean the gravel. Suction the debris from the gravel using a water siphon. Ensure that all dirt is removed from the whole surface of the gravel by vacuuming it completely.

Cleaning The Outside

Start cleaning the hood, light, tank top, and outside the glass once you’re done with the inside of the aquarium. Ammonia, which is hazardous to fish, is found in most glass cleaners. standard lime cleansers are even more hazardous. It is strongly advised that you use vinegar or an aquarium-safe cleaner and that you thoroughly rinse the surfaces with a clean moist towel.

Cleaning the Outside

Clean The Filters

Now that you’re done cleaning the exterior and interior of the fish tank, wait a couple of weeks to clean the filter. Once you’ve gotten your tank in shape, make sure you clean it on a regular basis so you don’t have to do another large spring cleaning.

Best Way To Change Water In A Fish Tank

It’s important to change your fish’s water on a frequent basis. Because even if the water in your tank seems to be clear, food and waste particles are still there. Here are the steps to follow to change the water in your fish tank. 

Unplug Any Electric Elements From The Tank

Since you’ll be dealing with water on the tanks outside, it’s preferable to keep the presence of electricity to a minimum. So open the tank lid, and unplug all the heating elements, and lighting attachments. For cleaning the tank, fill a clean bucket halfway with water straight from the tap. Pre-treat the water by following the directions on the container of the water conditioner. The conditioner will make the water healthy for your fish, by eliminating harmful chemicals and metal debris.

Unplug Any Electric Elements From the Tank

Clean The Filter

Before you start your cleaning process, you need to disconnect the filter. While your filter is disconnected, make sure it’s in a container of tank water. It will lose the helpful bacteria that you need for healthy fish if it dries out. 

Removing Decoratives

You don’t need to remove the decorative plants or rocks every time you want to change the water. However, when the artificial things in your tank appear to be too sticky or sludgy, carefully transfer them to a bucket and soak them in a plant-cleaning solution. NEVER use soap to clean your plants, aquarium, or décor. The chemical residue can be damaging to your fish, as well as cause an algal bloom in your tank.

Water Change

Using an automatic water changer is one of the most effective ways to change the water, especially if you have larger water tanks. Connect the equipment to your faucet and then into your tank with hoses and siphon attachments. Until you turn it off, the gadget will automatically suck out water from the tank.

Water Change from the tank

There’s another way to change the water manually. Place the tube end of your siphon into a bucket first. The siphon tip should then be inserted into the tank’s substrate, which is commonly gravel or sand. Insert the siphon deep into the sand at an angle that will suck out both debris and tank water. As you move your siphon around, you will notice that your bucket begins to fill with dirty gravel and murky tank water.

Insert the siphon deep into the sand at an angle on a regular basis, sucking out both debris and tank water. You can remove up to 75% of the water from the tank using your siphon. If you have a 10-gallon tank, for example, using a 5-gallon bucket for water changes is a smart idea. 

Refilling The Tank

Note the temperature of the remaining water. If you have a tank-side thermometer, make a quick note of the temperature of the water post-drain. Otherwise, it is a good idea to dip a thermometer into the water to get a reading. Then, test the temperature of the clean, treated water that you will add to the tank and make sure that the two temperatures match. At this point, you will want to move the pretreated water from the bucket into the tank.

Refilling The Tank

Wrapping Up

Sometimes aquarium water may look clear but it can have all sorts of debris and harmful elements that are not ideal for your fish. If you want your fish to be in a healthy environment then maintaining a clean tank and changing water frequently is essential. Changing the water in a fish tank is pretty straightforward if you follow the steps in the correct order. 

Murphy Bernier

Murphy Bernier

Murphy Bernier is a New-York based freelance writer, professional blogger and certified dog trainer. She networks shelter pets to help them find homes and volunteers for rescue groups as she is passionate about dog rescue and adoption. From a very early age, she developed extensive animal handling skills from her dad, and that’s where her love for animals started.

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