How to Clean a Dirty Aquarium

A fresh water fish tank requires about 30 minutes to an hour of work a week depending on the size of the tank.


What you will need: 1) You will need a clean 5 gallon bucket that has never had chemicals or soap inside of it. 2) A hose or gravel cleaner 3) A bag of natural or synthetic sea salt

I have split the work into two parts the tank which needs to be cleaned ever week on the same day and the filters which can be cleaned every 2 or 3 weeks.


The very first thing you have to do before you start cleaning your fish tank is to unplug your tanks heater if you have one. The heater can not be allowed to be removed from the water while it is hot so make sure to leave it unplugged at least 20 minutes before attempting to remove it. The water help cool the glass on the heater if removed it could crack, or the glass could totally shatter. You should also remember to never stick your hand inside of any fish tank before making sure the heater is not only off but unplugged from the wall. A small crack in the heater could be more then enough to cause a shock to you that can be fatal.

After the heater has ha time to cool you can safely remove the heater from the tank or it the heater is submersible you can just push it down to the bottom of the tank.


Now take any decorations you may have placed in the tank, so all you have are the small gravel at the bottom, this will allow you to get any dirt that those decorations may have been covering up. Now if you do not have a gravel cleaner you are going to have to roll up your sleeves and get your hands wet. You will need to stir up the gravel to get the dirt that has settled between the gravel into the water, and start removing the water into the bucket with the hose. Do not throw out the water you will still need it to clean the filters.

If you have a gravel cleaner, push the plastic tube into the gravel until it hits the bottom of the tank, then start a siphon into the bucket, every second or 2 move the gravel cleaner over an inch or 2 and repeat this process until either you have removed 15 percent of the tanks water of you have cleaned all the gravel.

Now at this point you can clean the Aquariums filters. The insides of the filters are used to grow bacteria, that help break down the nitrites and nitrates that are in the water from fish waste and uneaten food. To make sure we don’t kill all these Aquarium friendly bacteria, we clean the filter materials and sponges in the dirty water that I also full of the bacteria. Take everything out of the filters and rinse them of in the bucket of dirty Aquarium water, then give the sponge a couple of squeezes in the bucket and reassemble the filters, and put them back on the tank.


Now before adding the water sea salt must be added to the tank. All water has some amount of salt in it and to replicate the natural habitat of the fish there must be salt in your tank as well. Add approximately 1 cup of sea salt for every 50 gallons of water.

Now you can add water to the tank, but you must make sure the water is the within a degree or two of the temperature of the water in the tank. A drastic change in the tanks temperature suddenly can throw the fish into shock and kill them or weaken their immunity and help give them a fish disease. I recommend filling the bucket with hot water and checking it regularly till it is the same as the tanks temperature, then slowly add the water to the tank, start the filters and the heater.

Cleaning the filters only needs to be done once or twice a month, but the water in the tank must be cleaned on the same day every week.

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Is A Freshwater Aquarium Right For You?

Known as the traditional aquarium option, freshwater aquariums have satisfied numerous individuals and families for decades. They’re beautiful, calming, and easier than ever to care for. It’s no wonder that so many people decide to invest in these living pieces of art.


However, before you pull out that credit card, it’s always recommended you thoroughly research aquariums and determine which aquarium option is right for you. Aquariums are often a big investment (depending on the size and design) and come with a variety of responsibilities based on the option you choose.


Luckily, San Antonio freshwater aquarium designers, Aquatic Interiors, have decided to shed some light on the issue and provide you with some great insights on how to determine if a freshwater aquarium is the right aquarium for you.




Freshwater vs. Saltwater

Choosing between a saltwater and freshwater aquarium is easy. It really only comes down to three things: your preference of fish, your budget, and the amount of time you can allot.


Freshwater fish are common, don’t require much special attention, and are fairly inexpensive. Often, people can keep a large freshwater aquarium filled with a variety of fish for the same price it would cost another to buy, keep, and maintain a small saltwater aquarium.


This is not to deter people from saltwater fish however. Saltwater aquariums, despite the work and costs involved, serve their purpose as well. Saltwater fish are exotic and awe-inspiring. It is a great honor to have them in your home on display. People are naturally drawn to their vibrant colors, gorgeous saltwater environments, and mysterious natures.


Setup and Maintenance

Freshwater aquariums, in general, are easier to maintain. Their set up costs and tanks are inexpensive and the day-to-day maintenance is fairly quick and un-intensive. It is also easy to find freshwater aquarium supplies, fish, tools, etc. because of how common they are.


On the flipside, saltwater aquariums are not as cheap and convenient. The initial setup and costs are very expensive when compared to a freshwater aquarium. This is due to the fact that saltwater fish and plants require a very specific saltwater environment to thrive.


Not to mention, saltwater aquariums require substantial maintenance. This maintenance and upkeep tends to be very intensive and requires a significant amount of time and patience. If you live a very busy lifestyle or travel often, choosing a saltwater aquarium is not recommended.


Freshwater Aquarium Variety

Though associated with the words “common” or “traditional,” the freshwater aquariums of today are anything but. Now, you can customize your freshwater aquarium to any size or shape your heart desires. For example, many people choose to make their aquarium serve a purpose in their home.


From room separators to built-in wall displays; if you can think it up, an expert aquarium designer can create it. In fact, San Antonio freshwater aquarium designers, Aquatic Interiors, have seen a huge surge in custom aquarium requests over the last decade. The freshwater aquarium information and design inspiration now available on the internet may be a contributing factor.


The vast variety of freshwater fish is also something to consider. There are literally thousands of freshwater fish to choose from, leaving you with a variety of options when creating your freshwater aquarium landscape. You can choose fish based on color, size, etc. The options are endless.


Not to mention, did you know some tropical fish are also freshwater fish? Keeping tropical freshwater fish satisfies the need to have exotic fish without attaching the overburdening maintenance usually associated with rare fish.


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