Undoubtedly, there has been a few times where you have let your fish tank go a little longer than normal between cleanings. A good thorough cleaning should happen at least once a month, where you replace at least ten percent of the water, clean off decorative accents, and vacuum or siphon the rocks. Since the primary cause of nitrate and algae in fish tanks is due to natural debris accumulating in the tank, cleaning the rocks and decorations is key to keep your tank (and fish) healthy.
If you have a seriously dirty tank, you may need to attack in sections over a few weeks to prevent new tank syndrome and disrupting your tank's pH balance, by cleaning a portion of the rocks and decorations at a time. Once you're all caught up, though, how do you maintain a good, clean tank? For some healthy tank tips, just
- First off, never clean with soap. Even if you feel as if you rinsed the tank really well, there will most likely be residue left and it is super harmful to your fish.
- Small fish bowls can be cleaned every few weeks with 30 to 50 percent new water and a good scrub of the walls and rocks.
- Aquariums, although more labor intensive, can have 10 to 30 percent of the water replaced every week. Make sure it is room temperature and is the proper water for your fish (fresh vs. salt water).
- Clean or change your filter (if it's really dirty) once every two weeks. This will help to keep the water in your tank sparkly clean, not to mention healthy for your fishy friends.
- Siphon or vacuum the gravel, rocks, and decorations in your aquarium once a month.