Cleaning a fish tank is a simple and straight forward task that should not take very long. The better care you provide for your tank, the healthier your fish will be. You should not have to remove all the stuff out of the tank when you clean it. Every surface in the tank will grow some type of bacteria that is part of the biological filter. By removing and cleaning the items, you stress some of the healthy bacteria, and in turn reduce the quality of your filtration.
When cleaning your aquarium, you should just remove about half of the total amount of water and replace it with fresh de chlorinated tap water. While you are doing this, you should use your siphon to suck up some of the gunk that collects in the gravel and decorations. If you have an under gravel filter, it is very important to clean the gravel when you do your weekly water change. This will prevent detritus and other decaying organic matter from blocking the passages between the pebbles and restricting water flow.
If you have algae growing on the surface of the tank, you should get an algae scraper of some sort and scrub the glass before removing water. Many varieties of algae scrapers are available at almost all local pet stores. You can also get algae eating catfish or scavengers to pick up some of this work for you. Having catfish in the tank does not mean that you will never need to clean again. Algae eaters and catfish will add to the biological load of your tank and increase maintenance requirements.
If you have to clean out the filters, do not change all the media everything at once. This will remove the majority of your biological filter and cause the tank to have to go through another cycling period to reestablish bacterial growth. Rinse any new filter in cool running water before introducing it to the system.
Once you have siphoned most of the water from your tank, you will need to fill it again. The easiest way to do this is to use a siphon and siphon water from a bucket into the tank. This will tend to reduce spilling and shooting up gravel. Use a bucket that has never had any household chemicals in it and fill it with water. The water should be close to the temperature of the tank water that you just took out. Use a chlorine remover to prepare the water for introduction into the tank. Place the bucket somewhere higher than the top of the fish tank, and get your siphon going. In just a couple of minutes, you should have a full tank.
Be sure to watch the siphon in case the hose gets bumped out of the tank. Keep in mind that there needs to be some space between the top of the water and the aquarium cover, because your fish rely on oxygen exchange at the surface of the water in order to be able to breathe.
Remember, cleaning your tank is easy and it will get easier after repeating a few times. Always scrub for algae, remove half of the water supply while cleaning the gravel, and top off the tank with de chlorinated water. This method works with any basic fish tank. Good luck and take care of your fish.
By Donald Mckenzie Jr
For more information visit these two websites: http://fishing-techniques.blogspot.com and http://house-pets.blogspot.com You will get more information on how to fish and caring for all types of house pets.