Owning an aquarium isn’t as easy as paying for it and letting it
sit there—eventually you will have to clean and maintain it to keep
your residents happy and healthy. While proper filtration systems and
a properly-balanced ecosystem can extend the amount of time between cleanings,
eventually you’ll have to maintain it. Failing to do so can lead
to algae and bacteria growth, lack of oxygen in the water, foul smells,
and numerous other problems that will both make living with your tank
unpleasant for you, and living in it unpleasant for your fish.
Many people procrastinate when it comes to maintaining their tank because
it can potentially be a lot of work. Scrubbing algae out of nooks and
crannies can be a tedious and patience-testing labor of love, and even
the most passionate fish owners will have times where they just don’t
feel like getting their hands dirty. However, maintenance doesn’t
have to be a difficult job, provided you have the right tools. Here are
three tips for making maintenance of your aquarium much easier.
Use a Scrubber or Scraper
Cleaning algae off your tank is a tricky task, particularly if you have
a larger tank. However, the right tool can make the job a lot easier and
a lot cleaner. A tank scraper like an ice scraper for your car windshield,
only much softer and smaller. These allow you to quickly and easily reach
into your tank and scrape algae off the sides so you can empty it from
the tank completely.
Many people often use a rough sponge to do this job, but this also involves
reaching into the tank. Want to avoid getting wet as much as possible?
A magnetic scrubber could be just the thing. These devices have two parts:
a handle and a scrubber. The scrubber has a rough scrubbing surface on
it, while the handle is easy to hold. Simply hold the scrubber to the
side of your tank and then place the handle over it, and a powerful magnet
holds the two sides together. Dragging the scraper along using the handle
scrubs the algae off the tank without worrying about emptying your tank
or water splashing around.
The plants or large rocks in your aquarium can be a real nuisance to clean
while leaving them in place, and sometimes even the most advanced tools
just can’t do the job you could otherwise do by taking the piece
out and giving it a thorough scrubbing yourself. The easiest way to do
this? Rubber-tipped tongs or grabbers, which you can purchase nearly anywhere
for cheap. This is also perhaps the most sanitary way to clean these objects.
The oils and bacteria on your skin can leave residue on your tank fixtures
as you clean them, so using tongs to grab them and carry them can help
reduce the amount of contact you make, preventing your fish from potentially
falling ill from this unexpected contaminant.
Clearing Algae Away
Once the algae has been dislodged, it will likely float to the top of your
tank where you need to sweep it away. To do this, you’ll need a
fine-grain net and an assortment of buckets. You can keep your arms dry
by using some heavy-duty aqua gloves.
Likewise, algae also builds up in places other than your tank itself. In
fact, the dirtiest place in your entire ecosystem will be your tank’s
filter. Be sure to clean this regularly and replace any media according
to the system’s manufacturing guidelines. You may also want to clean
any water inlets and outlets as well to remove any residue that may have
built up. A clean filter will always work best, so make sure you are constantly
checking, changing, and cleaning this important system.
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