Guide to Cleaning Your Freshwater Aquarium - TLC Products - for Aquatic Systems -

Guide to Cleaning Your Freshwater Aquarium

Posted September 28, 2023
TLC Products Freshwater Tank with Dechlorinator and Start Smart

Are you experiencing a strange aquarium smell? Is it getting cloudy in the fish tank? Harmful waste byproducts buildup can cause disease inside of freshwater fish tanks. Because of this, these aquariums require maintenance in order to keep your fish happy and healthy. Luckily, it's easy to maintain a clean fish tank by restoring and cleaning water.

Cleaning and maintaining a freshwater aquarium involves several steps, including water changes, substrate cleaning, and equipment maintenance. You can get into a routine to ensure a safe and healthy environment for your fish.

Check that you have the following items:

  • TLC Products DeChlor & Conditioner
  • StartSmart for Instant Cycling
  • Gravel vacuum or siphon
  • Clean bucket or container
  • Algae scraper or scrubber
  • Clean cloth or sponge
  • Fish net
  • Freshwater testing kit (pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate)
  • Replacement filter media (if necessary)
  • Water conditioner (for tap water)
  • Thermometer (if not already built into your tank)
Step 1: Prepare Your Materials
Gather all the necessary materials and place them near the freshwater aquarium for easy access. Ensure that your hands are clean and dry before touching the tank.
Step 2: Turn off Equipment
Before starting any maintenance, turn off all equipment, such as heaters, filters, and lights. Unplug them if necessary.
Step 3: Partial Water Change
Remove about 25-30% of the freshwater fish tank water using the gravel vacuum or siphon and put it into a clean bucket. If you're using tap water, add TLC Products DeChlor & Conditioner to the new water to remove chlorine, chloramines, and detoxify heavy metals. Follow the product's instructions for the correct dosage.
Step 4: Vacuum the Gravel
While performing the water change, use the gravel vacuum or siphon to clean the substrate (gravel or sand) in your tank. Insert the vacuum into the gravel and start the siphon to remove debris, uneaten food, and waste. Be careful not to disturb the plants or damage the substrate.
Step 5: Clean Decorations
Use an algae scraper or scrubber to clean the glass or acrylic surfaces of the tank. Be gentle to avoid scratching the glass. Remove any algae or dirt from decorations as well.
Step 6: Replace Filter Media
If your filter has disposable filter media (e.g., filter cartridges), replace them according to the manufacturer's instructions. This should be done regularly to maintain good water quality.
Step 7: Rinse Filter
Rinse the filter sponge or media in the bucket of removed freshwater fish tank water. Avoid using tap water, as it can kill beneficial bacteria. Squeeze the sponge gently to remove debris but don't overdo it, as you want to keep some beneficial bacteria.
Step 8: Add StartSmart
If you're setting up a new freshwater aquarium or need to cycle an existing one, add StartSmart as per the product's instructions. This product is designed to help establish beneficial bacteria quickly.
Step 9: Refill the Tank
Pour the treated tap water back into the tank. Ensure that the water temperature matches the tank's temperature. Reconnect and restart all equipment.
Step 10: Test Water Parameters
After a few hours, test the water parameters (pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate) to ensure they are within acceptable ranges for your fish.
Step 11: Monitor and Maintain
Regularly monitor water parameters, perform partial water changes (typically every 1-2 weeks), and follow a regular maintenance schedule to keep your aquarium clean and healthy.

By following these steps, you can maintain a clean and safe freshwater aquarium for your fish.

If you're in need of any freshwater or saltwater aquarium treatment supplies, TLC Products has you covered. TLC Products provides several all-natural aquarium care and maintenance products to keep your aquatic creatures healthy and your water system clean. Order today and see the difference!

More BlogsAll Blogs