Cleaning a Dirty Aquarium
It takes some effort to keep an aquarium clean. This will give you some guide lines for doing that. A fresh water fish tank takes about 30 minutes to 60 minutes of work a week based on the size of the tank.
Equipment you will need:
1) You will need a clean 5 gallon bucket. This must have not been used for anything else.
2) A gravel cleaner or gravel vacuum and some hose.
3) A bag of natural or synthetic sea salt
You will need to clean the tank each week on the same day and the filters every 2 or 3 weeks.
Be sure to unplug the tanks heater if you have one. The water help cool the glass on the heater if removed it could crack, or the glass could totally shatter. Be 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 cooled you can safely remove the it from the tank or it the heater is submersible you can just push it down to the bottom of the tank.
Remove any decorations that is in the tank, All that should now be left is the small gravel at the bottom. Using the gravel vacuum, so you do not have to 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 gravel vacuum. Do not throw out the water you will still need it to clean the filters.
When using the gravel vacuum, every second or two move the gravel cleaner over an inch or two and repeat this process until you have removed 15 percent of the tanks water.
Now its time for you to clean the Aquariums filters. The inside of the filter has bacteria, that help break down the nitrites and nitrates that are in the water. To make sure we don’t kill all these aquarium friendly bacteria, clean the filter materials and sponges in the dirty water that is also full of the good 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 needs to 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.
You only need to clean the filters once or twice a month.
The water in the tank should be cleaned on the same day every week.
The Pet Guy