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How to Clean Your Aquarium: The Ultimate Guide

Aqua One Dynamic Aquarium

Sometimes it seems that life is just one endless cleaning job after another, but at least when you clean your aquarium, you maintain a healthy environment so that your fish can thrive! By maintaining the aquarium, we are referring to changing some of the water & wiping clean the sides of the aquarium.

Only ever change a maximum of 1/2 of the water, any more is too stressful for the fish. We recommend that you change either 1/4 every two weeks, or if you’re pushed for time 1/3 every month.

We never recommend that you strip down the tank & remove all the water as this is a sure way to ensure that your fish will become stressed which can trigger a disease outbreak.


Step 1. Turn off Electrical equipment


Aqua One Magnetic Aquarium Cleaner

Turn off all equipment, except the light, so filters, pumps & heaters. Remove any lids (if you have them in your aquarium) & place them somewhere nobody will step on them or sit on them. Next, wipe out the inside of the aquarium using a scourer such as a Algae Scrub 'n' clean by Aqua one. These are made for aquarium use & last you for years. If you’re using a scourer, don’t press to hard as you can scratch the glass, especially if you catch a piece of gravel between the pad and the glass wall. If you don’t like getting your hands wet or have an extra deep aquarium, then can use the Aqua One  magnetic cleaner. These are two magnets, one with a scourer surface that goes on the inside of the tank & the other with a soft pad which goes on the outside. These are great for getting into corners & deep sections of your aquarium. The Aqua One floating magnetic aquarium glass cleaner is one of the strongest that we’ve come across & they are very durable.


Step 2. Next, use a gravel cleaner to remove the water from the Aquarium


Marina Gravel Siphon for Aquariums

Gravel cleaners clear the detris & dirt from the gravel without the need to remove the gravel itself. Work the gravel cleaner over the whole bed so you can remove as much debris & dirt as possible with each water change. Draining out this water also removes dissolved organic waste that we can’t see, as well as other debris such as dead leaves & fish waste. When your siphoning, be careful not to suck up any fish! If you do, break the siphon & return the fish to the tank. Once you have completed siphoning out the water, trim off any dead leaves from aquatic plants and adjust any rocks and driftwood. Don’t be afraid to prune plants as in most cases, this will encourage thicker growth.


Step 3. It is now time to refill the Aquarium.


Aqua One Ammonia Remover Chlorine Neutraliser 150ml Treatment

Never use water straight from the tap as this can kill the fish due to the chlorine & chloramine. It is best to have a bucket that you only use for the aquarium & preferably one that holds ten litres as most of the water treatments are measured as a 10 litre dose. Once you have filled the bucket with water (in winter you may want to add a little hot water to bring up the temperature), you then need to add the water treatment. First add the water conditioner as this removes the chlorine from the tap water, then add your water conditioner. 

Add aquarium safe salts everytime you do a water change. These are essential to all freshwater fish for healthy gill function.

Alternatively, once the aquarium is refilled, add a dose of API's Stress Coat to the water to prevent any disease & to reduce stress. Stress Coat is also excellent for reducing stress after a water change and it adds electrolytes to the water as well as removing chlorine and chloramine.

You should now clean the lids & the front Aquarium Saltof the aquarium. Tap water & your scourer are fine for this, but if they have a build up of a scaly white deposits, you may wish to use an aquarium glass cleaner that uses citric acid to remove these deposits.


Wipe off or squeegee the front of the glass & the job is now complete. If you undertake this maintenance every two weeks, it will greatly reduce the chance of disease and mortality in your fish and you’ll have a great looking aquarium to boot!


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