When first set up, your aquarium will look beautiful, and make a stylish addition to your home. However it will need regular cleaning and water changes to keep it not only looking good, but also to ensure that fish and plants remain in perfect health. Swell UK have a range of maintenance equipment from algae scrapers to gravel cleaners to help you keep your tank in perfect condition.
Over time fish waste and plant debris can not only look unsightly, it can also cause a build-up of toxins such as ammonia which can be lethal to fish. It can also lead to an increase in phosphates and nitrates which can cause an algae problem. Algae can starve other plants of essential nutrients, leading them to wilt.
It’s a good idea to perform some regular tests as part of your routine maintenance. This can pinpoint any potential problems and help you always keep your tank in perfect health. Test before and after a water change to make sure that levels of toxins are kept at 0.
Time to Clean!
To begin use a gravel cleaner to remove a build of waste and debris from the floor of the tank. To use simply pop the suction end in the tank and the other in a waste bucket. This will remove some water too, that’s fine as you’ll need to remove a sizeable amount. Move the cleaner over the surface of gravel to remove waste.
Then using a siphon, or simply a jug, remove another 20% of the water. Pour it into an old bucket or bowl that is kept especially for this purpose. Keep it to hand for now.
Remove the filter and media, to ensure that any build-up of waste is removed. Simply rinse out media sponges or fabric in the aquarium water you have removed. This will ensure that good biological colonies are not disturbed, as they provide a further level of filtration.
Give the sides of the tank and any décor a scrub with an algae removal tool. Beware if your tank is acrylic, as some scrubbers could damage it. A razor type tool is great for a glass tank, but always use a tool meant for the purpose, to avoid potential hazards.
If you have live plants, use the opportunity to prune any dead leaves or overgrowth. Keeping plants in good condition means they are healthier and more beneficial for your tank.
Next add some fresh water. If you are using tap water, make sure you use a de-chlorinator to remove chlorine and other unwanted elements that can harm fish and cause algae.
If you are adding Reverse Osmosis water, of course this is not necessary. However you may wish to add a supplement to restore the trace elements in your tank.
Use a damp cloth to wipe down the exterior of the tank. Try to avoid using any cleaning products as they can contain ammonia or other harmful elements.
Tips to keep cleaning to a minimum:
Don’t over feed your fish – overfeeding can lead to a build-up of waste and therefore ammonia
Remove uneaten food after a few minutes. Keep a small net for this purpose.
Make sure that the filter is adequate for the amount of fish you have, and that the media is replaced when necessary.
Carry out regular maintenance at least every two weeks to keep a clean, healthy aquarium.