How to Clean Out Aquarium: A Step-by-Step Guide to Sparkling Clean Fish Tanks

Cleaning your aquarium is a crucial aspect of maintaining a healthy and vibrant environment for your aquatic pets. It might sound tedious at first, but with the right approach and tools, it can be a quick and hassle-free task. Plus, a clean aquarium adds aesthetic value to your room and showcases the beauty of your fish in their natural habitat.

Whether you are new to fishkeeping or have been doing it for a while, learning how to clean your aquarium is vital for the health and wellbeing of your aquatic buddies. In this blog post, we will guide you through the steps to clean your aquarium, from preparing the equipment to the final touches, making the process a breeze! So, let’s dive in and get started!

Gather Necessary Supplies

Before diving in to clean out your aquarium, you need to make sure you have all the necessary supplies. First, you’ll need a good quality aquarium vacuum to suck out the debris and waste that has settled to the bottom of the tank. A bucket will also come in handy to collect the debris and water you remove.

A scraper or algae pad is necessary to remove any buildup on the tank walls and decorations. A clean sponge or cloth is needed to wipe down the exterior of the tank. It’s also important to have a water testing kit to ensure proper levels of pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.

Finally, make sure to use water conditioner to treat the new water you add to the tank to remove any harmful chemicals. With these supplies on hand, you can tackle the job of cleaning out your aquarium with ease, leaving your fish with a clean and healthy environment to thrive in.

Bucket or container

If you’re looking to gather necessary supplies for your next project, it’s important to start by choosing the right container for your materials. Whether you’re working with sand, water, or any other substance, having a reliable bucket or container is essential to ensuring a successful outcome. Consider the size and shape of the container you’ll need, as well as the materials it’s made from.

Plastic containers are often a good choice for their durability and affordability, but if you’re working with corrosive substances, you may need something more heavy-duty. A metal container, for example, might be a better option. Ultimately, the right container will depend on the specific needs of your project, so take some time to think about what you’ll be working with and choose accordingly.

With the right container in hand, you’ll be well on your way to gathering the supplies you need for a successful project.

how to clean out aquarium

Aquarium-safe cleaner

If you’re looking to clean your aquarium, it’s important to choose an aquarium-safe cleaner to ensure the health and safety of your aquatic pets. Before starting, gather all of the necessary supplies – a gentle, aquarium-safe cleaner, a non-abrasive sponge or cloth, and a clean bucket. Make sure to read the label carefully to ensure it’s safe for use in aquariums, as some cleaners can contain chemicals that are harmful to fish and other aquatic creatures.

Once you’ve gathered your supplies, it’s time to start cleaning!

Gravel vacuum

When it comes to cleaning your aquarium, using a gravel vacuum is an essential tool for maintaining a healthy environment for your fish. To get started, you’ll need a few supplies. First, you’ll need a gravel vacuum, which is typically a tube with a larger diameter on one end and a smaller diameter on the other.

You’ll also need a bucket to collect the water as you vacuum. Additionally, you may want to have some towels handy in case of spills, and a water conditioner to treat the water when you’re finished. With these supplies in hand, you’ll be ready to start cleaning your aquarium with a gravel vacuum.

Remember to be gentle when using the vacuum, as you don’t want to disturb the fish or damage any plants or decorations in the tank. By regularly using a gravel vacuum, you’ll keep your aquarium clean and healthy for your aquatic pets.

Algae scraper or pad

If you’re looking to maintain a clean and healthy aquarium, an algae scraper or pad is an essential tool for algae removal. In order to get started with this process, you’ll need to gather a few necessary supplies. First, you’ll want to grab an algae scraper or pad that’s appropriate for the size of your aquarium.

Next, you’ll want to have a bucket of clean water and a towel or rag nearby for cleaning off the algae scraper. It can also be helpful to have a pair of gloves to protect your hands during the cleaning process. Once you have all of these supplies at the ready, you can begin removing the algae from the sides of your aquarium and keeping it in good condition for your aquatic pets.

With a little bit of elbow grease and the right tools, you can keep your aquarium looking beautiful and healthy for all to enjoy. So, what are you waiting for? Get started on cleaning up that algae today!

Remove Everything From The Tank

To properly clean out an aquarium, the first step is to remove everything from the tank. This means taking out all decorations, plants, and any substrate that may be in the tank. To make things easier, you may want to remove the fish from the tank as well, so you’re free to move things around without stressing them.

When you’re removing everything, be sure to pour any water out of the tank, but be careful not to pour it down the sink, as this can harm your pipes. You’ll want to put all the items in a safe place where they won’t be damaged or lost. Once everything is out of the tank, you can move on to the next step of cleaning the tank itself.

Remember, taking the time to remove everything will allow you to clean the tank more thoroughly and prevent any harmful residues from building up over time.

Unplug the heater and filter

When it comes to cleaning your aquarium, it’s important to start with a blank slate. That means removing everything from the tank, including your fish. But before you do that, you’ll want to unplug the heater and filter.

This will prevent any electrical accidents while you’re cleaning. Once those items are unplugged, it’s time to empty the tank. You’ll want to use a net to gently scoop up your fish, being careful not to injure them.

Place them in a separate container filled with some of the tank water to keep them comfortable. Next, remove any ornaments or decorations from the tank and set them aside. Finally, use a gravel vacuum to remove any debris from the bottom of the tank.

Now that your tank is empty, you’re ready to start cleaning! Remember, a clean aquarium is a healthy aquarium, so take the time to do it right.

Remove your fish and living plants

If you’re planning on cleaning your fish tank, the first step is to remove everything from it. This means taking out your fish, any live plants or decorations you may have, and any equipment that is used to maintain the tank. You should also disconnect any filters or heaters to avoid damaging them during the cleaning process.

Removing everything from the tank not only allows you to clean it thoroughly but also ensures that your fish and plants are safe and that you don’t accidentally damage or injure them. It’s essential to handle your fish carefully and place them in a temporary holding tank with clean water. This way, they can still thrive while you clean and re-aquascape your tank.

Remember, keeping your fish and plants safe during the cleaning process is just as important as maintaining the tank’s cleanliness.

Drain The Tank

If you want to clean out your aquarium, the best way to start is by draining the tank completely. This will allow you to get rid of any debris, waste, and algae that may have built up over time. Begin by disconnecting any electrical equipment and removing your fish.

Be sure to place them in a safe container with clean, aerated water while you clean your tank. Once the tank is empty, you can use a scraper or sponge to remove any stubborn buildup around the edges and corners of the tank. You may also want to use a gravel vacuum to siphon off any debris from the substrate at the bottom of the tank.

After everything is cleaned to your satisfaction, fill the tank back up with fresh, dechlorinated water. Add in any necessary water treatments or equipment before finally reintroducing your fish. By draining your tank and starting fresh, you can provide your aquatic pets with a clean and healthy environment to thrive in.

Catch water in a bucket for fish

When it comes to maintaining a healthy fish tank, it’s important to properly drain and clean it on a regular basis. However, have you ever thought about what happens to all that water you’re draining out? Instead of simply letting it go to waste, why not catch it in a bucket and use it to water your plants or garden? This way, you’re not only conserving water but also putting it to good use. Plus, if you have plants that require a lot of water, like flowers and vegetables, the nutrient-rich water from your fish tank can actually be beneficial for their growth.

So next time you’re getting ready to clean your tank, don’t let that water go down the drain – catch it in a bucket and give your plants a little extra TLC. Not only will your fish thrive in a clean tank, but your garden will flourish too!

Separate live plants for cleaning

When it comes to keeping your aquarium clean and healthy, it’s important to not only focus on maintaining the water quality, but also the plants. One way to do this is to keep separate live plants solely for the purpose of cleaning the tank. These plants can improve the water quality by absorbing excess nutrients, dead organic matter, and harmful chemicals.

An added benefit is that they can also provide a natural and aesthetically pleasing touch to your aquarium. It’s important to regularly clean and prune these plants to ensure they continue to effectively clean the tank. So if you want to take your aquarium maintenance to the next level, consider incorporating live plants solely for cleaning purposes in your tank.

Clean The Tank

Cleaning out your aquarium can be a daunting task, but it is essential in maintaining a healthy environment for your aquatic pets. The first step in cleaning your tank is to remove any debris, such as uneaten food and plant matter, using a siphon or a net. Next, you should remove around 25 percent of the water to reduce nitrate levels and replenish it with fresh water.

You can also replace your filter media, which helps to eliminate harmful bacteria in the tank. Finally, scrub the sides of the tank using an algae scraper or a sponge to remove any buildup or algae. Don’t forget to clean any decorations or plants in the tank as well.

Cleaning out your aquarium may seem like a chore, but it is essential to the health and well-being of your aquatic pets. Regular cleaning will help to prevent health issues, keep the water crystal clear, and prolong the lifespan of your aquarium.

Clean the inside of the tank

When it comes to maintaining your fish tank, cleaning the inside is a crucial task that cannot be ignored. Without regular cleaning, the water in your tank can become dirty and murky, which can harm and stress out your fish. To clean the inside of your tank, start by removing any decorations or artificial plants.

Use a scraper or algae pad to remove any stubborn algae from the glass. Then, use a siphon to remove any debris and feces from the gravel, and change about 25% of the water in your tank. Don’t forget to rinse the decorations thoroughly and use an aquarium-safe cleaner to sterilize them.

Always avoid using cleaning agents that contain any harsh chemicals that can be harmful to your fish’s health. By cleaning the inside of your tank regularly, you can help preserve your fish’s health and create a clean and stress-free environment for them to thrive. So go ahead, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to give your tank the deep clean it deserves!

Clean the filter and heater

Keeping your fish tank clean is crucial for the health and happiness of your fish. One important aspect of tank maintenance is cleaning the filter and heater regularly. Over time, debris and waste can accumulate on the filter and cause it to become clogged, which can lead to poor water quality.

To clean the filter, start by unplugging it from the power source. Remove the filter media and rinse it under running water. Use a clean toothbrush to gently scrub the inside of the filter casing and impeller chamber.

Once you’ve cleaned the filter, it’s time to tackle the heater. Turn off the heater and unplug it from the power source. Wipe the outside of the heater with a clean cloth to remove any dirt or debris.

Remove the heater from the tank and rinse it thoroughly under running water to remove any buildup, being careful not to get water in the electrical components. By keeping your filter and heater clean, your fish will be able to live in a healthy and safe environment.

Clean the substrate and decorations

When setting up a new aquarium or maintaining an existing one, cleaning the tank is a crucial step to keeping your aquatic pets happy and healthy. One important task is cleaning the substrate and decorations. The substrate, which is the material at the bottom of the tank, can accumulate debris and waste over time.

Use a gravel vacuum to suck up any debris that may have accumulated. When it comes to decorations, remove any ornaments or plants from the tank and rinse them thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris. Be sure to avoid using any cleaning products like soap or bleach, as these can be harmful to your fish.

Keeping a clean environment for your fish not only makes the tank look better, but it also helps prevent the growth of harmful bacteria that can cause disease. By cleaning regularly, you can ensure that your fish will thrive in a healthy aquatic environment.

Combat algae growth

If you are looking to combat algae growth in your fish tank, a good place to start is by keeping the tank clean. Algae thrives in dirty environments, so it’s essential to regularly clean the tank and remove any debris or uneaten food. Besides, you should also aim to reduce the amount of light and nutrients available to the algae.

This can be done by reducing the amount of time your aquarium light is on and not overfeeding your fish. Another helpful solution is to introduce live plants that compete with the algae for nutrients and oxygen, reducing their growth. By regularly cleaning and maintaining your tank, you can create a healthy environment for your fish and keep unsightly algae at bay.

Remember, prevention is always better than cure.

Refill The Tank

If you want to keep your aquarium healthy and functioning properly, you need to know how to clean it out properly. One important aspect of this is refilling the tank. When you refill the tank, make sure you use the appropriate type of water, either tap water or purified water specifically intended for aquariums.

Before you refill the tank, it’s important to ensure it’s completely empty of any debris or waste. Use a siphon to remove any remaining water and waste from the tank. Once the tank is empty, rinse it thoroughly with warm water and use a gentle, non-toxic soap if needed.

Refill the tank slowly to avoid shocking any fish or other aquatic life that may be living in the aquarium. Always make sure to monitor the temperature of the water and adjust it accordingly to create a comfortable and safe living environment for your aquatic pets. By properly refilling the tank, you’ll help ensure the health of your tank’s inhabitants and keep your aquarium functioning properly for years to come.

Refill with clean, treated water

Now that your tank is empty, it’s time to refill it with clean, treated water. This step is crucial to maintain the quality of the water and prevent any potential health hazards. Firstly, make sure to clean the inside of the tank before refilling it.

This will ensure that any dirt or debris that accumulated during the emptying process is removed. You can use a mild detergent and a soft-bristled brush to scrub the interior surfaces. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and let it dry.

Next, locate the water supply source and attach a hose to fill the tank. Before doing so, make sure the water is treated and safe for consumption. You can use a water filtration system or purchase treated water from a supplier.

It’s important to note that the type of water used will affect the quality and lifespan of the tank. Hard water, for example, can cause mineral buildup and corrosion over time. Once the tank is full, turn off the water source and check for any leaks or damages.

Congratulations, you have successfully refilled your tank and can now enjoy a fresh supply of water.

Replace all accessories

One of the best ways to keep your vaping experience enjoyable is to replace all accessories when needed. This includes the coils, wicks, tanks, chargers, and any other component that might wear out. Over time, these accessories will become less effective and might even affect the flavor and quality of your vapor.

By replacing them, you ensure that your device is operating at its best. Another crucial aspect of maintaining your vaping experience is to refill the tank regularly. Running out of e-liquid can ruin your experience and even cause damage to the device by burning the coil.

It is recommended to refill your tank when it is one-third to half full. This ensures that you do not run out of liquid and helps prevent dry hits, which are unpleasant and can even burn your mouth. By taking these simple steps, you can ensure that your vaping experience is always enjoyable and successful.

Be sure to monitor your accessories and refill your tank regularly, and you will be able to continue enjoying your device’s benefits with ease. With a little care and attention to detail, vaping can be a safe, relaxing, and enjoyable experience that enhances your daily life. So, why not take the time to maintain your device properly and replace any worn-out parts today? Your taste buds (and pocketbook) will thank you!

Let the water temperature stabilize

One important step in caring for your aquarium is refilling the tank, but before you do so, you need to let the water temperature stabilize. It can be tempting to rush this step but taking your time can prevent shocking your aquatic pets. When you first begin refilling the tank, the water temperature may be drastically different from what your fish and other animals are used to.

By taking the time to allow the water to reach the appropriate temperature, you’re helping to create a more stable and comfortable environment for your pets. Remember, just like humans, fish need a stable living environment in order to thrive. Taking the time to wait for the water temperature to stabilize will help ensure a healthy and happy habitat for your aquatic pets.

Return Fish and Plants

If you’re wondering how to clean out an aquarium, there are a few important steps to follow to ensure the safety of your fish and plants. First, remove your fish and plants and place them in a temporary tank or container with clean water. Next, drain the water from your aquarium and remove any decor or equipment.

Be sure to clean everything thoroughly with a non-toxic aquarium cleaner specifically designed for this purpose. Rinse everything with clean water and dry it with a soft cloth. Once everything is clean and dry, refill your aquarium with fresh water that has been treated with a water conditioner to remove harmful chemicals.

Finally, return your fish and plants to the aquarium and monitor their behavior and health closely for the first few days to ensure they are adjusting well to their clean environment. By following these steps, you can keep your aquarium clean and safe for your aquatic pets.

Re-acclimate fish to the water

Returning fish and plants to the aquarium can be an exciting time for a fish keeper, but the process should be done carefully to ensure the health and well-being of the aquatic life. One crucial step is to re-acclimate the fish to the water. This involves slowly adjusting the temperature and chemistry of the water to match that of the aquarium.

The best way to do this is by using a drip acclimation method, where water is gradually added to the container holding the fish over a period of time. It’s essential to be patient during this process to prevent shock, stress, and potential death to the fish. Additionally, plants should be carefully handled and thoroughly rinsed before being returned to the aquarium.

It’s important to avoid introducing any unwanted pests or diseases that may have hitched a ride on the plants or container holding the fish. By taking the time to properly re-acclimate fish and plants, you can ensure a healthy and thriving aquarium ecosystem for all inhabitants.

Replace live plants in the tank

When it comes to maintaining a thriving aquarium, one of the keys is ensuring that your plants remain healthy and lush. However, sometimes live plants can become overgrown or simply no longer thrive in your tank environment. When this happens, it’s important to remove these plants and replace them with new, healthy ones that will better suit your aquarium.

The process of removing the old plants should be done carefully so as not to disturb the balance of your tank. Once the old plants have been removed, you’ll want to add the new ones in a way that is gradual and measured, giving your fish and other creatures time to adjust and acclimate to the changes. By doing so, you’ll help ensure that your aquarium remains a healthy and thriving environment for all of its inhabitants.

So whether you’re looking to replace just a few plants or start fresh with an entirely new set, taking the time to carefully remove old plants and introduce new ones is a crucial part of maintaining a beautiful and healthy aquarium.


In conclusion, cleaning out an aquarium may seem like a daunting task, but with the right approach and tools, it can be an easy and enjoyable experience. Just remember to take your time, be gentle with your fishy friends, and resist the temptation to take a dip in the tank yourself. Happy cleaning!”


How often should I clean out my aquarium?
It is recommended to clean out your aquarium once a week, or at least once every two weeks.

What supplies do I need to clean out my aquarium?
You will need a siphon, a bucket, a scraper or sponge, and a water conditioner.

How do I use a siphon to clean out my aquarium?
Place one end of the siphon in the aquarium and the other end in a bucket. Suck on the end of the siphon until the water begins to flow out of the aquarium and into the bucket. Once the water has started flowing, move the siphon around the aquarium to suck up debris and waste.

How much water should I remove during a cleaning?
You should remove about 10-15% of the aquarium water during each cleaning.

Is it necessary to remove the fish during a cleaning?
No, it is not necessary to remove the fish during a cleaning. However, it may be easier to clean the aquarium without the fish in it.

How do I clean the decorations and accessories in my aquarium?
You can use a scraper or sponge to clean the decorations and accessories in your aquarium. It is best to use aquarium-safe cleaners to avoid harming your fish.

What should I do with the old water that I remove from the aquarium?
You can use the old water to water plants or for other household cleaning tasks. Just be sure to avoid using it for anything that may harm your plants or pets.