10 Tips to Keep Your Aquarium Clean

Keeping your aquarium clean is a routine that you need to implement in your home for your fish to remain alive. It should be a routine that you include into your lifestyle, just as you keep your environment clean. Here are some tips to keep your aquarium clean.

1. Regularly Change Water

The water in which your fish live in becomes toxic if you don’t regularly change it. Fish pass waste in the water and their food also becomes piled up in the water if left for a while without being changed. This compromises the quality of the water meaning the health of your fish is also compromised. You must change 20–30% of the water every few weeks to ensure a quality habitat.

2. Clean Substrate

You must make sure that you clean your substrate to rid of any unwanted particles. Keep in mind that the food you give your fish will go to the bottom of the tank and collect on the substrate. Equipment such as the gravel vacuum helps to clean your substrate without having to necessarily drain out the water. You simply have to attach the gravel vacuum to a hose and let it do the cleaning of debris and accumulated toxins. You can learn more about such a piece of equipment that will efficiently clean your tank without you having to empty the tank regularly.

3. Remove Algae

If algae collect in your tank, the quality of the habitat will be compromised. There are different methods that you can use to remove algae. You can remove algae on the surface of your tank by using your clean bare hands. You can also use a mini-rake to scrape it off.

You can alternatively introduce plants into the tank as a part of your substrate. Plants will fill in the space that algae would have otherwise filled up that space.

There are also types of fish that eat algae such as Twig Catfish and Cherry Shrimp. You must do some research regarding different types of fish as some grow at such speeds that might not be accommodated by your type of fish tank.

4. Prune Your Plants

The plants in your fish tank can also contribute to the dirt in the tank if not taken care of. You need to regularly prune your plants and remove any dead leaves. Make sure that the leaves don’t fill up too much space in the tank that your fish will be restricted. You should be able to see your fish moving around.

5. Use a Toothbrush

You can use an old toothbrush to brush off the dirt of plants and decor in the tank. This strategy means you don’t need to take out the water for you to clean the plants. Make sure to gently brush the plants to make sure that you don’t accidentally break off the leaves.

6. Scrub Tank Walls

Scrub Tank Walls 

The tank walls need to be scrubbed to remove the remaining algae even after removing it from the water. If you decide to do a thorough scrub, you have to drain out the content in the tank. Use a clean cloth to scrub the walls and try to avoid using chemical-based cleaning products. You may contaminate the fresh water that you will replenish the tank with.

Alternatively, you can make a magnetic scrub to clean the walls. You can attach a piece of cloth to a magnetic stick and clean the walls without having to drain the water. However, the magnetic stick may be difficult to use when trying to reach corners at the bottom of the tank, depending on the size of your tank.

7. Turn Off Equipment

If you use aquarium equipment such as tank lights and an aquarium heater, you should have times where you switch these off. Constant use of gadgets can compromise the water temperature and compromise water quality. You can activate a timer for different gadgets and make sure these are in use only when required.

8. Clean the Filter

Filters need to be cleaned out as much as these are responsible for keeping your tank clear of waste. Neglecting to clean the filter means that the wastage will over-fill and can overflow into the tank. This means that the water will be poisoned by the wastage that was kept in the unclean filters. If your filter is a canister or a hang on back, you should remove it and wash it in a bucket. Make sure not to use any soap as this may contaminate the water when you replace it. If you have a sponge filter, you should remove the foam part and wring the water into a bucket. Avoid washing it in soapy water.

9. Position Your Tank Accordingly

If you notice that you positioned your tank in a place that accumulates dust and dirt quickly, you should find another spot to accommodate your tank. For example, if your tank is positioned close to a large window that is constantly open, it may bring in more dust which settles in and around your aquarium. You can find a place that is equally efficiently aerated but doesn’t catch as much dust. This will avoid your aquarium for getting dirty frequently.

10. Clean the Exterior

You mustn’t forget to clean the exterior of the tank. If the exterior is dirty and has water or dust stains, it will appear as if the interior is just as unclean despite all the effort you would have put into cleaning it. You can use vinegar and water to clean the exterior of the tank, using a clean mutton cloth to avoid scratching. Make sure to dust off the top case and the stand as well.


Whenever you clean your space, you should check on your aquarium to see if it also needs some sprucing up. Tips to keep your aquarium clean include regularly changing the water, cleaning the substrate, removing algae, pruning your plants, using a toothbrush to dust off the dirt on the plants, scrubbing the walls, turning off the equipment regularly, cleaning your filter, positioning your tank accordingly and cleaning the exterior.