Aquarium cleaning greatly differs from everyday house cleaning. Aquariums are man-made ecosystems, or at least that is what they are supposed to be. Speaking generally, aquariums consist of fish, water, plants, and aquarium accessories, including real or man-made rocks, roots, and other scenery. Let’s not forget the behind-the-scenes components: filtration system, thermometers, lights, etc.
Changing one of the components or conditions can cause mild to severe damage to the eco-system of an aquarium. Therefore, you should always be cautious and careful. However, the water in an aquarium needs to be in balance and regular water changes are required.
Water Ph levels need to be at the certain level, depending on the fish you own. Fish food and other residue mess up the water easily. It’s best to change the water 5-10 percent at the time. You take 10% of aquarium water out and pour in the same amount of fresh water. This way you will not disturb the established eco-system too much.
Sometimes, you can change whole water during an aquarium cleaning at once, but for most fish owners this is too complicated, and it can be lethal to your fish.
Do not change water and filters at the same time. Bacteria in your filters add to Ph balance and water quality, so it’s best to keep old filters on while changing the water and change the filters later.
We believe that aquariums look better and more natural with a layer of algae colonies on the background panel and accessories. Some fish owners prefer the clean look. It is completely normal for algae to form inside your aquarium, and all in all, this is not harmful and it adds up to the water balance and health. But, if you prefer the non-algae look, you can easily clean your Aquadecor background with any plastic brush. Just make sure it’s new and clean and use it only for aquarium cleaning.
We recommend you use only the chemicals that are safe for aquariums, even if you clean backgrounds outside the aquarium. Some chemicals leave a residue that slowly dissolves in water, and this can be fatal to your fish. If you are not a proud owner of Aquadecor background, then check if your background is safe to clean with chemicals. You can safely clean all Aquadecor backgrounds with any aquarium-safe chemical.
General aquarium cleaning
In case you decide to generally clean your aquarium, there is a chance that this might be too much of a shock for your scaly pets. Fish adjust to the environment, and even the slightest change can be dramatic and overwhelming for them. Still, sometimes we must perform a general clean to provide a healthier atmosphere for fish. To make this as fish-friendly as possible, we have prepared a few tips that really can make the difference:
Things you’ll need:
- Large bucket or bowl to keep your fish safe, while you clean the aquarium
- Hose to drain the water out of the aquarium
- A fish net, to transfer fish in and out
- A container for aquarium plants
- A container and a colander to transfer and rinse the substrate. In case you have sand, you can strain it through a mesh cloth,
- Brushes, scrubs, cleaners and the rest. Make sure to use aquarium-safe products and tools and be careful when cleaning the glass.
- Fresh water. Make sure that the water you are using is prepared and at the right temperature.
- Before doing an aquarium overhaul, it is good to do a gradual water change a few days before this massive change. This way you will slowly prepare fish for the transfer. You can change 10%-15% of water at the time. On the day of general aquarium cleaning, remove enough water from the aquarium into the bucket or bowl, in which you plan to keep your fish while cleaning. The more curated water you keep, the better. Gently transfer fish from aquarium to the bucket.
- Remove plants, décor, and the substrate, separately. Gently clean the plants, rinse well and do the same with the substrate. Store plants in a container with water.
- Perform the clean. Wash, brush and wipe thoroughly. If the background is detachable wash it, rinse well and let it dry. In case of contamination, you can use adequate chemicals and dry the background of sunlight.
- If the old water is contaminated, you should avoid putting it back. But if the water is so-so healthy, it is a good idea to pour some of the water back, to keep the ecosystem as similar to the way it was before aquarium cleaning.