It starts out slowly. The first day you get your fish, your tank is sparkling clean. A few weeks later you notice the tank is looking a little cloudy. You ignore it. Two more weeks go by and your fish tank is starting to look like mine did. This can be very overwhelming for a new fish owner. Don't sweat it, I've got you covered. Just follow this step-by-step instructable, and before your fish know what's happened they'll have a fresh, clean tank.
Step 1: Background
Before beginning the tank cleaning process it's important to note a few things first. This instructable is designed for small to medium sized tanks (5-20 gallons). The instructable is also designed for freshwater tropical fish, meaning that the water temperature is meant to stay in the mid 70's. The tank that I am demonstrating on is a rare case. It is much dirtier than it should ever be. Most cleanings should not wait until the tank is this dirty. In fact, every other week you should plan on cleaning your tank.