How To Clean A Fish Tank With Fish In It

cleaning tankSo you want to know how to clean a fish tank with fish in it. That’s the only way an aquarium should be cleaned. With the exception of moving the aquarium, you should never remove fish from their environment. I’m sure, from time to time, something comes along like replacing an undergravel filter or maybe switching aquarium stands or the aquarium itself, that might require removing all the fish but that is going beyond just cleaning the tank. The stress on the fish during normal tank maintenance is bad enough, but using tank nets to catch them and then put them in different water and then move them back after the water change is unnecessary and will probably contribute to higher stress and illness.

Regular maintenance requires a twenty five to thirty percent water change once per month. Some people like to do smaller changes more often and that is ok too. If you have an aquarium that is sooooo dirty that you feel you have to drain it and remove the fish, then you might want to consider the source of the problem. A tank that is not over fed, not next to a window, not used as a nightlight, should not need to have fish removed during routine maintenance. The number of aquarists who leave the hobby because of frustration of tank maintenance and / or dirty fish tanks is way too high. People who own cats have to clean the litter box every day or two. People who have dogs have to pick up the piles in the yard every couple of days. Anyone who has small animals and reptiles knows that certain things have to be done to maintain the health of their pet. Just because fish use gills instead of lungs doesn’t mean they don’t need clean water in order to stay healthy as well. Plecostomus or algae eaters in freshwater aquariums may keep up with algae on the glass or even many decorations, but that doesn’t mean the quality of the water is healthy.

There’s no trade secret when it comes to cleaning a fish tank. It’s not rocket science. Whether it’s a freshwater or full reefsaltwater aquarium, the key to any healthy tank is to do routine monthly maintenance including water changes, decoration cleaning, and filter upkeep. Cleaning a fish tank should be done with the fish in it. The use of a gravel vacuum to remove dirt, fish waste, and detritus is the best way to help maintain a healthy environment. After unplugging any electrical equipment that might cause an issue during a water change, wipe down any algae that is on the glass, filtration equipment, heaters, etc that are in the tank. Then remove any decorations that need to be cleaned. With a gravel vacuum, remove the water carefully while avoiding sucking up any fish. It happens. What’s worse is when you suck up only half of a fish, but I digress.  Put the clean decorations back, fill the tank back up, and plug electrical back in.

This article doesn’t address every aspect of how to clean a fish tank with fish in it, but rather to inform you that you are not to remove fish from your aquarium unless there is some dire reason. The health of your fish depends mainly on great water quality, but also a stress free environment. That means not putting in predator fish with your community fish, not over populating the tank, and definitely not stressing out the fish by making them relive the fear of being netted out of their tank each time maintenance has to be done. One of the biggest killers of tropical or marine fish is stress.

Article Name
How To Clean A Fish Tank With Fish In It
With very few exceptions, aquarists should always leave the fish in the tank while they do maintenance.

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