Tips on Keeping Your Aquariums Clean
A sparkling aquarium with crystal clear water is what every aquarist aspires to, however, keeping your fish tank clean is an ongoing maintenance job and failing to stay on top of the tasks can lead to more problems than you can imagine.
With algae growth, fish waste and excess food all potentially clogging up your water, not to mention obscuring the glass, you need to work to make sure your fish tank systems are all operating correctly and your tank doesn’t become a polluted nightmare.
Here are a few tips on how to keep your aquarium clean and healthy:
If you have a small tank but over fill it with too many fish then the waste they produce will overwhelm the systems and you will end up with a dirty, unpleasant aquarium. In a nutshell, the more water you have, the easier it is to keep clean as the pollution will be that much more diluted.
It’s best to go for the biggest tank you can afford and have the space for, that way your fish will be happy and healthy and your tank will be easier to look after and maintain regularly.
All aquariums need filters to stay clean and clear regular waste from the water so make sure your filter is the right size to cope with the amount of waste your tank produces every day. You will also need to be prepared to change the filter media regularly to ensure it doesn’t become blocked.
If you try to house too many fish in your aquarium you will end up with way too much waste for the fish tank filters and systems to cope with, meaning your water will become polluted and unpleasant for the fish to live in, quite rapidly.
The fewer fish you can have, the better for their health and the easier it will be to keep the water clean and well-maintained. Buy a tropical fish tank that’s suitable for the number of fish you plan to keep.
Food waste is a major cause of problems with fish tanks so make sure you only give your fish what they need. It’s better to give them a small amount first and if they are still hungry, add a little more again. If you overfeed, the fish won’t eat the food and it will fall to the bottom and start to rot.
Some natural cleaners who like to feed off debris and fallen food at the bottom of the tank can also be a great addition to your aquarium, helping to keep it clean the natural way. Bottom feeders such as snails, some fish breeds and shrimp are perfect for this role.
Algae loves sunlight so if your fish tank is placed near a window or open sunlight all day long, you will end up with a big algae problem and your fish tank will start to turn green. The best way to prevent algae is regularly cleaning when you spot it, and keeping your fish tank away from direct sunlight.
However clean and well-maintained your tank is you will still need to change between 25% and 50% of the water every week to make sure all of the organic waste is removed from the environment so the fish have pleasant living conditions.
As part of your routine maintenance you can use a gravel vacuum to remove debris from the bottom of the tank while you are doing the water change.
Don’t wait until your tank is overrun with algae before you clean it – use a scraper to remove algae from the sides of your fish tank on a regular basis, so that it doesn’t get the chance to build up and start to cause unsightly problems.
If you have features in your tank for your fish such as rocks, toys, or artificial castles etc.… then make sure you remove them and give them a good wash on a regular basis to prevent build-up of organic waste within them.
Keeping your fish tank clean is a regular and ongoing job and there is no way around that but it’s all part of the joy of fish keeping. As long as the filters are working and the right size and you have enough space and water for the amount of fish you are looking after, the tank shouldn’t need huge amounts of cleaning.
Regular weekly maintenance to remove algae, check the filters and change part of the water will help to keep your fish happy and healthy and give you an aquarium to be proud of.