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Maintenance – Aquarium Cleaning

Water changes are possibly the most important aquarium cleaning maintenance that you will be required to do on a regular basis. I have plenty of further information on how to do that on the maintenance pages of the website.

But this aquarium cleaning video goes over many of the points that need to be made for doing proper water changes.

I also never recommend that the water conditioner be added directly to the aquarium. The main difference is that he uses a very large vat to hold the water and condition it prior to the replacement step. However, most aquariums are not kept at 74oF. Also his room temperature is quite warm to allow the water to reach 72oF without any additional heat. Mind you, the idea is not bad, but if you keep your water warmer, or your room cooler, add a heater tot he vat if you must do it this way.

He keeps the water a few extra days “Just in case”. I am not sure if he is worried about the chlorine or chloramine, but that is always instantly neutralized by the water conditioner if there is enough used. I tend to recommend using a dedicated bucket only for water changes: removal and replacement water. When used to replace the water, run the tap at approximately the same temperature as the aquarium, and use the water conditioner in the bucket – I pour it in as the water fills to ensure total mixing. If you are in doubt of the temperature of the tap water, use a thermometer to determine what it is.

aquarium cleaning - photo by Lew57

aquarium cleaning – photo by Lew57

I agree with unplugging the heater when doing the water change to prevent any possibility of the heater element being exposed above the water level – but if you are going to do it, make sure the power is removed about a half hour before the drain. The element is normally ceramic and will remain very hot for a while after being heated – so it must be allowed a proper amount of time to cool and be water temperature when the heater is accidentally exposed.

I don’t have an elevated tank, and yours is probably a lot smaller, so in most cases when doing aquarium cleaning you will need to run the water into a bucket and discard it. I agree that you are much better off to do a number of smaller water changes than a single huge one. Those massive changes can radically dilute the existing water characteristics that the fish are accustomed to.  Tis leads to severe stress and an opengnfor diseases to take hold n the tank and the fish themselves.


Steve Pond, of Tropical Fish Aquarist, has kept fish both personally and professionally for over 50 years.  He writes regularly on the wide range of current topics that are important to people who keep tropical fish tanks as a passion and a hobby.

About blueram

Steve Pond, of Tropical Fish Aquarist, has kept fish both personally and professionally for over 50 years.  He writes regularly on the wide range of current topics that are important to people who keep tropical fish tanks as a passion and a hobby.

View all posts by blueram →

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  1. damienOctober 29, 2012 at 2:01 pmReply

    i have a tank with similar fish to yours. i just started the tank last month its my first one. is there any plants that should not go in there(poisonous) or is any freshwater plant fine. i have a few of those gravel vaccuums glad to know how tro use them now

    • blueramOctober 30, 2012 at 7:36 pmReplyAuthor

      It really depends on what is available in your area and the lighting you are going to use in the fish tank. It is best if you have good lighting – at minimum fluorescent bulbs, hopefully, for such a large aquarium as shown in the video, the use of HO fluorescent bulbs will ensure the light is driven all the way to the bottom. If you are still considering the lighting you will use for plants.

      You might want to consider a coming product called the Performance series of LED lights from Fluval. I am told these strips are finally on their way, but wouldn’t expect to see them for a couple of months. Otherwise, look very carefully at any LED system is constructed before purchasing them for freshwater tanks. Some poorly designed LED systems have burned corals by being too bright in the wrong spectrums. As far as plants, for a beginner, the classic types are such as JAva Fern, Cabomba, Valisneria and Jungle Val, if you want a tall plant to cover the entire height of the tank. Amazon swords and crypts are also quite popular when the light is right. It will of course be better with a carbon dioxide infusion and/or proper alkalinity control through test kits. It is best to find a local expert in as pet store near you to help pick a good selection with the lighting and fish you are keeping.

  2. amedar consultingOctober 29, 2012 at 10:15 pmReply

    Perfectly composed subject matter, regards for information .

  3. PattiOctober 31, 2012 at 12:30 amReply

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  4. RajeshMarch 5, 2015 at 11:45 pmReply

    This is the void that I have shown in Reinigungsmaschine.Das Aquarium Planted Aquarium Video claineng a Lee’s Gravel Vacuum.Es there was a link to this at the Aquarium of claineng products in detail

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