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How to Clean a Fish Tank {Basic}

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I’ve had a few posts about my fish tank so I figured I’d put together a quick post and video about how I clean my fish tank. I am definitely not a professional, but I think I’ve got a basic idea about how to clean them which should be sufficient for most casual fish caregivers. 
The most important thing about caring for fish is that no chemicals or soaps get in the aquarium. If you’re going to have your hands in the tank, you need to make sure you don’t have anything on you that can get into the water. If you clean a fish tank or equipment with anything besides water, you need to rinse very, very thoroughly. I don’t use chemicals (ie. bleach) or soaps at all because I just don’t think it’s worth potentially killing all of the fish. I do find a clean toothbrush and some warm water in the sink can do waters for cleaning off decorations and such. 

If you need cleaning equipment, the following items listed below can come in useful:
Altogether it’s very affordable to purchase the cleaning supplies and they should last a very long time.

Note that when I first put in the aquarium and added water, I filled aquarium (no fish) and then added the water conditioner for the full size of my aquarium. This gets things like chlorine out of the water so you can add fish immediately. Alternatively if you let water sit there for a few days, I believe the chlorine will evaporate out of the water or something to that effect- I’m not super familiar with this because I don’t like to leave buckets of water around for my kids to tip over. Bad idea if you have children, pets, or clumsy adults who might get water everywhere.

Once I’ve established my aquarium, I siphon about 15% or so every 2 weeks, then I replace that 15% water. I throw the dirty water out to water my garden, then I refill the 5 gallon bucket. I add the water conditioner for the 5 gallons into the bucket, then let sit for 30 minutes or so. Then I add the water into the aquarium. This saves me a lot more money on water conditioner so I’m only needing enough for 5 gallons at a time vs adding 30 gallons (my fish tank size) portion of water conditioner into the fish tank directly.

Okay so check out my video to see the cleaning in action. I always feel so good once I finish cleaning my tank. It looks beautiful after and it’s really not a lot of effort to care for a tank. 
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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