If you have an aquarium, it is very important that you are able to keep it clean at all times. With so much high quality equipment on the market, you will want to include things such as a co2 diffuser and a co2 regulator in your equipment collection. However, there are several tips which will help you to keep your aquarium clean, and this blog will help you to think of several of them. If you put these tips into place, you should soon find that your aquarium is sparkling clean all of the time.

cleaning the planted tank

Make sure you don’t overpopulate your tank

When you are told about how many fish you should keep in your tank, you will likely be told that the rule is one gallon of water per inch of fish. You should always remember that your fish will grow, and this means that you will need either a bigger fish tank or fewer fish once they get to their adult size. Many fish can grow to quite extraordinary sizes, so you need to make sure that you do your research before you fill your tank with additional fish.

The fish produce feaces which can’t be filtered out if there is too much of this organic matter in the aquarium. Decomposing of the feaces introduce harmful substances to the aquarium and in consenquence the aquarium water is not healthy environment for your aquarium fish anymore. These harmful substances is mainly ammonia which is eliminated by beneficial bacteria during the biological filtration. Understand the Nitrogen Cycle with our BLOG and see how important this phenomenum is! It’s very important to perform aquarium tests which will meassure the ammonia,pH, nitrites and nitrate levels in the aquarium water. Monitoring these tank parameters will allow you to control the whole ecosystem which is very helpful in daily maintanance, and in consequence- keep your aquarium water clear.

Take care of your tank properly

If you don’t clean your tank often enough, and replace the aquarium water regularly, you will find that it is never as clean as you might like. For this reason, you should try to make sure that you are replacing at least 10% of the water every week, and this should help to keep on top of any dirt in the water, meaning that overall, the water that you can see will be clean and clear. Water changes are essencial for successfull maintanance of the aquarium. With replacing water, we also take out the fish waste, uneaten food, dead leaves, dead fish and some algae (if you have it in your tank water).

Watch out for algae

If you see that the water is looking slightly green, then there is a chance that you could have an algae problem in your tank. If this is the case, then there are two ways that you can deal with it. You can either buy chemicals from a pet store which will reverse the algae – though there is a chance that it could reoccur in the future – or you could buy algae eating fish. The fish would be a better long term solution, though obviously this is only an option if you have room for them in your tank at the time of need. Having a nice cleanup crew in the tank is a treasure of every aquarist. Otos fish are considered as the best cleaners due to theis small size. Find our list of the best aquarium cleaning crew members HERE.

tank full of algae

Cleaning creatures

As mentioned above, introducing some cleaning species to your fish tank will be a great support for filtration system. Some species of fish, shrimp and snails specialize in different kinds of water impurities such us algae, cyanobacteria or other solid waste products. Aquascapers often don’t focus on useful animals but ornamental small fish completing the arrangement of their planted tank. It’s important to remember also about other creatures that act beneficially for our fish tanks, being their tank decorations at the same time.

Check your filter

Many people don’t realise that filters need to be cleaned and replaced – but they do. When you buy your filter from your local pet store, make sure that you read the instructions on it, as this means that you will then know exactly how often you need to clean it, and how it should be done. It’s also worth pointing out that filter media shouldn’t be cleaned with tap water but with the aquarium water as there live good bacteria and we don’t want to get rid of them. Another thing is that if you have activated carbon as a filter medium, it should be replaced regularly. Carbon filter media absorb toxins from the aquarium water in stage of chemical filtration but if not replaced, accumulated toxins will be released back to the water. If the filtration system is sufficient and supported by the cleaning crew and live plants, large scale cleaning won’t by a frequent activity.

Cleaning aquaium glass

You will most thoroughly wash the aquarium glass from the inside, when you drain all the water from it, remove fish, decorations, appliances, sand and other elements. However, such thorough cleaning is performed sporadically, not more than once a year, or in exceptional circumstances (e.g. disease or fish change to requirements other than the previous one) because it’s really time consuming. In general, aquarists believe that glass cleaning should be carried out as needed. Once a week, performing water changes (approx. 20-30%) is essencial and then you can use this time to clean the glass – scraping algae or other impurities. Only cleaning supplies that are safe for fish should be used for cleaning the windows.

You can use a special sponge to clean the aquarium, but a regular cloth or a glass scraper will also do well. All cleaning accessories should be disinfected or at least scalded in boiling water. This way you will prevent bacteria or impurities from entering the water.

Step by step glass cleaning

-Disconnect all electrical devices (filters, heaters etc.)

Check their cleanliness and condicions.

-Remove about 1/3 of aquarium water

Of course the amount depends on the amount of fish swimming in the fish tank.

-Take out heavily soiled elements (wood, pebbles, etc.)

Take out one by one and clean them, preferably with aquarium water or a special disinfectant.

-Clean the windows from dirt and algae

You can use a sponge, scraper, etc.

-Fill the aquarium with water

If your tap water is hard, it’s important to treat it with water conditioner to improve water quality.

-Connect the equipment again

And enjoy your clean and tidy aquarium glass!


By taking the time to follow the above steps, you can ensure that your aquarium will always look nice and clean. This means that you will be able to enjoy the fish keeping, knowing that they are happy and healthy, and for this reason it is certainly more than worth taking the time to keep your tank clean and tidy.

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