If you want a healthy aquarium you need to put in the effort to keep it clean and here’s how to do it:
Get everything you need together
Collect all the materials you have to use when cleaning the tank and keep them somewhere nearby so that you don’t have to go looking for things in the middle of the whole cleaning process thus prolonging it and making it more stressful for the fish and probably yourself too. You will need: a fishing net, a few bowls of various sizes (some deep some shallow), a bucket or two, a small tank, a cup, two brushes for scrubbing (one big another small preferably a tooth brush for all those hard to reach places), a cloth or rag or some kind, a pipe or hose, paper towels. All of these you can find in your home or if you don’t have them they can easily be purchased. I know it seems a bit unnecessary to have so many things with you when you clean but trust me you will need them. And if you do not have everything you can merely get in reliable aquarium products online for cleaning your tank from the local pet shop or aquarium.
Move the fish and remove other objects
Turn off and unplug any of the electrical devices that are connected to the tank such as the water filter. Then collect water from the tank and put into the largest bowl or a spare small tank once that is done start rounding up the fish with a net and place them in the bowl or small tank with the old tank water. Try not to bother the fish again until it is time to put them into the clean tank. Once all the fish have been taken out of the tank then start removing the decorations and set them aside. If you have plants in the tank take them out and put them in a different bowl filled with clean water. Or you can also opt to put some of the plants in with the fish so they feel safe and comfortable with enough spaces to hide while they are in the temporary small tank or bowl.
Scrub the inside of the tank using the bigger brush and once the dirt has settled at the bottom you can use the hose to remove the dirty water by putting one end of the hose in the tank and the sucking the water out the other end. This works brilliantly and no, you won’t end up swallowing any water just take a deep breath, pull a few times and then drop the hose into a bucket. You can throw this water out later. Scrub the decorations and anything that is dirty. Wash it well and then put everything back. Do not use soap when you scrub as it will kill the fish if you fail to wash it off properly. Most tanks tend to get extremely dirty when the fish are being over fed because a lot of people seem to get excited when they realize they can buy aquarium fish food and in stores for cheap and once they have all that food they want to feed the fish forgetting that the fish do not need so much to eat. So feed fish the right quantity and you will have a less dirty tank thus less work when it is time for cleaning.
Return everything back to the tank and you’re done!
Just slowly fill half the tank with new water and if your concerned about pH levels and temperature you can always read up about it online to get more details. Once there is new water in the tank put back the decorations and plants and then slowly scoop up the water from the bowl or tank in which you have temporarily kept the fish and put this older somewhat dirtier water in the now cleaned tank. Let the dirtier water and the cleaner water sit for a while in the tank until it mixes and then gradually put the fish in. You are basically making sure that the water is not in any way harmful for the fish, because using only clean new water would kill them since they’ve had no time to adjust to it and would go into shock. But a mixture of the two is best for your fish and for the environment you create in the tank. And there you go, you just successfully did a deep cleaning of your fish tank! Now you can watch your fish happily swimming around behind a clear squeaky clean glass.