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If you did only one thing today, it should be bookmarking this page.

This guide is a great reference and I hope you refer to it often.

The tips, steps and videos will help you get the clean and healthy aquaruim you have always wanted.

But only if you take action.

If you only read this guide once and never come back, I doubt you will see the success you would like to acheive.

So go ahead and bookmark this page now.

I’m so glad you decided to sign up for this list, these tools are what I consider to be the 9 essential tools needed to successfully undertake a tank cleaning.

Here’s the checklist:

Fish Net

Flipper Magnetic Aquarium Cleaner

Aquarium Razor Blade

Algae Pad

Aquarium Plant Trimmer

Python Water Change System

Aquarium Safe Glass Cleaner

Filter and Filter Media

Aquarium Water Conditioners

Below I have provided a description of the tool, their function and a video exactly how to use the tool.

Each of these tools is not “Required” to clean your aquarium as there are other tools available.

However, these tools will definitely help make it easier for you to clean and manage your tank if you stick to a regular maintenance schedule.

Don’t have a maintenance schedule?

No problem, keep reading and at the end of this guide we have a special gift for you.

 

Before you do any cleaning use a water test kit like this one from API to monitor and test the quality of your water.

Record the results and take action if you notice any issues with your water quality.

Okay Let’s Get Started!

Just follow these steps in order when cleaning your aquarium.

Step #1 – Tool: The Fish Net (Optional)

Start by carefully removing your fish using a Fish Net.

Be careful to minimize stress to your fish, by having water on standby in a spare tank or bucket to put them in during the tank clean.

Tip: Be sure to fill your bucket or a spare tank with water from the tank you are cleaning.

Fish nets are available in a wide range of styles and design, select one of an appropriate size for both the fish and the aquarium.

Watch this video on how to safely remove fish using a net.

Step #2 – Tool: Magnetic Cleaner or Algae Pad

Begin by giving the glass a good cleaning on the inside with an Magnetic Algae Cleaner. This is pretty straight forward, scrub until all the algae is gone.

There are many varieties of algae scrapers on the market, from long handled scrubbers to Magnetic Glass Cleaner.

Consider the design and shape of the tank that it will be used to clean when selecting a style.

On-going maintenance for a tank can be greatly aided with the addition of a magnetic glass cleaner.

These devices help clean glass by magnetizing from an outside pad to the inner glass cleaner part.

This makes cleaning your glass much easier by eliminating the need to need to place your arm in water when cleaning the tank, which could cause issues with the quality of your water.

Here is a great video on how to clean your glass with a magnetic cleaner.

Step #3 – Tool: Razor Blade

For any tough build up of calcium or algae on the glass just use an Aquarium Razor Blade to scrape it off.

Warning: If you have an acrylic aquarium use a plastic blade to prevent scratching.

Step #4 – Algae Pad (Cont)

After you clean the glass, remove any décor, plants, rocks that have a buildup of algae.

Using tank water in a separate bucket scrub your décor with an Algae Pad to remove the algae and build up.

Warning: Do not use soap or detergents to clean anything. EVER!

Watch this video about using an Algae Pad.

Step #5 – Tool: Trimmer For Live Plants

Using a Plant Trimmer, trim down any dead or overgrown plants.

Do this instead: If you can manage, trim your plants during your water change (next step) and use your siphon to suck up the plant debris out of the tank as you trim.

Watch this vido on trimming your plants.

Step #6 – Tool:  Water Changer and Gravel Siphon

Start your water change and clean the gravel by using a water siphon to remove the debris that has built up in your gravel.

Vacuum the entire surface of the gravel thoroughly so that all debris is removed.

There are several types of siphons available but they essentially all work in the same way.

I like to use the Python No Spill Clean and Fill Aquarium Maintenance System which allows you to hook up to your faucet to create the siphon, eliminating the need to fill up and carry buckets of water.

It can also be used to fill your aquarium back up – cutting the time needed to complete a water change.

Watch this great video on the Python Water Change System.

Step #7 – Tool:  Aquarium Safe Glass Cleaner

Now that you have cleaned the inside of your tank it’s time to clean the outside glass.

Using an aquarium safe glass cleaner wipe down the outside glass.

Warning: Do not use soap or glass cleaners. They may contain ammonia, which is toxic to fish.

You can also use a mixture of 1:2 ratio vinegar solution. one part vinegar two parts water. This works very well to clean the outside of your tank.

Combo this with a water change and you will have yourself a sweet looking tank.

Step #8 – Clean Your Filter

This could be really be its own guide, but basically any filter containing carbon, ammonia absorbers or ion-exchange resins should be replaced every three weeks.

Warning: Do not clean your filter the same day you do a water change. Doing a water change and filter clean at the same time could remove too much beneficial bacteria. Instead clean your filter at least 3-5 day’s later.

Remove and disassemble your aquarium filter (following the manufactures instructions) and clean the cartridges, tubes, intakes, outputs and canister that house the filter media.

Clean or replace your Filter Media as needed depending on the media you are using, clean any reusable media (sponges) with some old tank water.

When cleaning your filter, keep things simple and use the same bucket of old tank water that you used to clean your décor.

Tip: Using old tank water to clean your filter ensures that you don’t kill off too much of your beneficial bacteria that has developed in your filter.

Using a Filter Brush clean the filter tubing and other parts of the filter assembly that need to be cleaned.  A filter brush can get into the small places where algae and sludge will build up.

Fluval FX6 Aquarium Filter
List Price:$319.00
Price:$319.00
Price Disclaimer

Step #9 – Tool: Water Conditioners

After you have replaced your décor, reinstalled your filter and filled your tank back up, add your conditioners.

At a minimum after every cleaning you should use:

Seachem Stability: Will help safely establish your aquarium biofilter (beneficial bacteria) in your tank after cleaning.

Seachem Prime: Prime removes chlorine, chloramine and ammonia, that may be present after adding new water to your tank during cleaning.

Some other useful conditioners are;

Seachem Clarity: Will help clear all types of clouding sometimes present after a big cleaning.

Seachem StressGuard: Will help reduce stress and ammonia toxicity whenever handling or transporting fish.

Seachem Flourish: Will provide organic carbon for aquarium plants to help promote growth.

That’s it!

I hope you made it this far?

Cleaning a fish tank should be done regularly and carefully to ensure the optimal health of the fish and the maintenance of their environment.

Different tools yield different results, and personal preference and budget will all affect the tools you use.

Here’s Your Gift!

If you really want to put these tools to good use an excellent addition to this guide is a copy of our

30 Day Easy Maintenance Schedule.

Get the schedule for only $7 

Here’s what you get;

  • A list of daily maintenance checks that you can do in less than 5 minutes each day.
  • Weekly cleaning routine that will keep your aquarium sparkling clean.
  • Which Monthly housekeeping items you should do each month to keep your tank balanced and healthy.
  • All in an easy to follow step-by-step format so that you focus on enjoying your aquarium.

Once you start cleaning your aquarium the right way, you will have crystal clear aquarium with happy fish that live a long healthy life.