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How to Clean a Fish Tank

Updated on February 12, 2016


It is important that you clean your fish tank at least every 2 weeks. Or, other times that are good to clean it is when it is dirty, or after medication. If you are getting a lot of algae, that is a good sign it needs cleaning as well. First, Take your water siphon and clean it well in hot water. Do not use soap. If it has been used before in another tank, you should soak it in vinegar. Then rinse very well. You can spread bacteria and disease a lot easier that way. Make sure your hands are clean. Also take your algae scrubber and clean it in hot water too, or again, the vinegar.


Now, take your cleaned siphon, and fill it with the fish tank water. Once the siphon is full, place the large end in the fish tank. Make sure your finger is on the small end so water doesn't get out. Make sure no air gets in in that process. Now hold the small end above a bucket. Release your finger. Water should flow, but if it doesn't, try again. It is probably because there is air in it. Now you can move on to the next step.

Needs cleaning
Needs cleaning

Vacuuming the Gravel

Now you can take the big end that is in the tank, and sift through the gravel getting all of the junk out. Make sure you get through all of the gravel. If there is junk on the plants and decor just vacuum that off too. If while you are cleaning it, you get a fish starting to go up, pull it out immediately, and let the water, and the fish go back in the tank.

Conclusion to Vacuum Cleaning

Next you just pull the vacuum out of the water. Then, rinse it off in hot water again. Be sure to clean the inside too. You can also clean it in a bucket with vinegar water again. Now you can move on to algae cleaning. Replace the water taken with DE-CHLORINATED water at room temperature.

Algae Cleaning

Now you can clean off any algae in your tank. take your algae scrubber and rub anywhere on the glass that has algae. I recommend using the magnetic algae scrubber. It cleans really well. If you want to, you can also take aquarium decorations out and boil them in a pot. Then you can scrub them, and that should take most of the algae off of the decorations. Do not do it with plastic plants, or decor that has plastic on it. It will deform it. You can also boil the rock.


I hope this helps. It is very important to clean your tanks frequently to keep your fish healthy. For more information on fish and reptiles, please visit my other articles.

Good algae status
Good algae status

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Bad algae status
Bad algae status


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