How Often to Clean Fish Tank

How Often to Clean Fish Tank: Everything You Need To Know

You hardly need to clean an aquarium with a good balance. Yet you cannot escape cleaning certain elements, such as your plants, bedding, and aquarium decoration, once in time. So, how often to clean fish tank? How should the period be determined? Fortunately, cleaning an aquarium can be done quickly and easily. As long as you know what to do when to do it and how best to do it.  

Although there is a difference in maintenance and cleaning between a small and a large aquarium, in the end, there are a few cleaning problems that every aquarium owner has to deal with.  

Cleaning the aquarium, solutions, and problems You may think that you are the only one, but everyone runs into the same cleaning jobs in an aquarium. We have listed the most common problems, including the solution immediately.  

Problem 1: I have algae in my aquarium.

Algae on your aquarium window Iew! Algae on your aquarium window A lot of algae results in cloudy water, a dirty aquarium window, dead plants, dirty aquarium decoration, and an ugly sight.  Algae is therefore the biggest frustration of every aquarium keeper. It also doesn’t help that there are different types of algae, each with a different type of solution. We discuss the most common algae problems, their origin, and the solution.

Green point algae:

Looks like green points a few millimeters. This algae often occurs on (older) leaves and the glass of your aquarium.

Most common cause: Water with an incorrect balance, or (too much) direct sunlight or aquarium light.

The best solution: Add CO2 or phosphate and get your aquarium out of the sunlight.

Beard algae:

Looks like a fluffy group of algae that together form a beard. Sometimes beard algae, after a while, form in long strands.  Most common cause: Too little or an unstable CO2 level in the aquarium. a constant CO2 supply in the aquarium.

The best solution: We wrote more in the blog about preventing and combating beard algae. 


Thread algae:

Has a fluffy ball formed on your soil material that has grown into a green haze of strands? Then you are dealing with thread algae.  

Most common cause: Too low CO2 content in your aquarium.

The best solution: Adding a constant CO2 supply to your aquarium. If you want to get rid of it quickly, you can also buy liquid CO2.

Blue-green algae:

Looks like a slimy, blue-green substance that first forms on your soil material. It leaves a foul odor on your hand.  

Most common cause: Inadequate maintenance of the aquarium, dirty water.

The best solution: Ensure there is sufficient flow, change your water. Check whether you have a properly functioning filter. 

Green water floating algae:

You can recognize these algae by the smooth green haze that has formed through your aquarium.  

Most common cause: Overexposure of the aquarium or water values ​​that are not in balance. 

The best solution: This alga is common in aquariums that have just started. change the water (50%) and also add CO2 and fast-growing plants such as Vallisneria and Cabomba to the aquarium. 

Brown algae:

You see a brown, slimy layer or haze over your aquarium decoration, glass, and/or bottom.  

Most common cause: Weak lighting in the aquarium and/or too high a PH value.

The best solution: This alga is common in aquariums that have just started. slowly increase the light hours in your aquarium (for example to 9 hours) and if after a water test it appears that your PH value is too high: add CO2.

White algae:

Shows itself in the form of the well-known “white haze” in the aquarium. The white algae are not harmful.  

Most common cause: The white algae are created by an explosion of bacteria and often occur in a starting aquarium. 

The best solution: Add aquatic plants such as Cabomba and Waterweed. 

Cleaning the aquarium is one thing. Cleaning algae is often another tedious task. Therefore, do it well. Whatever your solution. Always try to remove the algae first, and then apply a water change. Only afterward a possible algae remedy.

Problem 2: My aquarium filter is dirty.

The use of multiple filters in one filter system has undeniable advantages. A filter provides water circulation and “cleaning” your aquarium. Not handy if this is not so. 

“Dirty” is a relative term with a filter: a biotope of good bacteria is created in a filter, which ensures the purification of the water. So you shouldn’t put too much weight here.  Therefore, purify your filter only with aquarium water and not with boiling water as is often recommended.  However, if you detect coarse dirt such as algae in your filter, you must take measures. 

Do you often have to clean the aquarium? A good filter saves a lot of work!

Problem 3: My aquarium water is blurry.

“Cloudy water” often means that your water values are out of balance. Harmful substances such as nitrate may have predominated. Cloudy water can have several causes, so the solution is different.  

White haze aquarium to combat algae 

White haze in the aquarium Have you just got an aquarium? Then you are probably dealing with a white haze that we earlier. 

Is your haze green in color? 

Then the haze is caused by floating algae. 

Have you just cleaned your tank? 

Then fine sand particles cause blurred vision in the aquarium. 

In this case, you wait until the next morning: there is a good chance that your aquarium will be clear again. 

Check out here for more information.

Problem 4: My bottom material is dirty.

Keep your gravel clean. Fish feces, food, and other bacteria often create a dirty layer on the bottom material.  

Use a so-called “vacuum cleaner” to clean your gravel. This is the best and most efficient way and also cheap to purchase. I myself successfully use this bottom vacuum cleaner for that.  

Do you have sand as a ground cover?  If you have; then slowly run your fingers through the sand, the filter will do the rest of the work. Don’t forget to change your filter the next day.

Problem 5: My diamond is green.

The most common cause of a green aquarium pane is: Punt algae. Point algae also called green algae.

Problem 6: My aquarium decoration has green or brown tarnish.

Green or brown deposits are often the result of, there they are again, algae. Brown algae often create a dirty-looking brown layer over your aquarium decoration.

Problem 7: I have limescale deposits on my aquarium lamp.

Limescale deposits often occur when the PH value, or acidity, of the aquarium water, is too high. Therefore, check the water values ​​regularly so that limescale does not have a chance to settle on the aquarium lamp.

RGB aquarium led lighting Condensation causes limescale deposits Cleaning solution: limescale is common and easy to remove. You can easily remove limescale with a little vinegar on a sponge. Natural vinegar is not harmful to aquarium plants or fish, provided you do not use too much of it. 

You can of course clean everything in your aquarium, but when cleaning an aquarium, “prevention is better than cure”. In other words, make sure your tank is healthy. Then the number of times you have to clean the aquarium drops drastically.  Cleaning an aquarium is keeping your aquarium clean. 

Of course, much depends on the balance within the biotope of your aquarium, but there are a few things that you can control that make the aquarium less dirty. What to do?

Cleaning an aquarium is keeping your aquarium clean.

Add enough aquarium plants.

The proper growth of aquarium plants ensures balance in the aquarium. A good balance ensures that your aquarium does not have to be cleaned as quickly and algae have less chance. You can often see from the aquarium plants whether there are shortages that disturb the balance in the aquarium. 

For example, add aquarium plants such as Vallisneria and Cabomba to the aquarium. These fast-growing aquatic plants use nutrients from the water, which means that algae have less chance of success. 

Keep an eye on your water values.

Good quality water, with the right balance, helps prevent cleaning to a very large extent. In general, the larger the aquarium, the better a balance can be created. A larger aquarium with slow-growing plants therefore requires less maintenance than a smaller aquarium. 

Also, pay attention to your aquarium lighting.

Poor lighting leads to more algae and ultimately more maintenance. Aquarium lamps with fluorescent lighting usually last from a year to a year and a half. LED lighting lasts longer (> 10 years), but is a considerable investment. If you need to replace more than one bulb, replace one every week. 

If the light intensity suddenly changes too much, you give algae a chance to grow.

Add a good filter.

A filter catches dirt that has entered the water and ensures that the water circulates. Therefore, a bit cliché, but very important: make sure you have a good filter in your aquarium. 

Being critical of new fish.

New fish in your tank can upset the balance if they are not healthy. Diseases such as White Spot have taken over your aquarium at breakneck speed. Therefore, pay close attention when purchasing new fish. Are they actively swimming around? Are their scales still beautiful? Are you in doubt? First, place the fish in a quarantine container and keep a close eye on it for a week.

Aquarium Cleaning Tips. Follow these 3 golden tips!

Have you read the previous information carefully? 

Some extra tips to ensure that all elements in your aquarium are properly cleaned and not damaged.  

Cleaning with a sponge ensures that algae are removed and no scratches occur Cleaning with a sponge is also possible.

Tip 1: 

Algae magnets can cause scratches. Use an algae sponge to clean the window. The advantage is that the algae remain in the sponge and scratches are prevented. We also told you before: do not remove all algae from your aquarium. Fish get a sense of security from a few algae on the back wall, and young fish feed on the microorganisms in algae. 

Tip 2: 

Use a toothbrush with nylon bristles to clean the glass as a variant of a sponge. Very practical to get to the small spots. Nylon hairs ensure that your aquarium glass does not get scratched.  

Tip 3: 

Don’t forget the tubes of your filter. Your filter tubes can get limescale or get blocked by algae. A long iron wire surrounded by a soft sheath (for example nylon hair) is suitable for keeping your tubes clean.  

How Often to Clean Fish Tank

Finally, a few more cleaning tips that won't immediately annoy your fish.

Aquarium cleaning tips that keep it fun for your fish 

Cleaning always stresses your fish. Therefore, make sure that cleaning is done as smoothly and gently as possible. How can you keep your fishing fun? 

Do not disturb the spawning grounds. 

When cleaning, keep an eye out for possible spawning grounds. Cavities between stones and under aquarium decoration are used as a spawning area, where eggs can even be laid. For this reason, be careful when cleaning or picking up aquarium plants. The Betta Splendens, for example, creates its spawning spot at the water surface where plants such as Vallisneria are also interwoven. 

Avoid violent temperature fluctuations. 

Too large temperature fluctuations can cause a shock to your fish. Therefore, make sure that the refreshed aquarium water is about the same temperature as the original water. When adding water, wait until the fresh, clean water differs from the original water by no more than two degrees. 

Due to the temperature fluctuations, it is also more sensible to change the water a little regularly instead of all at once. 

Make sure the water stays calm. 

Just like we are frightened by an earthquake, your fish will also not like it when a hose, sponge, or hand is housed in their aquarium with gross force. Take the time to clean and make sure you clean, add, and refresh everything at a leisurely pace. This prevents stress for your fish, which in turn is less likely to lead to fish diseases. 

What are your ideas about cleaning the aquarium? 

Finally, a short recap for the proper cleaning and maintenance of your tank; the most important thing is to create and maintain a good balance in your aquarium. Pay attention to adding enough aquarium plants and a good aquarium filter for this. Avoid stress and shock for your fish; clean with care and at rest and change water in phases. This way you create a clean aquarium to look at and a healthy living environment for your fish. 

How to make a fish tank. You can follow it step by step here.

Are you interested in creating a new fish tank? You should check out our article on the best selling products on the market here

Do you have more cleaning solutions? We’d love to hear about it in a comment below this blog so that we can help our readers even better to clean their aquarium.


Eric is the founder of Of course, this is his nickname. In terms of the health of the ongoing projects, his identity is hidden for now. He is known around him as a forward-thinking, creative, innovative entrepreneur.

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