How to Clean a Fish Tank




About: Hello everyone, I am autumsawesome. I have made bread, jam, omelettes and even an alcohol stove out of pop cans,

Hello everyone,

I know what most of you are thinking "Doesn't autumsawesome post instructions for K'nex?" Don't worry I will still keep posting K'nex I just thought I could do a different themed Instructable.

O.K. now lets talk fish, just follow the instructions below and you should get a squeaky clean (literally) fish tank.

1000 Views Over Night (LITERALLY) Thank You SO MUCH!!!!!!!

Step 1: Gather Your Tools

First you will gather your tools.

They are: salad tongs, a towel, a container, a net, a sponge, a bucket, water (not shown) and a tank vacuum

Step 2: Your Freinds

Your friends are a dish cloth and a toothbrush.

Step 3: Start Scrubbin'

Now you start scrubbing.

You can use a sponge specialized with a long handle which you can buy at your local fish store.

After you scrub for a bit lift the sponge out of the water, you will see the leftover green algae, let the sponge soak in some water for about fifteen seconds. This will remove most of the algae. The green water you see in the last picture, don't pour it down the drain instead you can use it as flower or garden water and food.

Step 4: Remove and Clean Decor

Remove the decor and clean it.

Clean the "feathery" plants in long strokes with the toothbrush.

Step 5: Vacuuming the Gravel

Put the sucking part of the vacuum in the water.

Put the other end in the bucket and pump water using the hand pump. Start vacuuming the gravel by pushing the sucking end deep into the gravel then lift it until the gravel in the sucking end has emptied out. Repeat this, moving around the whole aquarium. Suck until the tank is about half way empty. Or half way full?

Step 6: Fill the Aquarium With Water

Fill the tank with clean water that has been sitting by itself for at least overnight (this removes most of the chlorine) then pour it in.

Step 7: Add Decor

Now put the decor back into the tank, you can rearrange them to your liking.

Step 8: Finishing Touches

Now wipe down any water that has fallen, and any mess.

Step 9: Tips for the Whole Process

You may have noticed that I don't have a filter that is because I don't
need one, my aquarium functions perfectly fine without one.

Pic1 This green water is not useless in fact it is very useful, give your plants this water for a source of food and nutrients.

Pic2 Make sure you keep the air stone submerged at all times, this makes sure the fish don't suffocate for lack of oxygen.

Pic3 Check your thermometer regularly if the water is to hot then what I do is turn off the light and take off the cover. If the temperature is still to hot then you can put a Ziploc of ice into the water. If the tank is to cold I suggest you look into buying a heater.

Pic4 Keep the fish in at all times when cleaning, this way you don't spend most of your time fishing out the fish.

If you find any dead fish simply fish it out with a net and flush it down the toilet, if you're having a hard time finding the dead fish use a strong flashlight as a spotlight. If many fish die then put your tank water to a Ph and Nh test. You can buy cheap kits at your local pet-store and follow instructions on the package.

Once you're done cleaning, give some water conditioner to the fish.

If you have any tips please post them in the comments below.



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    10 Discussions


    Reply 2 years ago

    As I mentioned in step nine, picture 4 it says as following "Keep the fish in at all times when cleaning, this way you don't spend most of your time fishing out the fish."


    2 years ago

    Thank you for 2000 views in a week that is awesome thanks again!


    2 years ago

    Prob ok for a few small fish, but I'd caution someone to check nitrate levels often with no biological filer

    1 reply

    2 years ago

    This may be unique to me, but I like to let algae grow on the sides of the tank and then use an old credit card to scrape it off the sides. The goldfish I have seem to absolutely love it and my tank sides are clean. I'll also do a water change a day or two later after this just in case.

    1 reply

    2 years ago

    Doesn't autumawesome post instructions for k'nex? XD
    Great tutorial :)


    2 years ago


    Simple and detailed. Thanks!