Cleaning your fish tank

August 19, 2012 - 9:23am

Yes, you have to clean your fish tank! You will definitely need an aquarium gravel cleaner, which is simply a siphoning unit. Its purpose is to remove wastes from the aquarium gravel which generally are not removed by power-operated filters. Wastes that collect in the gravel bed often take on an unsightly appearance. They also can produce decay and gases toxic to fish and plants.

Aquarium owners who use gravel cleaners benefit in many ways. The top on the list is convenience. If used properly, aquarium gravel cleaners will:

  • whisk dirt away, leaving clean gravel intact
  • leave fish, plants, and decorations intact
  • save hours in aquarium cleaning time
  • result in cleaner, healthier conditions for aquarium inhabitants.

Aquarium gravel cleaners are really easy to use, just follow these simple steps:

1. Place the large rigid intake tube of aquarium cleaner into aquarium gravel.

2. Position a leak-proof bucket on the floor beneath the aquarium. The bucket must be positioned below the water level in the aquarium in order for the siphoning to occur naturally.

3. Start the siphon unit. This is done best by issuing a sudden, short draw of breath to the flexible tubing that exits into the bucket. Water, containing suspended dirt particles, should quickly begin to flow into the bucket.

4. Allow gravel to rise up (three to four inches) in the rigid intake tube of the aquarium gravel cleaner before pinching the flexible tubing to stop water flow.

5. While still pinching the flexible tubing, lift the rigid tube from the gravel there and more to another spot for cleaning. Start siphoning again. Repeat process until one third of the aquarium water has been removed.

It is important to remember that no more than one third of the aquarium water should be removed from the tank during any one cleaning. Removing too much can deplete helpful bacteria strains living in your aquarium and as a result upset the balance of biological filtration. Also, the replacement water should always be conditioned with an aquarium water conditioner to insure the health of your aquatic pets during routine water exchanges.

Ask your Petland pet counselor for a demonstration if you are unsure of the process or are new to fishkeeping.

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